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Fresh Catch: Family-Run Fish Fry is Back at St. Teresa of Avila

The McSorley family has been running the Lenten fish fry at the church for more than 30 years.

It’s baa-aack—and we hope you brought your appetite.

One the largest and best-known fish-fry events in the North Hills starts up Friday, Feb. 15 at St. Teresa of Avila in Ross Township. Once again, the McSorley family, whose history of involvement with the event dates back 30 years, is running the show.

The History

Edward and Janice McSorley were operating a family restaurant in North Hills Village in 1982 when they decided to give back to their church by launching the first St. Teresa of Avila Lenten fish fry.

McSorley's restaurant is no more, and Edward has passed away. Still,the fish fry is bigger and busier than ever under the watchful eye of Edward's son, Dan.

In Edward's memory, the green aprons worn by many of the volunteers are adorned with a shamrock and Ed's initials.

Dan's mother, Janice McSorley, continues to volunteer in the dining room while another McSorley brother, Tim, works in the kitchen. 

A Busy Kitchen

On any Friday in Lent, the St. Teresa fish fry will serve more than 1,100 meals in three hours. That translates into 500-600 lbs of baked or fried cod, 80 pounds of shrimp, 150 pounds of baked potatoes, 150 pounds of fresh cut french fries, 500 servings of macaroni and cheese and 100 pounds of homemade cole slaw. 

Dan McSorley, who works as a paramedic in McCandless, said just about everything is made from scratch—that includes the cocktail and tartar sauces.

"We want it to taste homemade, I think that's why so many people come back here year after year," he said.

 Without the volunteers, operating a fish fry of this size would be impossible, he added.

"We couldn't do it without them," he said. "Our kitchen crew starts Thursday night making the sauces and is back here Friday morning by 7:30 to begin breading all of the fish and shrimp, and at the end of the night, we will start thawing the fish for the next week." 

The McSorley family has spawned another fish fry—this one run by Dan's brother, Frank, at St. Alphonsus Church in Wexford. At the end of each Friday night, the still-competitive brothers will compare notes on which fish fry served the most meals.

Will you be attending the fish fry at St. Teresa of Avila? What’s your favorite item on the menu?  

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Janice Fulmer February 13, 2013 at 05:21 PM
It's a great fish fry.

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