In the surface, the humdrum of fish fries during Lenten season all seem baked in the same decades long time honored traditions. If you’re looking for a little more spice for your Friday feast, head to El Carnicero, where chef and owner Eric Williams has been running his own line-out-the-door Latin fish fry since 2014.
“It was supposed to be and meant to be a hybrid of the tradition,” says Williams, who derived inspiration for his recipe from other local fish fries. “Every year, it’s unbelievable.”
Williams’ modern Mexican take serves up thick, melt-in-your-mouth, Dos Equis beer-battered Lake Erie perch ($14) with a chili-chipotle tartar sauce that’s equal parts hot and creamy. Add a heaping pile of potato wedges drenched in a jalapeno-and-cilantro chimichurri sauce, or fresh cornmeal hushpuppies made with onion and jalapeno and you’ve got all the makings of a mouthwatering meal that’ll keep you coming back for more.
“Fish fries are mostly a Catholic thing, but regardless of a religious aspect, the sense of community has been highlighted by food and festivals and celebrations,” Williams says, “Waiting to have it only once a year adds to the excitement.” Fridays during Lent 4-8 p.m. 16918 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-3415, elcarnicerolakewood.com