Just back from our weekly Friday night fish fry. Once again started me thinkin' on the variety of different fish frys the eateries in our vicinity has to offer.
Fish frys are very popular here in northern Wisconsin. Most bars that serve food also have some version of a fish fry. There are two main thoughts as to how the Friday night fish fry came about. The first has to do with the fisherman. People used to come up and rent cabins for a week at a time. The week went from Saturday to Saturday. On Friday nights, people used to fry up the extra fish, so they would not have to find a way to take it back home. the idea caught on, growing to include the local bars and restaurants. The other theory is the Catholic thing. Catholics could not eat meat on Friday, so if the eateries wanted to attract business, they needed to include some kind of fish on the menu. Now, Catholics weren't too fond of just a piece of baked fish, so the fish was deep fried.
Fish frys are usually some kind of deep fried fish, with a deep fried accompaniment like french fries. Since the population is aging, and so much emphasis is on eating healthy a broiled fish a.k.a Poor Mans Lobster, is also served. This usually is accompanied by a baked potato with some melted butter on the side. Many different kinds of fish are used, the usual being pollock. Some also serve cod or walleye, those usually at a higher price.
Also served with the fish is some kind of a coke slaw. Most are homemade, so the taste of them can vary.
My favorite is the deep fried, whether cod or pollock, usually I can't tell much difference. The main difference is in the breading. Some are bread crumbs, though most are a version of the beer batter.
So, tonight we went to a local bar named "PJ's" which was very good. The fish was hot, well breaded, not much of a beer taste, which I like. It came with soup or coleslaw, I had the soup which was a cheesy potato bacon. They also deep fry their breadsticks, which sounding awful are awesome! My husband had the sweet potato fries, while I had the little spudsters. My daughter was the only rebel, ordering pizza, then having bites of fish from the rest of us.
One of the reasons fish fries are so popular, is that most of them have an all you can eat version,making it a very economical meal. I have made the fish at home a few times, find it is more of a bother and actually costs more than just going out for dinner.
All you other fish fry fans out there, I'd love to here your favorites!