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Mar 25, 2009 01:49 PM

Greatest Hushpuppies

Simple question - Where can one find the best hushpuppies?

It might seem a bourgeois pursuit, but I thought it would be good, once and for all, to get a thread going, regardless or region and regardless of hushpuppy style, about where to find the greatest among those stifled canines! :-)

My opening entry is Darrell's Restaurant in Manteo, NC. We order baskets of them with every meal, keep 'em coming! Rich, soft and buttery, with onion and a crispy, crunchy coating.

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  1. As long as they are the right size, not too sweet, crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside and have onion than they are a great hushpuppy in my book. The best I can remember was my first hushpuppy 13 yrs ago at a fish fry at a friend's house in Statesville NC. I had just moved to NC from PA and knew very little about southern food. These hushpuppies were home made and their were tons of them - mmmm, so good.

    1. I think lynnlato nailed it; the best hushpuppy isn't a 'where', it's a 'when'. Your first hushpuppy lives on in your mind. :)

      Now that I've got *that* out of the way...I hope someone chimes in with good ones somewhere *near* NJ.

      1. Well let me first start by acknowleging that I am from Southern California, so I don't know a good hush puppy from a hole in the ground. But that being said, I love the hot pups (hush puppies with jalapeno) from Les Sisters restuarant in the San Fernando Valley. An abomination? perhaps. But its all I know.

        4 Replies
        1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

          As a life-long southerner, I can tell you that they come all ways here - of course with jalapeno, corn, even fresh tomato. They're at their best when they've been cooked in the same grease as the fried fish, but we frequently make up a batch as a snack or appetizer. It's fun to serve them with different sauces too. It's a staple down here!

          1. re: bayoucook

            Would that be the same as a corn fritter? I live in upstate NY and we don't have hush puppies here. Although as a kid I remember having some at the Friday night fish fries common in Western NY.

            1. re: Catskillgirl

              Afraid not, Catskillgirl. A hushpuppy is kind of like little fried cornbread balls or crescents.

              Corn fritters are a whole other creature, albeit a darn good one too. ;-)

              1. re: Catskillgirl

                catskill girl, maybe you can get an idea of hushpuppies from these photos:

                do your upstate new york fritters involve cornmeal?

          2. Alas, although I am a southern girl I must admit that the very best hushpuppy I have ever eaten is not far removed from the worst hushpuppy I've ever eaten. I think of them as filler at a fish fry to make the fish go further.

            1. We worked a charity function for many years in Nashville, an annual party called Oyster Easter, with giant piles of raw oysters and sides of Cajun-style boil-up of corn, potatoes and sausage. There were always pans of good bread, too, but what everybody stacked on his or her plate were the hushpuppies from Captain D's! One year - and I'm not clear on the details - for some reason we were hushpuppyless, maybe because Captain D's declined to donate them. Whatever it was, we never heard the last of it, and never made that mistake again. They really are good, though - or were last time I had one! - just the right size, good texture, vaguely sinful flavor. I also like the dolled-up ones some of the catfish houses serve, with little depth charges of red pepper and kernels of corn mixed in. The best were at the long-defunct Catfish Cabin chain.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Will Owen

                Hey Will, have you ever had a conch fritter? Kind of like a hushpuppy but w/ minced conch. They are quite common in South Cackalacky (SC).

                1. re: lynnlato

                  I still have conch only in my future! My limited East Coast travels have taken me no farther south than Ocracoke, but I really want to visit Charleston, Savannah, and everywhere in between. St. Pete, too. Preferably while I still have my teeth and good digestion...

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    from this floridian, i'd say, take (at least) 5x as much time in charleston as any other place on your list -- esp. st. pete. (and i can talk that way, as a know, it's like you'd better not trash talk my sister, but i certainly can give her grief!!! ;-).

                2. re: Will Owen

                  I've had those too and they _were_ good, but our local Capt' D' closed. Now that I think of it, the only hushpuppies available in these parts just might be at LJS's. Haven't been there for years, but I'm dubious...

                  1. re: cuccubear

                    Long John's are OK too. We had Captain D's because they were based in Nashville, and the influential folks on our party committee could shake them down, oops, I mean solicit a charitable contribution from them of a few hundred hushpuppies. I think LJS is up in Louisville or somewhere...

                  2. re: Will Owen

                    I agree: Captain D's hushpuppies cannot be beat. I grew up on them, right in Nashville where Captain D's started. These days I live near DC, but I will drive an hour to Manassas, VA, or even farther to other parts of VA, just to have some of those hushpuppies.