1. What’s in a name?
The house specialty is right there in the name: delicious, flavorful catfish. Order by the fillet or by the whole fish — fins and all! (The whole fish is also dunked in a zesty mustard juice mixture for added flavor.) Either selection gets battered in house-made breading before being fried to perfection. Don’t forget to head out to the pond to feed the ducks and turtles while you wait!
Catfish Junction • 300 Industrial Parkway, Saraland. 679-6666
2. Hook, Line and Sinker
Hand-battered, deep-fried Mississippi catfish is layered between two halves of Louisiana French bread for a delectable po’boy experience. A secret blend of spices in the batter promises a classic but outstanding taste. Stop by on Sundays for live music from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
River Shack Restaurant and Oyster Bar • 6120 Marina Dr. S. • 443-7318
3. Louisiana Flavor in L.A.
For a lighter plate, reel in this grilled catfish with a Cajun bite. After dousing the fish with every Southerner’s favorite, Tony Chachere’s, the fish is then soaked in low-sodium Dale’s sauce and Worcestershire before heading to the grill for an authentically tasty fish entree.
Down by the Bay Cafe • 4 Beach Rd., Fairhope. 327-4473
4. Have it your way
Around Big Daddy’s Grill, it’s all about customization. Their popular fried catfish, using Alabama farm-raised fish, comes in a basket with hushpuppies, but insiders say that “secret menu” items include catfish po’boys, wraps and salads. Even though it’s not listed on the lineup, order blackened catfish, flavored with Chef Paul’s seasoning, for a different take on the traditional.
Big Daddy’s Grill • 16542 Ferry Rd, Fairhope. 990-8555
TIP: When dining out or purchasing catfish to prepare at home, go for U.S. farm-raised catfish to get the most out of the fish’s health benefits and avoid contaminants that often taint other countries’ catfish. No worries, though: You’re safe with all the restaurants listed here!
text by Chelsea Wallace adams