LifestyleSupport Your Local Catfish House

Support Your Local Catfish House


We are a nation of regional dining concepts and local dishes. Chicago has deep-dish pizza parlors. New Orleans has po-boy shops. Ohio has chili parlors. Maine has lobster shacks. South Florida has crab shacks. Maryland also has crab shacks (there are a lot of shacks in regional dining). Oyster bars are scattered across the Gulf states, and barbeque concepts are spread across the South. You’ll find vinegar-based barbeque in North Carolina, sweet sauce in Georgia, spicy sauce in Tennessee, white sauce in Alabama, and almost all that sauce will be slathered on pork. In Texas beef brisket is king. Most of the best barbeque in those areas is served— again— in shacks.
Mississippi certainly has its share of good barbeque. We also have great po-boy shops in the southern part of the state, and oyster bars dotted all along the Coast. But if I were asked what defines local Mississippi cuisine— hands down— it would be catfish.
The primary and most unique regional dining concept in my home state is the goshalmighty catfish house.
It makes sense. Catfish is a major agricultural crop in Mississippi, and we’ll eat almost anything if you dunk it in enough hot grease.
I love catfish houses. I consider myself a connoisseur of catfish houses and have a 60-year track record of dining in them. For those reading this column outside of the south, it’s hard to drive 20 miles in any direction in this state without passing at least one catfish house (and several dollar stores). All catfish houses are slightly different in their menu offerings, but there are several universal and key components that are shared among all of them. They will

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