- Fried catfish, chicken tenders, crawfish
- Large fried and boiled shrimp
- Tasty Southern-style sides
- Homemade ice-cream
- Fried foods were somewhat greasy
- Self-service on plasticware
- Bland cherry cobbler
We decided to try Catfish Cove for a change of pace one Friday evening. Arriving about 6:30 p.m., we found only two open parking spaces behind the building. Fortunately, the dining room wasn't quite as crowded, although we did have to sit on the far wall, away from the serving tables.
We were unaware they served food buffet-style. Had either of us known, we probably would have gone elsewhere. Since we were already inside when the discovery was made, we decided to give them a try.
The Friday evening buffet cost $11.89 per person. Add drinks and tax, and we spent almost $30.00 for a "casual" dinner for two. We've spent less at "sit down" fish restaurants and not had to deal with crowds jockeying for position at a serving table.
Like most buffets, Catfish Cove is "all you can eat". The entire dinner service is plastic: styrofoam plates and bowls, plastic utensils, plastic cups. The decor is utilitarian, featuring typical "country" materials like rustic wood and galvanized sheet metal. Ironically, the place was also decorated with mounted sea fishes and pictures of sea-side scenes. Not exactly what one thinks when the word "Catfish" is mentioned, although those items do allude to the salt-water origins of their shrimp.
Food items were typical of Southern-style cooking. They offered fried catfish, chicken tenders, crawfish, and shrimp. Boiled shrimp is also available. A variety of condiments like green-tomato relish, pinto beans,hush puppies (two varieties), baked potatoes, baked yams, etc. round out the main course. A salad bar was available, but not many people took advantage of it. Dessert consisted of several types of cobbler and homemade vanilla ice-cream.
Our catfish filets were large and tender, but kind of greasy. The shrimp was very large, and the boiled shrimp was really tasty. The coleslaw was the best we've had in a long time. We were disappointed with the cherry cobbler...it looked great but were rather bland. The peach cobbler was better.
Service is not a high priority in many buffets, and Catfish Cove is no exception. The cashier was so pre-occupied collecting money from incoming patrons that she barely acknowledged customers as they came in and completely ignored them as they left. One woman refilled my wife's drink and cleared used dinnerware as we began eating dessert. She talked with us briefly and was pleasant while doing so.
I really like fish but prefer it broiled or grilled. My wife, however, really likes fried catfish. I thought she'd be impressed but when we left, she said she'd rather go to another place in the future. That said more to me than anything else could.
We've passed by this restaurant several times since our visit and they always appear busy. Obviously, many people like the place and are willing to pay the price.
We'd recommend Catfish Cove for someone that wants to eat lots and lots (and lots) of catfish, shrimp, and chicken. This is not, however, a restaurant we'd revisit and is not a place our friends would be interested in.
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