Posted By Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
9/29/2009 5:38:00 PM
Taylor Gro. is a legend in these parts, and nationally, too. It closed down a while ago, but a new owner took over, and today it's thriving. We never had the opportunity to visit the previous incarnation, but it couldn't have been any more fun than today's version. When you arrive, leave your name inside. Then hang out for a while. People are milling about everywhere: on the porch, out in front, in the parking lot. And you'll notice that most of them are drinking from styrofoam cups. It looks like a country cocktail party. We asked about this, and it seems the town, or county (we're not sure which) does not allow alcohol. You can't stroll in with a six-pack or a bottle of wine. However, nobody is going to peer into your cup. Remember, though, that the owners want to maintain a family atmosphere, so this is not the place to get blasted.
It's like a loud, but wholesome, party inside. Often, there is live music on the small stage in the corner. The hard-working waitresses are friendly. And every square inch of the place is covered with graffiti.
The catfish is the best we had in the catfish-crazed state of Mississippi. It's available on the bone, or as fillets, and can be had as an all-you-can-eat feast. We ordered ours on the bone, which comes as two whole fish, skinned and cleaned, heads removed, with a highly seasoned crust. The flesh is juicy and clearly fresh, and easy to separate from the bones. Two whole fish seems like a lot; arrive very hungry if you plan to go the all-you-can-eat route. The fish are accompanied by excellent hush puppies and your choice from a few side dishes, including coleslaw, potato salad, and fried okra.
There are lots of other things to eat on the menu, and we were surprised to see many of the customers were not eating catfish. We can't speak to the other stuff, but for stellar catfish and an Ole Miss reunion party atmosphere, don't miss the Taylor Grocery.