St. Gabriel's - 3/8/2013

by Nathan on March 12th, 2013

Overall  (5 of 5)

St. Gabriel’s has a very popular fish fry in one of my favorite parts of town.  Having worked at Ted Drewes for 7 years, I’m a little biased of St. Louis Hills.  When you find the line, and if you can afford the wait, you won’t be disappointed.  You might even be paid a visit from the beer fairy while waiting. 
The main dish selections, including grilled cheese and cheese pizza, ought to appease almost anyone, even the kids.  The cod is definitely top notch.  If you go to St. Gabriel’s, do yourself a favor and order the cod.  There is a variety of side dishes to choose from.  While not spectacular, all the side dishes tasted well above average and are served in very generous portions.  All dinners include a full meal, without having to pay extra for any portion of it, unless you want to upgrade your beverage.  The complimentary beverage service was quite nice, with plenty of other beverages to upgrade to, including soda, beer, and wine.
The friendliness of the staff sets the bar very high, especially when working with a line out the door and halfway to the corner.  Expect a quality meal with real dishes, real silverware, and a full belly when you leave.  Thanks to St. Gabriel’s for a great fish fry.  I’m glad you’re not too far away! 

Fish and Main Dishes  (5 of 5)

VARIETY:  Hand-Breaded Fried Cod, Baked Cod, Fried Catfish Fillet, Jack Salmon Fillet, and Fried Shrimp.  Grilled Cheese and Cheese Pizza are available for children/seniors.  I’d bet you could get in on this as an adult, too, if you played your cards right.

TASTE:  The fried cod is outstanding!  The breading is very flavorful, and the cod is hot and flaky.  This is definitely top tier cod.  I recommend it whole-heartedly.  The fried shrimp tastes good but tastes like standard fried shrimp… nothing special here.  I did not taste any of the other main dishes.

VALUE:  $9 per adult dinner (any type of fish) includes two sides, white or wheat bread, dessert, and a drink.  For $1 extra you can make it the “Pastor’s Platter” (VERY clever and catchy) which also includes two fried shrimp.  This is what I ordered, and it was worth it.  $6 for a half-portion of the fish and $5 for the cheese pizza, both include the same add-ons as the adult dinners. 
All main dish items are also sold a la carte - $5.50 for cod, $4.50 for Jack Salmon, $2 for Grilled Cheese, and $2 for Cheese Pizza.  They also sell the fried or baked cod for $12 per pound, and 12 fried shrimp for $10

CONDIMENTS:  Tartar Sauce, Cocktail sauce, and ketchup in individual packets, plus it looked like cocktail sauce in a large squeezable container.   

Side Dishes  (4 of 5)

VARIETY:  Green Beans, Applesauce, Rotini Mac & Cheese, Rotini with Red Sauce, Rotini Buttered Pasta, Cole Slaw, French Fries.

TASTE:  St. Gabriel’s fixed us a plate of all of their sides, minus the applesauce, which seemed pretty standard.  I have to say the slaw was a little on the peppery side.  My friend Christine could hardly handle the spiciness.  The green beans and French fries were pretty standard.  The rotini pasta came in 3 flavors and all tasted above average.  I am a big fan of rotini noodles, which seem to retain a lot of flavor.

Beverages and Desserts  (5 of 5)

BEVERAGES:  The beverage table is staffed with an energetic bunch of young ladies who are very friendly.  Tea, Lemonade, Hawaiian Punch, Water, and Coffee are complimentary, and are pre-poured so you don’t have to wait.  Sodas are $1 and include Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite.  Beers are $2 and include Budweiser, Bud Light, and Bud Select.  Wine is $3 and includes Chardonnay, Merlot, and I’m not sure what else.  I had a combination of the lemonade and Hawaiian punch which was quite tasty.

DESSERTS:  Included with dinner, the dessert table includes homemade desserts, which seemed mostly like cakes, cookies, and brownies.  The red velvet cake I tasted was delicious.  The staff in the dessert booth are quite a delight as well.

Atmosphere and Extras  (5 of 5)

Let me say that the atmosphere at St. Gabriel’s was extremely friendly, and the staff was high spirits and seemed happy to be there.  This is always a treat.  Real silverware, real dishes, and trays are an added bonus, as was the extra fried shrimp and sides they were generous to let us sample.
While the line was long, they had one very energetic young man handing out beers to those of age that were waiting in line.  While I wasn’t partaking, this seemed like a good way to take your mind off of the long line that was piled outside.  This is a good idea, and many people had mentioned this to me when talking about this particular fish fry.  Sure enough, it was true.
They also had a television on the stage at one end of the cafeteria.  I’d imagine this comes in quite handy during the NCAA basketball tournament time.  This is a BIG bonus if you are craving fish fry and still want to watch the basketball tournament.  The friendly staff was bussing tables and clearing trays as we were finishing our meal.  That’s always a plus in my book.

Signage, Flow, and Line  (3 of 5)

When we arrived, the line was way out the door.  (See Photos)  Lucky for us our friends were already in line.  We had been there before so we knew where to go, but some of our friends didn’t find the correct door at first.  You enter behind the church which can be seen from Tamm Avenue.  The line moved slowly, but there were menus to look at in line, so we knew what we wanted when we got to the front.  There was definitely a bottleneck around the turn between the fish server and the table nearby, which is where we ultimately sat for dinner.  Now I know why no one was sitting there! 

Carry out is also available, and had a different door (with signs indicating which way to go to find it) to enter than the one with the giant line.

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