Fish Fry #3 2023 – St. Vladimir Orthodox Church

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, maybe not so dark shortly before 4 o’clock, but it was definitely stormy. Nothing like a cold, wet rainy night in northeast Ohio to really make you want to stay in. I had decided to hit St. Charles Borromeo at 4 for its take-out and hoped they had tents set up for their take-out workers. St. Francis de Sales it was not! Turns out I would have had to get out of my car and hobble across the street and enter the church to pick up my meal. If you are having people come in to pick up meals you might as well serve them as dine-in. Not in that weather! Nope! Maybe I’ll fit it in this year again, but probably not.

The Great Hall behind the church: right: front entrance, left: rear entrance with lots of parking

I then pivoted to fish fry #2 on my plan of attack for tonight, St. Vladimir Orthodox Church. I had planned to dine in there after picking up my take-out from St. Charles. St. Vladimir is an impressive church edifice on State Road. I pulled into the parking lot between the church and the Grand Hall, which is where the fish fry was being held, right at 4:30. Their serving time is 4:30 to 7:00. With no available spots in front, I drove around to the back and managed to get a good spot close to the back door. The line was not that long for 4:30, but there was a delay when two gentlemen backed up the line getting multiple to-go orders filled. They must have had six containers each on their trays, and the entire serving table stood there empty and waiting for them to make their way down from the fish. The folks at St. Vladimir need to organize take-out orders better.

Once it was my turn, I grabbed a tray and utensils and quickly debated whether to grab a to-go container or plate. Knowing I can’t eat a full fish fry meal, I opted for the to-go container. Good decision! They had six dinners to choose from – baked salmon (1 pc), baked cod (1 pc), perch/Captain Gene’s dinner (3 pc), fried white fish (2 pc), fried shrimp (6 pc) and potato pierogi (6 pc). And they also have a kid’s dinner with a slice of pizza, french fries and applesauce. I chose the Lake Erie Perch and, as per Captain Gene’s Special Dinner’s description, was given three meager pieces of perch. When she saw the tiny portion one of the servers gave me a fourth piece, explaining they are allowed some discretion if they feel the pieces are small. I appreciated it. One of my fellow diners suggested I get the cod next time, so keep that in mind.

All dinners include cole slaw or applesauce, a dinner roll, coffee and a cookie – and your choice of one side. Choices included french fries, 2 pierogi, 1 potato pancake, redskin potatoes, steamed vegetables, cabbage and noodles, and mac n cheese. I chose the pierogi and am so glad I did! St. Vladimir’s pierogi are a solid A+! Pillowy softness drenched in butter and onions. The pierogi were just like I like them. I almost ventured back into the line just to get a pierogi dinner to go. I may come back and do that later in the season. People, these pierogi give St. Josaphat’s pierogi, which I have always considered the gold standard that my grandma used to make, a run for their money! The perch itself was good, but not as tasty as St. Joseph’s. Since the pieces were small they were a little tough and not much “meat” to them. The cole slaw was tasty, and the dinner roll was nice and soft.

I also added on a clam chowder. It was a decent clam chowder, but could have used a little more salt and pepper. I would have added some if it were on the table. It had nice soft chunks of potato and clam in it and a nice creamy consistency. I also added a piece of cake even though a chocolate chip cookie came with the meal. It was really sweet, but I like the combination of chocolate and cherries so I enjoyed it. It wasn’t a real Black Forest Cake, but real ones are time-consuming to make, so I understand why they did what they did. Pies and cakes were on offer for $3. My meal came to $28 – $20 for the perch dinner, $5 for the chowder, and $3 for the dessert. They accept credit cards, but I paid cash.

There was apparently a bar down the hall, but I wasn’t walking that great today. In fact, I almost faceplanted while leaving because my foot was asleep and I lost my footing. So I stuck with the free water within walking distance and grabbed a tartar sauce for good measure.

They also have a table of merch if you want to show that you “Stand with Ukraine.” They are also taking donations and having a fundraiser soon. I got to use some Russian, talked with some nice folks, and thoroughly enjoyed my meal. As I left the building to promptly get soaked and drive home in the deluge, I couldn’t help thinking that I was glad I had ventured out tonight.

P.S. Fresh pyrohy (pierogi) are available on Fridays during Lent between from 9:00 am and 12:00 pm (until April 7). Frozen pyrohy may be purchased every week on Tuesday and Friday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Please call the church office at (440) 886-3223 to check availability. Email orders ( for fresh pyrohys are available only during the Christmas and Easter season. Email and phone orders for Lent will begin on February 18 and will go until April 5. Please call (440) 886-3252 for phone orders.

Contact info:

St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
5913 State Road
Cleveland, OH 44134
(440) 886-3223


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: