Doug's Peach Orchard was serving up catfish, just on the Oklahoma side of the Red River in Terral, all the way back in the late '40's.
And, that same thin battered taste, as well as a well- guarded secret, keeps long- time regulars coming back.
Pam Roberson/Henrietta Resident: "My grandson loves to come over here. He wanted to go eat bites, so that's why we came."
Pam has been coming to Doug's Peach Orchard just about her entire life.
"Wow, I was probably his age when I started eating here, and he's two."
Kyra Roberson/Son's Levi: "He eats french fries and steak fingers and fish, and he loves it. And, he knows what it is. We're going across the river to get bites."
Well, it's that kind of tradition 70- year old Jimmy Edwards is most proud to be a part of.
Jimmy's dad and his grandmother started this business in 1948, and he wasn't far behind them.
Jimmy: "I started washing dishes here in 1956. And, I went from there to over here, and that's about as far as I've gone in my life."
But, that's the way Jimmy wanted it, to follow in his family's footsteps.
His son, Joby's doing the same.
Jimmy: "There's just always been someone in the family doing the cooking. We don't let anybody else. Somebody in the family's doing the cooking. And, my grandmother always said do not put anything out that window you wouldn't eat yourself. So that's, the way we try to do it."
Everything from catfish, to calf fries, oysters, shrimp and homemade steak fingers can be found here at the Peach Orchard, as can friendly and familiar service.
Shelley Cain/Ryan Resident: "Ninety percent of our customers are, they come back constantly. So, you kind of get to where you know everybody's orders. You know what they're going to order when they come in, and they love it. They love that we're already like, ok two teas and two fish. They like that."
Joby Edwards/Doug's Peach Orchard: "We're always talking about that, about how our customers always come back and appreciate the Peach Orchard. We could never sell this place just because of that. It's just got sentimental value I guess."
Michael Patterson/Ryan Resident: "We've got 140- acres of watermelon to plant still, and we work from 8 in the morning until about 8 at night. It was nice to come in and take a break, and enjoy the air conditioner."
There's a lot of people come up here from Texas to eat. It's good. It's good.
Jimmy says he's convinced it's his grandmother's tarter sauce recipe that sets Doug's Peach Orchard above the rest. It's a secret recipe, that won't soon be made public."
Jimmy: "Ben E Keith, my supplier, wants me to put it on the market, but I'm not going to until I get ready to quit, because I don't want everybody to have it while I'm in business, you know. We won't ever put it on the market, because we're not ever going to quit. Someone in the family's going to run it."
Which means long- standing family traditions can live on at Doug's Peach Orchard.
Kyra: "It's in the same box as they were. We always got a dollar worth of them. So, now we let him get 'em."
And, even the same flavors too!
Doug's Peach Orchard is where past generations have taught the present generation to enjoy good ol' catfish, tarter sauce, and much more.
It's where future generations will do the same.
They sell that tarter sauce by the gallon or half gallon.
In fact, Jimmy says they sell anywhere from 50- to 60- gallons of it a week.
Doug's Peach Orchard actually started in a peach orchard.
Jimmy says it was a 10- by 10- building, and they had tables outside for people to sit.
He says there were lights up in the peach trees overhead.
It was such a huge hit, they built their first building in 1950, and the current building in 1964 after the first one burned down.
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