Fried Catfish at Aurora’s Willow Pond
When we’re in the Land Between the Lakes area, we know three things for certain:
- We’re going to have a great time.
- We’ll take some great pictures.
- We will… mark my words… eat catfish. Lots of catfish.
In fact, if we’re anywhere near Lake Barkley or Kentucky Lake, you can almost certainly find us at one of the wonderful Willow Pond restaurants. Depending upon which end of the lakes or Land Between the Lakes we happen to be in at the time – we either eat at the Willow Pond in Aurora, Kentucky or the Willow Pond in Calvert City, Kentucky.
Both have outstanding beans, appetizers, potatoes, coleslaw, and catfish. The fried catfish, the grilled catfish, and the blackened catfish will make you cry with joy.
But they’re more than just excellent catfish – the Willow Pond restaurants also serve some of the best white beans, coleslaw, and hushpuppies any restaurant could ever hope to serve.
The beans are wonderful, on their own, but when you add the AMAZING red pepper relish that sits on each table, it’s a whole new beautiful experience altogether.
Wednesday, after spending the afternoon at The Homeplace, we ate at the Willow Pond in Aurora. The catfish, hush puppies, and sides were all as excellent as ever. You can order either mayonnaise coleslaw or vinegar coleslaw. I honestly can’t tell you anything about the mayo coleslaw because we always order the vinegar coleslaw. It’s just so ridiculously wonderful and tangy that we can’t even try the other.
Delicious Beans and Hushpuppies at Aurora’s Willow Pond
The hush puppies are ridiculously delicious and are also great dipped in the beans…. oh, man am I making myself hungry right now…
While we were at the 1880’s Homeplace, Michael struck up a conversation with a man about catfish and restaurants. The man named his favorite catfish restaurant (also very good, by the way) and Michael said that we LOVED Willow Pond’s catfish. The man said he didn’t like Willow Pond! What?!?! If I’d been there I’d have kicked him in the shins!
Well, it turns out, he’d never been to the Willow Pond in Aurora or the Willow Pond in Calvert City. He’d only been to another Willow Pond… which will remain nameless because we didn’t have a very good experience there either. Shhhh….
Michael told this man what I’m telling you: If you haven’t been to the Willow Pond in Aurora or the Willow Pond in Calvert City – you haven’t been to Willow Pond. Since he cleared things up, I guess there’s no cause for a kick in the shins.
White Beans and Vinegar Coleslaw
I’d also, very much, like to tell you something about the wonderful people at Aurora’s Willow Pond: These are outstanding, beautiful, friendly people. As my grandmother would have worded it, “These are good people.” As I would (and do) word it, “They’re quality people. The kind the world needs a lot more of.”
Each time we’ve ever been, we’re struck by the warmth and friendliness of the people. We had a new server this time, but I knew the minute I saw her big beautiful smile that she “fit” Aurora’s Willow Pond the way their hush puppies fit my hand… perfectly! I didn’t catch the young brunette’s name but if she had been any happier I’d think she had Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr. and Will Smith all waiting for her at home. One for each day of the week.
Nah. She wouldn’t have been any happier or nicer even if she had a buffet of actors. This brunette lit up the restaurant with her smile and, don’t tell anyone but she could do better than any of the aforementioned men.
Yes, Michael, even Denzel.
The next time you’re at Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, Land Between the Lakes – promise me you’ll visit the Willow Pond Catfish Restaurant in Aurora or the Willow Pond in Calvert City. Heck, don’t wait until you’re in the area – just GO.
Do what we often do.. we go for Willow Pond catfish and see the sights while we’re there!
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