Oxford is being invaded by a “War Eagle” who is adding great new food to Oxford’s renowned culinary scene.
Charles Matsos, an Auburn graduate and president of Birmingham’s CM Foodservices, LLC, opened La Paz, a Mexican restaurant, on the Square in March, and in May opened Ezell’s Fish Camp, a catfish and seafood joint on Thacker Road.
Through CM Foodservices, restaurateur Matsos eateries have spread like warm butter on toast, opening new restaurant chains Golden Rule Bar-B-Q, La Paz, Michaels Steaks and Seafood, G-Dogs, Ezell’s Fish Camp and a Hole-In-One Donut Truck.
The Mississippi department of CM Foodservice is run by Mitch Hurt, the man behind the Ezell’s Fish Camps openings in Oxford, New Albany and Corinth.
“Ezell’s is getting rave reviews with repeat customers eating several times a week,” Hurt said.
Hurt describes Matsos as a Auburn alum who loves the Oxford community.
A traveler from Chicago who visited Oxford with friends from Florida last week, praised the food and service.
“Southern traditions and taste are hard to forget. Ezell’s is a Southern tradition to be experienced and not forgotten,” Larry Meek, the Chicago traveller from Woodridge, IL said.
Meek is an Ole Miss graduate who worked his way through college delivering pizza for Oxford’s popular Dino’s Pizza.
“Some friends were with me, and we wanted catfish on Monday night. My niece, Kate Sinervo, recommended Ezell’s,” Meek said. “We ordered fried and blackened catfish, and it was out of this world. Cooked to perfection, we ate every piece served.”
“But the hidden treasures are in the sides menu — hush puppies from scratch and fresh made Cole slaw, fried green tomatoes and okra, greens and a jambalaya to die for,” Meek said with a smile. “You can make a meal out of the sides, but I recommend throwing in a little catfish for flavor.”
After only two months of operation in Oxford, Hurt is already planning to expand with more CM Foodservice restaurants.
“We are looking for a location to bring in Golden Rule Bar and Grill which we hope to have open soon in Oxford,” Hurt said. “We’ve planned a lot of expansion throughout Mississippi.”
The first Ezell’s Fish Camp was established in 1937 by Charles Agnew Ezell in a building said to have been constructed by a French trader in Alabama before the Civil War. The original unit continues to operate today.
Ezell’s Oxford building boasts a sign out front that says, “Eat Catfish and Be Somebody.” The inside is decorated with Ole Miss pictures and memorabilia with even the restrooms labeled Rebs and Rebellettes.
“For many customers, Ezell’s is much more than a restaurant; it’s a cultural institution, representing a way of life very much connected to the community’s heritage and to family tradition,” states another sign that greets Ezell’s customers.
Hurt said catering is also a large part of Ezell’s business. “Catering is going to be big for us,” said Hurt.
In addition to catfish, the menu includes: crab claws, shrimp and grits, jacked-up grits (cheese with special Ezell’s sauce), popcorn shrimp, crawfish, frog legs, fried oysters and Po’ boy. The restaurant expects to receive an alcohol beverage permit soon.
No reservations are required, but keep in mind when the War Eagles come to town, everyone will have to scramble on the field for a seat at their newest favorite restaurant.
Visit Ezell’s Fish Camp Oxford online at http://ezellsfishcamps.com or stop by 10 Thacker Heights Drive.
Story by Jim Roberts, HottyToddy.com Staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org