A few years ago, Tony Colyer bragged to some former high school buddies that his alma mater (St. Bernard ’97) had the best fish in town. Naturally, they quickly protested that their respective parishes hosted top-of-the-line fish frys, and a debate ensued. The solution to settling the issue was obvious to Tony and his pal, Jeff Ames: They decided to try them all, and, thus, the Fish Fry Challenge was born.
In it’s third year, the Fish Fry Guys are back on the hunt for the fish fry that will take top honors in 2012. Past winners include St. Bernard and St. Raphael.
Each Friday, Tony and Jeff lead a group they call “Fryars” on a journey for good food, old friends and cold beer at local fish frys. They also go because they appreciate the selfless volunteers who proudly serve each weekend. This is the second installment in their foray to find which parish provides the perfect catch.
St. Edward Catholic Church,
9608 Sue Helen Dr., Jeffersontown
After a stellar debut by our friends at St. Patrick, the Fryars headed to J-town to visit St. Edward, home of the Braves, where many banners grace the walls and the delicious aroma of frying batter hits you long before you walk in the door. After a hard week of work and the postponement of the challenge the prior week due to inclement weather, the Fryars were ready for cold beer and hot fish.
The Braves served up steamy, thick cod breaded in a traditional batter of flour, milk, and spices. Many Fryars were excited to see baked fish on the menu, but some noted a lack of “kick.” The generous portion of fish plus two side items made this $8 dinner a steal, much to the delight of our wallets. Great tartar sauce!
Fryars’ Score: 3.00 of 5
What the Braves lacked in the french fry department (standard, crinkle-style with no seasoning) they made up for with delicious hush puppies, onion rings, and some of the best mac ‘n cheese the Board’s ever tasted at a fry. The Fryars also enjoyed the great selection of sweets provided by St. Edwards’ bake sale.
Fryars’ Score: 3.05 of 5
Someone must’ve tipped the Braves that the Fryars roll thirsty, because the concessions’ fridge was stocked! High score here thanks to its wide array of beverages, from traditional domestics to imports Red Stripe and Guinness to Bicardi and Smirnoff wine coolers, all sufficiently cold. Some of the Fryars voiced concern over the lack of draft beer, but they didn’t appear to mind forking over $2 for an ice-cold can. (Fyars’ motto: “If you sell it, we will drink it.”)
Fryars’ Score: 3.7 of 5
Exit polls revealed some Fryars’ did not appreciate the long line that nearly wrapped around St. Edward’s gym, but we also come from a different school of thought. First, a long line signifies a strong, well-supported fry. Second, the wait gives patrons the opportunity to grab a cold one and chat with fellow fry-goers. And there’s no dining experience like a gym dining experience!
Fryars’ Score: 3.00 of 5
One of the Braves’ greatest assets was their ability to win over the Fryars with warm smiles and casual conversation. The good folks at St. Edwards were well-prepared for the capacity crowd, and the busyness did not prevent the Braves from displaying the utmost courtesy to its patrons. That said, this particular Fryar (Tony) took offense that he was not carded at the beer line. Focus less on the receding hairline and more on the baby face dimples, please!
Fryars Score: 3.9 of 5
The Fryars thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the second stop of their annual Fish Fry Challenge at a great venue with great people. We recommend all fry-lovers make the trip to St. Edward’s Fish Fry. You won’t be disappointed!
Fryars’ Overall Score: 3.25 out of 5
Contact the Fish Fry Guys at YourVoice@voice-tribune.com.