Who would have thought that the theory of eating fish on Fridays is due to their cold blooded nature. Re-reading that sentence? It’s true! According to Michael Foley, Associate Professor at Baylor University, Christian teaching believed that because Jesus died on a Friday, and his death redeemed a sinful world, people fasted on Fridays to commemorate this sacrifice as early as the first century. The thinking was that the flesh of warmblooded animals was considered off limits. However, fish are cold blooded and were considered fair game.
Dried and salted cod was among the first of Friday “fish” to get under way; popular in Greenland, Iceland and Newfoundland. Some believe that what truly kick-started the “fish fry” here in the States was a franchised McDonalds in Ohio that was struggling to sell burgers on Fridays during Lent, back in the 1960’s. The solution– a Filet-O-Fish. That sandwich started a chain reaction and morphed into a booming enterprise of Friday fish frys.
While Wisconsin takes a seat at the table as one of the best states for fish frys, Buffalo is no slouch. It may not be the healthiest, (although there are alternatives to the fryer–baked for one), but Buffalo, NY has some great places for the lover of Lenten fish frys.
Curry’s Restaurant and Pub: Located in Kenmore and nominated as one of the best joints for fish frys, Curry’s also takes the top award for their stuffed pepper sandwich. What I love about Curry’s is that there are many options for a meatless Friday dinner. They offer meals such as the spinach and artichoke Haddock ($15.00), or a baked Haddock, both with great flavor, texture and seasoning.
Scharf’s German Restaurant: This little blue eyed house on Clinton Street in West Seneca is known for their German offerings. Their potato pancakes are some of the best around, but it’s the breaded pork cutlet ($14.25) that I’ve always gone back for. Scharf’s offers a selection of fish frys, from breaded/battered yellow pike fillet to breaded/battered Haddock, or a seafood platter.
O’Neill’s Stadium Inn: A genuine Irish pub, steps from the Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, has been listed as the best fish fry in Buffalo. With live music on Saturday nights, O’Neill’s has a selection of great craft beers and flaky fresh fish that will have you wishing Lent lasted all year. What I love about O’Neill’s is the light airy texture of their batter. The fish isn’t buried in a cakey batter. Instead it’s tossed softly, just barely coating the fish, fried and served with a light vinegar slaw. For first time fish fryer’s, I highly recommend O’Neill’s.
McPartlan’s Corner Restaurant: Offering both fried and broiled Haddock, McPartlan’s is a staple for locals. A simple Irish atmosphere, you are welcomed with a family friendly smile and treated well at this corner restaurant in Cheektowaga.
Mr. Dee’s: This restaurant is one of those family run establishments that’s tucked away on the corner of Beach Rd. in Cheektowaga. A giant fish tank will entertain the kiddos for hours while you enjoy a nice bowl of French Onion soup or their amazing fish fry. They also offer family favorites of stuffed Hot banana peppers, Greek Chicken Salad, and Beef on Weck.
Enjoy a fried or broiled fish this Friday. While meatless Friday’s will end soon, fish frys can be enjoyed well past Easter.