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10 Best Friday Fish Fries for Lent

Christian or not, get your fried fish here around the Twin Cities


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Courtesy Blue Door Pub Facebook

I know avoiding meat on Friday is supposed to be a sacrifice for a good Catholic like me, but I absolutely love fish-fry Friday. I've put together a list of 10 great fish-fry meals—plus links to some church fries, too. Am I missing your favorite? Put it in the comments!

THE RESTAURANTS

Rudolph's BBQ (Minneapolis): Three-piece, fresh, beer-battered cod, fries, coleslaw, and an ice cream sundae for $17. Bottles of house red and white wines for $10. Reservations at 612-871-8969.

Blue Door Pub (Longfellow & Como): $12 cod fry, plus $12 pitcher of Indeed Day Tripper!

Red Stag Supperclub (Minneapolis): The smelt fries ($9) do it for me here: crispy, fishy bites of deliciousness with a sweet onion tartar sauce. But you can also do cod, walleye, or perch every Friday here at the Stag.

Half Time Rec's Paddy Shack (St. Paul): I adore this fish-and-chips dish: three pieces of cod, hand-dipped and beer-battered. $13 is a bargain for the huge serving of fish: firm, crispy batter that somehow isn't grossly oily.

The Little Oven (St. Paul): The staff is SO incredibly nice at the Little Oven, and man, they serve incredibly large portions. They have a huge menu of Lenten specials, but the hand-dipped, beer-battered cod is what you want. $14 for a three-piece dinner is enough, but you can get an extra piece for a buck, or go all-you-can-eat for $17. Comes with soup or salad, a potato choice, a vegetable, and popovers.

Henry's Cafe (Maple Grove): Henry's is normally just a breakfast and lunch place, but during Lent they're open until 8 p.m. on Fridays, serving an all-you-can-eat beer-battered pollack special. I wrote about this for MNMO in 2011—it's a small place, run by Henry himself, but the fish is flaky and delicious.

Gluek's (Minneapolis): Get a boot of beer and an all-you-can-eat, beer-battered cod situation at just $14. I like how Gluek's serves the fish with hush puppies and French fries, because that's the volume of fried items I deserve while abstaining from meat to prove what a good Catholic I am.

Anchor Fish & Chips (Northeast Minneapolis): I'm not sure if you want to brave the crowds on Friday nights, but if you can transfer your fish desires to a different day of the week, Anchor is one of my top choices in the Twin Cities for fried fish. Wild Alaskan cod with beautiful hand-cut chips for $12. Why haven't they opened a second location yet?

Groveland Tap (St. Paul): Every Friday you can get an all-you-can-eat fish fry for less than $12. Sister restaurant The Freehouse batters their cod and chips in their No. 1 beer—it's quite good, too.

Red Cow (Multiple locations): $12.50 for beer-battered fish along with Red Cow's great fries. Upgrade to all-you-can-eat for $15.50.

THE CHURCHES

St. Albert the Great in southeast Minneapolis has a legendary fish dinner ($12) with bingo and raffles. Also consider Holy Cross Church in Northeast Minneapolis. In St. Paul, Nativity's drive-up fish fry is $12 for adults, $40 for families (Feb. 23 and March 23 only, with beer!). There's St. Paul's St. Thomas More (March 2 and 16). And don't overlook Oakdale's Guardian Angels Church, serving on February 23 and March 9 and 23: fried or baked fish with red potatoes, mac & cheese, green beans—made by the church men's club and trained by the chef from Lake Elmo Inn. $14, kids 5 and under are free.

BONUS SANDWICH SELECTIONS:

Eastside (Minneapolis): Lunch only, with a McDonald's-inspired filet-o'-fish sandwich. It's walleye with American cheese and shredded iceberg lettuce, and it's excellent.

Be'Wiched Deli (Minneapolis): The tuna confit sandwich is still my go-to: perfectly rare tuna served with a black-olive spread and preserved lemon. Acidic, umami, mmmm.

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