It's Friday in April, leading to just one question for Dubuquers and Tri-Staters: Where's the Fish Fry?

Dubuque's history as a Catholic enclave creates a culture of Lenten Fish Frys from one corner of the county to the other. Typically civic organizations, parishes, and area restaurants are happy to pack the places to the gills to feed the Friday night masses.

I learned this all too well as a busboy in the mid-80s at the past its prime, but still cool Chateau Supper Club on the City's north end. The Chateau is long gone but trust me when I say Friday night deep-fried cod was and still is a thing across the tri-states.

In short, the Catholic church believes that abstaining from eating meat is a form of penance that turns one away from sinning and moves one closer to God. This practice includes forgoing beef and pork, chicken, and turkey. However, eating fish is allowed. Hence the area's famous fish fry. 

While many folks are following the church, many more are simply thrilled to be dining out on deep-fried, broiled, and baked fish along with a side of tarter sauce.

There are many great Tri-State fish fry options, but here are a few picked as representative of a range of options.

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Bluff Lake Catfish Farm Photo Credit: Google Earth
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Bluff Lake Catfish Farm 9301 95th Ave • Maquoketa, IA 52060 ph 563.652.3272  Blufflakecatfishfarm.com

Bluff Lake is set in a unique rural Jackson County location and specializes in All-You-Can-Eat meals that attract folks from miles around. They serve Friday 4-9 pm and offer whole & fillet Catfish for $18.99. Call ahead to be sure you can get seated at this popular spot.

 

 

Breitbach's Country Dining. Photo Credit: Google Earth
Breitbach's Country Dining. Photo Credit: Google Earth
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Breitbach's Country Dining

563 Balltown Rd. Balltown, Iowa 52073 ph 563.552.2220 Breitbachscountrydining.com 

Iowa's oldest restaurant is another desirable destination in a unique rural location. Located on the Great River Road just 14 miles north of Dubuque, Breitbach's offers hand-battered and baked cod as well as catfish. Additionally, their buffet has other terrific options. Save room for pie!

 

Rhody's Photo Credit: Google Earth
Rhody's Photo Credit: Google Earth
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Rhody's

14167 Old Highway Road Dubuque, 52003 ph 563.585.1500  Rhodysdubuque.com

Rhody's gets rave reviews for its excellent "bar food." They've got several fish & shrimp options on the menu and offered a catfish and cod dinner for $14.95. Additional fish is just $1 per piece.

 

Timmerman's Supper Club Photo Credit: Google Earth
Timmerman's Supper Club Photo Credit: Google Earth
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Timmerman's Supper Club

7777 Timmerman Dr. East Dubuque, IL 61025 815.747.3316 Timmermanssupperclub.com

Check out Timmerman's if you're looking to upscale your dining experience to a classic midwestern supper club. Perched on a bluff a few miles off the Julien Dubuque Bridge, Timmerman's view of the Mississippi is quite memorable, and the grasshopper drink will be as well. 

Timmerman's typically has an extensive seafood menu but offers special cod and shrimp dinners through April 15.

 

3 Mile House Photo Credit: Google Earth
3 Mile House Photo Credit: Google Earth
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3 Mile House 370 State Road 35 Hazel Green, WI 53811 Phone: (608) 748-4455 3milehouse.com

The Three Mile House in Hazel Green offers a solid Wisconsin Supper Club experience. Online reviews rave about the food and service. Additionally, they provide an extensive menu of seafood.

Be sure and call ahead for any of the restaurants mentioned in this article. This article intends to provide a diverse example representing the tri-states. Please seek out other fantastic options as there are countless delicious Friday Night Fish Fry offerings in the tri-states.

 

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