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Mar'13 MSP Dish of the Month - Fish Fry! Post reports here

bkmnus Feb 28, 2013 04:01 PM

Voting is now closed and the winner for March 2013 is Fish Fry!

Now go forth, consume some fish fry's and report back on this thread with the wonders that you encounter! (Photos encouraged)

Considering it is Lent and tomorrow is Friday I would hope to see some reports quickly!

Thanks to all who voted.

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  1. ibew292 RE: bkmnus Feb 28, 2013 05:07 PM

    Here it is: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/890569 Has been talked to death......

    21 Replies
    1. re: ibew292
      SmartCookie RE: ibew292 Feb 28, 2013 06:24 PM

      I wouldn't call a dozen posts as being "talked to death". They were only referencing a few restaurants and several newspaper articles.

      The purpose of this thread is personal reviews of as much of a cross section as possible; restaurants, churches, and VFW Halls.

      1. re: SmartCookie
        ibew292 RE: SmartCookie Mar 1, 2013 05:06 AM

        There were 15 replies, not a dozen. There is a thread for Fish Fries already.........

        1. re: ibew292
          american_idle RE: ibew292 Mar 1, 2013 06:34 AM

          At least it wasn't "Toast". People from out of town coming to the board for recommendations and seeing "Toast" as our Dish of the Month made me cringe.

          1. re: american_idle
            shoo bee doo RE: american_idle Mar 1, 2013 06:38 AM

            I think toast was an innovative idea. It's something simple and not many places do it well. I hope we can do it next month.

            I used to go to a restaurant long ago just for tea and toast for breakfast. I think real foodies from out of town would find that idea innovative and fun. And there are plenty of threads for those out of town people.

            1. re: american_idle
              BlueSkyGuy RE: american_idle Mar 1, 2013 08:14 AM

              Agreed. I don't think I'd ever pick a restaurant based solely on the quality of its toast. It'd have to be some pretty life-changing toast. For the record, I love toast.

              1. re: BlueSkyGuy
                shoo bee doo RE: BlueSkyGuy Mar 1, 2013 08:49 AM

                Well, this wasn't my original idea, but for some reason I'm stuck to this idea of toast once Anne_in_Mpls suggested it.

                How about if the bread was homemade, the butter local and grassfed, the marmalade homemade? If any restaurant would put that much thought into their toast, they definitely would put that much thought into their egg and other sources.

                Look what's happened to this fish fry thread. This is the 7th post and the thread has been hijacked by this discussion. So far we have no postings about any fish fries. For the record, I love fish fries.

                1. re: BlueSkyGuy
                  american_idle RE: BlueSkyGuy Mar 1, 2013 09:41 AM

                  Ever hear of Bachelor Farmer?

                  1. re: american_idle
                    ibew292 RE: american_idle Mar 9, 2013 02:46 PM

                    Where is that???? BF I mean?????

                  2. re: BlueSkyGuy
                    ibew292 RE: BlueSkyGuy Mar 9, 2013 02:45 PM

                    If they make memorable Toast what other things do they do right?????I'm looking for Haddock Fish and Chips. Who serves those???????

                  3. re: american_idle
                    ChancesR RE: american_idle Mar 1, 2013 03:10 PM

                    I just assumed "Toast" was a joke. Maybe next month we'll see "Hot Water."

                    1. re: ChancesR
                      AnneInMpls RE: ChancesR Mar 1, 2013 03:21 PM

                      Yes, it was meant as a joke. I nominated toast because I was feeling quite contrary, and toast was the most unlikely dish I could think of at that time of night.

                      Frankly, I didn't expect toast to get so many votes. But then I remembered that I've had some awesome toast around town (like at 128 Cafe). Perhaps a future toast-of-the month thread can gather other "great toast" reports. :-)


                      P.S. My contrariness stems from a very low sodium diet; I can't eat fried fish, corned beef & cabbage, chicken-fried steak, or most other nominated dishes. But I can eat toast!

