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seafarer john

catfish Thu, 04/17/03 9:22 PM (permalink)
We had the greatest fried catfish ever a few years ago in that section of west Florida frequently referred to as Floribama.
We had fled I-10 headed west and I think we were on Fla. 20 and might have been passing through a place called Bristol ( came down a steep hill to cross a small river) when we spotted a place that looked like a good lunch stop.

We ordered the fried catfish and they came an a big platter with six whole catfish for each of us. These were those little catfish about the size of Sunnies we used to catch as kids. The only other place we've ever seen and enjoyed those little guys was at Cross Creek in Florida. Anyone know where we were in Floribama? And can anyone tell me how to find those little guys a little closer to home up here in New York? We've got a great fishmonger here in our little village, but he's never heard of such creatures - so we settle for fillets , and who's to complain about them?



 
#1
    Maynerd

    • Total Posts: 256
    • Joined: 4/10/2003
    • Location: Dallas, TX
    RE: catfish Thu, 04/17/03 10:53 PM (permalink)
    If you're ever in Dallas check out "Top Cat" for catfish. There's a few of them in town. I don't know how they do it, but their fried catfish and fries are totally greasless. Their fish is fresh and never frozen. You can get filets or "on the bone"
     
    #2
      yumbo

      • Total Posts: 330
      • Joined: 6/4/2001
      • Location: Milwaukee, WI
      RE: catfish Fri, 04/18/03 2:22 AM (permalink)
      quote:
      Originally posted by Maynerd

      If you're ever in Dallas check out "Top Cat" for catfish. There's a few of them in town. I don't know how they do it, but their fried catfish and fries are totally greasless. Their fish is fresh and never frozen. You can get filets or "on the bone"


      When we lived in Oak Cliff (South Dallas) there was a place called Catfish Connection on Kiest. It was just a dingy room with a converted hottub to hold live catfish. The water aerator was suspended from a 2x4. Everytime you ordered catfish, the cook would shuffle out with a net and nab a live one. You could practically hear the fillet knife go squish squish. Minutes later you'd have a pile of fries, catfish, a slice of wonderbread and a jalapeno pepper. No seats in the place, so everything was to go. I'll be in Dallas this summer and I hope the place is still there.
       
      #3
        mayor al

        • Total Posts: 15062
        • Joined: 8/20/2002
        • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
        • Roadfood Insider
        RE: catfish Fri, 04/18/03 1:08 PM (permalink)
        We have pieces of this topic all over the board !! I have a question about Catfish in general.
        I love good catfish. I also like my catfish "well-done" as opposed to soft and semi-transparent. I have noticed that at some places the fish tends to be soft and a bit mushy (for lack of a better term). Is that because it is underdone? Or is that what happens when a LARGE catfish is fileted so that the pieces of fish are thicker than say 3/4 inch? I guess my personal tastes may be a bit off center since I do enjoy many types of Sushi and cold smoked fish, but I have run across the 'soft' catfish more than a few times now, and have taken to asking the server to mark extra-done on my order. I haven't noticed the soft-texture on the thinner pieces or on the 'whole fish' order. Anyone run across the same 'problem'?
        AL
         
        #4
          scbuzz

          • Total Posts: 844
          • Joined: 3/7/2003
          • Location: Sumter, SC
          RE: catfish Fri, 04/18/03 1:16 PM (permalink)
          Al, I have encountered that too, and for that reason I do not eat Catfish ! I remember when I was a kid, I would go catfish fishing with my grandfather and uncles and we would catch small young catfish and then skin them and fry them whole. They were always firm and crunchy, but as an adult, I have never had catfish that tasted the way I remembered. So I just don't eat it because I hate the mushy taste and feel !

           
          #5
            yumbo

            • Total Posts: 330
            • Joined: 6/4/2001
            • Location: Milwaukee, WI
            RE: catfish Fri, 04/18/03 1:37 PM (permalink)
            quote:
            Originally posted by scbuzz

            Al, I have encountered that too, and for that reason I do not eat Catfish ! I remember when I was a kid, I would go catfish fishing with my grandfather and uncles and we would catch small young catfish and then skin them and fry them whole. They were always firm and crunchy, but as an adult, I have never had catfish that tasted the way I remembered. So I just don't eat it because I hate the mushy taste and feel !



