I Ain't 'Fraid of No Quail: Bird is the Word at the Allegedly Haunted Catfish Plantation
While I was in Waxahachie a few months ago, I meant to stop by the Catfish Plantation, a Waxahachie legend, made famous because it's allegedly haunted. Eager to see some ghosts and possibly Dale Hansen, I headed back out to the 'Hachie to see what I could scare up. (See what I did there?)
Before I left I did my due Google-gence, finding out that the Catfish Plantation has been featured on a ton of those ghost-hunter shows and, most impressive to me, King of the Hill. It's been around since the mid-80's and has been named "the most haunted restaurant in Texas." Their website has a plethora of spooky pictures and videos to help get you into the right mindset.
The restaurant is housed in an old Victorian house and consists of four small dining rooms, each styled with historically accurate (I guess) old lady wallpaper. It's cute, but it's also a little creepy, which I suppose is intentional. If they weren't playing up the whole "haunted" angle, they might market themselves as "your grandma's favorite restaurant." The place is pretty packed. Ghosts, it turns out, draw people to catfish like noodling hillbilly fingers draw catfish to people.
We chose the hush puppies for our starter. As a matter of personal preference, I like my hush puppies spicy and crispy, but these were sweet, doughy round balls. My husband said he liked them, but he also asked me four times if I thought there was any chance we could be possessed, so I think he may be just trying to be pleasant in the hopes of not picking up a supernatural parasite.
They have a surprising selection of beers and a few specialty drinks. I ordered something called the Honey Badger, made with meade and cherry limeade. I asked the waitress if "it doesn't give a shit," but she just stared at me blankly as the unrealized ghost of that joke wafted up into the rafters to haunt people forever.
Our waitress took our order and suggested that in addition to the catfish we try the grilled quail. While we were waiting for our food, the door next to us swings open on it's own several times and it becomes uncomfortably cold, which we read in the highly informative menu were residual effects of the ghosts. These ghosts seem a little lazy to me. Clearly they haven't seen Ghostbusters I or II.
The catfish was billed as fresh and farm-raised, but as a girl who spent her formative years catching and frying Texas catfish, I found the fried catfish, like the hush puppies, a little bland and not as flaky as I would have liked. The quail, however, was perfect and is definitely worth the trip, flavorful without being overly gamey. We liked it so much that we fought over the last bird, until I rolled my eyes back into the back of my head and whispered "Redrum," causing my husband to crawl frantically under the table and allowing me to enjoy the rest of the quail in peace. This quail is as good as any I've had, anywhere.
We finished with some cobbler, which was delicious and tasted like the kind of cobbler that you might have at a southern church picnic. It was legit.
The Catfish Plantation, like the Enchanted Rock or the Sixth Floor Museum, is something you should do as a good Texan. But take it from the Ghost of Diners Past and order the quail.