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What's cooking/capsule reviews Feb. 17 

What's cooking Mr. Mason’s Bar-B-Q at 911 W. Capitol Ave. announces a third option (in addition to pizza and Chinese) for home delivery. It has begun delivering its full menu (but no drinks) during regular business hours. They are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and through 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The delivery area is bounded roughly by Interstate 30 on the east, Mississippi Street on the west, Roosevelt Road on the south and the Arkansas River. Call 372-4227. The purchase of the Tedford Building on Seventh Street just east of Broadway has led to the closure of Casa Alvarez and Gutbusters, two lunchtime restaurant stops. The building, which has housed such eateries as Dave’s Place (before it moved to 2nd and Center) and Great Wall Chinese, reportedly will be converted into a law office. Updates CATFISH CITY AND BBQ GRILL Catfish City has a reputation for some good catfish fare, but can it extend that reputation into its newly expanded barbecue offerings? We say: so-so. We went for the full barbecue platter to get a sample. The beef brisket was very tender and had a good smoky flavor, the pulled pork was a little on the fat side, and the four ribs were meaty but tough. The side of beans with meat was great, and hot, and the cole slaw and potato salad was the way we like, fresh with a homemade taste. A cheese biscuit rounded out the platter meal. But one big downer: Our meat portions weren’t hot, not even warm. Maybe it was the time it took from dishing up our plate to actually getting it to us via the wait staff on this busy, cold Saturday night. We’ll give Catfish City another try. A new location opens at Taylor Loop off Highway 10 in April. 1817 S. University Ave., 663-7224, LD Mon.-Sat. $-$$ CC. ROYAL BUFFET The scalding hot soup hit the spot on our recent chilly evening visit. And this all-you-eat Chinese/Japanese/ American and (they claim) Italian buffet has some more unusual offerings than we’ve seen elsewhere. The honey chicken is a batterless fried chicken in a sweet honey sauce. We also tried peanut butter chicken. Huge pieces in the chicken-and-broccoli entree were very filling and a nice change from the standard beef and broccoli, which was also available. One in our party said the steamed sticky rice was “sticking” to their teeth. The restaurant is under new management and the manager was very courteous and wanted to make sure that all was OK. We noticed the steam tables were definitely keeping things hot. And Royal Buffet has a different twist on dessert: Instead of using the perfunctory soft-serve ice cream machine, you hand-dip your own Blue Bell ice cream, all you want. You just can’t beat the big chunks of strawberry in the strawberry ice cream, even if it’s winter outside.109 E. Pershing Blvd., 753-8885, LD 7days. $-$$ CC Beer and wine.
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