Fish Frydays 2014 #2: St. Stephens Protomartyr (Yes, again)

Posted: March 18, 2014 in Fish Frydays, STL: Holly Hills

Hello, Old Friend.

Like the turning of the seasons, every year we must make our way to St. Stephen’s Protomartyr on Wilmington Avenue, just off of Super South Grand.

As far as I can recall, and I have not checked, we have arrived inside their halls every single Lenten season that we have been doing this as a family. My Mother-in-law always brings her coupons. I always rave about this place. It’s just pretty much a staple now, so yes, next year we’ll be going back I’m sure.

This year we had an interesting tag along that should be apparent sooner or later, but I’m not going to divulge it just yet, because it makes me feel important to know something.

In the past we have made triumphant returns to places only to be disappointed, but after all the times of going to St. Stephens for their fried fish, I still feel like they are the class fish fry of St. Louis. (NOTE: St. Federinand’s doesn’t as they bring in folks to do it for them. St. Stephen’s is a volunteer fry.)

My daugImagehter and I arrived before the group and we began playing in the open spaces, just being silly, as we often do. Once our cadre began to form, we went inside, down the steps and into the familiar hallowed halls of their cafeteria. The smell of fried fish was overwhelming.

We arrived on the church steps at about 5:30pm, and there were already a few people there. Our entire clan assembled around 6:05pm and we were off.

At many fish frys in the area, a line wrapped around two walls of the gym and the entire kitchen and serving area would be daunting, but here, it’s just another day in the park.

One of the things that makes St. Stephens so great is the ability to make high quality food and get it cooked, served, and sold very quickly. They have the right people doing the right jobs when it comes to efficiency and this leads to a no free beer fish fry.


All Darth Vader looking.

Speaking of beer, they continue to have a marvelous selection for those of us who don’t drink Budweiser. This year I enjoyed a Goose Island Honker’s Ale.

Beyond the standard fare of Bud and Bud Light on Draft, they also had the aforementioned Honker’s Ale by Goose Island and 312, also by Goose Island.

The pitchers of Bud and Bud Light sell quite well. When getting my Honker’s Ale, they had to put in a new keg.

As for the food, the good folks here always make a myriad of interesting things to go along with their excellent fish. This year they did not have the standard side dishes of spaghetti and green beans, until after they’d sold out of everything else too. It seems the word has gotten out about St. Stephen’s.


I feel like The Cat when I caption these.

I ordered my usual piece of fried cod, but instead of going with two, I also got one of their new, I think, Fish Tacos. Last year we ran into a couple places that had fish taco stations, and I didn’t use them. It seemed to me that this time, I should be making tacos available to me because I love tacos.


The taco.

St. Stephen’s always has better than average side dishes as well. Every year they have mac’n’cheese bites, which I’ve never had for some reason. Last year they had white almond green beans.

This year they added rice pilaf and I had that to go with the traditional order of French Fries.

As for the quality of the food, I really do not think I could be any happier with the pieces of fried cod that they serve. Really the only thing that they could do that would make me like them more is make them the size of a tree stump.

I would eat the whole thing and order two.

I was a bit apprehensive about the fish taco, because really, what are they going to do with it? Thankfully my concerns were unfounded. The fish was warm and crispy. There was cheese and some sort of tangy hot sauce on there already as well. This made me happy as I didn’t pick up any packets of hot sauce that they had at the front.

I also enjoyed my rice pilaf as well, but would have preferred less nuts there. I’m just not a big fan of nuts save cashews and peanuts.

Now for E-J’s take:

Me: How’s your fish?

E-J: MAH! (She then swiped her hand to dismiss me.)

Now, a bit of contextual analysis leads me to unpacking her statement into this: “Talking to you means I cannot continue to eat my fish.”

I couldn’t agree more.


  1. Greg Venneman says:

    To all our faithful (and soon to be faithful) guests. We have been humbled by the outpouring of support of the St. Stephens Fish Fry! Each of our “dedicated – to – perfection volunteers are eager to serve you again this week.
    Please tell your friends, as you’ve obviously been doing, and have a good time here. We also have the Kidz Korner to leave you younger ones to play while you eat in peace. Kidz Korner aka the Fr. chuck Barthel Parish Center.
    Come and see what all the fuss is about. It is NOT much ado over nothing. IT IS QUITE SOMETHING! Come and see the Shark! Answers to name of Sharkey

    Greg Venneman SSPFF COMMITTEE

  2. […] Fish Frydays 2014 #2: St. Stephens Protomartyr (Yes, again … – 2014-03-18 · Here at the 13 Blog, we’re trying to find St. Louis City’s best slinger, best Catholic Fish Fry, and best beers. Slingers Beers Fish Frys The 13 Blog… […]

  3. […] Fish Frydays 2014 #2: St. Stephens Protomartyr (Yes, again) | The 13 Blog […]

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