Friday, February 22, 2013
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: 6pm
Wait: 0 minutes
Parking: Street parking
Cost: $8.00 all you can eat
Tables: Long cafeteria-style
Would we go back? Yes