No bad mansards to share in this post. Instead I am diverging from my usual pseudo architecture expertise to bring you a quick fish fry review in the style of my friends at Friday Night Fish.
The badmansard family orchestrated about 30 the neighbors (about 6 families- lots of kids) to meet at St. Cecilia's for a fish fry. We arranged to meet at 6 pm. What was I thinking? I should have known better. The wait was 1 1/2 hours and the minute we arrived the cell phones started pinging with a flurry of email exchanges, "where do we go now?"
My friend Dan, aka Dan the Czech, suggested we go to the Serbian Orthodox Fish Fry. Conveniently located in McKinley Heights (wedged between Soulard and Lafayette Square), the Serbians put on a good fry. I have to admit- busy fish fries stress me out. They can be crowded and I feel guilty lingering because I know someone if waiting for my table. Not the case with the Serbians- take your time, watch some TV, have a few beers and enjoy some really tasty fish.
Wayfinding/Greening: 3 out of 4 fishes
Easy to find the fish fry. Signs on Russell pointed right to the church. It's more or less right behind Randall's. Greening was good- food was served on real plates and condiments were dispensed from large containers. Large recycle bins were clearly marked.
My only complaint was that the menu and prices weren't posted (or maybe I didn't see them).
Food: 4 out of 4 fishes
Excellent fish. There was baked Tilapia, Fried Tilapia, Fried Catfish and Fried Shrimp. Servings were humungous. Sides included steamed vegetables and rice so you could have had a really healthy meal if you desired. On the other side of the spectrum there was onion rings and French fries which the kids loved. When ordering you get drink tickets for soda or juice. Some of the regulars gave our kids their extra tickets so there was a soda buzz going on. Dessert was a cobbler or a piece of cake. Volunteers came around at the end of the fry and offered more dessert.
Would have been nice to have an authentic Balkan dish, like some kind of cabbage roll or something. Also really would have liked a Serbian beer or a shot of Slivovitsa (did I really just write that? That stuff is firewater).
Value: 4 our of 4 fishes
Adult plates were $10. Child plates had 1/2 the amount of fish but the same side dishes, dessert and drink. Beer at bar (standard AB products plus Heineken) was $3 per bottle. Our family of 6 ate and drank for about $40 including many beers for mama.
Atmosphere: 3 out of 4 fishes
The Serbian Hall appears to be a banquet facility of some type. We were greeted by the bartender who remembered Dan the Czech from his previous visits to Serbian Hall. Huge room with large round tables each sitting 8-10. Bar with TV's showing sports. Very friendly volunteers were grateful our large party came. The fry was supposed to be over at 7:30 but we were there drinking beer until 8:30 at which time it was time to go. All the kids had a great time chasing each other in the hall while the older kids played soccer outside on the small lawn.
Overall: 3.5 out of 4 fishes
Looking for a quality, affordable fry with good fish where you can meet your friends? Try out the Serbian Orthodox,1910 Serbian Dr, St Louis, MO, (314) 776-3262