Catfish Hox Does Fish Right, and So Much More

Photo courtesy of Catfish Hox

[This column by Brian Benefield is part of the series Cobb Cuisine Culture and Community]

Simple ingredients are often the most difficult to perfect, but when executed precisely, the result is magical. My Mom and Grandma love catfish and grew up eating it in Rome, GA. If you aren’t a fan because you think it may taste too fishy or have a heavy breading, then you have yet to try the Southern Delight from Catfish Hox. We have eaten here many times over the last five years, and I usually don’t indulge in fried fish too often. Still, I read soooo many positive reviews about their Tomahawk Tacos that I had to give them a whirl around the dancefloor. And those tacos can dance! The fresh, unfishy-tasting meat, lightly breaded in cornmeal and fried, pairs perfectly with the crispy cabbage and chipotle-lime aioli, adding just the right amount of kick. Talking to the proprietor, Phil told me having clean oil and frying at a higher temperature helps lock in the flavor and have a crunchy exterior on the fish.  

The owner/chef, Phil Creasor, is a veteran of the Marines and was sent to combat three times. Upon returning to the States, he was steadfast about opening a fresh, Southern eatery with a Cajun spin. He began learning the culinary craft at only 14 by training with Japanese chefs at Benihana, so he’s had a passion for cooking since a young age. Catfish Hox opened in 2016 and became what’s known as a Ghost Kitchen during the pandemic, but Phil told me their dining room has recently re-opened. You can order online for takeout or roll up to their ever-popular drive-thru option, which we have done numerous times. Don’t think the menu is all about seafood because Phil utilizes my favorite outdoor cooking apparatus, The Big Green Egg. As you pull up to place your order, you can smell the smoke billowing and calling you to get the humongous smoked wings. Get the Voodoo sauce, and you’ll thank me later. 

Speaking of Voodoo, my wife loves the Grilled shrimp dish by the same name, which is served with sauteed green beans, garlic chips, and some jalapeno cornbread to sop up the sweet and spicy sauce. You can never go wrong with the summer staple of fried green tomatoes, or if you have a voracious appetite, try the Splash and Meadow entree that comes with 1/2lb Angus Beef Brisket and catfish filet served with grilled corn, hushpuppies, and of, course homemade honey BBQ and remoulade sauces. It’s the small touches that make the meal have that little something extra, or Lagniappe in Cajun lingo is what makes Catfish Hox superlative. 

Because of Creasor’s attention to detail, they have received a myriad of accolades, including being featured in Southern Living, AJC, Atlanta magazine, and won best seafood dish two years back to back at Taste of Marietta.  Atlanta Eats featured them in a TV segment as a veteran-owned restaurant that stands out in the community. His wife, Vivian, initially said no to the idea of opening a restaurant in the 2016 economy, but Phil has made it work because of a strong work ethic and using fresh, flavorful ingredients. You can get delivery through one of the many apps like Uber Eats or Grubhub, so you don’t even have to move your dog off your lap to get the deliciousness dropped on your front porch.  

I always seek out locally owned places over chain restaurants every time and twice on Sunday. Catfish Hox encompasses all the facets of what a mom-and-pop place should be—appetizing, flavor-packed food cooked perfectly every time. If you mention that you read this article in the Cobb County Courier when you order, you’ll receive a ten percent discount. Many reviews I read say they prepare their food with love, and at Catfish Hox, you can taste that love with every bite.

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Brian Benefield is an Atlanta native born in Dekalb County, who has lived in Cobb since 2003. He has worked in Hospitality, Marketing, Real Estate, and most recently Food Tourism. Married to Cecilie Benefield for 12 blissful years. They have a dog, Miss Pickles. Hobbies are mountain biking, running, gardening, and trying new recipes in the kitchen. Member of Les Marmitions cooking club since 2016, where we cook 5-course meals with local Atlanta chefs.