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Fried Catfish in North Carolina


davecap
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My brother in law and I take a trip every year tasting different regional cooking. We did eastern and western carolina barbecue for a couple years. Forthis year's trip, my brother-in law remembers some fried catfish places in North Carolina, something like salt and pepper catfish places? Does this ring a bell with anyone?

Does anyone have any other suggestions for our road trip? We had thought about hotdogs in Chicago or Atlanta. We are in the mid-atlantic region and are willing to fly or drive.

thanks for your help

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My brother in law and I take a trip every year tasting different regional cooking. We did eastern and western carolina barbecue for a couple years.  Forthis year's trip, my brother-in law remembers some fried catfish places in North Carolina, something like salt and pepper catfish places?  Does this ring a bell with anyone?

Does anyone have any other suggestions for our road trip?  We had thought about hotdogs in Chicago or Atlanta.  We are in the mid-atlantic region and are willing to fly or drive.

thanks for your help

Salt and pepper catfish is not my area of expertise, but you may want to research the fish camps of Gastonia as a possible destination.

My favorite is Twin Tops, but there are about half a dozen others that all have their devotees.

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Sounds like you are looking for fish camps, an old Southern institution that is still hanging on in the N.C. Piedmont. Sadly, many of the real classics, like Linebergers, are gone, but there are still good ones. Twin Tops is definitely one; within a square mile or so, there are at least three others. There also are some up around Lake Norman, like the Captain's Cap in Denver. Basically, a fish camp is just a family-friendly, fried-fish restaurant. Most of them used to be found near rivers, like Linebergers. The food is simple, fried and maybe broiled fish and seafood, always hush puppies and slaw. One odd little tip: If you're looking for great candy of the oldie-but-goodie type, check a fish camp. Most of them have incredible candy selections by the cash register. I don't know why, but I have two theories: Eating fried food makes people crave sugar, or people use the candy as bribes for their kids who hate fish.

Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

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Another place that I know that serves salt-and-pepper catfish is Big Daddy's, west of Mooresville on 150. If you're driving out 150 it's tough to miss the place as it has a huge parking lot and NASCAR cars on top of the building :-) I've eaten there many times as it was one of the few restaurants in the area near where my parents live.

I've always really liked the salt-and-pepper catfish there, but I don't really have a comparison point as it's about the only place I've been to that serves it.

Edited by treznor (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've got one for you. I'm not really into fish myself, but my inlaws swear by this place. They have been gong there for at least 30 years , and I have been along several dozen times in the last 20 or so years. It is called Pat and Micks Fish Camp at New London NC. One of their specialties is Salt and Pepper Catfish as well as many varieties of NC Calabash style seafood and several broiled versions as well. This is really off the beaten path near Albemarle NC. Hwy 52 out of Albemarle you will see the signs. This is the real thing, tables look like the 6' long metal folding tables, in a big barn of a place where they bring you "family style" bowls of slaw to the table, both "red slaw" (kind of similar to BBQ slaw but more tomatoe) and cole slaw, and baskets of hushpuppies. They leave a pitcher of sweet tea on your table and a bucket of ice, to do your refills. This place is an hours drive (minimum) from us and they make the trip almost once a month.

I go along occasionally just to be sociable, as their chopped steak is not all that good, and I really don't like fish. But they and a group of their friends swear this is the best fish in NC.

As far as other ideas like the hotdogs, if you are in the area, don't miss The Dog House, a High Point institution, right downtown on Main St. Its an old fashioned counter style grill, often with lines out the door. But closes at 3:00 on Saturday and not open on Sunday. I often send my husband on Sat afternoon. Dogs all the way are chili, slaw, onions and mustard.

Cindi

Edited by cndij (log)
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