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MSP Lenten Friday Fish Fries

It's Lent again, and for some of us, that means the return of meatless Fridays. I'd like suggestions for you favorite restaurants for fish. Any kind of fish suggestions welcome, but Bonus points for:

1. Fried Fish
2. All you can eat fish
3. Price point below $10
4. St. Paul or Minneapolis location
5. Beer also available.


Ps. It's okay if the restaurant does not normally serve fish. Actually, that makes it more fun.

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  1. This topic came up recently under the heading Chruch Dinners.


    My suggestion, skip the fish and go for the enchiladas at Our Lady of Guadalupe on Concord St. in St. Paul.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sven

      Sven, in addition to the churches, aren't there also a lot of restaurants that offer them during Lent in particular? I think I've seen them at Glockenspiel, St. Clair Broiler, Awada's...any feedback on places like that?


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Restaurants, Bars, VFW and American Legion Posts as well.

        Last year had the fish at the VFW in South St. Paul, the American Legion in Northfield, and at Fabulous Fern's and McGovern's in St. Paul. All fine but nothing memorable. Although Fern's and McGovern's do win points for great beer. Fern's also offers vinegar with the fish too.

        All of that notwithstanding, I'd still go for the enchiladas.

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        That all you can eat deal is only on Sunday nights, so wouldn't really help for the Friday thing. (Not to mention that Sushi of Tokyo's prices are so cheap that you might still be better off ordering off the menu than paying the 19 bucks and eating all you can!)

      2. I'm not the world's biggest fan of sushi, so I'm not sure I'd get much value out of all you can eat sushi, DQ.

        Thanks Sven. I'll look those ideas up.

        1. Does Tavern on Grand do a fish fry on Fridays that's any good?


          1 Reply
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I'm not aware that they change their menu on Fridays during lent. I'll be out of town this Friday so I won't be able to drive by to confirm.

          2. It is interesting how different the fish-fry scene here is from Milwaukee where I lived for 4 years. This is not a complaint, I just find it curious. Perhaps it is related to the ethnic makeup of the immigrant in the area in the 1950s as the supper club concept took hold in the US.

            3 Replies
            1. re: SLBunge

              i totally agree. I'm from wauwatosa, and lent around here simply isn't the same as it was down there. It's the beer thing that gets me the most (and the major lack of potato pancakes)
              I think it may be the norweigan immigrants versus all the differeing immigrant groups in milwaukee that have NEVER had a problem drinking, even if it was in the church basement.

              1. re: CulinaryKate

                The one fish fry I've attended in a church basement is St. Matthews in St. Paul and they had beer. I think many of the immigrants to the Cities who were Catholics many years ago were German and Irish, so the beer shouldn't be a problem.


                1. re: CulinaryKate

                  I agree too. Every bar, tavern and restaurant in the OshKosh and Fond du Lac area has a fish fry with fish, cole slaw and rye bread. When I visit, it is de riguer.

              2. But there are plenty of catholics here, esp. in St. Paul. Really, let's get down to some great church recommendations. Anyone? And I don't want the enchiladas. Just fried fish, and plenty of it. I went to Holy Cross in NE a couple years back and it was sub par. It was actually baked, not fried, though it was breaded.

                2 Replies
                1. re: FishMPLS

                  St. Albert's is the one that gets all the recommendations.
                  St. Albert the Great Catholic Church
                  2836 33rd Avenue South

                  The last coverage I saw was for an alternate site was from 2005, so you may want to contact these folks: "Here at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Robbinsdale, the fish fry is equal parts prayer circle, social hour, and Def Polka Jam." No mention of the food quality, though.

                  The same CityPages article, http://citypages.com/databank/26/1268..., mentioned that there were 20 different fish fry events held by local churches during lent, but neglected any hint of how to track them down.

                2. In Saint Paul it's Obb's in Mounds Park. It's reaally fried and good. It's all you can eat and under $10 but I can't remember exactly how much. It comes w/fries, texas toast and cole slaw. They actually have it year round every friday. It's always packed Lent or not. They have a full bar including beer. No fancy beers though. I think the most exotic tap beer is Sam Adams . They might have Summit in bottles. It's on Burns just off 94 and 61. They serve it family style to big tables full of eastsiders.

                  1 Reply
                  1. We've been talking about Mac's Fish & Chips in Roseville off and on the last couple of weeks or so, wondering if the downhill alert we had last fall was a temporary thing or what. Does Mac's do anything special for Lent?


