Burger Friday has given up hamburgers for Lent, and is diving headlong into the Friday fish-fry ritual. Here are five suggestions:
Glockenspiel offers a Friday fish fry year-round, but the restaurant goes into overdrive during Lent, with all-you-can consume portion of beer-battered cod (plus a single serving of fries and coleslaw) for $12.95 (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), and $14.95 (from 3 to 9 p.m.). Here’s another Lenten bonus: The restaurant accepts reservations for fish fry-eating parties of four or more at dinner.
For its year-round Friday fish fry, the Groveland Tap taps swai. “It’s similar to catfish,” said kitchen manager Steve Johnson. “Everyone has cod, or pollock, so it’s nice to do something different.” The beer batter-fried fish (Johnson relies upon Grain Belt Premium) is an all-you-can-eat situation, and the fries and coleslaw are not, “but if someone wants more of either one, I am happy to make that happen,” he said with a laugh. Cost is $11.25, and it’s served all day, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Johnson’s tip: Show up at lunch. “People sometimes have to wait an hour, an hour and a half for dinner,” he said. “Lunch is the best bet for getting in without having to wait.” As for beer pairings, Johnson suggests going light, something along the lines of the Freehouse No. 1, a crisp, golden Kolsch produced at the Tap’s sister restaurant.
At Stella’s Fish Cafe, the formula is simple: fried Alaskan cod, golden fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce, an all-you-can-eat situation priced at $14.95.
For its all-you-can-eat Friday fish fry, the Machine Shed offers three Atlantic cod choices: rolled in bread crumbs and fried, beer-battered and fried, or broiled. Side dishes include vegetables and a choice of potato (baked, sweet, mashed, garlic mashed, French fries or sweet potato fries), served from 3 p.m. until the kitchen closes for the night. Cost: $12.99.
All day, every Friday, year round, for $11.95, fun-loving Harry’s Cafe offers up four pieces of Alaskan pollock, serving it pan-fried, deep-fried or broiled, and pairing it with a choice of mashed potatoes, baked potatoes or fries. Tartar sauce, too.
"We triple dog dare you to come out" says the promo from the Blue Plate Restaurant Co, which hopes you're hungry after shoveling snow. At any of their eight restaurants, until 3 p.m. today, you will get $1 off for every inch of snow that fell, according to the calculations at the MSP airport.
That was 9.9 inches.
Restaurants include Edina Grill, Highland Grill, Longfellow Grill, Groveland Tap, Freehouse, 3 Squares, The Lowry and Scusi.
The real thing -- free at the Star Tribune State Fair booth.
What happens when you put lipstick on a pig?
You get Bacon Lip Balm. At least that is what it is being offered at the Star Tribune booth at the State Fair (located at Carnes Av. at the ramp to the Grandstand). It's available FREE (while supplies last). It's Mmmmm tasty!" says the label. Most fairgoers will disagree.
And, yes,the maple-flavored lip balm may be an extreme measure to add food to the State Fair menu. And I do use the term "food" loosely, but then that's also true of just about everything there for these State Fair days.
Be sure to read the warning on the label: "For external use only." Which means, of course, that you SHOULD NOT eat the lip balm. It will protect your lips, however, for more eating duty, since it has an SPF of 15.
Be assured that no pigs were hurt in the making of this lip balm.
Nor any maple trees.
So what does it taste like? Well, not like bacon (nor Baco-bits, that soy imitation of the real thing). More like very fake imitation maple.
Which reminds me of something my son said when he was about 5 years old after buying a bowling bag at a garage sale. "It's genuine vinyl!"
LEE SVITAK DEAN, Taste editor
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