Fish Frydays 2011 #3: St. James the Greater

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Fish Frydays, STL: Clayton/tamm

And again and again.

Well, let me apologize for the lateness of this post! With moving stuff around, the new baby, and forgetting to get the pix off of my camera for three consecutive days…it gummed up the works…so better late than never eh? Life is just very, very hectic these days. I was told many times, but having a baby is quite an adjustment.

Anyway…this past weekend, it was just myself, my wife and our daughter again. The in-laws  had another high fallootin’ symphony to attend….(Note: I really miss attending the symphony at Powell Symphony Hall.)

We have been sticking to the schedule I made at the beginning of the Lenten season and we loaded up the car and headed off to St. James the Greater in the Dogtown section of the Clayton-Tamm Neighborhood of St. Louis City.  This was a fish fry of that I had zero knowledge of. Often times I’ll have heard something about what they serve, or their niche, and in some cases what beer they sell, but here we were cruising into the great unknown.

First off, I want to apologize everyone I bumped with our stroller…since she’s a newborn…and we forgot a baby hanger…it was hard and I’m very sorry.

The line.

We got in line around 5:45pm and there was a very long line ahead of us. Long lines usually bode well for tasty fish. It can also yield free beers….well, I am sad to report that there were no free beers handed out at St. James. I’m going to blame that on the efficiency of the workers. If your people are fast, there’s no reason to hand out beer. That’s the ratio and like many fish frys, it was held in the cafeteria of the church’s school.

It was an $8 dollar plate which purchased a very large piece of fish and two sides.  There were signs around the cafeteria advertising beer for $2. I’m noticing more and more that $2 beer always means the same thing: AB Products in a can. It turned out I was right.

They've got beer.

I chose fries along with pasta and white sauce to go with my fish. My biggest complaint about the menu is that there were really no choices for the fish. I guess to simplify it, they sold both kinds: fried and baked. It reminded me of the scene in Hot Fuzz…what’s your wine list? Well we have red and white….I chose fried.

We sat down and I went about getting our condiments and my beer. I didn’t get any lemons this time.. I forgot to go to the iced tea station because my wife wanted a soda..I think after the mystery juice we had at St. Gabes, she didn’t want to take any chances. At the beer station, which was located strategically by the front door…they had Bud, Bud Light, and Busch. Before I realized it, I’d ordered a Budweiser. As I was walking back to my seat, I began chiding myself for not getting a Busch…because that would’ve been funnier.

Fish dinner.

I began eating my dinner and the fries and pasta were pretty good. Nothing spectacular, but nothing to complain about either. Of course the fish is the star of this meal…and it was lacking.

I got a very large piece of fried fish, but it was over cooked. I couldn’t break the fish with just my fork..and as I didn’t have a knife…eating this fish became a challenge. (I didn’t get up because I’m a man of crazy principles and once I sit down and eat, I eat till I’m done.) Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy the food all that much at St. James.

My beer.

The sides were pedestrian. The fish was overcooked and seriously lacked choices. At least at St. Agatha their one fish was awesome. The beer selection was blah. This is just a fish fry I really cannot recommend. I have heard tale that during certain times of Lent they have received approvals to serve corned beef and cabbage instead of just fish. That might be a fun change of pace….

Going to St. James last week just made me ready to go out to another fish fry this week. It’s always a great bit of fun going out to new fish frys, but  this one left me wanting and disappointed.

Thinking out loud here…is it really too much to ask that the beer selection include more than Bud, Bud Light, and Busch in cans?

  1. Wade says:

    Found your blog link on a stl forum, some interesting posts so far.

    “the fries and pasta were pretty good” “The sides were pedestrian”
    Pretty good = pedestrian? I don’t quite see it that way so I get a tad confused when reading some of your posts.

    Otherwise good job, I’m from the UK so slingers are not something I have experienced before, don’t quite share your enthusiasm for them though.

    Carry on!

    • The 13 Blog says:

      Awesome. Can you link me to the forum?

      To clarify…most sides are pretty good…which to me means average..there are great: Toasted ravs at St. Joan and Fries at St. Gabes…and pedestrian…pretty good…not bad…not great…

  2. Wade says:

    Language barrier I guess, you yanks and your funny English 😛


  3. Wade says:

    I am slowly learning your ways.

    Sorry but it must be said, toasted ravioli is horrid

  4. Wade says:

    Arsenal fan here.

    Apologies if this topic has been hijacked!

  5. Wade says:

    Was such a promising season as well, really aching for some silverware.

    If you ever get over to London let me know, my dad is a season ticket holder, will get you into a game. New stadium is incredible, but I do miss Highbury

    • The 13 Blog says:

      I was hoping for the quadruple…I will now settle for the Premier Title…if you look closely in Beer Squared #2, you can see the sleeves of my Nasri shirt.

      I will get to London one day…and I will get inside the Emmirates Stadium. Thank you for the offer.

      • Wade says:

        Where do you get your kit here in the States? I believe Arsenal have a US based store.

      • The 13 Blog says:

        I get all of my kits from ebay typically. I do have a couple that were given to me by goalies in the area….never buy from the USA Arsenal store. Their prices are higher than the UK store even with shipping.

      • Wade says:

        To add, I have been pleasantly surpised with the number of football fans here, I get approached quite often when I am out in my kit. Mostly by the younger crowd though, I went on a brewery tour and the guides were chatting with me the whole time. Chelski fans unfortunately, but it’s a start!

      • The 13 Blog says:

        St. Louis has a great number of us. Mostly Man USA and Chelski…but it’s a growing culture of Euro Soccer Fans here. I might add, check out the St. Louligans. We’ll be heading to support the St. Louis Lions starting next month.

  6. Dawn Sorgea says:

    St Mary Magdalen in Brentwood has fried cod, baked salmon with a really good dill sauce, fried shrimp and a (fried cod) fish taco. And Schlafly beer!

  7. Chris says:

    Too bad you found the St. James frye lacking, I went that same evening and my catfish was cooked perfectly, the slaw was very good too. I liked the fish so much that I ordered an extra piece. As far as the beer selection is concerned, that’s not a frye at which I would expect anything other than AB beers (well, maybe Guinness).

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