Thursday night Katsu, Friday night, VFW Post 3854, quite the Chowhound change-up. I was going to lead off with From the sublime to the ridiculous, but that would be, mostly, untrue. Post 3854 is located in Lincolnwood, but you are immediately transported to anytown USA, actually, anytown USA that has a population under 15,000.
The VFW Friday fish fry has everything going for it, cute as all get-out, but grouchy enough to give a Jewish deli counterman pause, 90-lb great grandmother type taking the money and passing out order tickets, an all volunteer core scurrying, or at least as fast as 70-80 year old legs would let them scurry, with trays of fish, passing out coffee, busing tables in a large gymnasium type hall and hundreds of hungry Social Security recipients happily eating damn good walleye pike with little cups of slaw, baked potato and slightly long in the tooth rolls.
My wife and I went with her mother, doesn't Good Friday seem like the perfect day for a VFW fish fry, and the three of us tried four of the offerings. Deep fried Walleye, which was the best of the bunch by far, fried shrimp, fried chicken and mixed seafood plate. The VFW gets the Walleye filets in frozen, but batters them in house with, as our 'waiter' candidly informed us, flour and their secret ingredient, beer, Walleye is clearly the winner.
The shrimp seem to be a food service product and the scallops in the mixed seafood plate had a suspiciously uniform 'cod plug' appearance, but hey, for 6-7 bucks, all of which goes to support the VFW, you really can't complain. I will say that the fried Sole filet on the seafood plate was quite good, as was the chicken, or at least the thigh of the chicken, the rest was a bit dried out. They also offer Italian beef, Cat fish and Halibut, used to offer Lake Perch, but that got too expensive and the VFW consensus is Ocean Perch like brown shoes, just doesn't make the grade.
Ok, enough about the food, on to the circuses. The coffee lady, Vita, is a cute as pie octogenarian who dresses in different costumes, as the mood strikes her. Friday was, obviously, Bunny Suit night, that's right, Vita was in a full-on bunny suit , replete with big floppy ears, bushy tail and a pillow or two stuffed in for good measure. She was the cutest thing I have seen in ages and me without my camera.
The VFW has a full bar, which was bustling, and from 8-? on Fridays, after the fish fry ends, the Blue Vel-Vet lounge in the VFW basement rocks with a band, full bar and dancing.
I had a full day of fish fry's on Friday as I was in Port Washington, Wisconsin for lunch, where David Hammond is going next weekend for the smelt fry, and had very good Lake Perch at Smith Brother's, a Port Washington institution.
VFW Post 3854
7401 N Lincoln Ave.
Fish fry 5:30- 8 only on Friday.
Blue Vel-Vet Lounge 8-?, Friday only.
100 N Franklin St
Port Washington, WI 53074