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Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Middendorfs Seafood Menu New Orleans

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Click to enlarge!!!  Go for the paper thin catfish filets. You won’t regret it!

 

Middendorfs Seafood Menu New Orleans

Middendorfs Seafood Menu Prices

 

 

 

Middendorfs Seafood Menu Prices New Orleans

Middendorfs Seafood Menu New Orleans

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Blue Gillys Review – Edgerton, WI

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Blue Gillys ReviewMy dad loved eating fish. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, couldn’t get enough. I brought him over to visit when I was working in Hong Kong and he was in seafood heaven. Geez, I craved a burger during that trip.

He wasn’t much of a sportsman himself, but his colleagues and employees made sure he was kept well supplied, dropping off quantities of trout, sunfish, crappies, pike and bluegills when they had good days.

Don’t think its genetic, but I’m a fish eater too, not anywhere compared to him. And here in the upper midwest, you’re likely to run into one restaurant or 200 that features a “fish fry” every Friday nite, offering you a choice of cod, walleye, perch, or shrimp, often on an AYCE basis.

I was surprised and delighted to run into a place called “Blue Gilly’s” in rural Wisconsin yesterday, a breakfast/lunch restaurant that prominently features bluegills on the menu.

I can’t imagine where they source them, I’d been under the impression for several years that “panfish” – the group of freshwater swimmers that bluegills fall into, were incapable of being farmed. So if they’re wild, they are most likely coming from pristine lakes in Northern Canada or Alaska.

So I had bluegills and eggs for breakfast. The fish is fried with a very, very light breading, and I’m no expert, but I’m gonna guess that they use rice flour for the breading. It has its own unique texture and taste, and of course, is gluten free.

The fish was delightful, and the standard serving (1/2 pound) was more than I could finish at a serving.

The restaurant is open seven days from 6:30 – 2:00PM, and features a full breakfast and lunch menu. Lotsa pancakes on hand, as well.

It’s much bigger inside than it appears outside, so even if the  parking lot would make you think its really crowded, there are probably
tables available.

If you’re traveling I-90 thru Wisconsin, the restaurant is just off exit 163, about an hour north of the Illinois border. Worth a stop.

 

Blue Gillys Review

Bluegills and eggs breakfast

Blue Gillys Review

A nice side dish in the Midwest –  LOL

Blue Gilly's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Blue Gillys Review

Blue Gillys Review

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Rics Dog Gone Good Food Review –

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Rics Dog Gone Good Food ReviewI’m on a roll, lately I’ve hit quite a number of places that have exceeded my expectations, and there’s nothing wrong with that, at all!

Yesterday was no exception, when I was out in the NW Chicago burbs surveying changes that have occurred since we first moved to the idyllic town of Barrington in 1987. And the answer is LOTS. Like most everywhere in America these days, urban sprawl and strip malls have replaced farm fields.

But hey, that’s ok, one of those strip malls has given birth to “Ric’s Dog Gone Good Food.”

“Ric’s” is run by Howard, an outgoing, affable gent who greets customers the second they pull on the door handle. He’s as engaging as the lengthy menu. He did not explain who “Ric” is, but then I didn’t ask.

Menu selection ranges from Chicago style hot dogs via local legendary  quality supplier Vienna Beef, to chopped steak burgers, deli sandwiches, wraps, salads, and plated entrees.  Greek foods comes from another quality local supplier, Kronos.

Burgers start out with 1/3 pound hand-formed patty (diminutive size also available), and I went with one of Ric’s ‘specialty burgers’ – the Greek, where the beef patty is topped with feta and chopped Kalamata olives. Going all out into the Greek arena, I asked if I could please have some tzatziki on the side. Tzatziki is a Greek inspired sauce (or dip) made from yogurt, cucumbers, dill and garlic.

I had a mind to smear it on the burger, which I did, but discovered it’s an excellent alternative to Ranch as a fry dipping sauce.

On the subject of fries? Ric’s gives you five choices. Fresh cut, crinkles, seasoned curlys, cottage, and cheddar. Rings, battered ‘shrooms and cauliflower round the the fried sides menu. He also offers ‘skins and bakers.