            Part of the issue may be that nowadays all catfish are farm raised, so they don't taste the same as the ones caught in the wild.
             
            #6
              Michael Hoffman

              • Total Posts: 17832
              • Joined: 7/1/2000
              • Location: Gahanna, OH
              RE: catfish Fri, 04/18/03 2:10 PM (permalink)
              quote:
              Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

              We have pieces of this topic all over the board !! I have a question about Catfish in general.
              I love good catfish. I also like my catfish "well-done" as opposed to soft and semi-transparent. I have noticed that at some places the fish tends to be soft and a bit mushy (for lack of a better term). Is that because it is underdone? Or is that what happens when a LARGE catfish is fileted so that the pieces of fish are thicker than say 3/4 inch? I guess my personal tastes may be a bit off center since I do enjoy many types of Sushi and cold smoked fish, but I have run across the 'soft' catfish more than a few times now, and have taken to asking the server to mark extra-done on my order. I haven't noticed the soft-texture on the thinner pieces or on the 'whole fish' order. Anyone run across the same 'problem'?
              AL

              When you get farm-raised catfish the flesh tends to be soft and mushy because those fish don't have to work for a living. They get fed their daily pellets and don't have to expend any effort to stay alive. Think of farm-raised catfish as piscene couch potatoes.
               
              #7
                mayor al

                • Total Posts: 15062
                • Joined: 8/20/2002
                • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                • Roadfood Insider
                RE: catfish Fri, 04/18/03 3:36 PM (permalink)
                I guess I have to view it as "Paybacks" or "What goes around, Comes around"!! As I slow down and become more of an 'eater' than a 'catcher' of catfish, the fish get lazier also !
                 
                #8
                  Sundancer7

                  RE: catfish Fri, 04/18/03 4:03 PM (permalink)
                  In an earlier e-mail, I told of a trip that I took between Meridian, Mississippi and Montgomery, Alabama and my stop at a small place directly across the street from a catfish farm. I told of a guy who fileted fresh catfish and cooked them right on the spot. I inquired if he was using live farm catfish and he indicated that he was. He bought them by the hundred and stocked them in a man made pond and caught them as he had orders. Isk about the flavor of farm raised catfish vs. river or lake catfish. He indicated that the farm raised were much superior due to their mostly grain diet. I asked what he mean't by mostly grain diet. I am not sure how knowledgeable he was, but he indicated that there was a lot unknown about the food and he believed that there was a lot of animal remains in the food. It did raise questions iin my mind about the diesease in Europe that came from feeding cattle animal remains.

                  Paul E. Smith
                  Knoxville, TN
                   
                  #9
                    Ort. Carlton.

