Divine Savior Catholic School in Fredonia drew a large crowd for a recent fish fry but got customers through the line quickly. (Photo by Colleen Jurkiewicz)
Rudyard Kipling wrote that the measure of a man lies in his ability to “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.” If that’s true, then I propose that the measure of a Wisconsin fish fry in Lent can be found in how efficiently it is able to deliver fried fish into my eager hands, despite the growing numbers of other hungry Catholics clamoring for cod.
I’ll admit I was nervous when I saw the long lines snaking out of the parking lot of Divine Savior Catholic School in Fredonia, onto the adjacent Wilson Avenue and even St. Rose Avenue, which runs behind the school. It was barely 4:30 p.m., and I had hoped to beat the crowds — but I quickly realized this fish must be good enough to summon a host of others with the same idea.
I needn’t have worried. Yes, the line was long — but the volunteers directed the flow of traffic so efficiently into three quickly-moving lanes in the school parking lot that I didn’t spend more than 10 minutes waiting. I actually looked at the clock to see how long it was between placing my order and receiving my food — only four minutes had passed.
A large whiteboard at the entrance to the parking lot listed the menu offerings, which I thought was especially helpful — you know the usual suspects to expect in a fish fry menu, but it’s always nice to know exactly what your options are. I chose a fried fish dinner for $13 (you can get a baked version for the same amount) and dessert for an additional $3. I didn’t have a problem seeing why the fish attracted so many other cars. It was delicious, fried to perfection, with a side of coleslaw, French fries, rye bread and tartar sauce. The dessert was some amazing homemade pie-like confection with an Oreo crust and I immediately regretted not ordering several more helpings.
I later read in the Ozaukee Press that the volunteers had served 780 orders in two hours. If that’s not recommendation enough, I’ll tell you that on March 19, a Lenten Friday when the Solemnity of St. Joseph and Canon 1251 have conspired to allow me to eat as much bacon and steak as I want, I’m choosing to eat fish again, and I’m choosing to eat it at Divine Savior’s last fish fry of 2021.
For more information on Divine Savior’s fish fry, visit dsoll.org.