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Mack's Fish House 

The problem with going fishing — for us, anyway — is that we never catch anything but a sunburn. Maybe we're just not holding our mouth right, but most of the time when we go angling, the best we can reel in is a little algae, hooks stripped of their worms by sneaky water-dwellers, and/or too-small-for-a-pan small fry, apparently still too greenhorn in the ways of fishdom to know how to outsmart the air-breathing dummy with the pole. Given that, we've long since learned to scope out a place like Mack's Fish House in Heber Springs when we head for the lake. No worms, no hooks, no cleaning, no frying — just fish in the place where God intended them to be: filleted, on a plate, golden brown, with a side of tartar sauce. We stopped into Mack's on a recent trip to Greers Ferry Lake, and left full and happy. The best item we tried was the fried catfish: big, meaty fillets, expertly fried in a nicely seasoned cornmeal batter. Almost as good was the basket of hushpuppies that came while we were ordering. You'd think there isn't much to a good hushpuppy, but — as with most things in life that exude the virtue of simple goodness — looks can be deceiving. Though they could have used a bit more onion, these were some of the best we've had in awhile; sweet, crispy and perfect. Our companion tried the chicken quesadilla, but found it bland. Then again, what kind of goofball eats a quesadilla at a fish house? Our recommendation: stick with the whiskerfish, and you won't be disappointed. 559 Wilburn Road. Heber Springs. 501-362-6225 LD Mon.-Sat. CC $ No alcohol.

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