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Feb 28, 2013 04:01 PM

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

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. re: ibew292

      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

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

        1. re: ibew292

          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

            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

              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

                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

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

                  2. re: american_idle

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

                    1. re: ChancesR

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                  :( 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

                                    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

                                      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

                            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

                              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:


                1. 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

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


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      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.

                    2. 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

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

                        1. re: ChillyDog

                          At the intersection of Hall and Robie.


                      2. 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

                          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

                            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. 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

                            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

                              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. :-)