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Fish Type: Cod (AYCE)     Price: $10.00

Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.

Fish Score: Good
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent

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Comment: Often times in life we take things for granted just because we assume they are what they are, and can not change. A while back, almost two years to be exact, we stumbled upon the all you can eat Fish Fry at the Immaculate Heart of Mary School. While we enjoyed the hospitality and the atmosphere, we were not exactly blown away by the actual Fish Fry. As the old saying goes, the lord works in mysterious ways. While visiting the St. Peter Catholic School Fish Fry in Ashton a couple weeks ago we shared a table with some folks who claimed the IHMS Fry was superior due to the fact they have beer battered as well as regular fried cod, whereas St. Peter only has one style. Since I believe the Fish Fry at St. Peter to be some of the absolute best around, I took this claim very seriously and knew we had to revisit the IHMS ASAP.

Let the sermon commence…

We arrived at the school just before 6:30, and got in the short line to pay. The “Fabulous Fish Fry” will run you exactly $10, with no tipping necessary later on. We gladly offered up the dough and followed the scent of fried fish down the hall towards the gym. As we approached the end of the line, Jer sauntered right past Gabe and I on his way to the front. He was on a quest to see what could be had in the way of refreshments. When he came back with a round of ice-cold Spotted Cows and told us of the scant two-fifty price tag, I knew divine intervention was at hand. The lord was smiling upon us this night.

For all those allergic to seafood, please hear our prayer.

After about 10 minutes of waiting in the hall, a table opened up for us and the service began. We claimed our turf at Table 27, and headed towards the buffet line. Now, I normally don’t like buffet style Fish Fry because the fish tends not to be fresh from the fryer, and the longer it sits the worse it gets. However the turnover at IHMS is so high that nary a piece of fish has a chance to get cold. The buffet consists of (in order): bread, salad, coleslaw, applesauce, French fries, baked potato, baked/beer batter/regular fried cod, tartar sauce, milk and coffee, of which I took everything except a baked potato, the baked cod and coffee. I performed a delicate balancing act; my one hand consisting of a plate, piled high with a mountain of fried delights, the other clenching a trio of milk cartons (one chocolate). I scurried back to the table as best I could, and began my feast.

For all those who can no longer eat fried food, please hear our prayer.

At the onset I grabbed one of my two pieces of beer battered. I was immediately struck by how light the batter was. It was flaky and had a good taste as did the actual fish underneath. The regular fried was also very good and enjoyed a light breading which had a little spice to it. While neither can hold a candle to the St. Peter Cod in my opinion, both were better than I remembered them being the last time. I actually enjoyed the beer batter a little more than the plain fried this time which is the exact opposite of what I experienced previously.

For all those vegetarians who have chosen to not enjoy your bounty, please hear our prayer.

The fries were also significantly better this visit. In 2008 they were basically a thick Julienne cut and were very bland. The crinkle cut fries they had this time were much more on par with what you come to expect at an AYCE, and I had no problem putting away a couple serving worth. In addition the tartar was vastly improved and served in individual cups which were still chilled.

For all those non-Wisconsinites that don’t know what they’re missing out on, please hear our prayer.

I bowed my head in gratitude. The fish, fries and tartar were all drastically improved over our previous trip and I got to drink my favorite beer as we waited. The average white roll didn’t do a whole lot, but then again it didn’t have to; at the least, it was fresh and soft. The salad, coleslaw and applesauce were also just fine, but none of them were transcendent.

For all those who go out for a steak on a Friday night instead of Fish Fry, please hear our prayer.

I’m not sure exactly what the deal was on our last visit, but when we wanted more fish we had to go through the buffet line again. This trip we had a “waiter” - of sorts. Ashton (oddly enough), was our ~10 year old server who was nothing short of amazing. When we ran low on something, Ashton was there. He got our table more refills than we could ask for. Before we knew we needed it, Ashton was ready to get it. He had no problem ducking and weaving through the crowd as he ran to the buffet to do our bidding. He was often back with your food before you knew he had even left to get it. This child was doing the lord’s work and loving it. Beyond the food, his excellent attitude helped to make this Fish Fry a top notch experience. He even got me a scoop of ice cream at the end although I was more than willing to go myself. Jesus loves you, young man.

For all those who love Fish Fry and can barely wait for next Friday to get here, please hear our prayer.

Overall, I would recommend this Fish Fry based on the food alone, but having an eager youngster racing around on our behalf made it truly memorable. While it is no St. Pete’s, it is certainly no slouch, and like St. Pete’s it is an all around fantastic value. All told, I ate much too much at this Fish Fry; as I waddled away from the school I had the smell of Fish Fry all over me. I had been baptized in the IHOM Fry, we all had. It had saturated not only our clothes, but our souls. Praise be!

Thus ends today’s sermon, this is the word of the Fish Fry. Go in peace…
4913 Schofield Street
Monona, WI 53716

(608) 222-8831