Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday Fish Frys

We love Fridays during Lenten season and have become something of local fish fry connoisseurs, having scouted newspapers, websites, and homemade signs outside of churches within a 50-mile radius of our house to find the best ones. For the past few years, we've sampled different church fish frys every weekend and have come to the conclusion that while most offer similar fare (fried fish, beer-battered fish, hush puppies, coleslaw, macaroni & cheese, and green beans), there are subtleties that make all the difference to us.

Well, the taste, of course, is foremost. But unless the fish really isn't good, we've taken the flavor out of the equation. Instead, we focus on other things:

  • Ala carte? Or full-meal?
I personally hate the ala carte approach. It seems stingy and very un-community-like to me. We're going to a fish fry. Just tell us the price and hand us a plate of food. I don't want to nickel and dime my way through line, deciding whether coleslaw is worth another $1.00. It isn't.

  • Dessert
I'll pay extra for dessert, but if you really want my money, serve homemade desserts, not one or two cookies from a Kroger bakery tray.

  • Drinks
I prefer these be included in the price, too, unless you're talking about beer. You're only giving me a few ounces of liquid from a two-liter of soda, so just throw it into the price. I've noticed that churches that serve beer give the soda away for free.

  • All-You-Can-Eat Fish
Not surprisingly, I LOVE places that do this. They have men wandering around the cafeteria with trays of piping hot fish. They hold their tongs out and asked you if you'd like another piece. Yes, thank you. I would. And -- I'll be back next Friday.

Because of all these things, my top pick in southwestern Ohio  is Our Lady of Sorrow in Monroe, Ohio. They offer delicious all-you-can-eat beer-battered fish with coleslaw, macaroni & cheese, green beans and french fries. Soda is included in the price, but beer is available for $2.00. And the desserts are homemade, sold separately to raise money for mission trips to Haiti. This is the Fish Fry that I look forward to going back to.

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