Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Officially On: The Lenten Project II

With the release of this year's list of churches, clubs, and organizations from the Akron Beacon Journal, I have decided to revisit last year's gargantuan fish fry and pierogi eating juggernaut: The Lenten Project. While last year's winner, St. Joan of Arc Church in Streetsboro, Ohio, has been excluded from official judging, I do intend to finish out the Lenten Friday fish fries with a stop for my final dinner on April 15th. There will be some repeats from last year from those places that offered a better dinner as well as some new faces. For those that fared poorly in last year's competition (i.e. the bottom half of the results list), in order to make room for potentially new (and hopefully better) contestants, I will give those a pass.

While the Beacon Journal's list is extensive, once you narrow down the offerings to those institutions listing both fish and pierogi on their menu, it becomes much more reasonable. To encourage reader participation, I intend to list the date and time of my visits to each destination and I will add them to the Community Calendar that appears on the right hand side of the screen. Like last year, the judging will be fairly straightforward. I will attempt at each location to buy a meal that provides a combination of both fish and pierogi (and any other interesting looking side dish) and provide a letter based assessment of the food (A - B - C - D - F).

Since there are invariably more fish fries to attend than Fridays available, there will be some weeks where I have an early meal and a late meal. One lesson I learned from last year's effort was that a two-meal day can produce a quite lengthy write-up (especially with pictures). To help minimize this problem, my early meal will post on the Saturday morning following the visit and my later meal will post on the Sunday morning after that. In this way, you aren't overloaded with reading and I am not overloaded with writing.

Even though the fish fries go through April 15th, my intention is to have the judging completed by April 8th so that you can take what I have said for each of the meals and decide which dinner to attend on that final fish fry night.

Okay, enough rules and explanation. Here's the list of fish fries in the mix this time around (note, the times listed in bold are when I plan to arrive):

March 11th
St. Mary Church (5:00 PM)
340 North Main Street, Hudson
330-650-0722 ext. 244

Our Lady of Guadalupe (6:30 PM)
9080 Shepard Road, Macedonia
330-468-2194 ext. 38

March 18th
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (5:00 PM)
Greek Community Center
129 S. Union Street, Akron
(Dinners only run until April 8th)

March 25th
Queen of Heaven Church (5:00 PM)
Parish Life Center
1800 Steese Road, Green, Uniontown

St. George Romanian Byzantine Catholic Cathedral (6:45 PM)
11223 44th Street NE, Canton

April 1st
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (5:00 PM)
755 South Cleveland Avenue, Mogadore

April 8th
Slovak J Club (5:00 PM)
485 Morgan Avenue, Akron

Polish American Club (6:45 PM)
472 East Glenwood Avenue, Akron

The hours and menus for each of the locations listed above will appear in the respective calendar entries on the EFMW Community Calendar.

And, just in case I haven't made it clear, you are more than welcome to join me for any and all of the dinners I've listed above. While food is always a good thing, sharing a meal with a friendly face is even better. For those of my gentle readers celebrating the Lenten season, I wish you the best. For those just celebrating the vast choices of fried fish for the next six weeks, grab your fork and get your bottle of Tums ready.

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