                    1. Here's an interesting one: Matty B's in downtown is doing AYCE walleye fish fries this year. Might be worth investigating.


                      1. From the calendar section of this weeks The Catholic Spirit., I would suggest checking back intermittently as they may have posted more for next week. .http://www.thecatholicspirit.com/
                        I excised those that were this past Friday.

                        Soup supper at Sabbath House, Minneapolis — Feb. 26: Soup supper at 6:30 p.m. followed by prayer and reflection from 7 to 8 p.m. at 3228 Portland Ave. S.

                        Lenten soup supper at Holy Cross, Minneapolis — Feb. 28: 4:30 to 7 p.m. at 1621 University Ave. N.E. Soup, bread, dessert and beverage. Cost is $4 for adults, $2 for children. Sponsored by Holy Cross English Altar and Rosary Guild.

                        Fish fry at St. Anne, Hamel — March 2: 4:30 to 7 p.m. at 200 Hamel Road. Cost is $7.50 for ages 13 and older, $4 for ages 5 to 12 and free for children 4 and under.

                        1. Today's Pioneer Press has a nice inventory of restaurant-based AYCE fish fries, what fish they use, price, accompanyments, what the fish is battered in, and whether they are available year-round or for Lent only. Unfortunately, they don't say which ones are the good ones. Also, they missed a couple we caught, like Obbs (yay! Chowhounds)!


                          I recently tried Groveland Tap's fish fry. They batter their white fish in Leinenkugel--I thought the batter was great, not too greasy, although the fish was so delicate it practically melted away. The accompanyments were fries (fine) and coleslaw. I know fish fries are a tradition for Lent, but I might still order their portabella mushroom sandwich if I wanted to go meatless, but healthy.

                          The Pioneer Press lists George's on Plato, which, I think is in the location of Awada's I mentioned above. I knew they'd changed their name, but I couldn't remember if they'd changed it FROM Awada's or TO Awada's. Clearly, they changed their name FROM Awada's to George's. Sorry for the confusion.


                          1. Thanks for posting the link TDQ. I don’t think I would have seen it otherwise...

                            Has anyone tried the fish fry at the Capitol View? (I think they spelled it wrong on that list....) I’ve only had breakfast food there, but always loved that.

                            And am I the only one who thinks it’s kind of amusing that the Catfish Saloon uses cod??

                            Uncle Ira

                            1. The Polish American Club on 1000 Arcade in St Paul has one.I went for the first time 2 weeks ago,and ended up full while becoming a member! They have a different group "host" the fry each week,and you have a choice of batter fried or plain (in butter?) You can dish up your own veggie or beans,bread and fixins' They have a dessert table with a hand lettered sign that said
                              .50 apiece for homemade goodies.Very quaint-I guess they used to have a line out the door in the old days.8 bucks for adults-$4.00 for kids.

                              And yes-a full bar.I had a Zwyiec beer from Poland.They also have a Hamms moving water sign behind the bar.Now if THAT isn't Minnesotan,what is?

                              (I'll be there Friday night with my 2 girls.Because this time we're gonna' POLKA afterwards)

                              1. Just bumping up this thread because Lent has begun and tomorrow is Friday.

                                Any updates on available frish fries? Any raves or disappointments from last year?

                                I know St. Albert's has its posters up.

                                1. i have heard an unsubstantiated rumor that the kc hall in richfield does a very nice fish fry special on fridays. they certainly have beer/full bar & cheap prices.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                    My girls will be accompanying Grandpa and Grandma to the PAC again tonight (Polish American Club-1000 Arcade Ave in St Paul) A few weeks ago they had a 16 oz. dark Polish beer that was very tasty...

                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                      The Knights of Columbus in Bloomington (not Richfield, but close) DOES have a Friday fish fry during Lent. All you can (care to) eat / $10.95 / open to the public and runs from 5pm-9pm. Karaoke starts at 7:30 :)

                                      1114 American Blvd West

                                      ETA: The VFW in Richfield at 66th and Lyndale has one, too. Runs for 5-8:30 but I don't know how much it costs.

                                      1. re: happysnacker

                                        drat. you're right, happysnacker that's where i meant!!!

