HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

Lent Church Fish Frys - any in Boston area

For many years I lived in the Pittsburgh, PA area and a tradition there were Friday night fish-frys during Lent at the local Catholic churches.

Do these happen at all in the Boston area? If so, any recommendations?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I grew up in the midwest where such things were commonplace year-long but I have never heard of any here (and have lived here 30 years)

    I'd love to know of some

    1. Marlin, you and I are on the same wavelength. This morning, I found myself remembering that today was Friday, and boy do I miss the fish fry Fridays of my youth. Incidentally, I actually grew up in the Pittsburgh area, though I've lived in Boston for several years.

      I'll be curious to see if your post lands any good suggestions!

      2 Replies
      1. re: chevrelove

        Nice that two of you had the same thoughts! - I was talking to friends that still live in "the burgh" and they were making plans to go to "church of the ressurection" in Brookline (a pittsburgh neighborhood for you boston folks) for fried fish, peirogies, etc., tonight and it sort of made my homesick. I've searched and searched and can't find any Lent Fish Fry events in Boston - perhaps it's because fish is an everyday food here and in pittsburgh (other than the three rivers) Fish was not typically on the menu for most people in the "old days" ? I'm a sucker for Church Dinners of almost any kind - so always on the lookout.

        1. re: marlin22

          There are certainly a number of church dinners in the area, unfortunately I am not aware of a good overall website for English catholic church events (most of the calendar sites don't have listings). The Brazilian parishes do a better job via one unified site, but it does not list all dinners.

          Generally the best ways are: call around (its easy to get the numbers of the parishes, try a few cities with certain ethnic populations -- Everett, North End, East Boston, Lynn, Brockton, Quincy...). Some parishes put up posters -- for instance the events of St Anthony's/Santo Antonio in Cambridge are posted up and down Cambridge St in Cambridge -- usually they have one event per month. Other parishes have their own newsletters, which its pretty easy to pick up and many are available online at the church website. Certain local, particularly ethnic, newspapers provide coverage of church events -- O Jornal from Fall River (English/Portuguese), A Noticia (Brazilian, Portuguese only), El Mundo (Spanish, used to provide some coverage,but think its less so now). Wicked Local aka Town Online provides access to community newspapers in the area which may mention larger events. There are some links to the religions societies in the North End, but almost all of those focus on the Summer weekend feasts.

          BTW, we do share information about cultural festivals here on Boston chowhound. However, you have to keep in mind that generally promoting fundraising events is frowned upon "now matter how good the cause." The moderators are pretty good about letting the festivals go through, but even though some banquets are quite chowish, a lot of them fall over that gray line.

          For fried fish right now Courthouse Seafood Market (they also have a restaurant) is one of a few markets which regularly offers fried fish by weight (Fernandes in Cambridge, Cross St Market in Somerville). During Lent some Brazilian buffets have it (almost always on Fridays they offer a moqueca, but a few tend to do fried fish during lent). Ethnic restaurants which offer fried foods, sometimes have fish (Izzys in Cambridge might have some in its case, as with some of the restaurants in JP, Tapatio in Somerville had whole fried fish.... Umbertos I haven't seen it, though).

      2. It often feels like a fish fry at Morse Fish in the South End every Friday, easily their biggest night of the week. A solid value, though their french fries could be better.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        1 Reply
        1. I've lived north of Boston all my life and have never known of a Friday night fish fry at Catholic churches in this or surrounding areas. Too bad too, it would be another way to come together as a community.

          1. We always went to the Knights of Columbus halls for fish fries (in Midwest). There appear to be a number of those here--maybe they're doing it?

            1. Someone once told me that the "fish fry" tradition is associated with Catholics from Germany or Poland (?) whereas most of the Catholic population around here is of Irish or Italian descent.

              it makes sense when I think about my SO's family (1st generation Irish Catholic). They have this sort of reserve....a celebration or party without good reason is ostentatious. But this is all speculation, so who knows?

              I will ask my SO. He is very knowledgeable about the history of the area (including the history of religion) and may be able to shed some light.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pickledtink

                The german/catholic association with Fish Fry tradition would make sense. The Catholic churches in the Western Pennsylvania area (where I was born and raised) are mostly german and polish - and they are the ones that have the fish fry every Friday night during lent. However it's not just the big city/suburban churches - it also occurs at the small town and rural parishes.

              2. Hey guys - I found this link and am feeling the same way! If you're still in BOS would you consider travelling up to Woburn, MA? My church was planning a last couple weeks option...

                2 Replies
                  1. re: maemack08

                    I'd travel to Woburn for a good ole fish fry. Where can we find more details?