Heuer’s Cafe and Catfish Corner


Heuer’s Cafe

This being Show Me Eats grand reopening, it only makes sense to focus on a pair of small, well-run, out of the way eateries. After all, that’s where most of the good stuff’s at. The honor of going first today falls to Heuer’s Cafe in Hallsville.

I stopped into Heuer’s last week on my way to pick up some pork from Crocker Farms, about five minutes outside Hallsville. The cafe is tucked into a nondescript, sheet-metal strip mall near what passes for downtown Hallsville. A tanning salon resides next door. Inside you’ve got smoking and non, this not being Columbia after all and a comfortable, homey feel. It’s schlocky Americana everywhere but hey, you’re at a cafe in Hallsville.

The menu offers diner standards like pork tenderloin and burgers as well as an impressive array of slightly more adventurous fare like fried oysters and liver and onions. Mid Mo Dining Guide’s got the menu here. I went with fried okra and a burger with curly fries.

The burger and fries were excellent, I will say that. But the fried okra was the best I’ve ever had. Crispy, lightly breaded and absent of any sliminess okra sometimes gets, they were either fresh and prepared on site or the best job of prepackaging I’ve yet seen. And the buttermilk sauce served on the side was a nice touch as well.

Heuer’s Cafe
565 N. Route B
Hallsville, MO 65255

(573) 696-1625


Catfish Corner

I don’t order hamburgers at Mexican restaurants. Never tried the fish at Morton’s. And who the hell is ordering the “boursin and pesto torte” at Boone Tavern? So when I stepped into Catfish Corner for the first time the other day, I really didn’t need to see a menu. They have plenty of other options – gumbo and fried okra sound promising – but for visit number one, it was always going to be four fried catfish pieces.

The interior is one large, open room with lots of blonde wood and more schlocky Americana. Again, if I were in downtown Columbia this might be a turnoff, but a few miles out past Quaker Oats and you almost need the flag-waving teddy bears and whatnot. Plus, it’s not a put-on like the crap Applebee’s or Cracker Barrell beats you over the head with.

And then the fish came out. Four lightly golden, simple cornmeal-fried catfish strips with a bowls of jalapeno hushpuppies and coleslaw on the side. The menu had listed green tomato relish was available by request and as I feel unnaturally compelled to order anything with “green tomato,” “Cajun” or “blackened” in the description, that was definitely added on. An order of hushpuppies produces four. Oddly, you can get two more if you want – free of charge. Same thing with the coleslaw. For me, four of the dense, punchless hushpuppies (seriously, where’s the heat?) were enough.

The fish? Oh, the fish. I truly believe that you’d have to catch, filet, batter and deep fry the catfish yourself (preferably with a can of cheap beer in the other hand) to get anything better. Very light breading, not too salty. Nary a hint of fishyness to the sweet catfish filets. They were wonderful. I’ve yet to try Mississippi Fish Shack – and the reports are mixed – but it’s going to take some doing to top Catfish Corner.

Catfish Corner
6307 Leupold Court
Columbia, MO 65202
(573) 474-5017
http://www.catfishcorner-columbiamo.com/

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Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

9 thoughts

  1. Now you have to try the other Heuer’s Cafe that’s alongside Highway 63 North across the highway from Pinnacles Park. It’s a Sturgeon address, but it seems closer to Harrisburg to me? I love their fried cauliflower there, and yep, they have your fried okra there as well.

  2. I’m glad to see the Catfish Corner getting some good press because the fish they serve is the best in town. I have never tried the okra (not sure how I overlooked it) but plan on it very soon. Excellent job on the switchover too.

  3. Nice recount of both restaurants. I have yet to try Heuer’s, but have tried Catfish Corner. I wasn’t sold on it the first time, but I may need to go back.

    Side note: Link to Heuer’s menu does not work.

  4. Jennifer, thanks for the heads up. Link is fixed.

    Anything in particular you weren’t thrilled by at CC?

  5. Excellent suggestion, Jerome. I’ve been to Hemingway’s only once (New Year’s Eve of all times) and enjoyed tasting menu that night greatly. Both the wife and I were mightily impressed with the food as well as the enthusiastic and non-snooty sommelier. And yet, no return visits. It is truly unacceptable. We tend to go downtown on date nights and give short shrift to southern Columbia, but Hemingway’s deserves the full treatment.

    A lunch visit is imminent..and maybe dinner in the next couple of weeks. Good suggestion.

  6. I’ve been to Heuer’s twice now (this morning was the latest.) My husband has been there many times. We tend to go for breakfast right after dropping our son off at kindergarten. I have to say, if you like home cooking, you have to go there. Their pancakes are almost as big as the plate and very filling. Their oatmeal was cooked to perfection both times.(which is a major accomplishment since most places mess this up) You definately get your money’s worth, I need to go back and try the regular menu. As for Catfish corner, they are ok. I just feel they are over priced for what you get, and for the price you would think that they would give free refills on drinks atleast. I’m not planning to go back there, I’ve given them three tries in the past, and wasn’t impressed at all.

  7. There we have it…a Catfish Corner dissenter. I see you find them overpriced and parsimonious with the Coke, but was the food a problem for you as well? If so, what’d you have? Three tries is a fair shake if you ask me.

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