The Other Fish Frys: Louisville-Area Restaurants And Indiana Churches Where You Can Get Fish During Lent

Mar 11, 2022 at 12:39 pm
Special for Lent, Joella's crispy cod is billed as North Atlantic wild-caught, beer-battered and fried dark golden-brown and delicious.
Special for Lent, Joella's crispy cod is billed as North Atlantic wild-caught, beer-battered and fried dark golden-brown and delicious. Photo by Robin Garr

Louisville is well into Lenten fish season now. Hungry supplicants are reportedly lining up at Friday church fish fries and local fish eateries too. And I’m not embarrassed to say that my fish fry report last month went locally viral enough to fill up my email and direct messages for a while.

Most of your comments were kind and grateful. A few were kind and constructively critical, politely telling me what more I could have done. I can live with that, as long as kindness is part of the equation. 

So here’s the story: I didn’t do wrong in my report of Louisville-area church fish fries and a handful of personal favorite restaurants where fried fish is a year-round speciality.

But, some of you say, I could have done more.

For instance, a Hoosier friend asked: How about churches on the Indiana side? My friends and I would appreciate a list!  

Also, more than a few restaurateurs and their fans nudged me to recognize the dozens of local spots that might not specialize in fried-fish sandwiches but do include noteworthy fish sandwiches within their broader bill of fare.

In a social media post, The Irish Rover put it plainly: “The local media didn’t include us in their annual lists of the best places to get fried fish,” they wrote. “But judging by the line when we opened today, y’all already know where to get it.”

I can’t disagree. Looking through my archives, I find that I’ve spoken fondly of The Rover’s admirable fish and chips in 2020, 2014, 2011, 2009 and 2002. I guess that means I'm due to do it again. 

Indiana fish fries

As for those Indiana church fish fries: Yeah, busted. Louisville’s infatuation with fried fish gets a bit attenuated when you cross the river, but that’s not to say that our Hoosier neighbors won’t eat the stuff. A handful of chain-type fried-fish joints keep the Sunny Side fish-fed, and several Catholic parishes put out the “Now Frying” sign on Lenten Friday evenings.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis recommends that people check with their individual parishes. Its monthly newsletter provides info on several fish fries, and I found a few more:

Holy Family Catholic Church, 217 W. Daisy Lane, New Albany, had its first fish fry March 4 and plans another April 1.

The Knights of Columbus, 809 E. Main Street, New Albany, plans its lunch and evening Lent Fry-Days on Fridays through April 15.

 Sacred Heart Catholic School, 1840 E. Eighth St., Jeffersonville, has Friday fish fries through April 1.

St. Anthony of Padua, 316 N. Sherwood Ave., Clarksville, continues its annual Men’s Club Fish Fry through April 1.

St. Michael Catholic Church, 101 St. Michael Drive, Charlestown, will have fish fries every Friday through Good Friday, April 15.

St. John Paul II, 2605 St. Joe Road West, Sellersburg, offers weekly Friday fish fries through April 8.

Fried fish at local restaurants

Again, these are not restaurants specializing in fried fish but general-service eateries with worthy fried fish on the menu.

Beer-battered cod at BA Colonial, 818 W Kenwood Drive.

Grilled or fried whitefish at Bud’s Tavern, 9119 Galene Drive.

Fried catfish at Check’s Cafe, 1101 E. Burnette Ave.

Filetto di pesce (fried beer-battered cod) at Ciao Ristorante, 1201 Payne St.

Catfish and battered cod at Couvert Restaurant, 7121 U.S. Hwy 150, Floyds Knobs, Indiana

Batter-fried talla fish at Clay Oven Indian, 12567 Shelbyville Road.

Hand-breaded cod at Cunningham’s Creekside, 6301 River Road.

Beer-battered or cracker-breaded cod fillet at Flanagan’s Ale House, 934 Baxter Ave.

Crispy white cod in bier batter at Floyd County Brewing Co., 129 W. Main St., New Albany, Indiana

Beer-battered wild-caught Alaskan pollock fish and chips at Four Pegs, 1053 Goss Ave.

Green River style fish sandwich at Gerstle’s, 3801 Frankfort Ave.

Fried mahi mahi sandwich at Grind Burger Kitchen, 829 E. Market St.

Fried cod or basa sandwich at J. Harrod’s, 7507 River Road.

Fried Atlantic cod sandwich on the lunch menu at Jack Fry’s, 1007 Bardstown Road.

And of course, those memorable fish and chips at The Irish Rover, 2319 Frankfort Ave.

Departing from their core product line, during Lent you can get a North Atlantic wild-caught crispy cod sandwich or plate at Joella’s Hot Chicken, 3400 Frankfort Ave., 13401 Shelbyville Road, and 1225 Veterans Parkway,  Clarksville, Indiana. We stopped in for lunch and tried both medium-hot and no-heat cod and Joella’s surprisingly persuasive Nashville Hot vegan chicken, a plant-based lookalike, and were delighted with the flavor and value.

Fried fish sandwiches are available while they last on Fridays during Lent at  Kern’s Korner, 2600 Bardstown Road.

The Uhura sandwich, batter-fried cod at Lady Tron’s, 147 E. Market St. in New Albany.

Fried lemon-pepper fish dinner at Mark’s Feed Store, five regional locations.

Fried cod at Molly Malone’s, 933 Baxter Ave.

Giant “famous” cod at PassTime Fish House Tavern, 10801 Locust Road.

Minnesota fish-fry Icelandic cod slider at Oskar’s Slider Bar, 3799 Poplar Level Road.

Battered fried haddock fish and chips at Pints & Union, 114 E. Market St., New Albany, Indiana.

Selma's Favourite, Creole-spiced white fish sandwich at Ramsi’s Cafe on the World, 1293 Bardstown Road. 

Breaded cod loin fish and chips at The Raven Irish Pub, 3900 Shelbyville Road.

Hot white fish sandwich as a Lenten special at Royals Hot Chicken, 736 E. Market St. and 10310 Shelbyville Road. Also available in no-heat classic fried.

Catfish Po-Boy at Selena’s at Willow Lake Tavern, 10609 La Grange Road.

Fried cod as a Lenten special at Shady Lane Cafe, 4806 Brownsboro Center.

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