Most fish fries are quite similar, serving the same things – fried or baked or broiled fish, the occasional fried shrimp, fries, cole slaw and (if you are lucky) pierogi. If you are really lucky, they serve mac n cheese or cabbage and noodles or some kind of chowder or soup. St. John Bosco Catholic Church in Parma Heights stands apart because it is ‘catered’ by Bruno’s Ristorante. This means you can choose eggplant lasagna for your main and have side choices like manicotti and pizza.
I’ll give you one guess as to what I ordered at the fish fry. If you guessed a combo of fried battered fish and eggplant lasagna with manicotti as my one side and a second extra side of pizza you would be correct. I could have gone for just fish or just lasagna, a 3-side dinner or a pierogi dinner as well. The broiled fish looked really good too. Overall, the food was quite simple, but it was very well made. I was extremely happy with my choices. The dinners include one side, coleslaw, roll, dessert, and beverage. Wine and beer were also available at a cash bar.
The fried fish was perfectly fried and nice and crispy. The eggplant lasagna was delicious and full of layers of cheesy goodness. They offered extra sauce on top of the eggplant and manicotti, so they were nice and moist. The manicotti was a simple cheese manicotti, but it was so good. I was also allowed to choose my square of cheese pizza. I went with a juicy looking middle piece. In contrast, I chose an edge piece of white cake for my dessert. It was a good white cake and not too sweet, which I really enjoyed – especially since it had a nice amount of frosting on it. I also want to give a tip of my hat to the coleslaw. It was some of the best I’ve had in a while. Not too sweet, not too sour, with just the right amount of moisture to it.
St. John Bosco serves their fish fries from 4 to 7:30. I was lucky I came when I did, because they aren’t serving for the next two weeks and start again in April. They offer an early bird discount between 4 and 5, but I chose to get there closer to 4 (4:20 to be exact) just to avoid the crowds. Since some friends who were there last week allegedly waited two hours, it was a good move on my part. The early bird crowd was all seated and eating by then. I walked in and was immediately greeted and shown to a table.
The staff set down silverware to indicate my seat was reserved since I didn’t have a coat to leave. The hostess then pointed me in the direction of the line to pay and get my food. The line was almost non-existent. I had a group of two and a group of four ahead of me. I quickly gave the order taker my order and paid the cashier (they only accept cash or check) before heading a few steps to the food line. I grabbed a plate since I was eating in. The take-outs and in-person diners all go through the same food line, they just grab a take-out box instead and had it to the server. They definitely were a well-oiled machine. I hobbled down the line, making my choices to add to my plate, and then hobbled to the beverage station where I grabbed a couple ginger ales. After dropping my plate and beverages off at my table I made my way back to the desserts and grabbed a piece of cake. I have learned not to wait until the end of the meal to grab a dessert or they may run out.
I enjoyed my meal while looking out the window at the parking lot. The woman at a table next to me (the aforementioned group of four, which was actually a group of five) regaled everyone with her plight with workman’s comp and how Door Dash worked. It was interesting, but I don’t think she managed to take a bite during her diatribe. Everyone else at her table seemed to be almost done when I left. The kids who patrolled the hall with bus stations probably only waited five seconds before they cleared my table for the next guests. St. John Bosco claims they serve up to 1000 meals on Fridays during Lent. I was in my car and heading home by 5 o’clock.
This was a stellar fish fry. I definitely rank it in the top five in the area. I would definitely go again. Well done, St. John Bosco. You’ve done your namesake proud!
St. John Bosco Catholic Church
6480 Pearl Road
Parma Heights, OH 44130