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Something's fishy in the Fay-West region again this Lent

| Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lent means fish fries, and anyone in the mood for a great fish sandwich or dinner has several options in the Fay-West region.

The Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department is again serving up fish sandwiches and sides -- a tradition that has been part of the Lenten season for more than 20 years.

"People really look forward to the fish fry because it is the only time of the year that we do it,' fire chief Gerald Lucia said. "We now have Courtyard Catering running our kitchen and people here can always keep in mind that every fish dinner that you buy makes money for the department."

The Mt. Pleasant Veterans of Foreign Wars' fish fry is held at the Firemen's Club from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 to 7:30 p.m. every Friday during Lent.

The Connellsville Township Volunteer Fire Department is also frying up some great fish again this year, with sales gaining weekly.

"The sales aren't bad and all proceeds go to the fire department," assistant fire chief Rob Leiberger said.

The fish has become popular in the area, with dinners, sandwiches and sides cooked up by CTVFD fireman Lt. Trey Rechenberg and others, who man the kitchen every Friday.

Homemade goodness is the secret to a great fish dish, and Rechenberg adds some tasty homemade side dishes to compliment the meals and sandwiches.

"Our haluski and our macaroni and cheese are homemade," Rechenberg said, adding that he makes the macaroni and cheese with his grandmother Lois Jenkins, from a special family recipe.

And sales are going well.

"Last week we sold 525 dinners and this week we are going to try hard to beat that," Rechenberg said.

Dinners, sandwiches and sides are available for eat in at the fire hall, take out or even delivered.

"We deliver within about a five-mile radius and we also have a lot of people who eat at the fire hall," Rechenberg said.

Fish is offered from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Connellsville Township fire hall.

Now in its second year, the East Huntingdon Volunteer Fire Department is preparing fish and sides every Friday, serving a growing amount of hungry customers each week.

"The first week we only made about $700," volunteer fireman and fish fry coordinator Chuck Potoka said. "We doubled that the following week."

Potoka and his kitchen crew put together fish and sides that include homemade macaroni and cheese and haluski, and this year they also added some great homemade desserts.

It's the sandwich that brings people back week after week, though.

"Our fish sandwiches are really big sellers," Potoka said. "We have been told that we have the best one around."

Fish and sides are offered every Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the East Huntingdon fire hall.

New this year to the fish fry circuit is the Polish Falcons Club in Mt. Pleasant, which opened its kitchen to the public from 5 to 7 p.m. every Friday.

"It was suggested that we try to open our kitchen to the public for the fish, so we thought we'd try it," coordinator Theresa Dombrosky Firmstone said. "The first week was so-so, but the second week, the place was packed. We sold 50 pounds of fish in two hours."

Firmstone said that the fish is hand-breaded and the sides, including the pierogi lasagna, are all homemade.

"I couldn't believe that we doubled what we did in only a week," Firmstone said. "People were thrilled to see that we were open and they really enjoyed all the food."

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