Tasty Thursday: Along Highway 70: Phillips Fish Market in Forrest City

Located right off U.S. 70 in Forrest City at 122 Turner Rd., you’ll find Phillips Fish Market, a local favorite for fried catfish. The restaurant celebrates 30 years of operation in 2012.

In 1982, Richard and Inez Phillips decided that retirement from their family-run grocery store wasn’t what they thought, and they decided to open a small restaurant in Forrest City. According to her grandson, Aron Phillips, Mrs. Inez missed two things she loved: cooking and visiting with customers. She thought the restaurant would give her the chance to cook and sell a few plates each day…but within a few years, the business had grown so large that she and her husband could no longer handle the workload alone. It was then that her son, David, and his wife Betty took over the management of the restaurant and fish market.

Today, Phillips Fish Market serves over 100 plates each day and is run by Mrs. Inez’s grandson, Aron. Known most for the fresh, crispy fried fish (catfish or buffalo), the menu also features hamburgers, seafood dinners, barbecue sandwiches, fried oysters and frog legs (on Fridays only). The fish at Phillips is special for two reasons: local fishermen catch it daily and it features a special meal coating hand-prepared by the Phillips family. The meal is also packaged and sold in the restaurant.

I’m not a big fan of fried fish…but I’m a huge fan of THIS fish. The large pieces, coated in the special Phillips family meal, are fried to perfection and the fish is flaky and flavorful. You can purchase the fish by the piece or as a dinner, complete with fries, hush puppies, dill pickle slices, fresh onion and coleslaw.

Phillips Fish Market is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. In addition to prepared food, customers can purchase a variety of fresh-caught fish in the attached fish market. You can reach them at 870-633-1799.

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