It was a 30-mile drive followed by a 26-minute wait to eat at a wobbly table topped with fake flowers under fluorescent lights.
It was so worth it.
There are no secrets to top-notch perch, says Mary Ellen Kovacs, kitchen supervisor for 10 years. Everything but the ketchup has to be from scratch. And it has to go from Lake Erie to the fryer to your plate quickly.
When the fish comes in, it’s washed and soaked in water. The breading is in three rounds: First it’s dredged in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and onion salt, then it’s dipped in a mixture of eggs, milk and water. Last, it’s breaded by hand in a blend of white bread crumbs, salt, pepper and onion salt. From there, it goes to the fryer and is rushed to your table by an army of church ladies. Classic, crunchy, flaky perfection. Just enough seasoning to complement, but not overwhelm, the perch itself.
There is just one choice for you: french fries or cabbage and noodles. The noodle dish is nearly as much a draw as the perch. Bread and coleslaw are included.
They’ve been doing it this way almost 50 years now. Everything the same — except for the price, which used to be 80 cents. 2915 Broadway Ave., Lorain, (440) 244-2787; Every Friday of the year except Christmas, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; $12