BLTs and the Blues
Clarksdale birthed the blues--and the catfish BLT. Ground Zero Blues Club cooks to the sound of electric guitars and soul-stirring vocals. Owned by actor Morgan Freeman and lawyer Bill Luckett, the restaurant opens for lunch and serves a catfish BLT ($5.25) sure to make your mouth sing. "Catfish is a mainstay in Mississippi, and no self-respecting juke joint would ever leave it off its menu," says Morgan, whose Mississippi home includes a catfish pond.
The BLT can hook anyone. Its French roll, flavored with herb butter, holds a thick fillet of golden catfish, lettuce, tomato, lots of bacon, and a squirt of Comeback Sauce (mayonnaise, chili sauce, garlic, pepper, and grated onion). 0 Blues Alley, Clarksdale, Mississippi; (662) 621-9009.
Book It to Buck's
Make your next stop Buck's Restaurant in Greenville (off U.S. 82). Don't let the strip mall address deter you from savoring the cooking skills of owner S.B. Buck. He serves his whole cat fried to perfection ($6.75, including two sides). Come on Fridays, and get your fish alongside spaghetti spiced with Italian seasoning and hot sauce. 152 North Harvey Street, Greenville, Mississippi; (662) 334-3301.
A Royal Meal
At The Crown in Town Restaurant in Indianola, chef and owner Evelyn Roughton serves catfish every which way but in a bubbling skillet. "I wouldn't dare put this beautiful white fish in a fryer," says Evelyn sternly.
Among the best? Catfish pâté: Creamy and filled with a smoky flavor, it pairs well with crackers, bagels, and warm baked bread. Patrons dip into it as a free appetizer. Yet the Catfish Allison ($9.25) can convert even the most fry-hard fish fans with its rich Parmesan crust and divine herb butter. 112 Front Street, Indianola, Mississippi; (662) 887-4522.