Anyone who has experience with Lenten sacrifices knows they can be difficult — especially if they involve giving up one's favorite foods for 40 days.
But those who do choose to forgo sweets, colas or some other treat can take comfort in one delicious fact — Lent offers a free pass for consuming boatloads of fried fish. (At least for those Lenten observers who avoid meat on Fridays.)
And what better way to devour fried fish than in the dish that's a favorite from Wales to Wichita — the classic fish and chips?
Many restaurants in Wichita serve the dish, whose greasy goodness can be traced back to 19th century England.
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A standard order of fish and chips is made with battered and deep-fried whitefish such as haddock, cod or pollock. The "chips" are fried potatoes. (Our fries are the Brit's chips. Our chips are their crisps.)
Those doing it right eat their fish and chips from a newspaper-lined basket and generously douse it all with malt vinegar.
One of Wichita's most popular versions of fish and chips is made at River City Brewery, 150 N. Mosley. The brew pub fries the fish in a beer batter made from its own brewed beer, said Dan Norton, head brewer.
River City also uses the freshest cod possible and serves it with a side of waffle fries and cider slaw.
The dish is consistently among the restaurant's most ordered, Norton said, but the kitchen stocks up extra supplies during Lent.
"Year-round, it's one of our top menu items, and that's why it's never going away," he said. "We change our menu once a year, but that's one of the mainstays."
Following is a list of some of the other restaurants in Wichita that serve fish and chips.
* The Anchor, 1109 E. Douglas: The fish and chips are made with Free State's Ad Astra ale in the batter and come with choice of home-fried potato chips or fries.
* Bonefish Grill, 10250 E. 13th St.: The fish in Sir Will's Fish & Chips is fried tempura style, resulting in a lighter, flakier crust.
* Freddy's Frozen Custard, 8621 W. 21st St., 310 N. Rock Road, 11525 E. 13th St. Freddy's doesn't normally have fish and chips on its menu but is offering it as a special through Lent.
* Fox and Hound, 1421 N. Waterfront Parkway: The restaurant's Newcastle fish & chips have Newcastle Brown Ale in the batter, reportedly resulting in a slightly caramel flavor.
* Heroes, 117 N. Mosley: The Old Town sports bar is offering a special menu on Fridays throughout Lent, and it includes several fish and seafood options, including fish and chips.
* Old Chicago, 7626 E. Kellogg, 300 N. Mead, 2240 N. Tyler Road: The restaurant's beer-battered cod is made with Sam Adams in the batter and is served with salt and vinegar fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce.
* Firkin & Bull, 2441 N. Maize Road
* Granite City, 2244 N. Webb Road and 2661 N. Maize Road
* Jimmie's Diner, 3111 N. Rock Road
* The Pump House, 825 E. Second St.
* Town & Country, 4702 W. Kellogg
* Player's Sports Bar & Grill, 6200 W. 21st St.
* Red Robin, 9990 E. 13th St.
* Wichita Fish Company, 1601 W. Douglas