Maybe you are new to town. If so, it’s not your fault if you don’t know about the August tradition. It’s often compared to ordering BBQ in Kansas City or a Po’Boy sandwich in New Orleans. But this Carmel custom is more than just a food must-have. It is also a must-do. Just like visiting Rome and tossing a coin in Trevi Fountain. Or, when in New York a ride to the top of the Empire State Building. For Carmel old-timers and newcomers alike, the Lions Club Fish Fry is not just a must-eat, but also a must-do.
A must-do because of their worthy charitable mission and the authentic, down home dining experience. Lions in Carmel wake up many mornings thinking about not just how to serve Carmel, but how can they serve the blind and people with limited sight. Since 1925 when Helen Keller first addressed the national convention of Lions and challenged their membership to take on this cause, recycling eyeglasses has been a primary focus. The litany of organizations who benefit from the Fish Fry proceeds are too large to reproduce here. But, let’s be clear – if it weren’t for the Carmel Lions, many organizations would be negatively affected.
Leading the 76th Annual Lions Club Fish Fry is Dwight Gossett. He is the Past President of the Club and said, “People really look forward to our fish every year. It is the oldest event in Carmel, but we are always trying to tweak it to make it better.”
Customers have noticed and applauded the car hop service added in recent years. Place your order, pay and receive it piping hot without leaving your car in the drive thru off of 1st Street SE. What hasn’t changed is how the fish is prepared. For 76 years, the Lions have been lightly hand breading each delicate piece of Icelandic Cod with their secret recipe. Legend has it that the secret part is because nobody can remember where the recipe came from, but everyone agrees it should never be changed.
Meet your friends and neighbors on Friday Aug. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and again from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Also on Saturday, Aug. 16 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. All menu items are al-a-carte and all you need to do is just look for the crowd at 141 E. Main in the Carmel Arts & Design District. Good day, Carmel!