                      1. re: AnneInMpls
                        shoo bee doo RE: AnneInMpls Mar 1, 2013 03:47 PM

                        It never occurred to me it could be a joke. I took it seriously and thought the idea brilliant.

                        american_idle, I checked out the Bachelor Farmer menu and see a toast section. Excellent.

                        Now how could that be considered a joke? :-)

                        1. re: AnneInMpls
                          The Dairy Queen RE: AnneInMpls Mar 1, 2013 04:17 PM

                          Obbs has really great fish fry...and great toast (thick--crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and very buttery). Two in one!

                          Other great toasts around town:

                          Mancinis (they griddle it and it does absorb some beefy goodness)
                          Keys (downtown Minneapolis)--toasted housemade bread and homemade jam.
                          ETA: Oh! And Hell's Kitchen has awesome toast toppings, housemade orange marmalade, blackberry jam, and peanut butter.

                          I'm sure there are many other fantastic toasts to taste...but I did wonder if Anne was joking.


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            Seige RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 3, 2013 02:31 PM

                            Was wondering how long it would take before the Obb's toast recommendation would pop up. Kind of like me and burgers at the Happy Gnome. :)

                            1. re: Seige
                              The Dairy Queen RE: Seige Mar 3, 2013 03:07 PM

                              How could I let an opportunity to talk about Obb's toast pass when the topic at hand actually was toast? After all of those mentions in the midst of non-toast conversations? :)

                              I'm holding out for spring-on-the-patio for my next visit to H.G.


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                shoo bee doo RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 9, 2013 07:01 AM

                                I tried Obbs yesterday afternoon. The fish was definitely wonderful. Pretty good cole slaw also. Not sweet. Fries were ordinary frozen fries.

                                I don't understand about the toast though. Mine was just ordinary store-bought bread that was barely toasted. Most of the butter was in the middle of the bread.

                                1. re: shoo bee doo
                                  The Dairy Queen RE: shoo bee doo Mar 9, 2013 07:14 AM

                                  :( How disappointing about the toast. That is not what I've had in the past at all. I wish I had a photo to post--I had one for awhile but I deleted all of my old food pics (why would I ever need them?, but maybe I can poke around and see if that one escaped the trash bin.)

                                  I wonder if the toast that comes with the fish is different than what comes with the fried chicken? I can't imagine that it should be. Maybe the toast has gone sadly downhill. I think the last time I had it was in 2010 or so... Might have to get over there to try it. Obbs is on our list to hit up for fish fry this year, schedules permitting. And Tin Cup.


                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    shoo bee doo RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 9, 2013 08:56 AM

                                    It was called Texas toast. So many places are doing things to cut costs these days. I notice that a lot. A lot can happen in 3 years. We could always let them know we notice.

                                    I tried a burger at Tin Cup's about 6 months ago. The burger was good, not outstanding. But the atmosphere at Tin Cup's is a little weird. There was a drunk guy at the bar who kept turning around and staring while I was eating. It was a bit much.

                                    1. re: shoo bee doo
                                      The Dairy Queen RE: shoo bee doo Mar 10, 2013 03:03 AM

                                      I'm kind of heart broken, actually. If they are describing it as TT, but serving something that clearly isn't, then that's a real problem.

                                      That Tin Cup experience sounds pretty dismal. Maybe I can dissuade my spouse from wanting to go, as it was his idea to put it on our list. I've never been there...


                          2. re: AnneInMpls
                            Jordan RE: AnneInMpls Mar 1, 2013 06:40 PM

                            I voted for toast as a protest vote. I find these dish-of-the-month polls started and egged on by Chowhound as pretty dumb. The threads generated are never particularly good, and the dishes are utterly random.

