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Apple Granny Restaurant owners Enrico Frosolone and Michael Burke flank server Joanne Podlucky.
Apple Granny Restaurant owners Enrico Frosolone and Michael Burke flank server Joanne Podlucky.

Still a catch: Apple Granny reclaims WNY's Best Fish Fry title

by jmaloni
Fri, Apr 12th 2024 10:00 am

By Joshua Maloni

GM/Managing Editor

Apple Granny Restaurant serves WNY’s Best Fish Fry.

So said Niagara Frontier Publications readers, whose votes provided the Village of Lewiston restaurant with its fifth title. Apple Granny was tops for four straight years (2018-21) before Grand Island’s Village Inn won back-to-back championships (2022-23).

“Very proud, very proud. Excited,” co-owner Enrico Frosolone said.

“I think it speaks volumes to the nature of running this restaurant in that we’ve consistently won,” co-owner Michael Burke said. “Over the last 10 years, we've been able to continue providing a good piece of fish for Western New York fish fries. We've had a consistent kitchen operation. And that, I think, helps along the way of winning this. So, we owe a lot of gratitude for the people in the kitchen. For sure.”

Apple Granny patrons voted in print in the Niagara County Tribune/Sentinel and Island Dispatch, and online at www.wnypapers.com.

“It speaks to their loyalty,” Burke said of his customers’ efforts.

“It speaks volumes of their loyalty,” Frosolone emphasized.

“It speaks to the fact that I think we're putting out a good product, consistently enough, that they would take the time to do that,” Burke said. “At the end of the meal, they probably say, ‘Hey, good value, good meal. I'm going to do them a favor and vote for them.’ ”

Though this decade has been challenging for restaurants, in terms of keeping staff, Apple Granny has proven “an outlier in the industry,” Burke said. “We've got a lot of employees here that have stuck with us for quite a few years. We've got waitresses that started as hostesses at 15 years old that are now serving with us in their 20s. I think we pay them a fair wage; we treat them right. We like to say it's a big family around here.”

“It’s a family business, absolutely,” Frosolone said. “Everybody gets along. That’s how we treat everyone.”

“Rico’s daughters all work here,” Burke said.

“All three of my daughters are here, and each one has a different role, and they love it,” Frosolone said. “They love being here, and they love to be able to serve these customers. It's fun. It really is. Satisfying.”

Pictured is Apple Granny’s baked haddock. The fish also can be prepared in butter or wine, or with a hint of garlic. On Friday, a beer-battered fish is available to order.


Some of the edited comments attached to WNY’s Best Fish Fry ballots included:

  • Raymond J.: “So huge and excellent tasting. No skin or bones. I went there yesterday and can't wait to go again.”
  • Sam L.: “Consistency is key and it’s amazing every time!”
  • John C.: “Crispy, golden, delicious, with the most amazing sides!”
  • Joe M.: “Good taste and amount for the price.”
  • Elizabeth M.: “Beer batter is very crispy and huge! The best.”
  • Michele T.: “Great atmosphere. Clean, quality food. Delicious fish.”
  • David M.: “Flaky, crisp; always the same. No guess work.”
  • Nancy D.: “Hot and tasty variety, delicious sides, very friendly and efficient servers. Reasonably priced.”
  • Keith S.: “We have been going there for 20 years and never been disappointed. Food is excellent and waitresses are great.”
  • Diana P.: “It’s just yummy.”

Burke explained, “It's a full 9- to 11-ounce piece of fish, a haddock. We have our own procedure. We don't take it right out of the box and throw it in the fryer. Every piece gets handled. Every piece gets a cold-water rinse. Rico and I handle every piece of fish. Before it goes out, we have seen that piece of fish.

“If you come here on a Thursday afternoon when we take our largest fish delivery, it's a two- to three-hour process getting the fish right. You can be certain that you're never going to have anything from the ocean that doesn't belong in a piece of fish in our fish.

“We take pride in that. So, if anybody is looking for a new fish fry, it's not a south towns fish fry. There's a big difference between the north towns and the south towns. We don't serve rye bread with ours. They usually use some type of prepackaged pasta or macaroni salad. We don't do that. Ours comes with homemade tartar sauce, lemon, homemade coleslaw. And we use really, really good, high-quality french fries.”

Burke added, “Our fish is available every Friday, year-round. Not just during lent. There is a misconception out there because we sell a lot of fish on Fridays.

“We sell a lot of seafood. There's a seafood special in this restaurant every single day.

“We also have a big menu. It's five pages. We sell a lot of beef on weck. We sell a lot of wings. We are a nice little spot in Lewiston and Western New York, for sure. Come on down. It's close to the river, and there's always something going on.”

“We appreciate the customer support,” Frosolone said.

Apple Granny Restaurant is located at 433 Center St., Lewiston. Visit http://applegranny.com/ or call 716-754-2028.

Rounding out the top 5 in WNY’s Best Fish Fry voting: Grapevine Restaurant, Village Inn, Beach House and Eldridge Club. More than 450 votes were cast, and more than 40 eateries were nominated.

Apple Granny Restaurant owners Enrico Frosolone and Michael Burke with their award-winning haddock. The dish comes complete with homemade coleslaw and tartar sauce, lemon and french fries.

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