14688 US-165 • Kinder, LA
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been able to stop at Roy’s Catfish Hut long enough to actually sit down and enjoy a full meal. On occasion, as I’m passing through Kinder, I’ll get that fierce craving for some good fresh fish, only to have just enough time to grab a Thin and Crispy catfish appetizer to eat on the run.
With my itinerary going smoothly, one day I found myself with time to spare. Roy’s Catfish Hut was my mid-day goal, and I was going to sit down and take in a good lunch.
Entering, I greeted my hostess and asked for a table for one. Walking to the table, I cracked a smile as I saw husked peanut shells strewn about the floor, tossed by patrons and encouraged by the signage on the wall, as the diners eat from the full buckets of peanuts at each table.
Guided to a table with menu in hand, I was greeted by my server, Tyler. It was blistering hot outside, so I started with a tall cold glass of iced tea.
I knew what I had in mind long before I pulled into the parking lot. Nevertheless, I found myself wavering as I read over the menu, picturing each dish in my mind, from the burgers to the steaks and the chicken options. They all sounded appealing. However, I was at the famous Roy’s Catfish Hut, and I was sticking to my plan: fried catfish.
One can order varying amounts of fish at Roy’s. Each entrée includes a side of either a baked potato or fries and a trip to the salad bar. I placed my order and grabbed a handful of peanuts as Tyler returned with an empty bowl, my cue to head to the cute little salad station.
With salad bars almost a thing of the past thanks to COVID, it’s a treat to make my own salad from one of the cleanest and most freshly stocked stations – one with crisp greens and vibrant vegetables and toppings.
In a few short minutes, Tyler returned with a plate of goodness. Placed before me were three strips of house recipe hand-breaded fried catfish, a stuffed crab and a baked potato.
My first tear into a strip of catfish unleashed a column of steam as I dipped a chunk into the house-made Cajun tartar sauce, which had a mild yet noticeable kick to it. The breading wasn’t greasy; it was crisp and offered a crunch. The fish was moist and delicate.
With a full belly, I paid my bill, said my thank yous and vowed to return sooner rather than later.
Well, sooner came quicker than later as I found myself in a position to return the next day. I mean, since my wife wasn’t able to join me for the previous day’s lunch, we lost the opportunity to try each other’s dish. So why not go again?
This time, it was closer to dinner. Amber would be the server for the meal. By now, I felt like an old pro, ordering and heading to the salad bar once again, this time with a few different choices available.
I was sitting there, at a small table with a perfect view of everything, and witnessing a steady stream of diners coming in for dinner service. Many of them were locals, greeting and saying hi on a first name basis with most of the staff.
After a short wait, my meal was delivered to the table. I was excited to try this food. Starting off, there was a Cajun stuffed pistolette and the main dish, Grilled Catfish Imperial. Both the grilled catfish filet and the pistolette were topped with Louisiana crawfish étouffée. This looked and smelled amazing. The catfish had a perfect sear; the warm pillow-soft pistolette caved to the fork; the crawfish étouffée was well seasoned and mouthwatering.
Roy and Lisa, the owners of the restaurant, have been running it for well over 30 years. They have perfected it and have nothing they need to improve on. I left more than pleased and grateful I was able to enjoy the food and friendly staff two days in a row.
Parish Seafood Company
726 E. Russell St. (Hwy 90) • Welsh LA
There’s nothing like thumbing through social media, having something catch your eye and knowing you have to try it! Don’t get me wrong; there are lots of foods out there that are visually tantalizing, and, hopefully, one day I’ll be able to say I’ve tried them all. However, this little “come check me out” I saw on the internet went to the top of the list.
Are you familiar with Welsh? I may have mentioned a few things going on in that town a time or two. After years in operation and having attained the status of a community staple, Daigle’s Sausage Kitchen closed permanently. The end of this chapter opened new doors for three friends who created Parish Seafood Company.
Along with daily hot food specials, fresh and frozen fish, crab, turtle, and a crowd favorite, Seafood Monica, they’ve created the Big Belly BLT. This gorgeous BLT is anything but typical. Starting off with a traditional three pieces of toasted bread, the layering begins. There’s thick, robust smoky bacon, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño mayo, and fried oysters! What? I had to try this.
Everything is made to order at Parish Seafood Company. Luckily, it wasn’t a long wait at all. When the folks handed over my order, I was surprised it didn’t split the package open. It was loaded and ready to burst, barely fitting in the container.
There’s nowhere to dine inside; everything is either drive-thru or walk-out. I went back out to my truck and couldn’t wait to dive into this. Popping open the Styrofoam container and peeling back the aluminum foil, I gave the sandwich a few seconds to breathe. My first bite had my mouth dancing.
There’s a lot going on in this sandwich. There’s crunch, there’s heat, there’s coolness and a definitive taste of fresh fried oyster that isn’t buried under excessive breading. It’s an extreme Oyster BLT that doesn’t disappoint. Check out this venue for updates on the daily specials and seafood selections.