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Robin Garr

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Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Robin Garr » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:52 am

Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

Sal's offers its fresh-fried Icelandic cod on your choice of white bread or dark, aromatic rye.
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I realized the other day that Ash Wednesday and Lent are coming up, so this is the season when Louisville food writers are supposed to talk about fried fish … and all the Friday fish fries at Catholic (and a few Episcopal) churches around town.

Wednesday was also National Pizza Day!

This was a challenge. Like just about everyone in Louisville, I love fried fish. But I love pizza too. Could I do both?

Luckily, one of my favorite neighborhood pubs, Sal's Pizza Pub in Lyndon, has both good old-school pizza and one of the best fried-cod sandwiches around.

Before we get to that, though, what’s up with the Lenten fish fries in this pandemic year? Like the rest of the restaurant scene, things look different. “Parishes are having fish fries, but they're almost all carry out or order ahead, and in some cases the menu may be more limited,” said Cecelia Price, chief communications officer at the Archdiocese of Louisville. I suggest you try calling the church of your choice for details if you're not sure.

Despite our inland location, Louisville loves seafood all year ‘round, and that’s been so for generations, all the way back to the late 1800s, when L&N express trains would rush fresh fish and oysters on ice up from the Gulf to a hungry public. A lot of that hunger was driven by German and Irish Catholic immigrants who chose fish on Fridays, especially during Lent; and the tradition endures to this day.

I count more than 20 local eateries serving seafood and fish, and virtually all of them feature mild white fish, often cod, fried in a crunchy coating. It may be served on a bun or bland white bread, but deep Louisville tradition calls for rye bread – perhaps in a nod to the German share of our immigrant heritage.

I’d be hard pressed to name a local favorite, but I keep coming back for Sal's fish sandwich. Pizza may be the eatery’s middle name, but that cod sandwich, which they not so shyly call “Our Famous Fish,” is as good as I ever ate.

Sal’s fish sandwich is $9.99 with two pieces of Icelandic cod, a bag of potato chips, and a pickle; as a platter with cole slaw, hushpuppies and fries. it’s $15.99 with white, wheat, or rye bread. I recommend the rye. ...

Read the complete article on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/sals-lent-fish

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly's Food & Drink section today.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

Sal’s Pizza & Sports Pub
812 Lyndon Lane
365-4700
http://salspizzalouisville.com
Facebook: http://bit.ly/Sals-Pub
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Mike D

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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Mike D » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:38 pm

Robin, I agree that Sal's was as good a fish sandwich as you will find in Louisville. And that's saying something. I say "was" because we haven't been there in a long while. And, as the late Paul Harvey would say, here's "the rest of the story."

The last time we ate at Sal's was November 8 2016. That is a pretty momentous date in American history, and the memories of that evening are indelible. So, no fault of Sal's, we decided not to relive that day and never made our way back there. We should have, and we hope to again. Glad to hear that they are still putting out a good product.
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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by JustinHammond » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:05 pm

In my backyard and I don’t think I’ve ever been. Added to the short list. Thanks.
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Steve Eslinger

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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Steve Eslinger » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:32 pm

Yes, their fish is outstanding. Your review of a couple years ago prompted me to give it a try and I wasn't disappointed. I had to pass on the rye, though, as that is one of my anti-foods. I've had to send fish back when it's made the slightest contact with a piece of rye bread. For some, it's cilantro...for me, it's rye bread.
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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Robin Garr » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:03 pm

Steve, I hear you! Luckily, rye seems to be the alternate choice for just about all the fish places around town. It seems to me that a white bun is the default. I prefer rye, but I've generally got to ask to get it.
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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Jay M. » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:49 pm

Steve Eslinger wrote:...had to pass on the rye, though, as that is one of my anti-foods.


Well, how do you do pastrami? :wink:
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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Steve Eslinger » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:41 am

Well, how do you do pastrami?

Makes it tough, I'll say that. Part of me actually wants to like it. For example, I've come to like all the other elements of a Reuben. But without the rye, it's not a Reuben, obviously. And I'll take it on trust that it goes great with fried fish.
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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Carla G » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:50 am

Interesting. Does it carry over to rye whiskey? Kraut with caraway seeds? I don’t mean to be nosy but yours is the first rye aversion I’ve heard of.
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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Steve Eslinger » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:25 am

I certainly prefer bourbon and Scotch to rye whiskey, but I'm not totally adverse to it. And for that matter, I tend not to gravitate toward high rye bourbons.
As far as kraut goes, no, I'm not a fan of caraway seeds. In fact, the caraway seeds may be the major culprit behind my distaste.
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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by TP Lowe » Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:13 am

Sal's would not have been on my radar if not for Robin's review. Stopped in last night for the first time for takeout. Every bit as tasty as Robin indicated. One warning: if you are sensitive to a bunch of folks sitting around with no masks on, this isn't your favorite place. I had to order in the bar and it wasn't a comfortable place to be (60+ w/asthma and leaning cautious). But ++ for the fish!
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Robin Garr

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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Robin Garr » Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:26 am

Thanks for the report, TP. I'm glad you enjoyed the fish, but in fairness, if you go to a Louisville restaurant that has great fried fish on a Friday in Lent, you're going to find a crowd. :) And Sal's is essentially a pub. When I went in for the meal I reviewed, I had to walk up to the bar and accept my food from the bartender. I did go in at opening time and the bar wasn't too crowded. But the few people at the tables weren't masked, because they were eating and drinking. So yeah, not comfortable. But for the next couple of weeks, I suggest getting your Sal's fix some other day than Friday.
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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by TP Lowe » Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:56 pm

Duly noted, Robin. Plus the NCAA tourney. Lots going on.
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Re: Make Sal’s your go-to for Lenten fried fish

by Robin Garr » Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:43 pm

TP Lowe wrote:Duly noted, Robin. Plus the NCAA tourney. Lots going on.


:shock: :shock: :shock:

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