It's a mild challenge to locate Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church. But think of it as an Easter egg hunt and begin at I-44 and Jefferson Avenue. (Further directions at the bottom of this report.)
The churchyard - and there is no other word for it than that evocative, old-fashioned one - is lovely and tranquil, especially considering it's the heart of the city and near the interstate. The stroll through it to get to the fish fry, which is in a hall next to the church, even though brief, is a good respite from a Friday of activity for most of us.
That hall, known as the Four Seas, has considerably more elan than the usual gymnasium, and it becomes part of the fun. There's a greeting at the door, and the buffet line at the far end of the room.
Interestingly, there are clear hints of New Orleans in some of the offerings. Catfish, shrimp or tilapia, the latter either baked or fried, and either shrimp creole or shrimp etouffe are the entrees, and I regret the etouffe was not on the rotation the afternoon I visited. The basic sides are fries, cole slaw and rice, but there are others, which might include red beans and rice, spaghetti, onion rings caesar salad, roasted potatoes, or a bean or barley-vegetable soup. So some things beyond the expected, clearly.
The catfish was among the best I've tried at the fish fries, a generous serving that was crisp, well-seasoned and not at all greasy, erasing almost all the itch for etouffe. Cole slaw, too, was above average, an oil-and-vinegar dressing with a little extra sparkle. Alas, the red beans and rice weren't ready yet, so I opted for the bean soup. This was the only miss of the meal - extremely bland and not nearly hot enough. The serving of slaw, however, and the large catfish fillet were sufficient, and the meal not only includes a beverage but dessert, including the Serbian options of baklava and palacinka, crepes filled with Nutella or jam.
The palacinka - mine had strawberry jam - was tender, a nice contrast of the slightly chewy crepe and a little texture from the strawberries, and hit the right spot between light and substantial. And for those who have adult beverages in mind, yes, there's a bar, too, and a bartender. Great retro-ish music when I was there, Sinatra, Bobby Darin, et al, and sports on the bar t.v. All darn close to perfect.
Turning east off Jefferson, Geyer actually seems to go through the parking lot of Randall's Wines & Spirits, and Allen is the southern edge of that block. Take either of them two blocks to Serbian Drive; Holy Trinity is at the corner of Geyer and Serbian Drive.
1910 Serbian Drive
Fridays in Lent (including Good Friday) 4.30-7.30 p.m.