Fish Fry Fridays

By Candace Nelson - 9:30 AM


I wasn't raised Catholic, but that hasn't stopped me from taking part in our culture's penchant for fish during the Lenten season.

"Historically, since about the second century of Christianity, Christians abstained from meat on Friday as a kind of sacrifice and reminder that acknowledged Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross which we commemorate on Good Friday. It’s also why we proclaim the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary on Friday. About a century or two later, Lent came into being, as a season of intense preparation for Easter, so the fasting and abstinence was extended to much of Lent (source)."

Catholics are to abstain from eating meat on Fridays during lent, so many restaurants have fish specials on Fridays, fast food places have sales on their fish sandwiches, and churches and fire departments (among others) have fish fries.

I love a good fish sandwich. I have memories of my dad and me going to Shop 'N Save (yes, Shop 'N Save) and getting huge fish sandwiches. A fried and battered piece of fish sandwiched on a hoagie bun with tartar sauce was a special Friday treat every once in a while. Nostalgia does weird things--I don't know.

My frenemy Robert Phipps told me about the fish fries at St. Francis de Sales. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., they have fried or baked fish, a roll, drink and dessert with your choice of three sides: French fries, macaroni & cheese, green beans or cole slaw. It's $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under. Eat in or take out. But since there is only one more Friday during Lent, you only have Friday, April 11 to check it out.

Aside from being at the top of a hill in Morgantown and getting to see the area from a cool angle, the meal was really good. When we walked in, we walked up to the counter and paid. Cash or check. Then I was a little confused on where to go because lots of people were standing around for to-go orders, I assume. I made my way to the left and down the hall. I had wo huge fish portions that were quite tasty. The roll was fresh and warm - probably one of my favorite parts of the meal. The cole slaw was also great - finely chopped and thick. Macaroni and cheese and french fries were OK. And good lord they have a ton of different desserts brought in or homemade. A huge table full of different kinds.

If you go, the place does get packed - even when we went right at 5 p.m. There's room upstairs, FYI.

Any other places in town do fish fries? Or maybe just a place that has a REALLY good fish sandwich?

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