For a country-boy-turned-city-dweller like me, the rural location of Shockley’s Fish and Fixins, located at 1332 Robinson Road in
Haughton Elm Grove, was reason enough to visit. A pretty spot-on, hilarious Yelp review advised that first-time visitors would need to “put a little gravel in your travel” in order to find the 32 year-old catfish restaurant. As it turns out, Shockley’s is only about 20 minutes from Bossier City via Barksdale Boulevard, though there are definitely some rural routes involved in the trek.
When guests arrive, several catfish-eating accoutrements are placed at the table, free of charge: a basket of hush puppies, a bowl of sweet, finely-chopped coleslaw, a large bowl of picked green tomatoes, and a smaller bowl of onion slices. The majority of the menu consists of fried seafood platters, including shrimp, oyster and crab, but catfish is clearly king at Shockley’s. Catfish can be ordered as fillets or whole fish. When my catfish fillet platter arrived, the sheer quantity of fillets surprised me.
“A platter usually has 16 or 18 fillets on it,” my waitress, the granddaughter of restaurant owner Jimmy Shockley, said flatly, as if that wasn’t a large number of catfish fillets to place in front of one guy. “But it’s all you can eat, if you want more.”
The fillets here are completely different from the fried catfish served many places in northern Louisiana. They’re wispy things, crunchier and smaller than most. To me, they bear a resemblance to the world-famous thin catfish fillets at Middendorf’s in Akers, La. I know this’ll sound crazy, but I got the same sensation munching on these fillets as I’d get while eating a plate of nachos or, say, home fries. Something about the crunchiness and the quantity made them fun to devour, especially accompanied by those delicious pickled green tomatoes.
As Mr. Jimmy Shockley rang me up, he pointed out an LSU Tigers-themed puzzle he’d recently completed on a nearby table, and we chatted about the business. “Been here 32 years,” he said with a smile. “Enjoyed every day of it. Hope to be here 30 more.”
Shockley’s Fish and Fixins has very limited hours. The restaurant only serves dinner, Wednesday through Saturday nights, 5-9 p.m. They can be reached by calling (318) 987-2333. The average diner will spend $10-$15 to eat here. Beer (served by the pitcher or in cans) and wine coolers are available.