                    • Total Posts: 3589
                    • Joined: 4/9/2003
                    • Location: Athens, GA
                    RE: catfish Fri, 04/18/03 6:47 PM (permalink)
                    Dearfolk,
                    First, I'll answer Seafarer John. Bristol is the county seat of Liberty County in Florida's panhandle. I wouldn't doubt that there is a steep hill there, because some of the land in that area gets right hilly, especially to be so close to the coast. And Bristol is across the broad Apalachicola River from its larger city cousin, Blountstown, so there's a long bridge connecting the two.
                    My favorite stop for catfish (thusfar) is The Original Rio Vista on Moreland Avenue (the locals call it "42 Highway" or "42 #" in Conley, Georgia (the road is now U. S. 23). I would rate it as a Most Sternable place: Jane and Michael, scribble a note! This is 11 miles SE of downtown Atlanta: you can almost see the Georgia Capitol dome from there.
                    There once were at least four Rio Vistas in metro Atlanta, but the locations in Cobb County, on Stewart Avenue, and on Memorial Drive have gone to that great eatery-land in the sky. The Conley location is operated by the son of the founder, and has been open since 1955 or so in its fake-stone building amidst the truck terminals and strip bars that comprise the area - and with a neon sign that comes close to shaming Pilgreen's for sheer volume.
                    Their catfish come fried and all-you-can-eat, served with a plethora of sides and with the strangest house salad dressing I've ever encountered... sort of like a cross between cocktail sauce and ketchup, but I can't really say that it tastes like either.
                    My friend Yeasty Boy Sandy (we are two members of a thus-named beer tasting group!) tells me breathlessly about "this fish house up by Carnesville that's worth a 25-mile drive ANYtime!" "Is it as good as Booty's Fish House out from Royston?" I asked him. "It's WAY better," he replied. "Their fish are farm-raised, and a lot fatter." - I'll surely report back eventually, joyfully.
                    Apparently there is quite a fish camp tradition in the Gastonia region of North Carolina, because there is a famous place there on old U. S. 29/70 between Gastonia and Charlotte... right by the river bridge... that has been recommended to me by someone who turned me onto The Coffee Cup and Gus' Sir Beef in Charlotte. I would take her word anytime regards good eats.
                    My rule of thumb, though, is simple: the more misspellings on the outside sign, the better the bet. "FREH CAT FIS" drew me into a now-gone place in East Nashville, and theirs were superb. (Alas, I can't say the same for the "BOLIED P=NUT'S" I sampled once.)
                    Hungrily Submitted, Ort. Carlton in Athens, Georgia.
                     
                    #10
                      mayor al

                      • Total Posts: 15062
                      • Joined: 8/20/2002
                      • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                      • Roadfood Insider
                      RE: catfish Fri, 04/18/03 7:01 PM (permalink)
                      The simple sign in front of a roadside camp saying "KAT FISH" would be a good place to start, Right?
                       
                      #11
                        seafarer john

                        RE: catfish Sat, 04/19/03 11:24 AM (permalink)
                        Much thanks to those who replied to my query about catfish, but,
                        I still dont know where I might find those little whole fried catfish someplace closer to home here in New York. I would have no trouble cooking my own if I knew where to buy some. Maybe someone down there in catfish country might put me onto someone who could ship frozen cats up here to me?

                        Bu the way, when I was serving my time at Ft. Benning a lot of years ago, we used to go to a fish camp someplace out in the woods and eat our fill of frogs legs. Is that sort of feast still available in the Southland?
                         
                        #12
                          Sundancer7

                          RE: catfish Sat, 04/19/03 11:51 AM (permalink)
                          I live in Knoxville, TN and I have not seen what you are talking about around here. I used to own a piece of property that had a five acre lake on it. I went out one night gigging and I was walking in the lake close to shore with a light. I was looking in the weeds and put my light real close. Unfortunately there was a copperhead staring at my light about one foot away. That ended my gigging career and I never attempted it again.

                          Paul E. Smith
                          Knoxville, TN
                           
                          #13
                            glenda Palmer

                            • Total Posts: 30
                            • Joined: 8/18/2000
                            • Location: ,
                            RE: catfish Thu, 05/22/03 6:23 PM (permalink)
                            to answer your question about where to find those little catfish you are wanting. I believe if you will call the Pride of the Pond in Tunica, MS you will probably be able to get them to ship to you. Might be expensive since they will have to be packed in dry ice. Best catfish in the south.

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by seafarer john

                            Much thanks to those who replied to my query about catfish, but,
                            I still dont know where I might find those little whole fried catfish someplace closer to home here in New York. I would have no trouble cooking my own if I knew where to buy some. Maybe someone down there in catfish country might put me onto someone who could ship frozen cats up here to me?

                            Bu the way, when I was serving my time at Ft. Benning a lot of years ago, we used to go to a fish camp someplace out in the woods and eat our fill of frogs legs. Is that sort of feast still available in the Southland?
                             