                            1. re: Jordan
                              The Dairy Queen RE: Jordan Mar 8, 2013 07:24 AM

                              Whenever I feel protesty about something like this, I just scroll on past. While I, too, am lukewarmsih about "Dish of the Month's" origins here on the M-SP board, it has been taken over by the illustrious and enthusiastic bkmnus. If he and a handful (or even a thousand) like-minded M-SP 'hounds think it's fun to choose a dish to taste and discuss amongst themselves every month, what skin is it off of my nose? Who, really, is being hurt by these discussions and who really are we sticking it to by protesting? Why force them to eat toast and discuss toast for an entire month if I personally just don't give a crap?

                              Cookbook of the Month on the home cooking board was developed and is maintain entirely by users (and remains so as far as I can tell) and those are some of the most lively, informative, fun discussions I've ever had on chowhound. Here's where redwood2bay first proposed the idea: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3246...


                2. s
                  shoo bee doo RE: bkmnus Mar 1, 2013 03:45 PM

                  So here is the first fish fry posting. I had a wonderful fried fish takeout dinner from Mississippi Market on Selby. The fish was perfectly cooked with a batter. It was also good quality fish. I wondered if it had ever been frozen. It was on their heating table, so I wasn't expecting much.

                  Next time though I'd open the box to retain the crispiness of the coating.

                  The roasted potatoes were OK. There were a lot of them so I'll have them in the morning. The cole slaw was also wonderful. Next week I'll try to get a photo if no one else manages to do it.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: shoo bee doo
                    The Dairy Queen RE: shoo bee doo Mar 1, 2013 05:38 PM

                    Oh! I didn't even know they had fish fry. Is it every Friday or only during lent?


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      shoo bee doo RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 1, 2013 07:38 PM

                      TDQ, yes it is every Friday. Two weeks ago I tried Mississippi Market on W. 7th at about 5:00 pm. They had run out by that time. They called the store on Selby to see if they still had some. Yes, they did. I was running out of time so I just picked out something else to eat.

                      In my previous posting, I meant to say that I should open the box right after checkout because the fish was steaming and the coating became a little soggy. That was OK though because of the quality and tastiness of the fish.

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        shoo bee doo RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 1, 2013 07:38 PM

                        Every Friday during Lent, that is.

                    2. The Dairy Queen RE: bkmnus Mar 1, 2013 05:58 PM

                      St. Matt's (West Side, St. Paul)--in the church hall.

                      Baked or fried Alaskan pollock. The fried fish was crisp on the outside --not greasy-- and tender on the inside. The baked fish is a nice option if you're trying to eat healthy, but it's pretty bland and dry. I guess you could squeeze a slice of lemon over it (or dip it in tartar sauce, thereby undoing the some of the health benefits).

                      You take a seat at one of the long banquet tables and they bring you a plate of fish (your choice: fried, baked or both), corn, and a foil-wrapped baked potato. Sour cream and foil-wrapped pats of butter on the side. Wee cartons of milk (white or chocolate, Kemp's) and coffee are offered with the meal. Tap beer (Michelob Golden Draft Light) or wine, $2 from the bar at the back of the hall.

                      There's a buffet table in the center of the room where you can serve yourself water, rolls, cole slaw (nothing too spectacular, but at least it wasn't gloppy), lemon slices, and tartar sauce. In the past, iceberg lettuce salad was also available on a serve yourself basis, but not this year. I didn't miss it.

                      Volunteers (high school kids) wander about and offer you more fish and beverage.

                      Ice cream sandwich (of no particular pedigree as far as I could tell) offered at the end of your meal.

                      Grilled cheese available as an option to the fish.

                      Details: 4:00-7:30 PM. All you can eat fish (fried or baked), baked potato, vegetable, cole slaw, roll, dessert. Adults $10, children (over 5) $6. Senior discount from 4:00-5:00PM , $9. Good Friday serving fish and chips meal. Adults $8.50, children $5. Grilled cheese is available as a non-fish option.

                      I have to visit St. Matt's at least once every Lent...


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        ChillyDog RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 2, 2013 02:27 AM

                        What's the address please? Or better yet, do you have a link?

                        1. re: ChillyDog
                          The Dairy Queen RE: ChillyDog Mar 2, 2013 04:24 AM

                          At the intersection of Hall and Robie.