I went with the fresh cut, which were an absolute joy, seriously, but I’ll have to go back to try the rings and cottage fries. Based on my first visit, well worth the trip. The fresh cut fries were piping hot, fried perfectly, lightly salted.

I have a habit of disassembling my burgers at the start, checking them out. It’s also important to me to taste the patty, unadulterated, as quality, flavorful beef has to be at the heart of every great burger.

I have to pause here, and say, in all seriousness, I’ve had burgers in probably 50 countries, for which I have spent anywhere from fifty cents to fifty dollars, and this is one of the finest patties I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. Great beefy flavor. A great grind providing great texture in the bite experience. Lightly seasoned to complement the true beef taste.

(Don’t you hate biting into a fast food burger and realizing it could just as easily be called “fried protein puck”). Meats should taste like the animal they come from, and Ric’s fits the bill.

Toppings were top quality, both the creamy feta and the Greek olives. The bun was bakery soft, yet sturdy enough to hold any toppings you are to pile on your burger.

The restaurant and washrooms were sparkling. Beverage choices include fountain, cans, bottles, brewed ice tea and shakes.

The Google tells me the restaurant is 14.8 miles from my door, 27 minutes by car, an hour and a half by bike, or 5 hours walking.

I don’t have a bike. But I’d walk. You should to…or drive. Anyway, go there. Eat. Enjoy the food. Enjoy Howard.

In a city where there are a reported more than 1500 places selling hot dogs and Chicago fare, you sure have to admire the mom and pop outfits that slug it out every day in a crazy, competitive business segment.

They deserve our support.  Here’s the whole menu.

Rics Dog Gone Good Food Review

Greek Burger w/ Fresh Cut fries

 

Rics Dog Gone Good Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Rics Dog Gone Good Food Review

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Two of My Favorite Tuna Recipes

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Favorite Tuna RecipesMy late mother made tuna a regular part of our family’s meal rotation. One was an entree, what we call in Minnesota a “hotdish.”

Her recipe called for two cans of tuna, drained, stirred into a  can of cream of mushroom soup simmering in a sauce pan.

It was plated by ladling it piping hot over crunchy “Chinese noodles.”

We affectionally called the dish (polite version) “tuna stuff.”

Tuna melts entered the scene as we got older, and she followed a pretty standard recipe. As we children got older, we all adapted our own variations to our individual tastes.

My long term tuna melt recipe is to take two cans of solid  white in water, drain, break up with a fork in a mixing bowl. Add in 1 T of mayo, and 1 of yellow mustard.

My mom would add in diced dill pickles or celery for crunch. I’ve elevated it to used diced quality Kalamata olives. On white toast,  covered with your favorite cheese, under the broiler til the cheese is bubbling. I like mine when the cheese takes on a  little burn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Tuna Recipes

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Middendorfs Review, New Orleans

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Middendorfs Review New Orleans CatfishI love this place.  Been in regular attendance for the past two decades.  They’ve had their share of troubles, flooded twice cause of storms, but they keep coming back, stronger and better than ever.

Caveat one:  this is a New Orleans AREA restaurant, not in the city, it’s about a 30 minute drive north on I-55. It sits perched on the edge of Lake Maurepas, which in turn empties into Lake Ponchartrain. There’s a nice outdoor deck when the weather is nice, which it usually is.

Middendorfs, like a lot of area restaurants, serves tons of local seafood, prepared in all manners and styles, but deep fried is the New Orleans way; you can get giant combo platters of shrimp, oysters, fish, and crab. But most people go for a dish unique to the restaurant, deep fried catfish filets, but they’re cut lengthwise into paper thin slivers. Unique. Crispy. Tasty.  Dinners come with fries, slaw and hush puppies.  Never had any use for the latter, personally.

You can get a piece of beef or chicken if you insist, and there is an adequate ankle biter menu. You can get raw or BBQ oysters or delicious gumbos as a side or starter.

I only get here once every few years, and I hope they keep on and on.  It’s my place for ‘cat’ in the New Orleans area. (Oh and they also serve them whole, bone-in, if you like it that way).  I like to bring out of town company here. If I haven’t taken you, it’s because I hate you.

