“In exchange for our savior, Jesus, granting us eternal life, we pledge to give up eating meat. Not every day, of course, but definitely on, let’s say, Fridays. Although, on reflection, every single Friday seems a little, I don’t know…over the top? OK, so we’ll do five or six Fridays but we’ll string them all together. All right, looks like we got a plan. Thanks again for the eternal life. Oh also, fish is not meat. Obviously.”
Out of that negotiation was born the church fish fry. The idea proved so popular that it quickly jumped the bounds of the rectory and found its way into fire halls, VFW posts, social clubs and restaurants. You can find a map of all the fish fries in the area here.
We’re planning on doing a series of fish fry reviews that we’ll post at least once or twice a week. Today’s entry: St. Winifred Church, 550 Sleepy Hollow Road.
Hours: 4-7, Benedict Hall. Call 412-563-1415 for takeout.
On a chilly, 22-degree Ash Wednesday, I was able to beat the crowd, since Mass was still going on upstairs. There was about a 50-50 sprinkling of ashy foreheads among the early birds. Everybody knows everybody else.
BASICS At St. Winifred’s, you place your order with the ladies at the table, get a plastic number and wait for volunteers to bring your food. Nine bucks gets you a good-sized plank of cod, fries or mac and cheese, coleslaw, a roll, a drink (choice of punch, coffee or tea) and dessert. And even though they say “no substitutions,” they’ll bend the rules if you want extra fries in place of the coleslaw. In addition to the standard cocktail or tartar sauce, St. Winifred also has hot sauce.
EXTRAS For $1.50 you can get a beer, Yuengling or Miller Lite, some box wine, water or pop.
PLUSES: Dessert is included! All the baked goods are donated the day of the fish fry, so it’s a rotating menu. This time it was all cakes, of many types.
“We were a little uncertain this year, what with all the closings,” says Darlene Vietmeier of the downsizing and consolidation of parishes throughout the diocese. “But it’s a good time. I think we all do a good job, and it’s a great fundraiser for the church.”
Bottom line: Basic. Solid. Unpretentious. Would go back.