Last night, a bunch of us trudged through the newly fallen snow to partake in a great Minnesota tradition, the Friday Night Fish Fry. Sponsored every year by local Catholic churches, clubs, and bars, they are the community event of choice during the Lenten Season.
For the past few years, my family and friends have gathered at a VFW post in St. Paul, but this year we decided to branch out and try one of the dinners hosted at a Catholic Church.
St. Albert the Great is the big dog, feeding a ton of tilapia to some 800 people on Friday nights without breaking a sweat (two lines, people). Plus classic bingo twice nightly, cash raffles, and real homemade church-lady desserts. Extra parking one block to the north with a looping shuttle.
With a recommendation like that, who could resist? The fish, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, coleslaw, and yummy homemade desserts did NOT disappoint, and everyone was so friendly. A good time was had by all.
In honor of the occasion, my brother-in-law set the evening to verse:
Ode to St. Albert’s Fish Fry, by Jeff W.
A few said, “We’ve had enough, that’s all!
Not another visit to South St. Paul!”
From the city of sin they heard the call,
Should we try St. Albert?
At the VFW the fish was fine,
And sure you could order both beer and wine,
“The macaroni is awful” was a common whine,
And tipped the scale toward St. Albert.
The new place was rated on a pescatarian blog,
Endorsed by Clifford the Big Red Dog,
The dear Saint’s statue cradles a frog,
On the corner near St. Albert.
A German theologian honored by Rome,
An odd combination under St. Peter’s dome,
They all should have returned to their Orthodox home,
Not that stubborn Kraut St. Albert.
Within the walls of the church was a smoking ban,
The fish isn‘t smoked, it is cooked in a pan,
They even locked the pipe smoking Prince in the can!
Such is the way of St. Albert.
Fish baked or fried, spaghetti too,
Leave room for dessert when the main course is through,
You may want a chocolate chip cookie or two,
Sweets for the sweet at St. Albert.
Dress is casual, you can wear jeans,
All types of folks, oldsters and teens,
They pack ‘em all in like a bunch of sardines,
Ten bucks per plate at St. Albert.
A whole bunch of friends and a table of food,
Piano music playing to set the mood,
They even serve Baptists, they don’t exclude,
Thanks be to God, and St. Albert.
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