One of the most popular diners in Nashville, the famous Arnold’s Country Kitchen, fries up some of the best catfish. Experience an outstanding catfish dinner on the water: cruise or drive to Lighthouse Restaurant at Cookeville Boat Dock. Near Reelfoot State Park’s visitor center, Boyette’s Dining Room attracts diners from a four-state region for its acclaimed catfish dinners. Blue Bank Fish House & Grill, also in the Tiptonville area, brings out heaping helpings of grilled catfish, white beans, salad with Blue Bank Bleu Cheese, baked apples and homemade rolls with strawberry butter.
Chefs around the country are now emulating Tennessee kitchens and eateries by crafting new ways to cook and eat what was once considered a very lowly fish. Blackened catfish is a variation on the traditional Southern preparation, paying homage to the cherished Caribbean way with spices. Popular recipes for catfish include serving it broiled, grilled, sauteed, poached, smoked, pan seared and in a stew or soups. Food textures and flavors serving as complements for catfish are coleslaw, onions rings, the must-have hush puppies, fried green tomatoes and browned potatoes. Accompanying sauces that pair well with catfish are piquant cocktail, horseradish—with a kick, tartar or catsup.