Holy Family Parish has adopted a carry-out model for its Lenten fish fries this year. (Photo by Colleen Jurkiewicz)
I haven’t been in a busy church basement since March 13, 2020, when I realized it was probably my last chance to grab some beer-battered cod before COVID shut down all the parish fish fries. All the fish fries I’ve attended so far in Lent of 2021 have been drive-thru, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to Holy Family Parish’s fish fry on March 12, which was a carry-out only model in the church’s McCormick Hall.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive, wondering how social distancing would work in these sometimes chaotic scenarios. But, there was no need for any worry. I couldn’t have felt safer — there were taped markings on the floor reminding people to keep a polite distance from one another, helpful volunteers shepherding traffic at all points, plastic sheets separating the servers from the lines of people picking up their food, and absolutely everyone was masked. I didn’t know you could make a fish fry feel safe and socially distanced, but the folks at Holy Family in Whitefish Bay had it well in hand.
Parishioners rave about this fish fry on social media, and you can tell that this is an event with a large, faithful following — which is why I wanted to check it out, since those are usually the best ones. I arrived at 4:30 p.m. on the dot, just as they opened, and there was already a steady stream of people greeting each other by name.
I ordered the deep-fried cod meal for $12 (there is also a baked option for the same price, and a children’s meal for $6). The two pieces were generously sized and the portion of fries was also ample — this really was a great bargain.
I’ve heard that Holy Family fish fries usually feature amazing homemade desserts, which understandably isn’t feasible in these times of pandemic, but they more than made up for it this year with two dessert tables offering pre-packaged grab-and-go packs of cookies. The dessert was included with the price of dinner.
I’m impressed that Holy Family actually offers this fish fry every Friday in Lent — no small feat, especially with all the COVID restrictions they comply with. For more information, including dates and times, visit hfparish.org.