Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Week #1- Our Lady of Perpetual Help

The beginning of Lent. Easter is a movable date on the calendar. It is determined by the first Sunday that falls on or after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. The beginning of Lent starts forty days before on Ash Wednesday.

Thankfully for those of us that love Fish Fries, the Catholic Church decided that one of the things that should be abstained from during Lent was meat. We have discussed in earlier blogs why they didn’t consider fish meat.

What you may not know is that the most popular area of the country for Fish Fries is Wisconsin. They are often held both Friday and Wednesday and are not just held in Catholic Church parish halls, but also in many restaurants.

We don’t have quite so many options in Central Ohio but the intrepid Mak family went out again this past Friday, the first of Lent, in search of a new Fish Fry to review.

We headed south on 315 to Grove City, the home of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. We made it there by 5:15,quite a feat as anyone who has traveled south on 315 at that time of day may be able to tell you. There was already a line to the door in the school cafeteria.

The Knights of Columbus offer an all-you-can-eat Fish Fry with both fried and baked fish options. They also offer a fish sandwich or cheese pizza. The Fish dinner is $8.00 and comes with two side dish options. Dinners also include a beverage either canned soda, ice tea or lemon aid.

The dinner price for Seniors ( 60+) is $6.00 and kids 12 and under are $3.00. Unlike some fish fries we have visited in the past there is no Family price but I think the fish being all-you-can-eat makes up for that, especially with two teenagers at my house.

Each of us chose fried fish and were given two fish triangles. The two adults chose baked potatoes and cole slaw as our side dishes, Fe chose potato salad and green beans, Z chose macaroni and cheese and green beans. If you are still hungry after you eat your first two fish they come around offering seconds.

I’m not usually a fan of triangle shaped fish but this was surprisingly good and very importantly hot. The baked potatoes were wrapped in foil and a nice size and the slaw was delicious. The kids both said the green beans were very good as well. Fe said the potato salad was ok and the macaroni and cheese was good if you like the “Kraft” style.

We were a bit surprised to find that they didn’t serve French fries, something we would recommend for any fish fry. I also thought it was a bit odd that they served the butter, sour cream and tartar sauce in vats with ladles for you to top your potato and fish. Buttering a potato with a ladle is a challenge, and it was kind of messy. I would have rather had individual servings or maybe bowls on the tables.

Dinner is served in the school cafeteria. Seating for most of us was bench style which means wriggling yourself onto those folding lunch tables you remember from childhood. They did have more conventional seating, but most all of this was marked for “Seniors Only."
Since they were very busy we had to wedge ourselves into a spot for at a kid sized table and were fortunate to sit next to the Principal of the school and her family. Her husband was a source of all kinds of information and we learned that the Knights of Columbus of this Parish do all kinds of things for the local church with their fund raising including scholarships for kids from O.L.O.P.H. to go to Bishop Reedy High School.

An added bonus was the running a 50/50 raffle. Thom won and the pot nearly paid for dinner. We thought about going down the hall to the Bingo night to see if we could keep up the winning but in the end we passed.

If you are in the Grove City area on Friday evenings during Lent, we would recommend stopping in to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. And if you are looking for something to do after dinner, check out the Bingo down the hall.

Next week: New Albany.