Within spitting distance of the Wisconsin border, on US 41 north of Chicago, Captain Porky’s is one of those delightful gems one hopes to discover but doesn’t run into all that often. A combination restaurant and seafood market, the three Kallianis siblings started the restaurant in 1984, having settled in the suburban Chicago area after immigrating from Greece.
The restaurant part (order at the counter, sit at large wood picnic tables inside) features cooked to order seafood, sandwiches, and bbq specialties, like ribs and chicken.
The market part offers a fresh seafood counter, order like at a butcher shop, by the pound, or in the case of some fish, they will slice off ‘sized to order’ steaks. In a small deli counter are house-made fresh salads and a few Greek baked goods. A variety of micro brews are available by the bottle for those dining in.
They serve their sandwiches New Orleans “po boy” style, on French rolls dressed with tomato, lettuce, and mayo. They also offer a couple of New Orleans specialties like gumbo and jambalaya. Note that for another day.
Sandwiches and meals are served ala carte or with a slight upgrade, with sides. Steak fries are available, as are a host of other fried delicacies, like rings, okra, zucchini, hush puppies, eggplant, as well as several southern vegetables.
I went outside the norm, and had a walleye po boy. Walleye is a tender flesh, mild fish indigenenous to the upper Midwest, Canada, and Alaska. I asked for a little side of remoulade sauce, a very traditional New Orleans condiment that originated in France. Call it tartar sauce with a kick, which can come from adding capers or curry powder. If you feel inclined to make it at home, here’s Emeril’s recipe.
I knew the fish would be fresh from seeing it in the counter (pic below). It was cooked perfectly, with a light breading, and was ample sized, a good value for the money. Steak fries were great, as well, especially when I used the remoulade as a fry dipping sauce.
If you live in the Chicago area, particularly the NW burgs, or in SE Wisconsin, it’s worth a trip, if you haven’t been. Excellent job, folks. Time to consider bringing your chow to the rest of the country!
The family owns an another restaurant next door, The Shanty, which features seafood, steaks, pasta as well as a Friday fish fry, and breakfast on Sundays.
Captain Porkys Seafood and BBQ Review