The best food can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places - like Taylor Grocery in northern Mississippi.
The restaurant has been a Taylor, Miss., staple for more than 100 years. It started out as a dry goods store in 1889. But once it started frying up fish in 1977, it was dubbed "The Catfish Place" by locals and travelers.
Although it's just a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant, the Southern Foodways Alliance hailed Taylor Grocery "the South's best catfish joint." Owner Lynn Hewlett says the secret to making the region's best catfish is frying it low and slow.
Not only is "low and slow" the secret to a juicy fish fry, it's also the recipe for a fulfilling life, Hewlett says.
"I think stress kills a whole lot more people than french fries," Hewlett told Field & Stream.
Taking it slow and waiting is a norm at Taylor's. When the store is packed to the gills, diners have to sit on the porch for hours just to snag a table. On any given Friday or Saturday night, Hewlett says there will be 90 guests dining at Taylor's, with an additional 90 people waiting to get in.
And the wait must be well worth it, considering the podunk joint draws in diners from across the country. It even caught national attention when it was featured on Food Network's "Fish Favorites" special.
But when you go to Taylor's, a mouthwatering plate of fried fish isn't the only thing you'll get. Taylor's prides itself in creating a laid back and welcoming atmosphere. In addition to quality food, the joint regularly features live bluegrass performances. And the store's charm is only enhanced by the guests' signatures, which cover the walls from floor to ceiling.
If you ever find yourself off the beaten path in Taylor, Miss., make sure to stop in to Taylor Grocery for live music, sweet tea and the best catfish the South has to offer.
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