Middendorf’s Menu.

 

Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Middendorfs Review

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American Turners Fish Fry – Elgin, IL

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Elgin Turners Fish Fry ReviewThe “American Turners” is a social club started by German immigrants to the US in the mid 1800s.  Still with a nationwide presence today, they have about 50 locations around the country.

The movement started in Germany during the occupation by Napolean, as a way to preserve culture and promote fitness of mind and body.

The group has a number of large meeting halls where they hold special events, celebrate German holidays, and provide space rentals for events in the community.

The hall in Elgin, Illinois has seen better days, but it hosts a very lively membership with weekly events, mostly for members, but some are open to the public, including a weekly Friday night fish fry.

Fish frys are common in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, offering either a set menu or AYCE options of some or all of the following: cod, haddock, shrimp, perch, or catfish, usually accompanied by (choice of) potato and slaw.  I’ve been to a few, some are OK, and some are pretty bad and overpriced, but such is not the case at the Elgin Turners.

In fact I was delighted with the entire experience.  I chose the combo plate, which included shrimp, haddock, and perch, fries, roll and slaw. Soup and salad bar were available for a buck extra, but I passed on that. The food was cooked to order, crispy, lightly seasoned. I like perch a lot and have eaten it all over the world, and the Turners is terrific. Service was great as well.

There is an all you can eat option, or by the plate. There are plenty of extras/sides to choose from as well.

Serving times are 5-8PM, and arriving right at 5, I was the only diner, save for a few bar patrons, but the room quickly filled. Service was great. Prices are extremely reasonable.  I think it should be a regular stop for me, and I will try out some of their other events like “Beer & Sausage” night!  Full beverage service available.

Entrance to the building event is thru a small door in the back of the building, off the parking lot.  The address is 112 Villa Street, but the entrance to the lot is on the side street (Fulton). If you are coming from I-90, Villa Street is a continuation of Dundee Avenue, which you reach via the Illinois 25 exit.  Sample menu below, most plates are around $10.

Elgin Turners Fish Fry Review

Elgin Turners Meeting Hall

Elgin Turners Fish Fry Review

Fish fry crowd!

 

Elgin Turners Friday Nights Fish Fry

All dinners served with soup or salad, roll, cole slaw, mixed veggies, choice of France fries, sweet potato fries, loaded baked potato, baked sweet potato, onion rings, potato or American fried potatoes

All you can eat fish fry dinner. Fried haddock, perch or both

Fried Haddock Dinner

Fried Perch Dinner

10 Piece Shrimp Dinner

Combo Platter Includes? 1 piece haddock, 1 piece of perch, 2 shrimp and 2 scallops f

4 Piece Fried Chicken Dinner

3 Piece Chicken Tender Dinner 

Sandwich and kid options as well.

 

 

 

 

American Turners Fish Fry

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Cruisin Review, Gilberts, IL

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Cruisin Review, Gilberts, ILI have no clue how the ‘tradition’ started, but Friday nights in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin are “fish fry” nights, with many restaurants and bars offering some variation of this meal, either at a value price or on an all you can eat basis.

Cruisin’, a distant Chicago suburb bar with a second location east of Rockford, offers different specials every night of the week, with the Friday fish fry providing diners with a choice of walleye, cod, lake perch, shrimp, catfish or haddock – baked or fried, with a choice of two sides from a lengthy selection.

The restaurant has a very complete menu, with steaks, chicken, seafood, sandwiches, ribs, burgers and salads.

The fish fry isn’t “all you can eat,” but it is certainly “all you care to eat,” as the serving size is very generous especially for the price.  I went with the battered Alaskan walleye, as I am from Minnesota, and you can’t be from Minnesota if walleye ain’t your favorite eatin’ fish.

It was delicious. The joint is very busy on Fridays, as one might expect, but service was prompt and courteous.  The fish was light and flaky, the batter crispy and not overwhelming, and the shoestring fries, crispy and lightly seasoned. Superb.

Cruisin’ opens at 11AM daily, sports a car-themed decor and the Gilberts location has regular classic car shows on the lot. Check website for dates.

