Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fishing season is over, but ...

Thank you, anonymous, for providing the heads up regarding Blessed Sacrament's fish fry. As confirmed by phone, they're not having a fish fry this Friday. They did have a fish fry last year on Good Friday, but felt they didn't have the volume to justify the effort to do it this year. Consequently, the Lenten fishing season at Grand Rapids area Catholic parishes is over.

And quite frankly, the novelty for us wore off. While we enjoyed the various fish fries, partaking in the communities, hedging our bets with the 50/50 raffles, and smuggling in our beer, there are other things to do in Grand Rapids on a Friday evening. Maybe we should consider refocusing this blog to other fish to fry and explore inexpensive or no-cost things to do in the area. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

St. Jimmy's and this week's destination

The eternal flame of fish fries -- Sterno.
St. James
733 Bridge St., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Date and time of visit: April 8, around 6 p.m.
Parking: lot adjacent, also on Bridge Street
Accessibility: no stairs
Cost: $8.50, adults; $6.50, seniors (60 and older); $4.50, kids 5-12; under 4, free

Wait: about 10-15 minutes
Tables: round tables

Gambling opportunities: 50/50 raffle. None of us won, even though we bought tickets. Raffle winners were not announced.

Note the divided plate
It had been a few weeks since your faithful correspondents gathered together to attend a fish fry (although one did enjoy a delicious halibut fish taco while in San Diego, at a great restaurant/nightclub named Revolver on 5th Street). We ended up having seven at the gathering on April 8, including a fish fry noviate. 

Loading up at St. James
St. James runs a reliable operation. Both the fried and baked are equally tasty, and having the option of new potatoes (alas, not red skins this year) was nice. Fries, mac and cheese, and cole slaw (of course) rounded out the offerings. Desserts were available for an extra charge. We poured Founder's Dirty Bastard for those who wished to imbide.

Several carbohydrate options
were available
We garnered a table right next to the buffet line, so we were able to keep an eye on the action while enjoying our meal. A priest stopped by our table to welcome us, which we thought was a nice touch. At one point we heard a woman singing above din of conversations. It was a little curious but pleasant. Shortly thereafter a young woman came by our table and introduced herself as Mary Barracuda and said she was the vocalist. She was one of the kitchen workers, and asked how we were enjoying our meal. She confessed to having a fondness for the macaroni and cheese (which this writer felt had a suspicious amount of yellow dye number 5 or 6 so was avoided) and was eager for things to slow down so she could enjoy some. Interesting.

Earlier this year we were told that some churches hired caterers to run their fish fries. No doubt the parishes, like other volunteer organizations, are running short on finding people to donate time.  We hadn't run into this before, but it was apparent that St. James joined this trend because the kitchen staff were wearing garb with the name of a caterer.  It happens.

As to this week's destination -- well, there isn't one. Your correspondents are opting to attend  Art Downtown instead. But look for us at Blessed Sacrament on Good Friday, the 22nd.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This week's destination: St. James

St. James
733 Bridge St., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

(616) 458-3213

click here for map

4:00--7:00 p.m.

The "fry" is held in the school building to the northeast of the church. Let's plan to meet there around 6 p.m.