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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
AUNT CATFISH'S ON
We read some positive reviews about this establishment and decided to give it a try on a Saturday for lunch and I'm glad we did.
The restaurant sits right on the edge of the Halifax River just across the way from the south Daytona Beach area and Ponce Inlet. Diners have a nice water view. You can dine inside or outside and there's a small playground for the kids at the entrance. Nice touch.
We were greeted by an extremely friendly guy and shown immediately to a table. Our waitress was prompt with menus and our drink order. They offered both a lunch menu and dinner menu. A quick observation revealed quite a few senior citizens, people who have been coming to this restaurant for many years. That nearly always translates into affordable prices and good food. The food was great, the prices not steep but not cheap, either.
While my wife went to powder her nose, I ordered an appetizer sampler platter. It came with gator nuggets, shark bites, salt and pepper catfish and coconut shrimp, all fried. It was a lot of food. The gator was the best we've ever had. I don't know how they got it so tender. The catfish was crispy on the outside, tender and sweet on the inside and perfect. The shark bites were good but they were ever so slightly overcooked. The coconut shrimp were pretty good but we've had better.
For my main course I chose fried catfish filets off the lunch menu and my wife ordered a combo of fried shrimp and bay scallops, also off the lunch menu. By the way, the first thing our waitress told us as she left the menus was that they were out of the local, fresh flounder and the local fresh rock shrimp. Damn! I haven't had rock shrimp for years. And my wife would have ordered the flounder. Oh well...
The lunches came with fries, cole slaw, a hush puppy and an incredibly wonderful cinnamon roll. I was a little surprised when my catfish came. There were two small to moderate filets on the plate. I actually think there was more catfish on the appetizer sampler that we had at the beginning of the meal. The catfish was perfect, though, and piping hot. Everything that came out of the kitchen had been immediately whisked from the fryer, the way it should be. My wife's shrimp/scallop combo contained a lot of food and she said it was excellent.
We enjoyed our meal here and can highly recommend Aunt's Catfish On The River to you. For complete details on the menu, location, etc., check out their colorful web site here. There was one quirk. The ice tea came without a wedge of lemon. I don't know if it always works like that or if somebody just forgot. We had to ask for it!