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St. Louis is packed to the gills with fish fries

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It's just about the most St. Louis thing you can do.

Every Friday during Lent — which this year runs from Valentine's Day through March 29 — churches, VFW posts, American Legion halls and more are stuffed to the gills (get it? gills?) with folks at fish fries getting their fill of fried fish.

It's not just fried fish, of course. Some of it is baked. Some is shrimp. And this being St. Louis, you can also find chile rellenos, fish tacos, frogs legs, crab rangoon, pizza, spaghetti, chicken strips, jambalaya and falafel. 

Around these parts, fish fries are nothing if not ecumenical. Also, popular.

"People look forward to them every year," says Sandy Hughes, office manager at Holy Infant Catholic Church. She adds that the fish fries allow the church and its community to gather for fun and fellowship.

The fish fry at one church, St. Cecilia, is so popular, and its lines so long, that you can actually buy food to eat while you're waiting to make your order. 

What could be more St. Louis than that?

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The First Course by Ian Froeb

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