A good spot to soak up local flavor is Catfish Plantation (814 Water St., 973/937-9468, closed Mon.–Wed., $10–15). Located in one of the city’s trademark Victorian gingerbread homes, the Catfish Plantation is perhaps known better as a haunted house than a restaurant. Although the Cajun specialties and cornmeal-battered catfish fillets are legendary, it’s the three resident ghosts that supposedly slam doors, play pianos, and knock on walls that garner the most attention.
A popular place to dine on the historic downtown square is 1879 Chisholm Grill (111 S. College St., 972/937-7261, closed Mon. and Tues., $7–17). Steak is a specialty here, and the Roxanne Ribeye is a particular favorite. The Chisholm Grill makes almost everything from scratch, and locals have rewarded their efforts by making the restaurant a source of hometown pride.
Also located downtown, just a block off the square, is the popular BBQ Pit (106 Water St., 972/938-3677, open daily, $6–12). Bring your appetite, because the Pit packs your plate full of tender smoked meats and classic sides. The Pit Potato is especially popular, the brisket is especially satisfying, and the pork ribs and sausage are noteworthy alternatives.