On the road - Marietta, Oklahoma.

All of my favorite food groups are brown and white.
McGehee's Catfish Restaurant and Airport (FAA Identifier: T40). © Ryan Schierling

Five miles of country roads off the beaten path of I-35, in southern Oklahoma, there is a small restaurant overlooking the Red River. While McGehee's Catfish Restaurant (and Airport) is open all day on weekends, they are only open for a few hours each weekday evening, and we were lucky enough to make that window on our drive from Emporia, Kansas back to Austin.

We sat down at a table that had a view of the river valley, and the waitress approached our table.

"What can I get you to drink?"
"Iced tea, please," we both replied.
Long pause.
"...And catfish?" she asked.

J and I slowly looked at each other and said "Uhm...yes, please?"

We were offered no menus, didn't know if there were menus, didn't even know what this catfish would set us back or what it came with. We were at the mercy of McGehee's to be kind and generous with their seemingly singular expertise – we were ordering Oklahoma omakase.

We were given iced tea 30 seconds later. Not a minute passed after the drinks had arrived, when cole slaw, bread-and-butter-pickled green tomatoes and the most transcendent hush puppies I've ever eaten came to the table. Two minutes after that, a platter piled high with cornmeal-crusted catfish and fresh-cut french fries was placed in front of us.

It was the most glorious divinity that bottom-feeding fresh farm-raised fish could ever hope to attain.

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