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Gone Fishing: Carmack’s Fish House and Grocery

CatfishWe asked, and our customers’ patrons answered: There isn’t much better than that flakey white fish covered with a secret homemade breading just begging to be fried to a golden brown. Fried catfish isn’t only a popular dish in the South, it’s been making its way onto menus around the country, and it seems that patrons country-wide are happy to sink their teeth into this satisfying dish. Served alongside comfort-food favorites such as hushpuppies, french fries, coleslaw, fried okra, and corn nuggets, fried catfish is a dish that is happily served up and shared amongst hungry family members.

Performance Foodservice’s recent competition to name “America’s Favorite Catfish Restaurant” was met with an overwhelming response. Patrons of our operator customers were encouraged to vote for their favorite participating catfish restaurants via QR code signage in each location – and the winning restaurant received a $10,000 ad campaign to help further promote the much-loved dishes of their home town.

The winner of this year’s “America’s Favorite Catfish Restaurant” was Carmack’s Fish House and Grocery in Vaiden, Mississippi. Open since 1980, current owner Ardy Reed and wife Nikkie both work full time jobs in addition to fulfilling a passion for owning a restaurant to serve their community some of the best food around. All three of their kids, Emma(10), Callie(6), and Colt(5), participate in the day-to-day operations of the store and restaurant. The staff at Carmack’s has all been employed between 5 and 13 years, and all staff members are dedicated to serving up some of “America’s favorite catfish.”  The family-oriented atmosphere at Carmack’s certainly seems to attract plenty of families in the community – Carmack’s serves between 500 and 700 guests per weekend, and Ardy and Nikkie are always happy to see familiar faces!

The grocery store portion of the Carmack’s business has become somewhat of a staple within the community, as well as a gathering place for early risers. And don’t think that Carmack’s doesn’t cater to their meat eaters as well! Owner Ardy Reed says “Although we are known for our fish, we do serve plenty of other items such as steak, chicken, and a variety of sandwiches. We’ve had a really good response to our recently added menu items such as Braveheart steak, Brookwood pulled pork, and a blackened steak sandwich.”

So whether you’re a local looking for a family-friendly environment, or are a visitor from another city and have a hankering for catfish, give Carmack’s a try - Ardy and Nikkie will be happy to see you!