We found a free weekend to set off for places we wanted to visit for a long time, but hadn't made the stops on previous trips.
Thursday Sept 24 we headed South on I-65 in some heavy showers hoping to clear out of the rain before too long. By Nashville it had turned to cloudy with a few drizzles now and then as we turned West onto I-40. We were saving our appetite and trying to make time...so no side trips to Loveless or Henpeck Market
that morning. At exit 108 we headed south on Rt 22. This took us right by The BBQ place that Dennis Hays used to operate in Lexington, TN. A touch of sadness hit us there, as we were getting hungry, and sure missed his great BBQ ! Onward we drove, hoping to arrive at the Catfish Hotel Restaurant as it opened. The turn off for the restaurant is well-marked just before the entrance to the Shiloh Military Park.
The road to the restaurant turns off of Rt 22 to the left and takes you just over a mile to the Tennessee Riverbank near the place (Pittsburg Landing) where the Union Troops landed after their ride up-river from the "Land Between the Lakes".
The River view from the restaurant is really pretty, even in the grey, muggy weather.
We opened the place that day, with three or four other parties coming in while we were eating. It is a clean, neat, well-kept restaurant.
The placemat tells the story, but the map is what shows the historic location
Here is Janet's Catfish Plate. There were three mid-sized fish on this plate, and she managed to eat two more on a reorder !! (AYCE Fish). The Sweet Potato was 'OK' but the slaw and salad sides were really good. Very Fresh and crisp. The Catfish is what made the place special. It was Outstanding. Fresh, Lightly breaded, Piping Hot from the Fryer..It was excellent !!
My Seafood Plate had two fish (one after the other), Clam Strips, Fried Oysters, Large butterflied Shrimp, and a deviled crab (stuffing). The Fish was outstanding, the Oysters and Shrimp were very good but the stuffed crab and clam strips were pretty far down the list !!
What stole the show here (almost) was a piece of Carmel Pie that we shared for dessert.
Smooth, rich, and creamy. It was the perfect finishing touch for the fish dinner. Made from scratch...not melted candy or pre-done stuff, this was extra-good. Later I was told that Carmel Pie is found a lot of places in Western Tennessee. We had never seen it before and were delighted in finding this special treat. I called BuffetBuster
to have him add this pie to his "Gotta Try" list!!
Then it was time to tour parts of the Shiloh Battlefield. We stopped at the Visitors Center to get a park-map and started to follow the winding roads past many monuments to the fallen soldiers on both sides of the struggle.
Obviously the wildlife has found food and safety in the park. We came across these Turkeys and several groups of Deer as we wandered around the wooded area.
After our tour we headed North on US 45 to Jackson, TN, to check into our Motel and meet Bob and Becky for dinner at Lathams BBQ. Bob is "Bobs"
on RF. We have met him at several of the Tennessee Roadfood events, and looked forward to this dinner and a chance to meet his lovely wife as well.
Leaving the Scotties with TV to watch and comfortable quarters in the motel we drove the few minute ride to Lathams Meats and BBQ. The parking lot tells us this is a busy place, even in the rainy weather.
From the Parking Lot you can see the "BURN-PIT", where hickory wood is reduced to coals for use under the smoker/cookers. Very few BBQ places still do ALL their BBQ over woodfires. No Gas or Electric cookers here. They do their Pork Shoulders 24 hours to get them 'melt in your mouth tender' .
Here is our RF Friend, Bob (BOBS) with Paul Latham, the owner of this classic meat and BBQ BUSINESS! Yep, It was raining pretty hard when we took our tour of the outdoor cooking area!!
Back inside Paul insisted that we sample a variety of his meat. We had a good bowl of slaw and Janet got some Greens that she said were excellent, but the focus was on the meat. Paul uses a dry rub on his ribs. It realy seasoned the meat very well. I am not much of a fan of dry-rub...prefering the KC style of thick sauce when I use sauce at all. BUT this rub was really good ! The only thing I would pass by next time was the Bologna. I am not a fan of fried or grilled Bologna ! But the beef, pulled pork, chicken, pork ribs were all outstanding!!
We then watched Tim work his magic on a hunk of Pork to create a fine order of pulled pork for an order to go.
Next morning we returned to Lathams on our way back to Kentucky, to take Paul up on an invitation for breakfast. Here the young lady gets my B & G ande Bacon ready, then fetches some country ham (I skipped the Bologna!!
Here are the finish plates. The biscuits were even better than the Loveless Biscuits according to Janet !
BTW the tube-like things are hash-brown sticks !
Then we took a nice ride up the Trace that goes between the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. This is the noted "LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES"
It is the home to the largest herd of Bison East of the Mississippi, among other attractions !
As I said elsewhere we chickened out in the rain and traffic and crowds at the Paducah BBQ FESTIVAL (after looking around town a bit). Some of you are aware that I took a nasty fall last winter in the square in Paducah. The rough pavement in the square caught me wrong and it took quite a while for my knee to return to normal...so I was really nervous about trying to walk in big crowds in the rain that day. Instead we followed US 60 back thru Western KY to our old favorite...The Moonlite BBQ
in Owensboro. Here is my plate of Fried Apples, Brisket, Pork Ribs and Fried Oysters that evening. Real 'Heading for Home' comfort food !!
Desserts-- Yep, to close this report, let's try some Blackberry Cobbler with soft/serve, Coconut Cream Pie, and a small sample of the Fudge-Covered Pecan Pie !!
The Moonlite is just 90 minutes from home..so the rest of the ride was quick and easy! They are finishing the construction on I-64 that has slowed that ride for over a year. It will be nice to have 'normal speed available next time we use that road
That's it for this report. Next time we promise to get Becky's photo included !! Thanks to Bob for introducing us to Paul latham. He runs a fine BBQ. We hope to stop there again soon.
<message edited by mayor al on Sun, 09/27/09 5:26 AM>