Fish Frydays 2014 #1: American Legion Post 15

Posted: March 11, 2014 in Fish Frydays, STL: The Hill
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This is not a church.

Welcome back! How was your winter?

This is the first post of our fifth year of blogging the Lenten Fish Frys in the St. Louis Area. First of all, I’d like extend a very warm thank you to the people who continue to read about my silly food adventures. There are a few more slingers that I’m interested in eating, but I think this blog, aside from the Fish Frys, may go into new directions! Also, please feel free to keep up with my musical adventures over at Glacially Musical.

It’s hard to believe for me that this is the fourth year of fish frys for my daughter, E-J. It was this Tuesday past and as I picked her up, I told her that Friday was our first fish fry, and she said “That’s great. I love fish!”

So, in honor of my daughter’s getting older and more appreciative of fried fish, I will now be adding E-J’s take on what we eat. Please understand, she’s only three, so it’s very likely I’m going to have to do some interpretation here.

When compiling my list of frys this year, it really felt like basically all six of them were in South County, so we made the decision to also include American Legions and VFWs and the like, so we could stay close to home at least sometimes this year. So, we decided we were going to hit American Legion Post 15 on The HIll.

We arrived around 5:30pm and we ended up having to park about 2 blocks away. The Hill’s full of narrow one way streets which have about nowhere to park. So based on that, we didn’t consider that the fish fry was very packed.

Upon arriving at the Legion Hall, I saw a group of older gentleman outside under a canopy with a very large fire, and that’s about all I could tell for sure, but one could assume that it was the fish they were cooking. When a fellow came past us with a large tray of fish, my Sherlock Holmes like deduction skills were validated. It also smelled like cooking fish.

“I smell fish!” E-J yelled in anticipation.

To order your food, you must go down into a small stairwell to a set of double doors, which was a bit cramped at the time.Thankfully, about 2 minutes after we’d arrived, a man waved everyone inside and formed the line into a horseshoe shape so no one was waiting outside.

The snag I discovered is that there is no method of being in line and paying for meal. As we had a few of us, my wife held our spot as I went and paid for our dinners. The choices were standard fare: two pieces of fried cod or combo of one cod and a few fried shrimp at $8 and $9 respectively. There was more on the menu, but I frankly didn’t read it, because fish.

Though the line was relatively short, by Lenten Standards, it took us a good twenty minutes to receive our food. As I was standing in front of the buffet table, I saw that the only sides available were purple cole slaw and penne pasta. This is when I also found the reason for the holdup.

The men running the show were constantly running out of fish and having to bring more in. The poor man in front of me didn’t get his shrimp till after we’d left. This is the downside of the American Legion Fish Fry….

Now let’s start talking about what was great. Though I was not in a fit state to imbibe, as this was not a church, there was a full bar. It was stocked with many of St. Louis’s favorite AB beers and full liquor service. As as I was just about to receive my fish, a man said loudly that there was plenty of room to sit upstairs which I found to be a wonderful blessing, as my wife and daughter had to hold a table. Upon arriving upstairs, we found there was indeed plenty of room.

Now, here’s what you came to see….

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The fish!

Upon seeing the offering, I had t o confess myself concerned. I was willing to try this because I was expecting high quality fish. In their little blurb on the Fish Fry Finder, they stated that they lovingly hand bread their cod before frying it. Well, again, the Sherlock Holmes level of deduction says that this fix does not come from a box.

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The inside.

Well, we sat upstairs at a large table with our six pieces of fish, four orders of penne pasta, and two orders of cole slaw. I quickly had to break up the piece of fish I had apportioned for E-J.

She devoured it more quickly than I have ever seen her eat a piece of fish.

I had to quickly scarf down the three pieces of fish I had apportioned for myself, lest she come knocking for mine.

Thankfully, Grandma saved the day with another half piece of fish for E-J, who also ate at least half of the pasta between myself and my mother in law.

My wife watched the chaos as it unfolded knowingly. She also told me that perhaps next week that I should apportion more fish to E-J.

I think in order to do that I’m just going to order an extra piece of fish.

Nik’s Final Thoughts: Appearances can be deceiving and the American Legion Fish Fry was great, for fish. It was a bit light on side dishes. As seen many times over, I like french fries and the like. Though the pasta was good, given the chance, I would never have eaten it.

Beyond just the food, the folks running this fry were very pleasant and bent over backwards to make sure we were taken care of.  It would be very hard to walk away from this feeling unsatisfied.

E-J’s Take: GIVE ME MORE!

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