Some of the best fried catfish in North Texas is down a suburban back road.
But it's worth the drive off Loop 820 West for the catfish at Soda Springs Bar-B-Q.
Soda Springs has been around for more than 25 years. It has always been known not only for its kitschy country decor, but also for sliced brisket, burgers and fresh-baked yeast rolls.
Catfish is a more recent addition, and it nearly upstages the barbecue.
The Lewis family serves large, lightly breaded fillets with fresh coleslaw, stick hush puppies and those yeast rolls ($12.95).
Besides the platters, Soda Springs also serves all-you-can-eat catfish or barbecue platters at night Thursdays through Saturdays. Lunches and burger platters start at about $7, dinners $9.
The dining room is filled with old gas-station memorabilia mixed with Texana, and the soundtrack is Western swing and traditional country.
It's open weekdays and Saturdays for lunch, Thursdays through Saturdays for dinner; 8620 Clifford St. (east of Loop 820), 817-246-4644, www.whitesettlement-tx.com/members/soda/.
Only two miles away by car but a generation away in spirit, The Point on Lake Worth is a 60-year-old bar and marina with a legacy of fried catfish.
The Point is more about cerveza than catfish these days, with a pool table in the middle of the dining room, rock bands and regular karaoke nights.
But if you go at lunch, the Point still has the lazy feel of a lakefront dock. Diners from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics next door or from nearby car dealerships gaze out at Lake Worth as they wait for the $8 lunch specials or $10.95 catfish platters.
The Point has no pretense. Margarine, dressings and tartar sauce come in plastic tubs. The cherry-pie dessert isn't baked there, but it's good.
Instead of country music, the sound system plays rock oldies.
But the catfish lives up to its legacy, although the fillets are smaller than those at Soda Springs.
One edge for the Point: It's open seven days a week for lunch and dinner; 1349 Bomber Road, north of Silver Creek Road (keep left at the fork in the road); 817-246-9168, www.pointlakeworth.com.
Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Your Life & Food and Fridays in Weekend. Facebook "Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat" Twitter @eatsbeat