Spring may not have made a commitment to Minnesota just yet, but regardless of the weather, this week marks the start of Lent. Looking for fish on Fridays? Check out one of the perks of the season: the Friday Night Fish Fry.
Always a tradition during Lent, and available several places — some family friendly, some not so much. In many cases, it’s all-you-can-eat, but even when it’s not, you’re assured a heaping plate of food that won’t leave you hungry. Call ahead for hours and types of fish served.
One of the primary sources of a fish fry is, not surprisingly, local churches. Possibly the best known for its memorable and tasty fish is Church of St. Albert the Great in south Minneapolis. They offer their tilapia fried or baked, but really — it’s a fish fry. If you’re not a fish eater, there’s meatless spaghetti. And Bingo.
In Robbinsdale, Sacred Heart offers weekly fish fries as well. Holy Family Maronite Church in Mendota Heights has a fish fry with a Lebanese theme, while Church of the Holy Cross in northeast Minneapolis ups the kid-friendly factor by offering mac ‘n’ cheese.
For more possibilities within the Catholic Church/Knights of Columbus communities in the Twin Cities, check out The Catholic Spirit.
Two more good resources for the Friday fish fry (sometimes just for Lent, sometimes year-round) are veteran’s organizations. American Legion Clubs that offer a fish fry include Posts in Excelsior, Chanhassen and Wayzata. For a full list of Posts in the state along with contact information, check the American Legions of Minnesota. The second organization that can provide info on club fish fries is the VFW.
Beyond those stalwarts, there are almost limitless possibilities for fish, whether you like traditional fried fish or want to see how local chefs mix it up. For the traditionalists, Obbs Bar & Grill in St. Paul. This is comfort food fried fish, as is the fish found at Liberty’s in Red Wing.
You can’t beat the fish and chips at northeast Minneapolis’ The Anchor Fish and Chips, which has some of the best fish and chips in the Twin Cities, as testified by the wait that’s usually required to get a seat.
It’s hard to beat the charming ambiance at the Lake Elmo Inn, and the Inn goes all out for Lent — why just have a fish fry when you can have a seafood buffet extravaganza?
Ambiance is lacking at Mac’s Fish and Chips, but that’s OK — when the fish is wonderfully battered and fried hot and crispy, you won’t really care about the surroundings.
If you’re ready to try something different, check out the Red Stag Supperclub, which uses a wider variety of fish in its Friday fish fry, as well as changing specialties such as of king crab linguini or smelt fries.
In a rush? This may surprise you, but the seasonal walleye dinner or sandwich at Culvers can be a quick, tasty and cheap way to get your fried-fish jones satisfied — at least until you can get to any of the above.
What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.