Green Tomatoes and Delicious Beans
How amazing do the green tomatoes and beans in the picture above look??? What’s really special is that they taste even better than they look. Next time you’re at Kentucky Lake, you HAVE to eat at Catfish Kitchen. Seriously. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s a legendary Kentucky Lake restaurant and they do all things deliciously.
I’ve certainly written about Catfish Kitchen plenty of times on Genuine Kentucky. If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s not just a favorite Kentucky Lake restaurant or Kentucky restaurant – it’s one of my favorite all time restaurants – as in anywhere, anytime.
I love the ambiance, the window views, the decor, the friendly servers, the fact that they have gluten free fried catfish, their big baked potatoes, their green tomatoes, the fact they have Heinz Ketchup instead of a vile “off brand,” their sweet tea, and… well… everything.
Heinz on the Table? The Restaurant Knows What’s Up!
If you know anything about me, you know that I am to catfish what Cookie Monster is to cookies and what Popeye is to spinach. Like chocolate and sweet tea, if catfish is mentioned, you have my undivided attention.
A few years ago, when I had to stop eating wheat and gluten, for health reasons, having to give up fried catfish (one of my obsessions) hurt more than anything else. More than doughnuts, more than pizza, more than just about anything else I had to say “so long” to. I even told one of my daughters once that (when it comes to dining out) fried catfish and onion rings were the toughest things to lose.
Then along comes Catfish Kitchen with gluten free fried catfish! Words can’t tell you what it means to me to still be able to go to Kentucky Lake and know I can have my beloved fried catfish. What’s more, it is excellent – EVEN better than I remember their normal fried catfish being, and that’s really saying something.
A Side of Green Tomatoes is a MUST
Catfish Kitchen also has wonderful beans, baked potatoes, fried potatoes, green tomatoes, and (as memory serves) hush puppies. Their “regular” fried catfish is also excellent, of course.
Gluten Free Fried Catfish at Catfish Kitchen
Something pretty cool occurred to me last time my husband, Michael, and I went to Catfish Kitchen – my trust level with them, when it comes to dining out gluten free, is uncommonly high. Here’s the situation… when I eat anything with gluten or wheat in it (even a crumb, mind you), I get uncommonly sick – with severe stomach pain – and the misery lasts for up to two weeks. Headaches, body aches, uncommon tiredness, and often a mouth ulcer or two also come into play. To keep things interesting, I even gain about 5 pounds each time.
For anywhere between 7-14 days, I am as miserable as it gets… like having the flu from Hell with a few other nightmares thrown in.
Understandably, I am overly cautious when I eat out. There are certain locally-owned restaurants and chain restaurants that I trust and only a handful that I’ve never had a single problem at. Since I am HIGHLY sensitive, I am usually a very good gauge for how “on the ball” a restaurant is because, as I said, even a crumb sends me into Hell Weeks.
This is why, not only are we cautious about where we eat, we have a few “precautionary steps” we take when we dine out. I make certain I mention “gluten free” and/or “wheat free” to the server a couple of times and, if it’s one I’m totally unfamiliar with, I’ll even say something along the lines of, “I can’t have anything with wheat or gluten or my body thinks it’s been poisoned!” – you know, something to make it a personal thing they can relate to and to help make their job easier.
We also almost ALWAYS order different sides if our food could possibly be mixed up. When I first started having to order gluten free fried catfish and he ordered his regularly fried catfish – he would always order fried potatoes. This extra little trick gave us more confidence when the food came out because, frankly, it’s tough to tell by just looking at the fried catfish. They look the same!
The sides at Catfish Kitchen are outstanding, too, even though their catfish is the biggest draw. The coleslaw (on our last trip) was even better than usual. It was fresh and fantastic.
Familar Face at Catfish Kitchen
What more can I say? Catfish Kitchen is simply the perfect little Kentucky restaurant. It’s a very relaxing and beautiful setting and animal lovers like me will never tire of watching the Canadian Geese and ducks that are as drawn to the property as we are.
The goose pictured below had adorable goslings with her. Naturally, I didn’t want to get too close, because it’s her home and I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable – but you can see the adorable babies if you look closely.
Next time you’re at Kentucky Lake or the Land Between the Lakes, head for Catfish Kitchen…. and don’t forget to order a side of green tomatoes!
Before You Go:
Always check Catfish Kitchen’s Facebook Page before planning your trip. This is advice I pretty much give to people before they go anywhere, but when it’s Kentucky Lake or Lake Barkley restaurants, it’s absolutely essential. You never know when a restaurant’s “off season” hours will change or what days of the week they aren’t open unless you check first.
Also, if you want grilled catfish, you need to call ahead first.
How to Get There:
The official address for Catfish Kitchen is 136 Teal Run, Benton, KY. Laymen’s terms? It’s on U.S. 641 – between Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park and Benton. It’s 5 miles south of Kentucky Dam, to be exact.