Better Batter: Braden Station Knows Southern Seafood

May 1, 2012

By Leslie LaChance

Braden Station restaurant in Braden, TN

On most days, Braden may be a sleepy little whistle-stop of a town located in West Tennessee about 40 miles northeast of Memphis, but on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, Braden’s railroad crossing on Highway 59 is a high-traffic area. That’s because the friendly staff at Braden Station, a seafood restaurant by the tracks, is busy serving up a delicious down-home buffet and plate dinners to patrons who drive from miles around to sample the Louisiana Gulf Coast oysters and house-made desserts.

Diners come for the food and linger to enjoy the eclectic décor of the restaurant’s historic building, a 1908 storefront which once housed the bank, post office and general store operated by the C.T. McCraw Company, a regional cotton merchant.

Braden Station’s ample buffet features familiar coastal favorites – catfish, shrimp and clams, all deep-fried in homemade batters. The oysters, a house specialty, are fresh from the Gulf, fried in a light flour batter with a hint of black pepper to give them some sass. Dinner includes traditional side dishes like macaroni and cheese, fried okra, greens and white beans with generous chunks of ham. There are hushpuppies too, of course, along with a jalapeño hushpuppy option for bolder palates. On Thursdays, the buffet includes frogs’ legs, another local favorite. To satisfy the sweet tooth, patrons can help themselves to fruit cobblers such as apple or peach, or a sinfully rich chocolate cobbler, all made more decadent by a quick trip to the soft-serve ice cream machine.

Catfish dinner at Braden Station, TN

George and JoAnne Jensen bought the C.T. McCraw building in 2002. Along with their daughter Kim Graves and her husband, Terry, they renovated the structure and opened the restaurant with Terry at the helm in the kitchen and the rest of the family “just doing whatever needed to be done,” JoAnne says. Why a seafood restaurant? “My son-in-law is from Louisiana,” George explains, “and I knew he could really cook some fish.”

The McCraw building boasts a high-ceilinged, spacious storefront, and the Jensens have retained many of the original architectural features, including a working freight elevator, the first one installed in Fayette County. The store’s original shelving is now filled with vintage toys, china and farm tools, most of which came from the Jensens’ own home. Though the big room seats 150 and is always bustling, the space still feels homey. It’s no wonder folks like to stop over at Braden Station for dinner and just stay a while.

owners of Braden Station restaurant in Braden, TN

The Dish on Braden Station
Braden Station is located in the Old General Store, C.T. McCraw Building, 189 Highway 59, in Braden, about 40 miles northeast of Memphis. The restaurant is open for dinner Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For information, call (901) 594-5959.

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Comments

  1. jeff hurt says:

    I’ve been here before. Once an old country style store, looks like once did. hundreds of old things inside cases and on shelves. Food was excellant if you like seafood and catfish etc…..very near Mason on hwy 70.

  2. Betty Brumfield says:

    my family will be coming from Pulaski,Tn. as soon as we can.We love the look of your food.what is the date of the next Sunday lunch?

    • Jessy Yancey says:

      Hi Betty,

      Braden Station has its monthly Sunday lunch on the second Sunday of the month, so I would expect the next one to be on Oct. 14. For more information, please call them directly at (901) 594-5959. Thanks!

      Jessy Yancey
      editor
      Tennessee Home & Farm

  3. CHRIS says:

    SEEN YOU ALL ON CROSSROAD. GOOD LOOKING FOOD(FISH) WISH I LIVE CLOSER TO YOU ALL. WE LIVE IN COLLEGE GROVE TN. CAT FISH LOO VERY GOOD.
    CHRIS

  4. Joanne Dalton says:

    What days and times are you open? Also, do you have baked or grilled fish on the buffet or on the menu? My sister-in-law is gluten intolerant and I would love to bring her to your establishment. However, I cannot if every item you offer is made with flour.

    Thank you

    • Rachel Bertone says:

      Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for your comment! Braden Station is open for dinner Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. and for lunch on the second Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on their menu and the ingredients they use, we would suggest calling them directly at (901) 594-5959. Hope this helps!

      Rachel Bertone
      Editor

    • Jessica Mozo says:

      Braden Station is no loner open the second Sunday of the month. They are only open Thursday through Saturday from 5-9 p.m.