Straight from the kids’ menu at Spahr’s Restaurant in Des Allemands (aka the Catfish Capital of the Universe): a plate of catfish chips and fried onion sticks for $7. Beats the hell out of chicken nuggets and fries any day. The catfish is wild, locally caught, and fried to order. Spahr’s “chips” are thin strips of flesh from the belly of the fish; tender, thicker at the center and tapering at each end–a wholly different textural experience than fried filets.
Wild catfish are superior in flavor to the farm-raised fish, who are fed on a diet of catfish chow. Almost year-round, fishermen from Des Allemands sell filleted wild catfish at area farmers’ markets.