By TONY COLYER and JEFF AMES
Fish Fry Guys
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.
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 fourth installment in their foray to find which parish provides the perfect catch.
St. Bernard, Catholic Parish, 7500 Tangelo Drive
As we have seen, this town is proudly known for its ball, and of course, Lenten Fish Frys. And few do both better than St. Bernard. The Wildcats excel on the playing field, and as the Fryars recently found out, in the kitchen as well.
About 20 years ago, a few members of St. Bernard Booster Club fell in love with the “Green River-style” fried fish sandwich served at the former Moore’s Tavern on Preston & Clarks Lane in Louisville. They borrowed the peppery recipe for their own batter, and presto! The (self-proclaimed) “Greatest Fish Sandwich in Town” was born. $10 for a dinner, which includes two sides, seems a little steep, but each comes with two huge hand-breaded filets, giving St. B’s fish the highest mark we’ve seen all season.
Fryars’ Score: 4.85 out of 5.00
Fryars loved the steaming hot, creamy mac and cheese, and the fries had just the right amount of seasoning. St. Bernard uses the same batter on fish as they do on onion rings, giving the side a nice kick. Home-baked desserts were plentiful.
Fryars’ Score: 3.60 out of 5.00
Some prefer canned beer, some like draft. St. Bernard pleases both. $2 a pop for an ice cold can of domestic, and for the first time seen this season, discounts for buckets. Amber Bock on tap for the more sophisticated beer-drinkers.
Fryars’ Score: 3.55 out of 5.00
The Fryars’ prefer the gym-dining experience, and St. B delivered. Good spacing between the tables allowed plenty of room for unloosening the belt a bit after taking down the two-filet sandwich. Some Fryars’ expressed disappointment with the long line, but St. Bernard fry-goers have the option of ordering online at saintbernardfishfry.com, pulling up to the drive-thru at the outdoor concession stand and getting their “fry on” without even leaving their car. How’s that for service?
Fryars’ Score: 4.30 out of 5.00
One Fryar noted a nice “family atmosphere” at St. Bernard, and another commented on the helpful eighth graders busing tables and pre-filling the condiment cups. (The latter Fryar was probably unaware they were working for tips to help pay for the annual eighth grade trip.) Extra points awarded for laughing at the Fryars’ very mediocre jokes.
Fryars’ Score: 4.42 out of 5.00
St. Bernard’s fish sandwich lives up to the hype. The wide open gym embodies what a fish fry should look like, and the friendly people made this experience one of the tops of the season.
Fryars’ Overall Score: 4.00 out of 5.00
THE Fish FRY GUYS’ Next Stop:
St. Margaret Mary
7813 Shelbyville Road.
Contact the Fish Fry Guys at YourVoice@voice-tribune.com.