J.R. Tolkien

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R. Tolkien

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lent Means Great Fish Fries Around Louisville

*Update 2/12/2016*
Click here for 2017 list

It’s Lent season again, a period of penance and prayer for Catholics between Ash Wednesday and Easter (2/18/2015 – 4/4/2015).  But for me, it means spending Fridays looking for the best and most unique places to try great homemade food at Catholic and Episcopal fish fries around town.  You can expect to find the traditional fried fish, rolled oysters, crab cakes, shrimps and other non-meat items at these festive events.   Entrees  usually come with two sides or drinks, homemade desserts and live entertainment. I love the communal atmosphere, cheap homemade food and that the money goes to local churches.      

I’ve discovered some great places last year and am picking  up right where I left off.  So join me again this year on my fish fry journey.

This is usually how it works:
1)  Look for the menu, usually posted on the wall or in a small flyer
2) Place your order with a volunteer, at a table or standing in the hallway
3) Pay, cash only!
4) Bring your order form to the food line to get your food.
5) Share a table with other guests, enjoy your delicious meal and good fellowship

You can find the complete list of 2015 Lent Fish Fry here.  Here are my favorites from last year:

St. Bernard's Catholic Church: 
7500 Tangelo Drive, 40228
5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Twisty winding roads will lead you to this hidden gem.  The specialty here is the fish taco, $10 for three large fish tacos, 2 sides and a drink.  One bite and my husband was immediately in love.  The place was crowded and there was even a band playing.

1310 W. Broadway
Fridays 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
The 30-40 minute wait during lunch hour is a sign of this West Louisville church's popularity.  This place has the most extensive menu, with four different fish options (buffalo, whole catfish, baked white fish & whole whiting), a lot of southern side dishes and sweets (cobblers!).  For $10, you get a choice of fish cornbread and 2 sides.  The place is organized chaos, a line to order, one to pay and one to pick up the food.  The fried corn bread is amazing.
St. Agnes:1920 Newburg Road
Fridays 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Located in the Highlands, this place has a cheaper menu, $4 for fish, and $1-$2 for side dishes.  The fish is fresh and large, my favorites sides are the poppers (fried cheesy jalapeño) and the coleslaw.

502 N. 5th Ave, LaGrange, KY
Fridays 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
They have the best tasting fish out of all the fish fries, but it’s a long drive out.  The fish is smaller but it’s lightly battered, flaky, juicy and made fresh by the people of Stan's Fish (closed now).   $7 for a small dinner and $9 for large, includes two sides, a drink and hush puppies. Kids under 6 eat free. I recommend getting a large.

St. Martin de Porres new review!
3146 W. Broadway (Catholic Enrichment Center)
Louisville, KY 40211
11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
If you’re downtown and not up for the lines at St. Augustine, come over to St. Martin de Porres for some great fish.  Fish dinner, 2 sides and a drink come out to be $10.  It’s in the basement of the Catholic Enrichment Center.  Enter on the side door, hit the bell to be buzzed in and take the elevators to the basement.   There’s plenty of parking on the lot. I heard the bread pudding is divine.

I did a little research and these highly recommended places are on my radar this year (I link their Facebook page because it has the most updated information):
  • St. Aloysius in Crestwood has the largest selection
  • St. Gabriel was featured on the news
  • St. Martin de Porres has soul food!
  • St. Luke has fancier/healthier options, such as saute tilapia with white wine sauce over wild rice.  There’s also boil shrimps, beers and wine. 
  • St. James in the Highlands has great baked fish, oyster shooters and a large selection of microbrews.  They are considering adding portobello sandwiches and seafood gumbo.
  • St. Francis of Assisi also has crab cakes, shrimps and rolled oysters
  • Suburban Fish Fry has blue cheese slaw on real Jewish Rye
  • Good Shepherd
  • St. Mark on Frankfort Ave. A friend recently told me this is not as good
  • St. Patrick around the Lake Forest area
I'll update weekly with my findings, so check back often! What are some of your favorite fish fries?