Sunday, August 12, 2012

Florence Needs a True Catfish Restaurant ,…


Catfish. A true Southern meal with all the fixings. Want some? Catfish with a slice of onion, homemade tartar sauce, slice of dill pickle, hushpuppies with onion, bowl of white beans and some good cole slaw. Forget it.  Florence does not have a good catfish restaurant. We have Newberns and Swamp Johns and they are about a 3 on a scale of 5. But we do not have a good catfish eating establishment.

Swamp Johns has fillets only. No whole catfish to be found there. And they need to learn to make cole slaw too. Hush puppies are too skimpy but the slice of onion is good!. The dining area really needs cleaning from time to time also.

Newberns,… well, they have fillet and whole catfish. Hush puppies are nothing to write home about and it is like eating in a cafeteria. No ambiance whatsoever. The catfish is hit or miss with any kind of consistency. One might be ok, another over cooked. Don’t order a third it might be flopping. And don’t get me started on the Jesus figurines with the eyes that follow you around the dining area. Kind of creepy. 

You would think an area with the size of Florence would have a quality catfish restaurant. We have good rib and bbq places. Good sandwich shops. A good pizza and wing place at the marina. Is it too much to ask for a good catfish place? And please don’t confuse a great catfish restaurant with a seafood restaurant. Catfish isn’t seafood. It is river food or pond food. Preferably pond food. Okay, no river fish just pond fish. But you get my point,… I have never understood why catfish is on a seafood buffet.


  1. Is there anywhere in Florence that makes decent hushpuppies since Outpost 72 closed?

  2. I never tasted theirs,... but to me, there aren't any decent ones to be found anywhere. Unless I cook them :)

  3. If I am not mistaken I think Newberns has taken down the religious pictures and replaced them.
    I prefer to have more choices than just fried catfish. More places are offering fillets blackened now.

  4. You are so right. We need a Hagy's.
    Walton's has good fish, but it is not Florence.(Elgin) That place behind the feedstore in Petersville is ok, but we need better. Walton's I had to plug them a bit because, my daughter works there on week-ends. I may be a bit bias towards Walton's.

  5. I've been to Hagy's if that is the one near Crump Tn. Good food for sure there. The sauces and salad dressings used to be homemade. Gus, even with those things taken down it would still have that cafeteria feel. It's just too wide open for me and the consistency of the fish was disappointing.

  6. Yes you are right the place still does not have atmosphere. Also correct on the inconsistency of the fish doneness.
    One thing that is consistent is the volume of clientele they have.
    A good catfish joint would be nice!

  7. I hear Sidetracked in Sheffield has good catfish, but only on Friday. I went with a group after hearing how good it was, and was disappointed. Mama Geans in the old Grassland building has good fish. The river is not that wide.

  8. The Outpost was/is at Center Star, so you might as well drive to south Elgin to Walton's. I'm not a hushpuppy person, but those that are love Walton's. There's also a catfish eatery at Rogersville (think it's called Fat Cat) and the Fish Creel at Anderson if you really want to drive to the boonies.

  9. Driving to an out of the way restaurant on recommendation of good friends used to be our weekend 'thing' before children came along. Lizard's Thicket was in the boonies and well worth the drive which allowed time for conversation with friends. Davy Crocket State Park near Lawrenceburg, TN serves a wonderful buffet weekend nights and Sunday dinner. The drive through the park to the lodge is a bonus pleasure and you might even encounter deer near the restaurant, some friendly ones! The food is always good.