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Marc Cassel’s Fish Story: Why it Took Him 25 Years to Open 20 Feet Seafood Joint

Cassel Doctrine: Marc and wife Suzan Fries wanted to open an honest place, with no foams or test tubes. (Photography by Desiree Espada)

Tim “Pied Piper of Peavy” Rogers lives in East Dallas. He loves East Dallas. He is a frequent customer at Goodfriend. In this month’s D Magazine, Timmy writes a nice piece on Marc Cassel and the special camaraderie that exists between the chefs, cooks, beer folks, and restaurateurs of East Dallas. Some of the history goes way back to the dark ages of Deep Ellum. Let’s here it for Timmy.

One night several weeks before the January opening of their East Dallas restaurant, 20 Feet Seafood Joint, Marc Cassel and his wife, Suzan Fries, tested their new fryer for the first time. Fries wore a blue apron and a short haircut suited to kitchen work. She squeezed a pastry bag, producing a series of chocolate “20”s on parchment paper, while Cassel, in matching apron, his long white goatee giving him the appearance of a birthday party magician, gingerly laid a piece of battered cod into hot oil. First he tried a yeast batter, then tempura. Brined fish, then unbrined. Much experimentation lay ahead as the couple worked toward a menu.

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