Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mapping West Michigan Fish Frys

You guys, we were thinking... wouldn't it be cool if there was a map of all the Fish Fry locations so you could see what's close and get directions and all that? Well, we started putting together this Google map. It's got the Fish Frys that we know about plotted. If there's something we've missed, please let us know. Happy fishing!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday! Friday!

It's Friday guys! It may be snowing like crazy, but weather can't keep us away from a good Fish Fry. If you're willing to brave the outdoors, come join us tonight at Holy Redeemer in Jenison.Hope to see you all there.

Holy Redeemer Parish 
2700 Baldwin Street
Jenison, MI 49428

Review: Polish National Aid Society

Last Friday, we checked out a new spot: the Polish National Aid Society. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is one of the local members-only halls that opens its doors to the public every fall for Pulaski Days. This year they started doing Friday lenten Fish Fries.

The first thing you need to know is when you walk in, you will immediately feel confused, lost, and out of place. It's a members-only club for goodness sakes, any non-member would feel that! So, what you need to do is walk confidently into the empty, dark bar and stroll over to the door next to the bar that leads down into the basement where the fish is. This is how you will navigate the apparently secret Fish Fry like a boss, and not walk into the bathroom looking for fish (like I did).

Another thing you need to know is that the fish is made fresh, per person. So after you pay the guy your $8 and fill your plate at the salad bar, just sit down and wait cooly. Someone will then come over to take your drink order (they serve soda and beer!) and shortly after that someone will bring you a heaping plate of freshly fried fish and chips. Depending on how many people show up, this could make for a small wait for your food, although we didn't have to wait too long.

The fish was really good, the beer batter was thick and puffy. Plus being made fresh, it was not sitting out on warmers. The fries were great, and the rest of the sides were pretty basic: coleslaw, rolls, rolls, and noodle salad.

Of course this wouldn't be the Fish Fry for everyone. There is no baked fish or baked potatoes for you healthy fish lovers. No mac and cheese either for you non-fish eaters. And obviously it's not a religious organization for those that only want to eat their fish in a church or school. The vibe was pretty chill, not like some of the high-energy family focused events. This could be good or bad depending on what you prefer.

All in all it was a good dinner for anyone who wants classic fried fish and chips with a domestic brew to enjoy in the basement of a Polish hall. Not too shabby in our books. We recommend checking it out and supporting the hall. 

Polish National Aid Society
921 Jackson St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Arrival time:
Wait: 0 minutes
Street parking
Cost: $8.00 all you can eat
Take-out: no
Tables: Long cafeteria-style

Would we go back? Yes

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Correction: St. James

Good morning! We hope you're staying warm this cold winter day. We're sipping some hot coffee and counting down the days till Friday.

But first, we'd like to make a correction. In last year's St. James review,  we stated that the church has their fish fry catered. Mary Swidwa, a 23-year veteran volunteer wrote to correct us. Mary writes:

"A catering business is run out of the kitchen (that is why you saw the catering truck) however we do NOT hire this catering business to cater our fish. We cook it all ourselves the night of the fish fry. We are volunteers (most of us attend St James ) that work this fish fry."

Our apologies to all the hard working volunteers at St. James for this mistake. We also hear St. James is looking for volunteers this year, so if you're curious what it's like behind the scenes at a Fish Fry, give them a call at 616-458-3065.

And check back tomorrow for our review of the Polish National Aid Society! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentines treat from our inbox

(image credit Glenbow Museum)

We received a lovely email the other day. It was from an employee of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids who has put together an incredibly comprehensive event calendar of Fish Frys at Catholic schools and churches in the area. So we are sharing it with you all as a Valentine's treat. We'll certainly be referencing the calendar when looking for new spots. Super handy. Probably best to just skip the crowded restaurants tonight and take your special someone out to a Fish Fry tomorrow night.

Thanks for sharing JoAnn!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Our house is in full Mardi Gras swing tonight as we celebrate the last day before Lent. We made a big pot of Jambalaya (recipe here) and made our Polish grandmas proud by smashing gooey, sugary paczkis from Schnitz Bakery into our faces.

Even though we are stuffed full of andouille and shrimp, our mouths are already watering thinking about a big plate of fish and chips! We are planning out our schedule for this Lent and we're really excited to visit some new Fish Frys and tell you about them. Our goal is to have each week's review be a Fish Fry we've never been to before. We will be saving one Friday to revisit a past favorite (can't wait!).

We're going to start this Friday at the Polish National Aid Society. We're looking forward to their $8 all-you-can eat Alaskan Whitefish. This will be our first non-church fish fry, and we have high hopes. We hope to see you there too!