Lawler's Barbecue and Catfish is on Hobbs Street near Athens State College. From the outside Lawler's looks like a fast food drive in. However, despite the fast food appearance Lawler's Barbecue and Catfish actually sports a good sized dining room.
Lawler's system works like this: you order your food at the counter and if you're dining in then you proceed on into the adjacent dining room. Lawler's seating and tables are simple. The walls are a stark white. However, the hospitality of the staff brings the atmosphere to a high level.
On my visit one of the counter staff saw me go to my car to get my jacket. Concerned that I was cold she apologized and adjusted the air conditioning system. Would that happen in a large city? Well, it did in Athens, Alabama!
After dining at Lawler's I can see why they include catfish in their title. Had the best catfish of my life at Lawler's. The batter was so tasty and my catfish had been fried to perfection. The accompanying side dishes were also first rate.
Lawler's Barbecue and Catfish has deep frying down to a science. The chefs here know when to pull the food from the deep fryer before it becomes overcooked and over-browned. Would have to say that Lawler's hush puppies were the best I had ever had. If Lawler's says that a portion is large by golly they mean it. I was unable to finish my catfish dinner.
If Lawler's had been a little more comfortable I would easily have given them 5 stars. The food is definitely worth five stars. Lawler's Barbecue and Catfish should be on anyone's list of quality Alabama restaurants.
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