MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The traditional Friday night fish fry is as old as the churches where they started.
And it is fitting that your favorite fish fry resides in an old German-Catholic town.
One of which is your pick for the Best in Minnesota: The Trophy House.
“You’re in wonderful downtown New Trier, and it’s a great little town. We have a great church and we two great bars in town,” Trophy House owner Linda Nelson said. “It hasn’t really changed in looks much outside at all.”
Built in the 1800s, it started as a general store and morphed into a watering hole. Nelson has been at the helm for 20 years, but it has been in the family for 40 years.
“We have a lot of families that come here with their little ones, and they run around, go to the candy and run behind the bar [laughs]!” Nelson said. “They’re all over the place.”
Today they are hosting a weekly euchre crowd, and tonight the dinner crew will take over. People come from near and far for their roast beef, garlic toast — and the fish fry.
“Friday nights for fish fry is where you get people who aren’t really local people. They come from all over. They come from Inver Grove, Farmington, Cannon Falls, Northfield, all over,” Nelson said.
Nelson says she only uses quality fish: once frozen.
“We have five-ounce loin cod. Everybody calls it … an up-scale fish fry because you get your choice of potato, you get a salad or coleslaw and you get garlic toast,” Nelson said.
And Nelson says it is all done without strict recipes.
“It’s just a kind of dump and pour thing [laughs]!” she said.
Which is exactly how people take their tartar sauce: dumped and poured.
“This is homemade,” Nelson said. “This is what we’ve used for 40 years here. If you use a different one, people will know right away.”
And I can certainly see why folks wouldn’t want things to change. Here at the Trophy House, it is all about good food and good people.
“We want to cater good, hot food and we want people to be full when they’re done,” Nelson said. “And they don’t have to stop and eat on the way home!”
The Trophy House takes reservations for parties of five or more. There can be a wait Friday nights, but the good news is that they have the fish fry Tuesday through Sunday all year round — not just during lent.
Your other favorite fish fry spots are Anchor Fish and Chips in Minneapolis, St. Albert the Great Church in Minneapolis and Obb’s Sports Bar and Grill in St. Paul.