                            #14
                              Sundancer7

                              RE: catfish Thu, 05/22/03 6:43 PM (permalink)
                              I attended junion college in Decatur, Mississippi before I ended up at the University of Tennessee. I stayed in the Athletic dorm due to playing on the tennis team which I played a mediocre game.

                              A group of us use to (30-40) go to a fish camp close to Newton Mississippi where they had a all you can eat for a $1.00. This was in 1961. I was much smaller then, but the football guys could easily down several pounds of the river tasty morsel. They were served with cole slaw, hushpuppies and fries as they are now. The only difference was they were not farm raised. In my opinion, farm raised are much better. At that time, I did not know the difference and the taste was delicous. The owner would occasionally get upset with us because of the huge consumption required.

                              After the feast, we would return to Decatur and go to Pearl's cafe to consume her delicous Pecan Pie.

                              I recently returned to Decatur and I visited the school that I had attended 42 years ago. School was bigger and better, however Pearl's cafe which had great pecan pie and the fish camp were no longer there.

                              Paul E. Smith
                              Knoxville, TN
                               
                              #15
                                seafarer john

                                RE: catfish Thu, 05/22/03 10:07 PM (permalink)
                                Glenda: Thanks very much for the tip. I wiill give it a try tomorrow -now I need a recipe for deep frying those little guys...
                                 
                                #16
                                  Big George

                                  • Total Posts: 12
                                  • Joined: 7/20/2002
                                  • Location: Greenville, SC
                                  RE: catfish Sat, 05/24/03 3:38 PM (permalink)
                                  As many of you know, catfish farms were big ang successful in MS and ARK BEFORE imports from Vietnam destroyed many of the farms' markets. The Tunica place is probably good with locally grown fish. Grocery stores in the South carry the Delta Pride brand which is a coop of MS catfish growers and delicious. regards, Big George
                                   
                                  #17
                                    seafarer john

                                    RE: catfish Wed, 05/28/03 8:28 AM (permalink)
                                    Today's (5/28/03) NY Times food section had a feature article on Philadelphia roadfood type stuff - recommend it and would like to hear comments from locals who know the scene...
                                     
                                    #18
                                      BassMan12

                                      • Total Posts: 17
                                      • Joined: 4/11/2001
                                      • Location: Covington/Atlanta, GA
                                      RE: catfish Wed, 05/28/03 10:49 AM (permalink)
                                      There is a restaurant in Covington, GA named "Henderson's" after it's founder, Clarence Henderson, Sr. It is still run by his sons, David and Clarence, Jr. They not only serve AYCE catfish, but any other "southern" dish you could imagine. This includes "chittlin'" suppers at certain times of the year that draw folks from most metro Atlanta counties and beyond. It is located on Highway 36 about 6 miles east of Covington.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Sundancer7

                                        RE: catfish Wed, 05/28/03 5:18 PM (permalink)
                                        I have never had the nerve to try "Chittlins". I was in a restaurant in North Carolina a few years back and they were cooking them. It turned me off and I do not believe I could do that. Considering their source and function

                                        Maybe someday, but I doubt it.

                                        Paul E. Smith
                                        Knoxville, TN
                                         
                                        #20
                                          scbuzz

                                          • Total Posts: 844
                                          • Joined: 3/7/2003
                                          • Location: Sumter, SC
                                          RE: catfish Thu, 05/29/03 7:44 AM (permalink)
                                          We have a big festival in SC called the Chitlin Strut. It is in Salley, a little place just South of Columbia SC. It is a very interesting festival !!! Quite an aroma in the town .... if you know what I mean !

                                          I am like Pogo ... like them fried but don't like'em boiled ! and YES copious amounts of Hot Sauce are required
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Hillbilly

                                            • Total Posts: 992
                                            • Joined: 8/9/2001
                                            • Location: North Wilkesboro, NC
                                            RE: catfish Thu, 06/26/03 12:06 PM (permalink)
                                            quote:
                                            Originally posted by seafarer john

                                            We had the greatest fried catfish ever a few years ago in that section of west Florida frequently referred to as Floribama.
                                            We had fled I-10 headed west and I think we were on Fla. 20 and might have been passing through a place called Bristol ( came down a steep hill to cross a small river) when we spotted a place that looked like a good lunch stop.

