I had been here before COVID and loved it. Any place that serves Dick’s Bakery is Aces in my book. Dick’s Bakery has amazing baked goods, but their Date Nut cake is the thing of legends. My high school graduation cake was a Date Nut sheet cake from Dick’s Bakery. That was way back in 1987, and I still love it. Well, things have changed post-COVID, and now, instead of including a dessert with the fish fry, the youth have a baked goods sales (free with donation) to support the group’s summer retreat to Steubenville. I can totally respect and support that.
Even without a dessert you still get a lot of bang for your buck here at St. Adalbert’s fish fry. It costs $13 and is all you can eat. It’s $11 for Seniors 60+ and $7 for kids 3-12. Cash or check only. The dinner includes baked breaded cod, cole slaw, mac n cheese, cabbage and noodles, three kinds of pierogi (kraut, potato and cheese – you can get up to four on your first go-around, then they limit you to two at a time), fresh cut french fries and coffee, water, lemonade or iced tea. I skipped the french fries and got one each of the pierogi. They ask that you limit what you choose, since the money goes to charity. I knew I wouldn’t be partaking in the all-you-can-eat feature, so I wanted to make sure I finished everything I chose. If you do choose to get more you just need to go to the right of the serving tables and they’ll take care of you.
The fish fry starts at 4:30. I got there shortly before 4, and the parking lot was almost full. I got into line at 4:15, and the line spanned down the hall and into the church foyer. And the line never subsided the whole time I was there. They have some bench seating along the sides, but if you have problems standing that long you may want to skip it or get carry out. One woman almost collapsed from low blood sugar and had to be carried to a bench. She was stubborn and got back into line after a few minutes. Her husband ended up seating her at a table as soon as they entered the hall and continued in the line to get dinners for them both. Because the line wrapped around the back and side of the hall as well.
They opened the hall doors at 4:30, and it took 45 minutes to work our way to the serving tables. It was fun looking at all the old photographs from the history of the church. One photo featured the first baptised baby from the 1830s!
Carry out is open from 4:30 to 6:30 and is in a completely separate area on the right side of the building. The choices include the fish dinner, a pierogi dinner, a fish sandwich and a kids’ meal. You can dine in from 4:30 to 7:30, but I was told they will lock the doors sometimes at 6:30 or 6:45 if they think they are going to run out of food. So the long lines were not just because it was their last fish fry of the year. It’s because the food is EXCELLENT and a total bargain!
Let’s start with the fish. It was delicious. They only serve baked breaded cod, so if you are looking for gluten-free options you are out of luck. But folks, this was one of the tastiest pieces of fish I’ve enjoyed all year – and I really loved St. Joseph’s. I don’t know what made it so tasty, but paired with the tartar sauce each bite was an absolute delight. I ALMOST went back for a second piece, but decided my diet and body wouldn’t appreciate that. I have been taking a semiglutide for the last 3 weeks, which is changing my tastes and what my body can handle. My digestion is slowing, and I will soon be unable to handle fatty, fried foods and sugar. But hey, I’m already down ten pounds.
OK, moving on to the sides. The mac n cheese was really good – not too goopy and not too sweet. The cheese clung to the pasta very well. The cabbage and noodles were great. The cabbage was cut up into small pieces, and the noodles and cabbage were easy to eat with a fork (which is not always the case). I chose one of each of the pierogo choices. The kraut and potato were great – very savory, nicely flavored without too much filling. I saved the cheese pierogi as my dessert, because it was filled with a sweet farmer’s cheese. I can’t say anything about the fries, but the guy sitting next to me enjoyed them a lot. I paired my meal with an Arnold Palmer (half lemonade, half iced tea). I can highly recommend St. Adalbert’s fish fry! Put them on the list for next year.
St. Adalbert Church
66 Adalbert Street
Berea, OH 44017