Sometimes it’s about the food, and sometimes it’s about the ambiance. Now you may not think a haze-gray, fluorescent-lit block of a building carries a lot of ambiance with it, but once you find your seat at the American Legion Post 760 fish fry, 2409 Bethel Church Road, sit back and watch the rhythm of the place, as longtime friends travel well-worn pathways, all in service of getting those orders up and out the kitchen door, you will understand.
American Legion Post 760
2409 Bethel Church Road
Fridays, 4 to 8
“I need a mac and cheese and a haluski to go!”
“You got it, babe!”
Tom and Connie, my Table 6 neighbors, are regulars.
“There’s always a crowd,” says Tom.
“It’s close and convenient, and the food is very good,” Connie says. “We know it’s going to be good, because our son does the cooking.”
Unlike St. Winifred’s, the American Legion offers no negotiations like extra fries in exchange for cole slaw. You don’t want the slaw, you don’t get the slaw, but don’t be looking for no extras. Which, I guess, is in keeping with the military theme of a veterans’ organization like the Legion. I don’t remember any wiggle room in the mess halls I ate in when I was in the army.
“Hey, Sarge, can I get…?”
“What? Out? Yeah, you can eat up and get out and quit stinkin’ up my mess hall!”
OK, so the experience isn’t quite that authentic at the Legion. In fact, the serving ladies are quite nice, and call you “hon.”
“Did you get waited on, hon?”
Yes, I did. Shrimp basket & fries, $7.50. Beer choices were limited to Yuengling and Coors Lite on tap for $2.25, and a scattering of bottles they really don’t want to dwell too much on. But, because the Legion is also a bar, there are some hard-liquor choices. I chose the Yuengling, because it just seemed best suited to fried shrimp, which arrives quickly in the form of lots of tiny, tiny, extensively breaded shellfish, accompanied by industrial-grade fries.
Remember, it’s a fundraiser. The Legion does a lot of programs to help vets. Also, unlike most of the church fries, the Legion is open on Good Friday.
“We got the best desserts! We got Key lime cookies, homemade fudge and everything!”
I’ve been hearing a lot about the homemade fudge. I’m thinking, after the shrimp misstep, maybe fudge is what I need. Turns out I was right. Chocolate, with walnuts and flakes of coconut, the fudge stepped up, took command and saved the meal.
“I need two fish san’wich, one baked one fried, haluski and a mac & cheese to go!”
“You got it, babe!”
BOTTOM LINE: Save room for dessert.