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Posted on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Frugal Friday at Happy's Pizza - special Frugal Fish Friday edition for Lent

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

Frugal Floozie Friday is a feature that seeks out dishes — appetizers, drinks, snacks, desserts, sandwiches, whatever — for $5 or less per person. Sometimes I split generously-sized items with loved ones, saving both money and calories; sometimes I find a great deal on a single serving that fits perfectly within the mandatory budget. I try to showcase several options to choose from, and you never know where I'll find them. Check out the column every Friday!

A reader named Ken Calcut wrote to me last week, noting that "Catholics who are observing Lent have to eat fish on Fridays." He asked if, perhaps, I might "want to do a Frugal Fish Friday?"

Well, as a girl who spent 13 years in Catholic schools, I spent much of my life eating fish on Fridays. And two years ago, before starting my frugal series, I offered weekly Lenten Friday posts of non-meat dishes.

So Craig and I ordered take-out from Happy's Pizza to honor Ken's request, finding the generous Filet of Fish sandwich pictured above and also a seafood pizza. Both can be enjoyed within our mandatory budget of $5 per person.

Craig is not usually a fan of fish sandwiches, so I had expected to eat this myself while he ate most of the pizza. I was wrong — he liked this so much that he split it with me. (I'm not advocating sharing it, just noting it was good enough that I couldn't selfishly hoard it.) Crisp fish topped with cheese, with tartar sauce, and with lots of vegetables — so you can tell yourself that it's healthy! — was substantial and cost only $4.95.


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

The small seafood pizza, which measures 10 inches across, costs $8.95; its thick crust is topped with Black Tiger shrimp, onions, mushrooms, and banana peppers, in addition to lots of cheese. Even just half of it turned out to be very filling — Jeremy was very pleased to be the recipient of leftovers, and he specifically stated to me that those three slices were "more than enough" for a meal.

Happy's has numerous offerings to keep both carnivores and vegetarians satisfied within our budget. You can order a small cheese pizza, a cheeseburger or chicken burger, a large serving of macaroni and cheese, or a half-pound of boneless wings for $4.95. Or try the Spicy Polish Boy — "2 Spicy Hot Links with fries & slaw smothered in BBQ sauce" — which also costs $4.95. One piece of fish costs $2.50, and can be paired with a side dish of coleslaw or fries (plain, BBQ or Cajun) for prices ranging from 95 cents to $2.50. Desserts are all less than $4 each. And, of course, you can order larger pizzas and share them with family and friends.

So whether you're looking for an alternative to fish sticks on a Lenten Friday, or you don't feel like cooking and want good food and a good value, Happy's Pizza is the place to go.

Happy's Pizza
600 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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Mary Bilyeu writes for on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, telling about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests, meeting new friends ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions, comments, or suggestions:

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — where she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related; and look for her monthly articles in the Washtenaw Jewish News. "Like" her on Facebook, or send a tweet on Twitter, too.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.



Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 3:55 p.m.

Looks like fast food. I'd rather eat $5 worth of fruit and bread. Maybe you need to increase your frugal limit to $10. Or at least $7.50 :)

Pretty Gritty

Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

If you want crappy food Happy's is for you! Of all the wonderful places to eat in A2 why on earth would one go there?


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 12:33 a.m.

Worst restaurant ever.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

Thanks for all the great tips on getting a great budget lunch in A2


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

That pizza sounds great!!!!


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

just FYI my husband just got over the worst food poisoning of his life (as in, we considered going to the ER) from eating some of Happy's coleslaw. So, eat at your own risk...


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 4:30 a.m.



Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 1:16 a.m.

A total of 12 violations, 10 of which were "Core" violations. And remember, this inspection was scheduled, meaning the manager knew when the sanitarian was coming and had time to prepare for it, as opposed to the usual inspections when they occur unannounced.


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 12:59 a.m.

The most recent health department inspections for Happy's can be found here: Not so happy... The one on Main St., Ann Arbor is #18.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

One other thing, Happy's fish sandwich is made with their spicy perch fillets not cod. Just a minor clarification sorry to be "that guy"


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

The only thing I ever get from Happy's is their seafood. Either the delcious fish sandwich which you have described wonderfully, or their shrimp and fish combo meal which is hit or miss depending on when you order and who prepares it. Good call on the fish sandwich though definitely worth a try

Sarah Rigg

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

I also enjoy the seafood from Happy's. We'll frequently order the shrimp basket and/or the fish sandwich (I prefer their cod to their catfish sandwich). Not healthy by any stretch but they give you a metric ton of food for your money, and it's great "comfort food."