                                            We ordered the fried catfish and they came an a big platter with six whole catfish for each of us. These were those little catfish about the size of Sunnies we used to catch as kids. The only other place we've ever seen and enjoyed those little guys was at Cross Creek in Florida. Anyone know where we were in Floribama? And can anyone tell me how to find those little guys a little closer to home up here in New York? We've got a great fishmonger here in our little village, but he's never heard of such creatures - so we settle for fillets , and who's to complain about them?




                                             
                                            #22
                                              seafarer john

                                              RE: catfish Thu, 06/26/03 6:28 PM (permalink)
                                              Hey, Hillbilly, i think you wanted to help me out....
                                               
                                              #23
                                                BMGL

                                                • Total Posts: 4
                                                • Joined: 10/29/2002
                                                • Location: Stoneham, MA
                                                RE: catfish Mon, 06/30/03 11:20 AM (permalink)
                                                Does anyone else out there like "Ocean Catfish"? It's wonderful deep fried or sauteed. It shows up on restaurant menus in the Boston area with some regularity.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  Mayhaw Man

                                                  • Total Posts: 589
                                                  • Joined: 7/5/2003
                                                  • Location: Abita Springs, LA
                                                  RE: catfish Mon, 07/7/03 1:12 PM (permalink)
                                                  For Catfish in New Orleans I highly reccomend two places and one is classic Roadfood. Middendorfs in Manchac, LA (I55 between Hammond and LaPlace, only exit) has been serving catfish since the thirties. They have two styles of fillets and whole. I prefer the thin fry with a side of stuffed crabs. Mike Andersons in Baton Rouge and New Orleans also does a fine job with the grease and the corn meal.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    carlton pierre

                                                    • Total Posts: 2500
                                                    • Joined: 7/12/2004
                                                    • Location: Knoxville, TN
                                                    RE: catfish Sun, 09/19/04 5:01 PM (permalink)
                                                    In NE TN/SW VA in the town of Bristol, half the town is in TN, other half in VA. The yellow line down State St separates the 2 states. On the VA side of State St is a little place called the Hillbilly Deli. They have some of the best catfish you'll ever taste. Also sell hush puppies and other roadsfood items, I've just always eaten the catfish. Mmmm.

                                                    carl reitz
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Sundancer7

                                                      RE: catfish Sun, 09/19/04 8:12 PM (permalink)
                                                      quote:
                                                      Originally posted by carlton pierre

                                                      In NE TN/SW VA in the town of Bristol, half the town is in TN, other half in VA. The yellow line down State St separates the 2 states. On the VA side of State St is a little place called the Hillbilly Deli. They have some of the best catfish you'll ever taste. Also sell hush puppies and other roadsfood items, I've just always eaten the catfish. Mmmm.

                                                      carl reitz


                                                      Carl, I have been there. I am in Bristol for the NHRA races annually and we are always looking for new places to try. Thank you for your post. I have done the Ridgewood BBQ and it use to be better than what it is now.

                                                      Paul E. Smith
                                                      Knoxville, TN
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        Ralph Isbill

                                                        • Total Posts: 185
                                                        • Joined: 8/25/2000
                                                        • Location: Midwest City, OK
                                                        RE: catfish Sun, 09/19/04 10:57 PM (permalink)
                                                        Chittlins--when I was 18, I came from Calif. to Oklahoma for the summer. There was a lady who worked for my Aunt, cooking etc. Lord how she could cook! We butchered a hog and there was nothing lost but the squeel. Like I said, at age 18, worked all morning bailing hay. When we asked what was for dinner, Mrs. Bell said "Chittlins" we asked what was chittlins? She told us to shut up and eat You did not argue with Mrs Bell! We ate, it was good, that was my first and last time to eat chittlings.
                                                         
                                                        #28
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