Cruisin Review, Gilberts IL

Alaskan Walleye and Fries

Cruisin' Review, Gilberts, IL

Map to Cruisin’

Cruisin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Cruisin Review

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Culvers Walleye Sandwich Review

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Culvers Walleye ReviewI try and say something positive in every review I post. Even if something went wrong, or I don’t like something, I still try and remember to say “while this isn’t to my preference, you may enjoy it.”

Such is the case at Culver’s today, “Home of the Butterburger,” a Wisconsin-based regional burger and custard franchise. In addition to the standard burger type menu,they also have sandwiches, daily soups, and plate dinners.

I’ve had plenty of good grub there in the past, no denying that. I adore the crinkle fries, and the burgers are top-notch for fast food. Culver’s prepares your food to order, so there’s always a bit of a wait, but if you’re dining in, they’ll tote your tray to the table when it’s ready.

Once a year, for a limited time, they feature a popular fish in the Midwest, walleye pike, on a sandwich or plate. The walleye isn’t really in the pike family, it’s more closely related to perch, but Minnesotans at least, some Wisconsinites, other Midwesterners and Canadians consider walleye to be the filet mignon of freshwater eating fish. The filets are ample-sized, generally boneless, and the meat is light and flakey. It’s good sauteed in a cast iron pan over a campfire, pan fried with breading, or broiled. You can even find walleye bites in some restaurants.

Walleye is the state fish of Minnesota, Vermont and South Dakota. They grow up to 20 pounds, and anglers enjoy their ‘fight.’

So my sister, who lives in a Culver’s city 500 miles away from me, looks forward to walleye season with a great deal of anticipation. I admit, I was looking forward to it as well. During Lent, there’s a plethora of fish options in fast food and fast casual restaurants, and some of them are very good, Culvers Walleye Reviewand a good value.

Oh how I wish I could say the same about Culver’s walleye. I emailed my sister a few days ago and asked if she had partaken yet this year. She said she had, the previous week, but it was a horrible experience, everything was so greasy, the bun didn’t even survive half the meal. And I thought, “well, that’s too bad, probably a new guy on the fry basket or something.”

So I stopped at one today, ordered the sandwich and crinkle cut fries to go, the sandwich alone is $5.49, but walleye is expensive, and it’s not farm raised like catsfish or tilapia. Most restaurant walleye in the US comes from lakes in northern Canada. (I hope they don’t get any ideas and build a wall)!

But alas, my sandwich and bun was very greasy as well. While the fish flesh tasted good, the breading had no seasoning and was falling off the filet in chunks, not a good sign. I set the bun aside (it comes with shredded lettuce and mayo), and ate the fish with my hands.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go back to Culver’s, but if I want fast food fish in the future, I’ll get it elsewhere. Here’s the http://www.culvers.com/menu-and-nutrition. I recommend the pot roast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Culvers Walleye Sandwich

Culvers Walleye Sandwich Review

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Rural New Orleans Seafood Buffets

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(This is from our archives, check on whether they are open before making the drive).

I am in buffet heaven, if there is such a thing.   I’ve previously written about a couple; I hit the other two “main attractions” in the past few weeks.

Number one, in all manners of speaking, was the House of Seafood Buffet, at 81790 Highway 21, in Bush, Louisiana.  Like most restaurants in these parts, they are open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and they live up to their name.  There used to be a restaurant in my hometown whose slogan was “If It Swims, We Have It,” and I think the same could be said for the House of Seafood.  In addition to the usual fried entrees you will find at any indigenous restaurant, locally, the HOS has  boiling pots a brewing, and you will find ample boiled seafood selections to go along with your other choices.  They also have very respectable beef dishes, delectable fried chicken,  and a whole host of salads and sides, as well as the traditional desserts in the area.

The second stop was the Ole South Seafood and Buffet, at 15273 Highway 21 South, in .  Boasting similar opening days and hours as the HOS (but I believe Ole South is open on Sundays, call first), and a cavernous three room dining hall, the Ole South runs a distant second to HOS in my opinion – for selection, at least, but not for quality.  Both restaurants prepare their food fresh, and Ole South also has a carving station with ham and beef, which HOS did not.  Ole South has probably half the serving table size as HOS, but has accompanying prices which are less.

