photo - Padre Jeff Vogt slices corned beef on March 17. While JV's is a longtime downtown Waterloo establishment known for great Friday fish specials, the St. Patrick's Day holiday staple of corned beef was the featured menu item. - photo by Gage Wienhoff
The bishop's dispensation allowing meat to be consumed this Lenten Friday, St. Patrick's Day, allowed Monroe Countians to have the "tough" choice between dining on Irish corned beef or the seasonal favorite of fried cod. Ed-itor Wienhoff decided to take in both meal options.
The Belleville Catholic Diocesan Bishop issued a dispensation allowing church goers to partake of meat (preferably the Irish staple of corned beef) on March 17, 2017 in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Catholic canon dictates that on Fridays during the Lenten season parishioners abstain from the consumption of meat. Tradition has taken hold that fish is the main course of choice. Locally, the preferred fish is deep fried cod.
THE BISHOP'S OFFICIAL DISPENSATION ALLOWING MEAT ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY
To commemorate this irregular calendar alignment of the Irish holiday on a Lenten Friday, Ed-itor Wienhoff thought to don a mitre atop his head and celebrate the occasion in style. Nephew Gage Wienhoff joined Uncle Ed for a late lunch (3 p.m.) at JV's Downtown Bar and Grill in Waterloo. Hostess with the most-ess Jeff Vogt served up a hearty meal of corned beef, cabbage, new potatoes and all the fixins. The place was hoping with patrons enjoying their St. Patty's Day meal. An added attraction was Grey Eagle Distributing stopping by with the Bud Light girls as well as a Uilleann Irish Bagpipe trio. The musicians performed tradition Irish tunes to the delight of all in attendance.
After boxing a to-go order of corned beef, the Wienhoff boys headed west to Valmeyer to stop by the K of C Lenten fish fry at St. Mary's Parish Hall. Lifelong Valmeyer resident Charlotte Gartzske knew something was up when the Ed-itor walked into the hall wearing a bishop's hat and carrying a JV's box.
After placing his order, the Ed-itor soon received a pound of cod fish. He preceded to whip out the corned beef and cabbage, a few slices of rye bread, swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. After bellying up to the bar, a rueben sandwich topped generously with cod was prepared - and the cod-rueben was born (and quickly gobbled down). "I really wanted to take in the full amenities of the Lenten St. Patrick's Day," said the Ed-itor. "I can't wait until this event happens again in seven years."