Saturday, February 21, 2009

Let the season begin

St. John Vianney School
4101 Clyde Park, S.W.
Wyoming, MI 49509

 click here for a map 

(Located on the west side of Clyde Park (across from Resurrection Cemetery), between 36th and 44th streets.)

Date of visit: February 20, 2009

Parking: church parking lot right at door

Accessibility: could be challenging; had to trek behind the upper level bleachers of the gymnasium and down some stairs to get to the “village hall,” the basement-level (lunch?) room.

Cost: $8.00 (included dessert (ice cream))

Wait: A reasonable 10-15 minutes

Tables: banquet tables with chairs

Gambling opportunities: 50/50 raffle—tickets $2 each (none of us won)


  • well-organized
  • stylish aprons
  • beverages, seconds, and dessert brought to the tables
  • meeting other fish fry fans!
St. John Vianney in Wyoming got a jump start on the season
 with their pre-Lenten February 20 fish fry. The well-organized feast was packed when we got their around 5:30, but we were able to commandere six seats together. (As an added bonus, some people your correspondent hadn't seen in years sat with us, and it was lovely visiting with them; maybe we'll see them at St. Al's later this season?)

The dinner was organized cafeteria-style. Offerings included fried or baked cod, baked potato or French fries, cole slaw, and a roll. Macaroni and cheese was also available for kids, although in order to provide a thorough review we also sampled it. Tartar sauce was offered at the end of the serving line, and individual servings of margarine and industrial sized ketchup bottles were available at the tables. We didn't see any malt vinegar or lemons.                

The consensus was that the fried fish was far superior to the baked, and the baked potato clearly surpassed the fries. The cole slaw seemed to have too much mayonnaise or whatever it is that holds it together, but everyone ate it anyway. The rolls, however, were unnecessary (read: not that great) and macaroni and cheese -- well, let's say, the kids probably wouldn't complain, but it didn't come close to our memories of St. Isadore's M&C last year. 

While we were disappointed the walls were stark white, with no artwork or decoration, the roving chefs carrying trays of fish fresh out of the fryer more than made up for it. Also, SJV students were quick to remove trays and trash, helping to keep the busy dining area uncluttered and relatively clean. Up to 1000 dinners are served weekly, we've been told.

Speaking of students, we quizzed a group why it was called St. John Vianney and not just St. John (keep in mind that your correspondent is not Catholic), and the most knowledgable, a sixth-grade boy, stated that Vianney was probably John's last name. Whatever.

Appropriately, we enjoyed Sacred Cow, an Arbor Brewing Co. IPA, with our meal.

Would we return? Well ...  the season is young, and there are so many other fish to fry. Not likely, but one never knows.

Check back mid-week to for our Feb. 27 destination.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

What's in a Name, Anyway?

As to the name, St. John Vianney, it seems as though we should have believed our sixth-grade young man. Quoting an entry from the "Catholic Encyclopedia:

St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, Curé of Ars, born at Dardilly, near Lyons, France, on 8 May, 1786; died at Ars, 4 August, 1859; son of Matthieu Vianney and Marie Beluze.

I guess the athletes are lucky they don't have to try to fit "St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney" on their jerseys.