From boutique to bistro, Catherine’s continues family legacy in Camden

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For many years, Christy Glaze’s mother, Catherine, operated an extremely popular boutique and gift store on Washington Street in Camden.

After Catherine retired, Christy and her husband, Danny, bought the building.

“I couldn’t stand the thought of someone else owning it,” Christy said. The couple endured a few local economic downturns in the early 2000s and then “turned to Plan B” in 2007 to keep the location in the family. Plan B was Catherine’s Bistro, which today continues the family’s legacy of providing for the Camden area with a thriving business at the location.

Catherine’s Bistro in Camden is known for its custom cakes and specialty desserts. Photo by Rob Roedel

The couple started the lunch and catering establishment with humble beginnings. “We would do all sorts of things to attract business,” she said. “We hosted children’s birthday parties and even dressed up like pirates, including my husband taking children out in the parking lot to walk the plank.”

The couple hired a relative, Jason McKinney, who studied culinary arts at the now closed Johnson & Wales in Denver, to serve as the chef at Catherine’s Bistro. Working in the construction field before the Glazes called him, he gladly exchanged his hard hat for the chef’s hat and has displayed his creative culinary skills ever since. Christy added custom cakes to the restaurant’s offerings about 10 years ago, and another relative, Hannah Miller, serves as the cake master.

The first item that I was treated to at Catherine’s Bistro was the wonderful Deli Salad Sampler. My trio selection included a fabulous Strawberry Pecan Salad, an Italian Pasta Salad and a Roasted Chicken Salad. The Strawberry Pecan Salad featured mixed greens, green onions, sliced strawberries, feta cheese and spiced pecans with a sweet balsamic dressing. The Italian Pasta Salad included garden spiral rotini pasta, chopped broccoli, cherry tomatoes, black olives and Parmesan cheese in an Italian dressing marinade. Catherine’s well-known Roasted Chicken Salad, which included celery, onion seasoning, pickles, toasted pecans and mayonnaise, was great.

The Club Sandwich at Catherine’s Bistro is served with house-made pickles. Photo by Rob Roedel

If you visit a bistro, then you expect to find a great Club Sandwich, and Catherine’s Bistro nailed it. I loved the classic take on one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. My triple-layer sandwich featured smoked turkey breast, ham, bacon, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, leaf lettuce, sliced tomato with mayonnaise on toasted Italian white bread. I loved the sandwich as well as the house-made pickles that were served on the side.

The Classic Beef Sliders are blue ribbon winners at Catherine’s. I enjoyed the two Angus beef brisket sliders along with some great baked potato salad. The toasted slider rolls are loaded with a good amount of nicely seasoned, moist beef and coleslaw.

A few friends with Ouachita Electric Cooperative were kind enough to join me for the Let’s Eat visit to Catherine’s. They each had their favorites that included the Grilled Chicken Wrap and a Chicken Quesadilla. Both offerings looked great, and my friends said that they enjoy everything on the menu at Catherine’s.

Daily gourmet lunch specials vary from week to week. I have monitored the specials for quite a while, and they also sound amazing. A few that have caught my eye include a Pub-Style Steak Sandwich. The creation features shaved, wood-fired tri-tip steak with beer-braised onions, buttered mushrooms, aged white cheddar cheese with horseradish dijonnaise on thick sourdough bread. The Homestyle Meatloaf is featured about every week, and it was sold out on the day of my visit, so I’ll get there earlier for my next visit.

Catherine’s Bistro is known in Camden and the surrounding area for custom cakes and other specialty desserts. I have enjoyed their sweet creations at meetings and events across south Arkansas over the years. If Catherine’s makes a cake, dessert or catered lunch, then you will be in for something special.

Dining recommendations? Contact Rob Roedel at rob.roedel@aecc.com.

 

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