Featured Photo: Catfish, onion rings, frog legs, fried shrimp and boiled shrimp from Wilson’s Steak and Seafood.
It isn’t an urge that will strike everyone, but I occasionally feel compelled to drive way out into the countryside for the purpose of eating fried whole catfish, frog legs and jumbo shrimp at a business located at the end of a gravel road or on the banks of a local lake. The Shreveport-Bossier area was once home to many fantastic, old-school fried seafood joints in rural communities. Unfortunately, recent years have brought about the closures of noteworthy eateries like Pelican Lodge Catfish Restaurant in Vivian and the outstanding Shockley’s Fish and Fixins in Elm Grove. That’s why I’m glad that Wilson’s Steak and Seafood, previously known as Wilson’s Bistineau Inn, is still alive and kicking.
Wilson’s Steak and Seafood is located at 630 Horseshoe Bend Road in Doyline, about a 30-minute drive from downtown Shreveport through southern Bossier Parish. The restaurant sits at the end of a gravel drive, set back about 100 yards from the edge of Lake Bistineau. Steaks may come before seafood in the new name of this restaurant, but at places like this, fried combination seafood platters are the way to go.
I ordered a combination seafood platter with fried shrimp, frog legs, catfish and boiled shrimp ($19.95). A heavy battering and deep golden frying complemented some items better than others. Perfectly-cooked shrimp were really wonderful, followed by an outstanding order of onion rings. A couple of nice-sized frog legs had a great taste but a loose crust. At Wilson’s, as with lots of great rural seafood places, a dinner order comes with a variety of complimentary sides meant to accompany a fried seafood feast: bean soup, pickled green tomatoes, raw onion slices, hush puppies and a very creamy coleslaw are included with dinner orders at Wilson’s.
Especially when cooler temperatures arrive, making the restaurant’s enormous patio overlooking Lake Bistineau even more inviting, I look forward to returning to Wilson’s. With fewer and fewer places like this surviving in the highly competitive restaurant industry, nostalgia and a love of frog legs will bring me back when I am again struck by the urge to take a drive in the countryside.