                      2. f
                        foreverhungry RE: bkmnus Mar 2, 2013 08:45 AM

                        Parka. Beyond your average fish fry. Single piece of fish, large and thick chunk. Excellent batter. Fish fry tends to all taste the same to me, in large part because the batter is often the focus. Not so here. The the fish was flaky and tender. The batter took a back seat, and in a good way. It was crisp and tasty, but the fish was the star. Served with pineapple and aioli, which were very nice touches that complimented the fish. Maybe not what most folks have in mind for a Lent fish fry, but this was the best fish fry (of that style) I've had in a long while.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: foreverhungry
                          The Dairy Queen RE: foreverhungry Mar 3, 2013 11:25 AM

                          Sounds as delicious as I'd expect to to be! How are the crowds on a Friday? This is on the menu for both lunch and dinner?


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            foreverhungry RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 3, 2013 03:55 PM

                            I had it for lunch a few weeks ago. I believe they have the same menu for lunch and dinner. The crowd on a Friday for lunch was somewhat thick around 12:45 - 1ish, but then thinned out past 1. But even with the thick crowd, there was no wait, and it seemed the kitchen could handle the crowd well.

                        2. s
                          shoo bee doo RE: bkmnus Mar 3, 2013 08:22 AM

                          Pretty good fish and chips at Merlins yesterday. Be sure to ask for British style where they wrapped it all in newspaper and it all gets slightly steamed. The chips are decent though they are the frozen variety.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: shoo bee doo
                            The Dairy Queen RE: shoo bee doo Mar 3, 2013 11:27 AM

                            You're very committed to your craft, having fried fish two days in a row! I'm waiting to see what you come up with for today! :) In all seriousness, though, I've never been to Merlins! Never thought of it, I guess.


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                              shoo bee doo RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 3, 2013 04:31 PM

                              I've definitely been craving good fish and the two places I mentioned on different posting have definitely satisfied that. I'm not sure that I'm all that committed. Today it was tea and toast. I'm not sure if it's worth mentioning I toasted a Trader Joe cinnamon and raisin English Muffin, slathered it with butter and sprinkled it heavily with more cinnamon and sugar. I guess that was the craving today. :-)

                          2. s
                            shoo bee doo RE: bkmnus Mar 3, 2013 04:36 PM

                            The best fish fry ever. The pan fish (crappies and sunnies) that my relatives up North catch. They have a lovely beer batter, they know how to cook them perfectly, and they pile it on a platter. There's always more than enough no matter how big the crowd is.

                            Many years ago when my mother was going through cancer treatment and didn't have much of an appetite, she ate these pan fish heartily. She couldn't get enough of them.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: shoo bee doo
                              AnneInMpls RE: shoo bee doo Mar 3, 2013 05:47 PM

                              I suppose there's no chance that your relatives could open a restaurant here - or even just a food truck - with those wonderful crappies and sunnies? There's nothing better than hand-caught fish up North. Your mother's appetite-impaired endorsement says it all!

                            2. b
                              bkmnus RE: bkmnus Mar 7, 2013 06:07 PM

                              Fryday is upon us and so is the weekend.

                              Looking forward to more reports on fried fish...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bkmnus
                                The Dairy Queen RE: bkmnus Mar 9, 2013 12:47 AM

                                Glockenspiel, stay tuned for my report. Thumbs way up for live music from 6-9pm and for the festive, jovial atmosphere, and the lovely hospitality. Fish fry (cod), not great, not bad, just okay. Reservations essential (who knew?!)


                              2. j
                                jeff55432 RE: bkmnus Mar 10, 2013 06:21 PM

                                OK, enough with the toast posts! If you want really good toast, come to my house. I make homemade Challa Bread, slice it up, toast it, and slather it with butter and honey!

                                Now, back to the fish fry thread...............

