Western New York appears to be obsessed with fish fries on Fridays. This, of course, is when places fry up some fish and serve it, and presumably is related to a historically Catholic population and some holiday called Lent. As for me, I usually don’t like fish that hasn’t been fried, so this works out nicely for me. As a newbie to the area, I reached out to Buffalo Eats for recommendations and they pointed me to Swannie House in South Buffalo. Before I even entered, I was a happy man, because the the combination of smells from the Cheerios factory across the way and the frying going on inside made it smell like elephant ears. But let’s move on to the fish fry.
For a divey place, the fish fry was little more expensive than I expected, weighing in at 12 bucks. Yet, it came with a pile of fries and a choice of macaroni salad or potato salad (I chose the macaroni). When given the option for how to get the fish fried I chose beer-battered. To be honest, I don’t even know what the other options were, but the waitress suggested beer-batter and who was I to disagree?
When it arrived, I found it also came with cole slaw, which was somewhat disappointing but didn’t impact any of the real food. The real food, though, also looked kind of funny. The fish was shaped more like the nation of Israel than actual fish, and the fries came in colors I had never seen before. But when I cut into the fish, I found it was real fish and real good. There was no fishy taste and it was nice and moist on the inside. Plus, the batter was deliciously crispy, even with the lemon juice squeezed over it. The macaroni salad was…well…macaroni salad. I don’t really have enough macaroni salad experience to say how good or bad it was, but I suppose it was a nice light break from the fried goodness of the fries and fish.
It was a good first stop for me on my quest to find great fish fry in Western New York. But don’t worry, I’ll still find a way to get meat on Fridays.