I’ve never been much of a buffet person, but I like these places, and there should be some of these in the city.  We seem to have dozens of Asian buffets in (the best, by far, is Oki Naga in Metairie, IMHO), but none of these “local dish” places.  I’m curious as to why.  It may well be the cost of rent, because these places in the hinterlands are huge.

I didn’t ask the prices before I went in, and since waitresses at both restaurants asked if we wanted the “buffet” I assume menu items are available as well. Seems like if you deduct the price of your beverage (HOS has pitchers of tea on the table, Ole South has waitresses pouring, but they get busy), I would guess that HOS runs about $15 per person, and Ole South about $12.  Both are good values, but I would return to HOS, and probably not to Ole South. Just personal preference.

Sidebar:  Another recent stop was in Angie, Louisiana, at Stuart’s Café, which is open from 5:30AM til 9PM daily.  I don’t know when they get to rest with those hours, and we could certainly use a place with similar hours in Mayberry, where most restaurants aren’t open early in the week.   I had the “double meat cheeseburger” at $4.00, and for one of the very few times in my life, I couldn’t finish it – it was huge.

But I was intrigued by another menu item, which I’ll have to check out next time:  “meat on toast.”

Doesn’t that just set your mouth a’waterin’?

New Orleans Seafood

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Musso and Frank Review, Hollywood, CA

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Musso and Frank Hollywood ReviewI have written about the joys of going to an establishment where they remember you – your likes, your dislikes; or are willing to prepare something “off the menu” to your liking.  But I find a certain comfort, as well, in being a regular at a place where just the opposite is true – they savor and protect your anonymity, and everyone is treated the same.

Such has been my experience with my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles – the venerable “Musso and Frank” Grill, in Hollywood, which purports to be Hollywood’s oldest restaurant (1919) and certainly can count itself as the sole survivor of the former plethora of “old Hollywood” celeb hangouts like The Derby, Ciro’s and Chasens.  In a city where nothing remains the same, and a historical site draws real estate speculators instead of preservationists, Musso and Frank is always there, always the same.  I’ve been dining at M&F for 30 years, and I’m still a stranger and family at the same time, each and every time I visit.

M&F’s has always been a Hollywood favorite – from as far back as the days of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, Dorothy Parker, Dashiell Hammett – and continues this day with frequent visits from the likes of Woody Allen, Al Pacino, a virtual who’s who list in Hollywood.  The dark wood paneled walls, crowded booths, and geriatric waiters have all survived the decades – as has the menu.  Where else can you find Welsh Rarebit, Jellied Consommé, or stuffed celery on a menu – with not sign of penne, pesto or anything remotely classified as noveau or fusion in sight?

You’ll start your dining experience as all customers do, with your linen-tablecloth adorned table being graced with a pitcher of water, ample real butter, and a plate of their ‘signature’ rye bread – tho the regular can be heard to ask for a “basket of butts” signifying to the waiter that 1) they have been here before, and 2) they prefer the ends of the loaf to the thick sliced slabs from the middle of the loaf.

The menu is lengthy.  Entrees are separated into “ready to eat” and “cooked to order” categories.  It’s noted that some entrees may take up to 40 minutes to prepare.

But you won’t care – you’ll just slam back another martini or perhaps a mint julep (William Faulkner used to get behind the bar and mix his own), while you are waiting; or perhaps you’ll doodle the outline of your next screenplay on a scrap of paper while you munch on a butt.

M&F is an assured “celebrity-spotting site” for tourists (I say tourists, because a native Los Angelean would never ‘bother’ a celebrity in public).  The last time I dined there, I had Fred Willard and a lady friend on one side of me, Rip Torn and a friend/colleague on another. Willard was very gracious; Torn was very drunk.

And me?  I emulated Willard and Torn both, and got graciously drunk….

M&F is open from 11-11 Tuesdays thru Saturdays at the corner of Hollywood and Cherokee.

If you’re a “regular” or a “regular wannabe,” you’ll enter thru the back door…

Musso and Frank Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musso and Frank Review

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