The south is famous for its fixin's, and nothin' is more Southern than catfish and coleslaw. Most small towns in the South have catfish eateries and Fort Valley is no exception. Right off the beaten path (also known as Ga. 96) is Creekside Catfish. Now, Creekside may attract all the grandmas and grandpas in a 20 mile radius, but don't expect nothin' too fancy here.
Tucked away in Peach County, Creekside can easily be missed, so keep an eye out. The gravel parkin' lot and barn-like buildin' adds to the simple charm. Creekside is proud of what they've got, and when you go in you'll see why --- nothin' but friends and family here.
The inside isn't much more impressive than the outside. The walls were raw particle board and roughly decorated. But people didn't seem to pay the walls much attention. Everyone was talkin' and focusin' on their food. By 6 o'clock the place was hoppin'. About all 26 tables were full.
When we were seated at our table, they immediately brought us some coleslaw and took our drink order. The young boy who brought us the coleslaw was nice enough to offer his help by sayin', "If y'all need anything else, y'all just holler at me."
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I didn't need any help browsin' through the menu. I came here for one thing and one thing only --- catfish. I ordered the catfish fillets with French fries and some onion rings.
However, the menu offers many things other than just catfish. It offers flounder for $12.95, fresh mullet for $10.95, deviled crabs for $7.95, and popcorn shrimp, fresh oysters and fresh scallops for $8.95-$12.95. If you don't want seafood, then you can eat a 10-ounce ribeye steak for $12.95, a hamburger plate for $5.95 or a fresh hamburger steak for $12.95. Side orders include cheese grits and French fries for $1, a baked potato for $1.50 and onion rings for $3.
A special menu is offered for kids 12 and younger and seniors 65 and older. This menu includes catfish whole and fillet, flounders, popcorn shrimp, hamburger and chicken fingers, each for $5.95.
Scannin' the menu for so long had me feelin' pretty hungry. Luckily Creekside's service was quick under pressure. Even though the place was crowded, our food came out in no time and tasted good.
First we had the homemade onion rings, which were warm and crispy. This set the stage for a great meal to come. Next our catfish came --- and I'd been waitin' for it. Two hunky fillets and a good ole' helpin' of French fries adorned my plate. These people know how to clean a catfish; there wasn't a bit of skin left on it. The fries were basic --- no seasonin' or added luxury.
But then again, that's the place. No extra frills, just raw, simple, small town cookin'. If my Granny, from Arkansas, comes to visit, the first place we'll go will be to Creekside, where everyone's family.
12840 Ga. 96, Fort Valley
two and a half stars
Phone: (478) 825-0176
Hours: 4-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Payment: Credit, cash
Children's menu: Yes
Vegetarian selections: No
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Noise level: Medium
Smoking policy: None
Latest health code rating: 100%