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As far as we're concerned, fish and chips might just be the perfect food. It has a layer of fry (the crisper the better), a little (or a lot of) salt, and inside of that batter crust you get a nice hunk of fish. You can eat it sitting down, standing up or on the run -- and it's hard to ruin. Unless, of course, it gets soggy. There are few sights sorrier than a soggy fish plank. The key -- in our experience -- is to liberally douse just the chips with malt vinegar, and eat the fish straight. Follow it up with a cool pint of real ale and you're living the life. Of course, variety is the spice of life, so if you wish to experiment with various proportions of vinegar, lemon or (shudder) the abomination that men call tartar sauce, Schlafly's Cod & Cask Festival is the place for you. The annual celebration of the mighty cod and the equally potent cask ale takes place from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday (February 15 and 16) at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street; 314-241-2337 or www.schlafly.com). Admission is free, but you'll need money for items such as fish and drinks.
Sat., Feb. 16, 2013

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