Restaurant News & Reviews

Former Palace chef serves up Mississippi-raised catfish at rural restaurant ‘worth the drive’

Deano’s Family Restaurant hasn’t been open long, but it has already earned a loyal following.

I was a bit dubious about driving so far for a place that specializes in catfish, but I changed my mind pretty quick. Don’t get me wrong, I love good catfish, but the quality of catfish varies quite a bit. Some of the imported stuff is pretty bad, and the best, in my opinion, comes from the Mississippi Delta.

Chef and owner Dean Kronauer met me at the door, and the first question I asked was where he bought fish. The answer, Simmons Catfish, located in Yazoo City, has the reputation as being the best of the best, and was an auspicious beginning to a very good Sunday brunch.

Chef Kronauer has been in the business most of his life and spent many years as executive chef at the Palace Casino in Biloxi. His experience is evident in attention to details, quality of food, and, most importantly, the delicious food that arrived on out table.

There are a lot of good things to say about Deano’s, but the best is in the judicious seasoning. A lot of fried food is over-salted, and under-seasoned, but Deano’s gets it right. Chef Kronauer makes his own seasonings, and it is evident in really great fried food and vegetable sides.

The menu is pretty extensive, with plenty of appetizers, loads of sides, a very interesting selection of overstuffed potatoes and pasta, steaks, chicken and even meatloaf, but the main attraction is, of course, catfish, and there are five options.

We started with the blooming onion ($8.95), and it was a very good beginning indeed. It has to rank as the best one I have ever had, and it was big enough to easily share for two.

I tried the four-piece catfish platter ($13.95), it’s one of the best sellers, and I was very impressed. The catfish fillets were large, crunchy, delicious, moist and perfectly cooked.

My sides were collard greens, very good coleslaw and home-made mac and cheese. It was way more food than I could eat, delicious, and priced right. In fact, I think two could have been fed on what I ordered.

My partner on this adventure, Mark Dubaz, had the all you can eat platter (shrimp, catfish and chicken), which was a special during our visit (not normally on the menu) and he was as delighted as I was. His catfish, shrimp and chicken were perfectly fried.

Deano’s Family Kitchen is well worth the drive from almost anywhere on the Coast. Expect good, friendly service, and delicious food, all for a fair price.

If you go

Deano’s Family Kitchen

Where: 20102 Hwy 63, Wade

Hours: 4 p.m.-until Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-until Sunday

Phone: 228-588-8226