Another great year of Fish Fries! We traveled north, south, east, and west. We didn't make it to St. Charles this year, but we nonetheless had great geographic diversity! Here's our summary for the year.
Best Overall Fish Fry in 2012
St. Gabriel and St. Rose clearly stood above the rest. It was a return visit to St. Gabriel, having last visited in 2008. Nothing changed our minds that this is a premiere fish fry in the St. Louis region. So many things done well. We rank St. Gabriel as the #4 overall fish fry and the #6 best cod. Our return trip in 2012 confirmed these rankings. St. Rose was also a great visit and a great year for St. Rose. Fish fry fans voted St. Rose as the 2012 Fan Favorite Fish Fry! St. Rose does so many things well: wayfinding, good cod, great clam chowder (which alone is reason to visit), good atmosphere. St. Rose broke into the overall best fish fry rankings at #8.
Great cod at so many fish fries this year. St. Gabriel and St. Clement of Rome had the best cod. St. Clement of Rome fries their fish in peanut oil. Other good cod included Sacred Heart, St. Rose, and St. Catherine.
Sacred Heart in DuQuoin, Illinois proves that small town fish fries are a great value. $8 for adults, $4 for kids, and 3 and under free. What made it a best value was that it was all you could eat! Another surprised value was St. Alban Roe in Wildwood. $28 for our family of five at St. Alban Roe.
Everywhere we went had friendly volunteers, good buzzes of conservation, and an enjoyable atmosphere. So picking a best atmosphere this year was hard. St. Rose, St. Alban Roe, and St. Gabriel were the highlights if we had to pick (which we do because it's our year end review).
Unfortunately, a lot of low scores this year for wayfinding and greening. A lot of Styrofoam this year. However, St. Rose had by far the best wayfinding. Excellent signs near the street and leading you into the fish fry. Menus and ordering was logical and clear. A great case study for fish fry wayfinding.
The clam chowder at St. Rose was worth the trip by itself. Sacred Heart had some of the best desserts. Not only were the desserts homemade, but the pie crusts were homemade. Yum!
Matching t-shirts or aprons for fish fry volunteers is a good sign of a passionate and creative fish fry. Our Lady of Presentation had great matching t-shirts.
List of Fish Fries Visited in 2012
2/22 St. Alban Roe, Wildwood
2/24 St. Catherine Laboure, Sunset Hills
3/2 St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, Florissant
3/9 Sacred Heart, DuQuoin, IL
3/16 Our Lady of Presentation, Overland
3/23 Seven Holy Founders, Affton
3/30 St. Clement of Rome, DesPeres
4/6 St. Gabriel Archangel, St. Louis
St. Rose Philippine Duschesne Wins 2012 Fan Poll
St. Rose wins the 2012 Fan Poll for Favorite Fish Fry over perennial favorite St. Pius and a 2012 surge by St. Mary Magdalen. Over 1,000 votes from fans during the two rounds of voting. Once again, the fan vote for favorite fish fry showed the passion and enthusiasm for fish fries.
Weekly Surveys - Fun Fish Fry Facts
We also started weekly fan surveys this year to determine interesting factoids about Fish Fry Fans. Some of the highlights included:
- 35% of readers said that they will wait more than a month to try fish again after Lent is over.
- 70% of readers will plan on attending 5 or more fish fries during Lent.
- Tartar sauce was the favorite condiment of 33% of readers.
To see the results of the 2012 surveys, click here. Look for more great surveys in 2013!
See you at a fish fry in 2013!