If you’re stuck between heading to a restaurant or church fish fry, Shaker Heights’ Larchmere Tavern can settle the difference.
You can park yourself on a repurposed church pew in one of the main dining rooms and hobnob with local parishioners, but the food and service are purely restaurant caliber.
“Our fish fry is supported very heavily by the folks at Our Lady of Peace Church,” says owner Fred Vrabel of the nearby Catholic church. “Father Gary is a regular, and he gives us [mention] from the pulpit.”
For nearly 30 years, this old-neighborhood staple has been the go-to spot for longtime residents and a welcoming pub to the younger crowd moving into the area.
Chef Sandra Murray even changes the restaurant’s food preparation strategy to fit with how many people are coming through the door.
Instead of deep-frying the wild-caught, fresh perch ($17.95), which would require increased time in the fryer, Murray lightly breads and lightly fries it. “Breading is tastier [than deep-frying], and with the amount of fish we do, we have one fryer,” she says. “So a quick, light fry makes it easier for the pre-cooking. It makes them less greasy, too.” Fridays during Lent 11:30 a.m.-10p.m. 13051 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights, 216-721-1111, thelarchmeretavern.com