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Good catfish in northwest TN - Blue Bank Resort

Hungry Larry | Sep 8, 200107:39 AM

I was in Obion County,TN for a couple of days this week and tracked down a good spot for catfish etc. nearby, just outside of Tiptonville in Lake County. It's called the Blue Bank Resort, and is attached to a motel on the shores of Reelfoot Lake - very pretty, known for its fishing and birdwatching (lots of bald eagles, mostly in winter I believe).

We had asked five or six locals for a rec, several said just go to the lake and choose any of the ones along its shore. I need something more specific, and finally found someone who was very definite in her enthusiasm for Blue Bank.

The menu is pretty diverse, a good selection of steaks and an odd emphasis on Chesapeake Bay seafood (a little far inland for crabcakes!) and I asked the waitress for help. She recommended the family style catfish dinner, saying that's what most people had, and my buddy and I went for it. Quite a spread - french fries, onion rings, hushpuppies, baked apples, white beans, cole slaw and a plate with six fried catfish fillets. Lots of fried food, but that's the point. Catfish was perfect - advertised as the best Mississippi farm raised, and it was a good product, cooked well - just done enough not to be mushy and not to be dry, the breading/batter just salty enough. Onion rings hand cut and battered, very good, coleslaw excellent, simple finely chopped cabbage with a light vinegar dressing (nice to have something fresh), white beans excellent, hushpuppies so-so (I'm no fan), and neither of us touched the fries so I can't say. Also had these great fresh yeast rolls, big squares with that slightly beery flavor that the best ones have - I put a big spoonful of the apples on my third one for dessert.

Not bad for $12.95. Only improvement would have been for one of us to order one of the other choices on the family style menu - fried chicken, pork chops, and fried quail (?) also listed. Service was slow, which was a drag given that there were only three other tables eating. Only two waitresses, and I suspect they must have been doing double duty in helping out in the kitchen, or there was something good on TV in the back.

It's very out of the way, 100 miles north of Memphis along the Mississippi River, so you really probably have to have some other reason to be in the area to try it. The lake is very pretty - we drove there right at dusk, beautiful cypress trees ringing the whole thing.

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