Above, Fish Tales' catfish plater, which came with five pieces of cornmeal crusted catfish with hushpuppies and French fries. Below, fried oyster po boy with French fries and hushpuppies. Daily Record photos by Lance Winter
Foodie Friday: Fish Tales
What's better than crispy golden fried catfish with killer hush puppies? Maybe a perfectly prepared fried oyster poboy served on a soft pillowy white bun? Either way, you can't go wrong when you pull up to Wimberley's new restaurant sensation, Fish Tales.
The new eatery is located in the former home of Creekside Cookers located on River Road.
Open a little more than a week, owners Brett McManus and Diane and Scott Harpring, seem to have a hit on their hands based on a full parking lot and the appearance of several satisfied customers.
On the day of our visit I had the catfish platter which came with five pieces of cornmeal crusted catfish. I had several options for side items but stuck with the hush puppies and French fries.
The catfish was cooked perfectly and was delicious. As good as it was, the hush puppies stole the show and were ridiculously delicious. They were sweet round balls of tasty goodness with little pieces of corn inside. While my dining partner wasn't looking I even stole one of her plate. It was very satisfying and for $12.50 I thought it was a good deal.
My partner opted for the fried oyster poboy. It was great and at the same price we felt it was fair.
Fish Tales, which started out in a food truck in 1999 before moving to a storefront property in 2010 in Cleveland, Texas, also dishes out shrimp, oysters and other Cajun staples such as gumbo and poboys.
“Our main proteins as of right now are catfish, shrimp, oysters, and chicken,” General Manager Lexi McManus told The Wimberley View. “We do have oysters, but we don’t serve them in any way other than fried. We are trying to incorporate some oysters on the half shelf. We also have rainbow trout and redfish as well for protein. But most of our platters and combos are fried and everything is freshly battered, hand cut and cooked to order.”
For Lexi McManus, the feedback from the locals has been great with the local favorites surprisingly being the homemade hush puppies.
“It was super exciting,” Lexi McManus said. “Personally, I absolutely love the restaurant industry. I am a people pleaser, and it’s what I do… It is the adrenaline and that kind of adrenaline excites me, so it was nerve racking to have everyone come here for the first time and see how much work we put into the building and their expectations on our food. We hope to have exceeded expectations… Everyone is still happy and we are getting so many compliments with everybody coming back. I’ve seen at least 15- 20 people that I’ve seen, served myself or talked to that have already come back.”
With two other Fish Tales restaurants opened in both Cleveland and Hardin, Texas, it was the convincing of Lexi McManus, who has been wanting to run her own Fish Tales restaurant, to open a location here in Wimberley.
“I have lived here in San Marcos for about three years, coming up on four,” Lexi McManus said. “My dad is one of the three owners, and I’ve been begging him to have a Fish Tales since I was 16 years old. They finally decided it was time on top of the fact we absolutely love the Hill Country.”
“Wimberley is just a quick little drive up here, and we love to come and visit,” Lexi McManus added. “When I saw this building was up for lease, I called my Dad and he said he would look into it… I sent him a picture, and I was almost in tears crying because I was so excited saying ‘Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I found it. I found the building.’ When I called him (Brett) he said ‘Well, I’ve already talked to them (building owners) and I don’t know. But before I could get my next sentence out, he said ‘Well let me call them again’ and hung up. Five minutes later he called back saying ‘Alright we are going to get the building.’”
As Fish Tales advances beyond its opening week, the key now is to be open for the long run.
“It’s staying consistent,” Jennifer McManus said. “Keeping the food the same, the hours the same, and keeping our servers happy where they are not overworked. So far everyone has raved about our service and about them doing a great job… We had a few kids that helped us before we were open just getting the place together and putting it in order, which is something that has stuck with us from day one.”
If you go:
Fish Tales is located at 500 River Road in Wimberley.
The restaurant is open Monday-Sunday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Colton McWilliams contributed to this story.