                                This may not be the traditional "fish fry", but you have not had good fried fish unless you try Little Szechuan's Crispy Fish. Somehow the batter stays crispy despite the thin layer of the semi-sweet sauce that covers it, but man is this stuff good! And if you are allergic to spicy food, this fish dish is is one of their "mild" items. I had it tonight for dinner and I am still thinking about it!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jeff55432
                                  gildeddawn RE: jeff55432 Mar 11, 2013 12:24 PM

                                  I second their fry job on fish being just awesome.

                                  Also, if you're not interested in the semi-sweet, barbecue-esque sauce on it, there's another dish on their menu called "Quick-Fried Crispy Fish," that's spicy and is fried with fermented black beans, too, so it's got a that musky black bean sauce undertone...it's spectacular.

                                2. Db Cooper RE: bkmnus Mar 11, 2013 02:01 PM

                                  Got admit I was really happy with Tin Cups. They are sort of known for their fried chicken and I think they use a similar batter on the fish. Plenty crispy, good taste, perfectly cooked and I ended up taking down four baskets. Fries are also seasoned well and crispy. You get a generous portion too. Came w/coleslaw but I didn't touch it as I'm there for the fish. Priced at $9.95, I felt like it was a really good deal.

                                  Place was busy, but plenty of table seating and room at the bar. Be forewarned that the parking lot is going to look like it is a zoo. It's not, there is an Asian Grocery/Liquor store in the mall that most of the cars are there for. You won't have to wait. There is street parking along Rice and around the corner too.

                                  I noted some others here had issues with the patrons at Tin Cups. Not too be rude, but it's on Rice Street. It's not Edina and nobody is going to ask you if you want any Grey Poupon with your fish. It's a working class bar for working class people and on a Friday, some might be a touch drunk. But they aren't going to bother you if you don't bother them. Or make it seem like you are judging them.

                                  1. s
                                    shoo bee doo RE: bkmnus Mar 23, 2013 08:59 PM

                                    I forgot to eat fish yesterday (Friday) and it looks like others might have as well.

                                    The week before I tried the Mississippi Market fish dinner again and was disappointed. It had been steaming too long in the steam table. The coating was too soft and the fish too well done. I guess you have to catch them at the right time.

                                    This Friday I'll be driving up North and my brother-in-law and nephews will be having their spring fish fry with crappies and sun fish. They were cleaning them today and will fish daily until Friday. It's one of my favorite meals.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: shoo bee doo
                                      The Dairy Queen RE: shoo bee doo Mar 28, 2013 12:44 AM

                                      I wish I could catch a ride. That sounds wonderful.

                                      I went out for Fish Fry at Goby's (Snelling just north of Randolph in St. Paul). My expectations were low, and my they were not exceeded, unfortunately. Goby's is great for genuine neighborhood atmosphere (dare I describe it as towny?) and hospitality, but not for fried fish, unless you like it (as I've learned my husband does) greasy and with the texture of Jello pudding.

                                      I'm very delinquent with my pics from Goby's and from Glockenspiel, but since I recommend neither, I haven't felt rushed, or that I even need bother.


                                    2. k
                                      karykat RE: bkmnus Apr 7, 2013 12:11 PM

                                      Here's a late report on the fish fry at Holy Maronite church from back in lent. For future reference.

                                      We had been there last year and there was no fish. Just lebonese things including a pilaf, flat bread with hummus, fried egg plant, garlic sauce and other things.

                                      This year -- in a departure from the past -- they had fried or broiled fish. I think I heard the reason they had fried fish this year is because the price of eggplant was high.

                                      Anyway, I had the fried fish with the other things and the fish was great. Just a traditional fish fry fish with the crispy crunchy coating and tartar sauce. Maybe I hit it just in time with the fish right out of the fryer. And it was just what I was in the mood for. Along with some of the Lebonese things.

                                      (And wonderful hospitality.)

                                      We'll be back next year with or without fish and with or without eggplant.

                                      (Just FYI, they are having their annual Lebonese dinner next weekend. On Sunday April 14. I would definitely be there if I didn't have a family thing. May need to buy tickets in advance, I don't know.)

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