Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sublime Seafood at Calumet Fisheries, Chicago

Chicago Skyway toll bridge
I was surprised we had to cross the Chicago Skyway Bridge to reach Calumet Fisheries. Although, we didn't have to cross the entire span of the bridge since we made the first exit after paying a $3 toll. The toll is so worth the destination...

Calumet Fisheries is located in the South side of Chicago so we took the opportunity to visit University of Chicago, Robie's House and the Oriental Museum after lunch; a very productive day.

My recommended itinerary: Calumet Fisheries for lunch, dine al fresco (there is no other choice), drive over to Robie's house and take the tour, walk the University of Chicago campus, take a coffee break and hop over to the FREE Oriental Museum. Beside Calumet fisheries, everything else is within a 2 block radius.

Calumet Fisheries, Chicago

I am certain Anthony Bourdain brought much attention to Calumet Fisheries, as it did for us. I love smoked salmon and even traveled to Coastal Oregon visiting various mom and pop smoked fish shops. Calumet Fisheries is one of best I've had. The fish, both salmon and trout were flaky - like shuffling a pack of cards and moist, not a slight hint of dryness. The prices are ridiculously reasonable for the quality.

Calumet Fisheries, ChicagoCalumet Fisheries, Chicago

We were greeted by two friendly and helpful teenage workers. They answered questions, added their recommendation and let us pick out the fish. Each time the workers would announce the price before wrapping up our pick of the day.

Calumet Fisheries, Chicago

While we were waiting for our fried seafood, we took the opportunity to walk around outside and scoped out the smoker.

There was a choice between plain and peppered smoked salmon. I spotted a tray of smoked salmon heads but we had to pass because we ordered so much food. The fish was moist, the smokiness penetrated through and through.

Calumet Fisheries - smoked peppered salmon

The smoked trout was about 1/3 of the salmon price, this piece ran us about three dollars and change. The fish was seasoned very well, not salty, the smoke brought out the natural flavors of the meat.

Calumet Fisheries - smoked trout
Calumet Fisheries - smoked trout
Little Trout staring at the clouds

The smoked shrimps were huge, probably in the 20/24 size range. The shell is intact and peeled off easily, the meat was tight, crunchy and smoky.

Calumet Fisheries - smoked shrimpCalumet Fisheries - Smoked shrimp

The full order of [$6.39] fried smelts was more than enough to share with four people.

Calumet Fisheries - fried smelt

One of the workers recommended the fish chips, he said it was one of their biggest sellers and fresh everyday. The [$4.35] half order of fish chips was excellently fried - crispy, tender and not oily.

Calumet Fisheries - fried fish

We were armed with napkins, plastic utensils (it really isn't necessary, our hands were more efficient) and two Diet Rite. We were ready to dine al fresco on the car hood. We had a view of the industrial town, a river, passing cars who stared at us stuffing our faces and if one squint hard enough, one might even see a Casino boat in Indiana.

Calumet Fisheries, dining al fresco
One of the best way to dine

IMG_5903The store is filled with accolades from the James Bread Foundation and signed photos of Anthony Bourdain. I am so glad Bourdain included a gem like Calumet Fisheries in his Chicago episode, since Hot Doug's and L20 already have a lot of love.

Next time, I'll stop by Calumet Fisheries for a quick snack before going to a Casino Boat in Indiana, that is another destination I want to experience.

Calumet Fisheries
3259 E 95th St
Chicago, IL 60617
(773) 933-9855
Calumet Fisheries on Urbanspoon


Lolia S said...

I'm going to Hot Doug's soon. Will bookmark Calumet Fisheries.


Forager said...

Hmm.. whatever smelts are - they look good, but they could do with a re-branding for a tastier name! And I'm with you - if Bourdain gives it the thumbs up - I'm there!

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