Catch Dinner at The Fish Fry
Looking for all you can eat in a locally owned restaurant that caters to all and has great food? You ought to try The Fish Fry. The Fish Fry has been operating since January 7, 1976. Don “Doc” Ensey began the business thirty-five years ago and now Gary Ensey, his son, has taken over. Every week, he makes sure he satisfies his number one priority, his customers. In fact, don’t be surprised to see Gary, and even Doc now and then, walking the dining rooms and speaking with the customers.
Upon entering The Fish Fry, you may notice that the walls are anything but what you normally would expect to see in an establishment. Most are some type of wood that can give you a natural feeling of being outdoors. The hostess will greet you and if you don’t have a reservation, not to worry! They will seat you as soon as they have an available table. The Fish Fry has several different dining rooms, each with a story behind it. Many that eat at The Fish Fry do not know that the dining room they are sitting in has a specific name. To the left of the waiting area are the Pit, the Conference, the Bamboo, the Cedar, the Tiki, and the Garden. To the right of the waiting area are the Oak, the New Conference, and the River. You may be able to guess why each of the rooms has been donned with their name – and I’ll give you a hint: look at the walls, the shape of the room, or even look out the windows and you’ll have your answer.
There is no doubt about one thing, that an avid hunting family owns this local restaurant. Sprinkled throughout the restaurant are various taxidermies. If you are able to peek in the office behind the front desk, you will see a huge catfish, mounted on the wall, caught by one of the Ensey’s themselves. In fact, the Ensey’s caught all of the animals that you see around! Don’t worry though, the only thing biting in this restaurant are the customers enjoying their All-You-Can-Eat Catfish dinners! That’s right, among the all-you-can-eat option, The Fish Fry offers a good selection of seafood and steaks: shrimp, oysters, baked fish, gumbo, filets, strips, rib eyes, and more! Don’t forget to ask about the options for children if you are not sure what they are. In addition to the main course, be sure to try some of the Cole slaw. Freshly made every night and a recipe that won’t be given away have customers ordering it by the pint, quart, and gallon to take home. After eating at The Fish Fry, you won’t go home hungry or disappointed and you might even be taking a souvenir!
Another nostalgic point of the restaurant is the feel you get from the atmosphere. Each dining room is cozy and dated to the years of opening. Table coverings and chairs are green and brown, fitting in nicely with an outdoor coziness. You may also notice the artwork spread throughout the restaurant, which changes with season. If you visit during the Christmas holidays, the Garden shines bright with a Christmas tree where many office parties enjoy their time spent.
Among the regulars that venture out each week to visit The Fish Fry, newcomers are always popping in and most often; the rating is good. Several customers that live out of town travel a few times each month to enjoy The Fish Fry’s catfish or steaks. In fact, The Fish Fry has been published several times, deeming them to be, “The Best Fish Eatery” in the surrounding area. In 2004, The Star Telegram out of Fort Worth published a piece comparing Paris, Texas to Paris, France and guess who made the cut – The Fish Fry! The Fish Fry has also been honored in the Texas Highways Magazine and even in out-of-state newspapers earning The Fish Fry some much-earned bragging rights.
On your way out of the restaurant, you will pay up front with Ollie, whom has been with The Fish Fry family since the opening, and is just as popular. She is well known and always efficient. She enjoys talking with customers as they leave to make sure that each and every one was satisfied. Make sure you say “hello” and “good-bye” to her on your way out!
If you decide to try out The Fish Fry for the first time or are a repeating customer, make sure to call in ahead of time for a reservation so your wait is minimal. On Friday and Saturday, you may be standing in the waiting room for a moment but it will be well worth the short wait and you will be in good company. The Fish Fry is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5PM to 10PM. And if you’re looking to get a reservation sometime soon, call 903-785-6144. Whoever answers the phone will be glad to help you out! The Fish Fry looks forward to seeing you!