Immaculate Conception - 2/22/2013

by Nathan on February 22nd, 2013

Overall  (3 of 5)

Immaculate Conception in Maplewood hosts a fish fry with a lot of options and friendly atmosphere.  They have a variety of fried fish, and a baked cod dish for lighter fare.  The cod was an average square fillet, but it was very tasty. They had a variety of sides; however, none of them knocked my socks off.  I was impressed with the beverage area.  They offered many soft drink options served with ice in a souvenir cup, and had 2 draft beer options.  The desserts I tasted were excellent.  If you have young children, there were several high chairs to use which was the first fish fry that I've seen to offer that.  Thanks to the staff for an overall good experience.

Fish and Main Dishes  (2 of 5)

VARIETY:  Fried Cod, Baked Cod, Fried Catfish, Fried Jack Salmon, Fried Shrimp (8)

TASTE:  The fried cod was breaded and square, and tasted pretty good.  It didn’t seem hand-breaded, but it was good.  The baked cod was a small portion, and definitely was on the lighter side.  Perhaps they held back on the seasoning in case people wanted something much lighter.

VALUE:  Dinner included 2 sides and white or wheat bread, but not a beverage (besides water) nor a dessert.  Cost was $8 ($5 for half) for 2 fried cod fillets, 2 fried catfish fillets, or 2 fried jack salmon fillets, $9 ($6 for half) for 2 baked cod fillets, and $10.50 ($6.50 for half) for 8 fried shrimp.  Total dinner with a beverage and a dessert was at least $10 per plate.  That seemed tad on the high side in comparison to others.

CONDIMENTS:  Large pump containers of ketchup, tartar sauce, and cocktail sauce, plus hot sauce, and large shakers of parmesan cheese.  Parmesan cheese = bonus.

Side Dishes  (3 of 5)

VARIETY:  Mac & Cheese, Spaghetti, French Fries, Green Beans,  Cole Slaw, and Salad

TASTE:  The cole slaw was vinegar and oil based, and was tasty.  It tasted good, and went well with the fish.  The green beans were good, especially with a little parmesan sprinkled on top.  The volunteers insisted that we taste the mac & cheese, so we obliged.  The mac & cheese was good…not the best, but it was nice and cheesy.

VALUE:  The portions were above average-sized, and some were served in separate dishes to allow more quantity, such as the salad.  Extra sides ranged from $1 to $2 each.  See the photos for a picture of the menu.

Beverages and Desserts  (4 of 5)

BEVERAGES:  Water was complimentary.  $1 for soda, iced tea, and bottled water, and $2 for beer.  They had an elaborate selection of sodas: Coke, Diet Coke, 7up, Diet 7up, Dr. Pepper, Diet Dr. Pepper, Sunkist Orange, Sunkist Grape, and A&W Root Beer.  The sodas came in cans, warm, but served with a small plastic souvenir cup with ice.  I thought that was a nice touch.  They had fresh lemon and sugar and sweetener for the iced tea.  I didn’t catch what types of beer they had, but they had two types on draft.  Last year when we went they had Bud Light and Busch on tap.

DESSERTS:  The dessert table looked inviting, and the lovely ladies explained some of the choices.  The desserts were homemade and included red velvet cake, chocolate brownies, cupcakes, muffins, and large slices of apple pie.  I tasted the red velvet cake and chocolate brownies and both were amazing.  Desserts varied in price from $0.75 to $1, and coffee was $1.

Atmosphere and Extras  (3 of 5)

We arrived shortly before 4:30, so we caught the beginning of dinner.  The newly renovated gym was good, and despite the accumulated snow there were a lot of friendly people there early.  The first thing I noticed when we came in was a collection of high chairs for families to use.  I thought that was a great idea, and was even suggested by a mom at the second fish fry we attended later that day.  Good job!!  I also noticed a quilt raffle for charity when you first came in the door.
The beverages were served in small souvenir cups, which was neat.  A recycling bin was located next to the beverage area.
Trays were at the beginning of the food line, allowing you to set your food on them.  I like trays.  Trays are key in holding all the goodies you accumulate in line.
The people were very friendly, and came over to talk to us for a bit.  They even cleared our plates.  Thanks for the hospitality!

Signage, Flow, and Line  (5 of 5)

The signage, flow and line were just about as good as it gets at a fish fry.  Beverages first (to enjoy in line), food next, cashier, condiments, and dessert, in that order.  The line and flow kept going in one direction, and each station in line was right after the other.  There was no form to fill out.  There were plenty of menus posted on the doors and walls on the way in to read as you entered, or as you waited in line.  The short line did move a little slow for its size.

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