If you happen to be in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, you should definitely stop to have lunch at Lakeside Restaurant. There might not be a lake next to it (at least none that I saw) but it was delicious.
We came upon this restaurant after visiting Four Roses distillery and before we made our way to Wild Turkey. We had never heard of the place prior to coming there and found it, surprisingly enough, by GPS. I cannot thank Jill’s Australian-accented GPS enough for that find.
It’s unsurprising that when we arrived the restaurant was fairly empty. It was around 2pm so most of the people had most likely had lunch and were on their way to bigger and better things. The emptiness didn’t necessarily deter me, but the decor definitely made me think that I might regret stopping in. I’m glad I was wrong.
Our waitress was pleasant enough and, after asking what her favorite meal was, suggested the catfish sandwich. Who was I to argue? We added a fried green tomato appetizer and waited in anticipation. Fried green tomatoes and catfish are two things that seem very simple but are also very easy to get wrong. So often the batter is soggy or the catfish has an incredibly strong flavor. I’ve actually come to avoid catfish and fried fish in general at most restaurants for this reason.
I cannot begin to explain just how delicious both items were. The fried green tomatoes were fried perfectly with well-seasoned corn meal batter. The batter wasn’t too heavy and, thanks to the corn meal, had a nice bit of crunch to it. The dipping sauce was also delicious with just a hint of horseradish. The portion was quite large and Jill and I couldn’t finish it. Especially knowing that we still had our sandwich coming.
And man, I almost wish those fried green tomatoes weren’t so good, because the catfish sandwich was amazing. Now I don’t generally say amazing lightly. This was, perhaps the best catfish sandwich that I have had. Period. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this was the best fried fish I’ve had my whole life. Sure you can say that I’m pretty young and I haven’t had enough fried fish, but believe me. This was delicious. It was also HUGE! There were two catfish filets on the hoagie and man…they were cooked to perfection. The batter was similar to the fried green tomato, except much less cornmeal for the fish. The most important part was that the fish tasted fresh. It still had that catfish taste, but it was in no way overwhelming. In fact, it seemed to lend a sweetness to the fish. The fish was plump and juicy and the crunchy texture was a really nice contrast. It was so incredibly simple yet done perfectly. That is home-style cooking at its best. No need for the fancy bells and whistles. Just simple done well.
I got halfway through the sandwich and had to stop. Not because I didn’t like it, but because if I didn’t stop, I’d make myself sick. And I’d kind of had enough of that during the trip. I felt really bad I wasted it. I was thinking of taking it with me, but it just wouldn’t be the same all cold and soggy from being inside of a take-out box.
The best part? I think I only spend around $15 for the appetizer, sandwich and tip. Pretty darn good if you ask me!
Lakeside Restaurant is located at:
1255 Harrodsburg Rd.
Lawrenceburg, KY 40342
ph: (502) 839-9920