                                        "can (care to) eat"--- am i reading too much into your post? is it any good? er-- the fish fry, not the karaoke! :)

                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                          This was not to be a comment on the food quality; just trying to be "PC" or something in describing how a person would approach unending food...:) I have not been to either place but hubby and I plan to hit the KC this upcoming Friday. AYCE fish fry, good beverages AND Karaoke? What could be more fun!

                                    2. Blackbird in Minneapolis does a fantastic fried Salmon and fries everynight. Its 14.95 but really enough to share and they have great beer list. My new favorite fish.

                                      1. here is one more that we have attended and really liked

                                        Fish Fry
                                        During Lent, fish frys are held on Feb 29 and March 14. Parish volunteers unite to prepare and serve an All You Can Eat dinner of English Pub Batterd Cod, baked potato & sour cream, rolls & butter, coleslaw, dessert, coffee & milk. The desserts are the crowning glory of the dinner, made by many parishioners they are worth saving room for.

                                        Feb 29 and March 14

                                        Most Holy Trinity
                                        4017 Utica Avenue South
                                        St. Louis Park, MN 55416

                                        1. Do any of these have pan-fried, or are they all battered?

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: reannd

                                            All of the ones I've been to offer battered, but I've been to some that also offer what I understand is oven-baked, such as George's on Plato and St. Matt's. Does that help at all?


                                            1. re: reannd

                                              St. Albert's has baked as well as fried.

                                              1. re: KTFoley

                                                Yes! Thanks to both of ya for letting me know =) I was assuming fish fry was 99% fried in batter, but wasn't sure as I've never been to one !

                                                1. re: reannd

                                                  Yes, the standard IS fried in batter, and, of course, that's the good part! But, seriously, I know there are times where one doesn't want all that delicious fat...and I opt for the oven baked on those occasions...


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    Okay, thanks to all of you, my friends & I headed to St. Albert's this evening to take advantage of their menu.

                                                    It was a hoot! Crazy busy, all you can eat, and damn tasty. It was a totally insane Midwest church basement extravaganza.

                                                    People wearing crazy clothes, serving you: baked fish, fried fish, mashed potatoes, potato cakes (like triangle has browns), spaghetti, red sauce, and cole slaw. All the "church basement ladies" brought in home-made cakes, bars, & cookies (between the 6 of us I think we tried all two dozen+ flavors of 'em). Lemonade, coffee, and water. All for $10.

                                                    Lots of raffles (every 50 tickets they draw a new winner.. tickets are a buck) of things you don't need (quilts, giant candy bars, etc), and announcements going on all night. (I learned that White Castle is giving away free burgers during daylight savings hours I guess? - pretty hilarious).

                                                    Bingo upstairs - and you can bring your chow up there if you want =)

                                                    Kinda want to go again next week, but we'll be at the CP wine tasting. If that's not Minnesota, I'm not sure what is.. all in the heart of Minneapolis (just down the block from Town Talk Diner).

                                                    1. re: reannd

                                                      Oh, that sounds so fun! Thank you for the detailed report. I haven't been to St. Albert's (we always go to St. Matt's), but now I'm inspired. And they have baked fish, which fits in my eating plan right now!

                                                      Do they have beer or wine?


                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        TDQ - Don't you love a site where you can get an instant answer, even at 6:30am on a Saturday morning?! No beer or wine at St. Albert's, but the fish is outstanding! Particularly the baked fish. Make your plans now, though...next week is the last one and it gets pretty crowded. Serving starts at 4:30pm....

                                                        1. re: Dragon

                                                          HA! Hi Dragon! I was going to post a question about healthy food in Dinkytown but thought it was too early. Maybe I'll post now.

                                                          It's sounds like St. Albert's is the happening spot!


                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            We got there last night at 6 and didn't have to wait in line.. but we did hear some of the best desserts were gone by then (I still thoroughly enjoyed my pumpkin bar, lemon bar, oatmeal raising cookie.. the list goes on!) =)

                                                            .. and yes, the baked fish was nice =)

                                                            No beer or wine (even soda was 75cents), but you don't need it to enjoy the place. Plus, it gets done at 7:30, so you can always hit memory lanes or TTD after.. (not that you'll need any more calories)

                                            2. We tried to get in to Groveland Tap again yesterday and again it was too busy when we got there. Being nightowls, we thought we were getting there early at 5:30 pm, but guess not. The wait was going to be long. So we ended up with pizza and spaghetti at Pizza Luce again. I am getting resigned to deferring my Friday fish until after Easter. Although maybe we will give St. Albert's a try.