According to those of the Christian faith who follow a liturgical calendar we are now in the season called Lent. This was designed as a period of time from Ash Wednesday to Easter when the faithful gave up some personal indulgence as preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Prior to Vatican II it was, as I understood it in the 1950s, incumbent upon all Catholics everywhere to forego the eating of meat, substituting fish these six or so weeks. This is about all I know about Lent. For those who wish to understand more we defer to our local eminent theological scholar, Charles Hear.
Growing up one of the rare Protestant evangelicals in an Italian-Catholic neighborhood all Lent meant to me was we'd be having fish on the menu at school. We would not, of course, be having fish at home during this period of time. My father, otherwise lacking in prejudice, did not want anyone to think we might be Catholic. Never had the heart to tell my dad, but I loved fried fish and sneaked off to get some at the local parish Fish Fry.
Kay and I have no expensive hobbies or habits, dining at one of the local fast food spots on a Sunday afternoon being our one indulgence. So, I always look forward to Lent as the season when all of our favorite eating places battle for we fired fish connoisseur's cash.
Long John Silvers, of course, is a year-round fish place; they put out so many coupons that we don't go there without one. Kay likes it because they offer baked fish. Why anyone would prefer baked over fried escapes me.
McDonald's has been offering their fish sandwich as long as I can remember there being a McDonald's. Theirs actually is my favorite sandwich, perhaps because it's the most familiar. Kay eats the chicken.
Burger King has fish sandwiches all year, which we both like. We caught a two for $4 Lenten special at a Terre Haute location a few weeks back. But, when we made an excursion out to the store south of Brazil just for the special, had to pay full price.
Then there is Wendy's. For the most part they only promote fish during Lent and it is quite good. I'm thinking it may be the best Lenten offering, it's the only one Kay will suddenly decide to "fix" for supper on a weekday.
On Palm Sunday we ventured to locally owned The Freeze on the recommendation of owner Jeff Nees. He tried to describe to me their fish sandwich, and I'd thought he must be talking about a whole fish dinner or something. Their KING Cod Fish was somewhere in between dinner and sandwich -- a sandwich large enough we had to share it. Good news is they'll be there all summer.
This leaves, I'm sure, several good local places for fried fish with which I am unfamiliar. The Fish Fries frenzy ends this week, anyone have suggestions?