Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Friday Fish Fry

Continuing the streak of posts about healthy Buffalo foods, we now have the Friday Fish Fry. First of all, any meal with an alliterative name has to be awesome. This Western NY institution differs slightly from the classic English fish and chips. “Our” version seems to revolve around the world’s largest piece of haddock as opposed to several smaller pieces in the Brit version. In some areas of the country (the Midwest in particular), this feast is generally offered on Fridays during Lent as Roman Catholics observe their abstention from meat. Buffalo restaurants, however, have a fish fry on the menu every Friday. That’s 52 times a year. How can you not love that availability?

But it sounds so unhealthy. If you just said that, stop reading now. Seriously. Health concerns go right out the door when you head out for a fish fry. The Friday Fish Fry is not about nutrition at all; it’s all about family, friends and fun. It’s not uncommon for the slab of fish to hang over both sides of the plate and the French fries to number in the hundreds. Add cole slaw and tartar sauce and call it a meal. When Mom didn’t feel like cooking on a Friday, we’d hear, “How about a fish fry tonight?” I don’t ever remember a refusal of that offer. Even today it’s impossible to resist.

When you’re not trying to avoid cooking, the fish fry is also used as a socialization tool. It’s a great end to the week when you can get together and unwind. And for some reason, the more of a dive the place is, the better the fish fry. You definitely can’t go fancy with this one. If they use pesto, tarragon, roasted garlic, white wine reduction, or anything imported or infused anywhere in their fish fry description, run the other way! Just batter. Beer batter is even better. Classic fries. No fooling around- potatoes only. Top it off with a cold beverage of your choice and you’ve got yourself a fish fry. Simple, comforting, blue-collar and wickedly delicious! (Start your diet the next day.)