I wasn’t exactly in the best mood, driving to these Fish Fries. <–that’s my official ruling, by the way. It’s Friday, it’s rush hour and a trip that should only take 26 minutes, took me AN HOUR. The whole way to Mary Queen of Heaven, I kept thinking there is NO WAY that this is worth it. I should turn around and do a Fish Fry on the west side. I mean, I have a Catholic church on every corner around here! What am I doing crossing the river?!?!
I’m so glad I pushed through.There is a reason that Mary Queen of Heaven (Home of the Codfather) has been voted the best Fish Fry in the Tri-State area! They have perfected it. Plain and simple.
There are HUGE signs pointing you (literally) in the right direction. Since I was doing 2 Fish Fries tonight, I decided to try drive thru. (and, my son was with me and he’s kind of fish fried out) No confusion about where to go. And, that has been a FIRST since my Fish Fry series started. I pulled into the drive thru line and a sweet teen handed me a menu and thanked me for coming to Mary Queen of Heaven’s Fish Fry!
I pulled to a little stand – an amazingly friendly woman chatted with me and took my order. You could tell that she didn’t just want to push people through…she took the time to extend her love! I ordered the Holy Haddock fish sandwich ($7.50) I was so excited to see another type of fish, besides Cod!!! Bonus points! MQH had a nice menu – and next year, I’m coming for the Southwestern Grilled Cheese!
My son, who hates fish (okay, he hates everything) wanted something sugary! I told her that my son wanted a dessert, something chocolatey. She said to tell the woman up top to get me a big piece of chocolate cake!
I pulled to the pick up line and again, just greeted with excitement! I told the lady about the cake and she RAN inside and grabbed the biggest piece of cake EVER!
I guess it goes without saying, that my son was beyond happy.
Within minutes, my Holy Haddock sandwich arrived and we pulled away. (and into a parking spot so I could snap pictures! LOL)
It came on a nice bun – a bun sturdy enough to hold the HEAVY (weight wise, not grease wise!) fish. Pickles on the side (nice touch!), fork and spoon, tartar sauce and ketchup packets. You can tell that they know what they’re doing! The fish was very yummy. By far, the best fish I’ve had the past 4 weeks. The outside was crunchy – kind of a combo between an old school breading and a beer batter. VERY good crunch. The inside was flaky and fresh. Everything that you want in a fish. Absolutely not ONE complaint. The tartar sauce – it was fine. Didn’t blow me away but I wouldn’t turn it down either.
Congratulations MQH – you ARE what every Fish Fry should aspire to be. Organized, friendly, good food, menu variety and remembering the goal – outreach and fundraising. My only regret is that I didn’t get any pictures with the Codfather. There’s always next year! BTW – I’d love to post the menu, but the website is down! I’ll link as soon as it’s back up.
Off we went to St. Joseph Academy…
So, I wasn’t too excited to be on the road again. I had to drive to Walton. The ONLY good thing about this drive was the fact that the exit I had to get off on was…BIG BONE LICK PARK. Seriously, is that ever NOT funny?!?!
Again, pulled in…BIG signs pointing us in the right direction. I LOVE that. I’m not sure if all Fish Fries realize how important it is for people to know where they’re going.
Got in the drive thru line and realized that St. Joe’s was going to have some big shoes to fill. They have outed themselves with a rivalry (which is why I was there). On their menu, they state “who needs the Codfather, when you have the “Sole” Sisters?” *insert OOOOHHHHHHHHH here* So, apparently, they think that their fish IS all that!
Circled around to the workers and they handed me a number (in my window) and a clipboard with the menu. Their menu has an okay variety. Since I’ve perused the menu for weeks now, I knew I wanted a fish sandwich. (Of course) $5.50 and I drove away.
As a side note here – a reminder for all Fish Fry workers/volunteers. We can hear you. When you say inappropriate things, you never know who’s going to be listening. When you volunteer, at a church function, there is a level of propriety that needs to be upheld. Lecture over.
The wait to get my fish sandwich was fairly long here – not crazy long, but long enough. A teen boy hopped out (okay, not really hopping) and handed us our bag. We drove off and found our tasting spot.
I opened the bag – my rye bread (basic sliced sandwich bread) was on the side. I get it, they don’t want our sandwich to get soggy on the ride home. The fish, was in a bag, basking in its own grease.
I opened the bag to this…
I have to give them props for breading their own fish and trying to create a flavor and seasoning for it.
But, it was tough and tasted burnt. But, it wasn’t overcooked. I think the oil needed to be changed or the seasoning that they chose was scorching on to the fish. And, the tartar sauce came in packets = enough said.
Since they put themselves out there as a battle, I’m able to say that they lost.
So, what started off as a dreaded trip, ended very well. I’m glad that I didn’t turn around on 75 (like I wanted to 50 times)
Where they stand…
Mary Queen of Heaven
Friendliness – 5 stars *****
Menu Variety – 5 stars *****
Fish Taste – 5 stars *****
St. Joseph Academy
Friendliness – 3 stars ***
Menu Variety – 3 stars ***
Fish Taste – 1 star *
Next week, I’m visiting another Fish Fry. –> my Dad invited me so it’ll be a surprise to me, too!