Lent is a season of sacrifice, after the insanity called Mardi Gras ends. But in-keeping with the strong sense of Catholicism in the area, churches and most other establishments are breaking out the deep fryers in preparation for the high fried seafood demand to come.
During Lenten season, most Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays. So, those who don't feel like waiting in line for a seafood platter at their local favorite restaurant, head to churches, halls and schools for a old fashioned lunch plate.
Fish fries are usually held Fridays, during the season and up until Good Friday. And the various places serving those hot and ready plates are looking forward to it.
“It’s quick. It’s fresh. They don’t have to wait very long,” says Robert Loyde from St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Metairie.
As they stay ahead of the curve, St Edward's also offers crawfish pie and even pizza on their Friday menus.
Other venues even offer grilled or baked fish and shrimp to their menus for the more health conscious and to very positive reactions.
It seems that with updates and multi-option menus for a very diverse patronage, the old-fashioned fish fry just isn't that old-fashioned any more.
Where great Louisiana seafood is concerned, the old adage of new changes equals new customers has never been more true.
But, Lent season aside, fish fry dinners have become so popular that the Archdiocese of New Orleans started a Twitter hashtag, #fridayfishfry, last year to help locals find the meals. The move proved so successful that the Archdiocese plans to use the hashtag again starting Thursday, Feb. 14.
So, since most of us are more interested in finding a good meal then sharing the information, we've made it easy to do both. Just use the list below for some ideas; and let us know if we missed any particularly good spots!!
Holy Name of Mary Church, at Santa Maria KC Hall, 342 Olivier St. $8. Every Friday in Lent, 5-8 p.m., dine in or take out, 5-8 p.m. Fried fish with string beans, bread and coleslaw or potato salad. 504.362.5511.
ST. BERNARD PARISH
St. Bernard Catholic Church, at Iverson Hall next to the church, 2805 Bayou Road, St. Bernard. $5-15. Every Friday in Lent except Good Friday, 5-9 p.m., dine in or take out. Fried fish, fried shrimp, oysters, stuffed crab, shrimp fettuccine, sides. 504.281.2267.
Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 2621 Colonial Blvd., Violet. $5-15. Feb. 22 and March 1, 8, 15, 5-9 p.m., dine in or take out. Fried fish, fried shrimp, oysters, shrimp fettuccine, sides. 504.281.2267.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, in the school cafeteria, 2320 Paris Road. $6-10. Feb. 22, March 1 and 8, 5-9 p.m. Fish, shrimp and combo platters for $10, shrimp fettuccine for $6, shrimp and corn soup for $6, pizza, fries, Cajun potatoes, Italian salad. 504-271-3441.
The Holy Name Society at St. Benedict's Catholic Church, 20370 Smith Road. $8. Feb. 22 and March 8 and 15, 4-7 p.m., dine in or take out. Fried fish, potato salad or fries, coleslaw, bread and dessert. Tickets are available at the door or by presale. Call Don Ducote at 985.809.1958.
St. Peter Knights of Columbus Council 12906, in the St. Peter Catholic School cafeteria, 130 E. Temperance St. $9 combo plates, $8 adult plates, $5 child plates. Every Friday except Good Friday, 5:30-8 p.m., dine in or take out. Fried catfish or shrimp dinners with homemade coleslaw and potato salad. Drinks available for purchase. 985.892.2422.
The West Bank Elks Lodge, 900 Monroe St. Price TBD. Every Friday in Lent except Good Friday, 6-8:30 p.m., dine in or take out. Fried fish, fried shrimp, grilled fish, and grilled shrimp plates with coleslaw and fries or hushpuppies. 504.628.3695.
St. Rita Catholic Church, in school cafeteria, 7118 Jefferson Hwy. $10. Feb. 22 and March 8, 5-p.m. till sold out, dine in or drive-through. Fish and shrimp plates with fries, dessert and compliemntary beverages; pizza for $2. 504.737.2915.
Divine Mercy Catholic Church Knights of Columbus, Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church site, 3325 Loyola Drive. Fridays in Lent except for Feb. 15 and Good Friday, lunchtime until about 7 p.m. Take-out only. (No Good Friday.) 504.466.5016.
St. Jerome Knights of Columbus, 3310 Florida Ave. Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. Fried fish, fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, grilled fish, crawfish etouffee, stuffed crabs, softshell crabs, crawfish pies, fries, hush puppies. 504.469.6736 or 504.352.7107.
Our Lady of Divine Providence, 1000 N. Starrett Road. $8. Every Friday in Lent except Good Friday, 5-8 p.m., drive-through only. Fried catfish, new potatoes, boiled corn, bread. 504.466.4511.
St. Catherine of Siena, in the school cafeteria, 400 Codifer Blvd. $7. Feb. 22 and March 1, 8, and 15, 5-7:30 p.m. Fish or shrimp plates. Full menu TBA. 504.835.9343.
St. Clement of Rome Men's Club, in the St. Clement school cafeteria, 3978 W. Esplanade Ave. S., but drive-through faces Cleary Avenue. $10. Feb. 22 and March 1, 8, 15, 5:30-8 p.m. Dine in or pick up. Various plates plus different specials for each date. 504.887.7821.
St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church, 4921 W. Metairie Ave. Platters $8-10 for adults, $6 for children. Pizza and smaller items $1-3. Feb. 22 and March 15, 6-9:30 p.m. Fried fish, fried shrimp and combo platters with hushpuppies and coleslaw; crawfish pies; hushpuppies; fries; large slice of pizza; desserts; draft beer; wine; soft drinks. 504.888.0703.
St. Francis Xavier Church, in St. Francis school cafeteria, 444 Metairie Road. $8 adults, $5 children. Feb. 22 and March 8 and 22, 5:30-8 p.m., dine in or take out. Fish plates with salad, vegetable, French bread; gumbo for $5, cheese pizza for $1. 504.834.0340.
St. David Catholic Church, 5617 St. Claude Ave. $8. Every Friday in Lent beginning Feb. 15, noon- 6 p.m. in parish hall, 1120 Lamenge St., next to the church. Fried fish, baked mac-n-cheese, potato salad, green peas, bread, cake. 504.947.2853.
St. Katharine Drexel, 2015 Louisiana Ave. $9. Feb. 22, March 8, March 22, noon to 3 p.m., take out or pick up. Fish, mac-n-cheese, potato salad, peas, cake, bread, homemade tartar sauce. 504.891.3172.
St. Mary of the Angels, 3501 N. Miro St. $8. Every Friday in Lent at the church, 11 a.m.- 5:30 p.m, pick up or dine in (Good Friday hours are 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 3-5:30 p.m.) Fish, baked mac-n-cheese, potato salad, green peas, bread, dessert. 504.945.3186.
Christ Episcopal Church, 1534 Seventh St. $10. Feb. 22, 5:30-8 p.m., dine in or take out. Fried fish plates with mac-n-cheese, smashed garlic potatoes, coleslaw, French bread, dessert. 985.643.4531.
Our Lady of Lourdes Men's Club, at Our Lady of Lourdes gym, 365 Westchester Place. $9-12. Feb. 22 and March 1 and 8, 5-8 p.m., dine in or drive-through. Fried catfish, fried shrimp and soft-shell crab plates with crab-boiled smashed potatoes, salad, roll, dessert. Drinks available for purchase. 504.643.4137.
St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, in the Family Life Center, 910 Cross Gates Blvd. $8. Every Friday in Lent except Good Friday in the Family Life Center, 5-8 p.m., dine in or take out. Fried catfish, potatoes, coleslaw, roll. Desserts available for purchase. 985.641.6429.