Parker County Today June 2016 - Page 105

our taste: RESTAURANT REVIEW The River’s Edge Brazos River Catfish Café — Revisited BY THE WEATHERFORD FOODIE I ing Millsap and Brock High Schools in Austin’s name that is partially funded by dessert sales. Rather than sitting around missing Austin, they both dove back into the restaurant industry taking back the restaurant at the end of the lease in June of 2015. The philosophy of hiring good people, then letting them do good work, has led to numerous long-time employees. James and Sandra enjoy visiting with the regular and new customers both as well as seeing a lot of old friends coming in to eat good food. Brazos River Catfish Cafe can be a bit difficult to find. From IH-20 take exit #394 and go west 1.5 miles on the south service road. The restaurant is located on the East end of the Brazos River Bridge. If you have the opportunity to go there you will not be disappointed. You will find the are a beautiful and the people to be good folks. It is definitely worth the drive, especially if you have some dessert. Brazos river catfish cafe is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 4:00pm until 9:00pm and Sunday 11:00am until 3:00pm. Located at 10771 IH-20 in Millsap, Texas. They can be reached at 817-596-2994, on Facebook and at www.brazosrivercatfishcafe.com. The hours change some in the winter. PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY distinctive classic perfect peppery Texastaste, with perhaps a hint of pecan. The Memphis is all about the spicy cornmeal, with a hint of garlic and a texture that’s perfectly satisfying combo of crunch on the outside, moist, tender and flaky on the inside. I ordered French fries because they are famous for their hand-cut richness, served at the perfect temperature by our excellent, efficient but friendly server. My companion ordered the baked potato, which was cooked to perfection. How can you mess up a baked potato you might ask? Believe me, as a food reviewer, it can be done. We ended our meal by splitting a slice of homemade chocolate meringue pie. The crust was handmade, flaky and melt-in-your mouth wonderfulness as if the folks at the Café had kidnapped somebody’s Southern grandma for their pie operation. The meringue was a luscious cloud about a mile-high, perfectly balancing the lush, chocolaty filling. Shortly before opening Brazos River Catfish Cafe in 1999 Sandra gave birth to their son, Austin. In June of 2010, after they had signed a five-year lease to enable someone else to operate the restaurant, which would allow them to spend more time raising their son and at Soda Springs Baptist Church. Tragically, Austin died July 18, 2013, leaving James and Sandra devastated. They set up a scholarship fund benefit- JUNE 2016 ventured out to the far west edge of Parker County to re-visit the Brazos River Catfish Cafe after I heard that the original owners were back. The building constructed in the 1940s predates the 1966 opening of IH-20 and is situated on old highway 80. Halloween night of 1996 James and Sandra Griffin were in the area, spotted an old building with a great location and decided to investigate. In the night it looked like an old worn-out building with tall grass growing around it. Driving around the building, their truck got stuck in a hole around back. James was glad the truck had four-wheel drive, removed the truck from the hole, and Sandra said, “Bring me back in the daylight.” Happy with what they saw and with great vision, the Griffins purchased the building in 1997. After many renovations, it opened as the Brazos River Catfish Cafe in 1999. You enter to see many bright and classic decorations that transport you back to a different time, Elvis memorabilia, newspaper clippings and pictures from an earlier time are all around. The menu then and now includes a variety of items such as catfish, frog legs, shrimp, hamburgers and steak with many different types of preparation that will suit any craving. I ordered a combination plate with two pieces of fried catfish and grilled shrimp. My dinner companion ordered the grilled catfish, which comes in a choice of either lemon pepper or blackened or one of each. Both were delicious and grilled to perfection. Dinner came with a basket of goodies that included tartar sauce, butter, crackers, hushpuppies and other treats. We were both pleased with our selections and we both enjoyed them. The grilled shrimp was especially tasty and had a wood-fired flavor. The fried catfish is available in three varieties: Regular, Cajun and Memphis. You can order one of each, which is what I recommend. The regular flavor has a Weatherford Foodie can be found at weatherfordfoodie. com, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, Urbanspoon, Foursquare, and Pinterest. 103