The Michigan Codfather is gonna make you a fish fry you can't refuse

Lillian Stone
·1 min read
Marlon Brando in 'The Godfather'
Marlon Brando in 'The Godfather'


“Did you want the beer-battered cod or the Great Lakes walleye?”

By day, Lee Burmeister is a diesel mechanic. But by night, he swaps his wrench for a spatula and becomes Michigan’s Codfather, cranking out up to 300 orders of fried fish every Friday during Lent from his Hard Knocks Food Truck in Grand Ledge, Michigan.

“It just happened accidentally,” Burmeister told Michigan Live. “A few years ago after a busy Friday fish fry, I was cuttin’ it up with my kitchen staff and told them they can call me ‘The Codfather.’” Now, every year during Lent, the Codfather serves up one of Michigan’s best fish fries. Michigan Live reports that Burmeister and his wife, Abbie, sell two kinds of fish, Great Lakes walleye and beer-battered cod, the latter of which is battered in finger-lickin’ Pabst Blue Ribbon. Here’s the wild part: Burmeister goes through as many as 10 cases of fish in four hours from the tiny food truck parked off East Saginaw Highway.

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Now, Burmeister would like to call upon you to do a service for him: make a trip to Michigan to sample his wares. “To someone on the fence or just hearing about us, I’d tell them that my mission is to change the world one meal at a time,” he told Michigan Live. “That I want whatever it is I’m offering to be the absolute best.” Refuse to visit, and you might be sleeping with the fishes.