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Aunt Catfish's

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  • Chuck Aug 14, 2005 11:50 AM
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Went back to this very successful place in Port Orange yesterday with 10 people. First time back in nearly a year. Still with the magnificant view..still on the water in one piece...still crowded...still lots and lots of food...still pretty darn good for the price.

I know this place generates lots of pros and cons, but frankly, for the money, I feel it's an incredible value. Their coconut shrimp is well prepared, if on the small size. Catfish lovers in our group liked it.

But, to me, the stars of the show are the hot and cold bars with the gratis cheese grits, the homemade baked beans, hot apples, the corn bread and the huge salad bar. Their hush puppies are very, very good.

No, it's not gourmet food, but its fresh, well prepared for what it is, and there's lots of it. The service is very, very good.

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  1. I agree - I've heard negatives based on "it's for tourists" and " you can't get good food in a restaurant on the water in Florida because they spend all their money on rent" - but I've always enjoyed it. Plus it was the first place that I ever tasted cheese grits, and the love lingers on.

    2 Replies
    1. re: eimac

      E-Mac ....Yeah, like the naysayers are going to all these high end gourmet places here in Eastern Volusia instead? Like where are they?

      No, this is not a gourmet restaurant area, so why not accept that Aunt Catfish is a decent place serving some traditional Southern type eats at a reasonable cost in a beautiful setting.

      We've accepted our plight here and the trade off in less crime, traffic, insurance costs, more land, etc. far outweighs the lost dining experiences of South Florida. Yes, it took some time for us to accept it, but time heals all gourmet desires I guess. Then there's always the 100 mile round trip to Orlando, if things get really bad.

      My prediction is that Eastern Volusia County and Flagler will indeed see more and more dining choices in the next 5 years. As the flight from So Florida continues and we see it every day, we'll see more and more wealthy people moving up here and demanding better caliber dining.

      In five years, you won't recognize the shoreline from New Smyrna to Daytona Beach to Palm Coast. It's a done deal!

      1. re: Chuck

        I know. That's why I'm moving to Tennessee.I figure I'll become The Barbeque Mayven.

    2. I'm with you on Aunt Catfish's... been a family tradition for years to go there every time we visit Daytona! Love the location, love the salad bar, LOVE the hot bar with those cheese grits, baked beans & corn bread!! Can't forget the cinanmon rolls that come with all the dinners. And I think they have about the best key lime pie around!

      1. Aunt Catfish's is a great restaurant with great staff. It is a place you can feel safe taking any member of your family.

        They have very good and authentic food, great portions, and great prices. The wait can be long but if you want the view and the experience without the wait, go off-hours.

        The salad bar is good. The hot bar is great. The menu has something for everyone. The Key Lime Pie is pretty darn good.

        It has a phenomenal view. The only view close to this is available back on the "island". Ample parking is available across the street.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chairman_meow

          One more reason to remember why Chuck was so great for this board. I got excited when I saw this post -- only to then realize it had been rescusitated from mid-2005.

          Aunt Catfish, like most of the beach area places I return to, is what it is and we're grateful for them.

          Bob

          1. re: Bob Mervine

            Ditto, I miss Chuckie boy. What ever happened to him?

            Anyway, I drive past Aunt Catfish's often, but haven't stopped yet. I heard their brunch is very good and very reasonably priced. I like the slide for the kids, and the pier with big Adirondack chairs. Looks like a very laid-back place. We'll try to make it there soon.

        2. He's around. I owe him an email, but I think he monitors the board from time to time.

          Never knew what happened exactly to turn him off, but whatever it was, it did.

          Bob

          1. Just another ditto re: Chuck. He was my go to guy for recs in the greater Daytona area and a true hound. I miss hearing from him. Hope he's back soon - maybe he just got busy - it happens.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mezzrow

              It was much more than that.

              I never asked and he never offered any information about why he quit posting, but he did -- for what he thought was a good reason.

              Bob

            2. wow- I can't believe all the "we're just glad we have somewhere to eat" posts. The food at this place is a joke. "If it aint Fried, it aint good" seems to be their motto. Maybe instead of going to the same sub-mediocre place every time you go to town, you should consider spending your money at somewhere with better food.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mpls brat

                Brat.....I'm not sure what you mean by better food in the area. Aunt Catfish is what it is and as far as I know has never tried to be anything but what it is............a mid level seafood house with Florida/southern flavors, ie. fried, fried and fried. IMO the execute it pretty good for what I expect it to be. They add some different angles with the hot and cold bar, but never have made themselves out to be a high end fish house as far as I know. The people who visit do not appear to be looking for exotic preps or sauces just good fried comfort food, a staple down this way. By the way if you are looking for something a little more "exemplary" you might try Baleen. It has improved from what I've heard when they first opened. Ciao

                1. re: mpls brat

                  Keep in mind, mpls_brat, that Chuck posted his thoughts a few years ago -- which is a lifetime in most high-growth areas of Florida. Volusia County dining's expanded much since then, especially in Port Orange. The vacuum he bemoans has been about halfway filled, with the hounds on here helping to uncover the rest.

                2. Every place has an off day- Aunt Catfish must have been off the day we visited. We did not mind the wait- however we ordered steamed shrimp- that were so over steamed that the shells would not peel off. The hot food was served cold- and seemed steamed over. Perhaps after reading the above reviews- we might give it one more chance.