Catfish at Tony's in Baton Rouge

We went to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on a road trip this holiday season to see some family, and our sister told us about a grocery that filets live catfish and fries them to order. I dropped everything and beelined it for Tony's Seafood & Deli.

Sure enough, near the entrance there is a huge concrete pond filled with fish and a couple of guys on one end of the store that net them, hang them on a hook, pull the skin off and gut them while they are still alive. On the other side, they fry them and serve sides.

The place was packed -- so packed, there was a cop in the parking lot directing traffic. I just wanted the catfish, red beans and rice and some cornbread. On the way out I noticed they had those eight-packs of seven-ounce Miller High Lifes. For some reason Louisiana is the only place where I have ever seen those little bottles of MHL. The catfish was some of the best I have ever had.

A photo of the gutting aftermath, after the jump.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jason Kerr