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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago seafood’

Boston Fish Market Review – Des Plaines, IL


Boston Fish Market ReviewA Greek fisherman, the proprietor eventually made his way to the US, working in Greek restaurants, rising to head chef, but all the while aspiring to open his own fish market.

Eventually, it happened, and Boston Fish Market  grew and grew until it became the Midwest’s largest processor of salmon and whitefish, running through 300,000 pounds a week for their wholesale customers.

As a “market” open to the public, they have fish and seafood from around the world which they will happily sell you, provide you with cooking instructions and helpful hints for accompaniments and serving suggestions.  Even exotics.

BUT…..they are also a restaurant, serving just about anything you can think of that swims. Here’s the full menu.

Walk in the front door, and you’ll see the display case of fish and seafood for sale in front of you.  At the left end of the counter sits the cashier, order taker.  He’ll hand you a menu, you’ll make your selection (including drinks), and pay. He’ll provide you with a number table topper so the servers can deliver right to your table.

I had recently been on a tour of the Southeast which had left my affection for grouper unrequited. I kept running into restaurants who had run out. No such problem here in Des Plaines (the birthplace of Ray Kroc’s McDonalds empire, as well).

I had  a delightful plate of crispy, lightly fried grouper, on a toasted French roll, with fries and slaw.  My tablemate went for grilled salmon. Both selections were superb. They have their own secret tartar sauce recipe, it has a little kick and is really nice.

A peek at a custom feast!


Boston Fish is five miles north of O’Hare airport, just off Mannheim Road, the main surface street outside of the airport.  It’s 20 miles from Chicago’s loop. Market and restaurant are open Monday through Saturday, 1030A-8P.  Servings portions are AMPLE!

They are opening a second suburban location in the near future.  Go. Eat. Or take home and cook. Superb.

Boston Fish Market Review

Fried grouper sandwich


Boston Fish Market Review

Grilled wild caught salmon

Boston Fish Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Boston Fish Market Review

Boston Fish Market Review


Chicago, IL – Franks Chicago Shrimp House


When you think of “Chicago food,”  most likely deep dish pizza and hot dogs come to mind;  but a ‘native dish’ in Chicago is fried shrimp, and you’ll find local chains competing for the best recipes and reviews.  The oldest, and arguably the best, is Frank’s Chicago Shrimp House, with four locations.

I lived in Chicago twice and didn’t know this, and having lived in New Orleans for some time, I’ve become kind of a shrimp snob.  There are thousands of shrimp species,  varying in size and color, dependent upon their habitat.  In recent years, methods of farming shrimp have become more developed, and a great deal of the shrimp you purchase in the grocery or at a restaurant was farm raised (not caught in the wild).  Shrimp are sorted by the number per pound, with 10 U (under 10) the largest available in the US.  11-15 would be considered “jumbo” by most any classification system.

shrimpI’ve been lucky to have even bigger, in the hospitable warm and food rich waters of Southeast Asia, like the quarter pounder beauty pictured on the left.   I’ve also had the pleasure of purchasing shrimp right off the boats in both New Orleans and along the Texas Gulf Coast (pictured below).  Shrimp boats ply most of the Gulf Coast and you can regularly get the freshest shrimp available anywhere at a bargain price…..bring your cooler.  In addition to fresh Gulf shrimp, my very favorite is Key West shrimp, known by their bright pink color and sweet meat.

All that to say, you won’t find any pond raised shrimp at Frank’s.  Born in 1946 as the Ship Shape Shrimp Shake the business flourished for thirty years until ill health caused the owner to shut it down.   A few years later, a local businessman got together with the former owner with a plan to reopen. Frank’s opened with the old recipes, and the founder’s philosophy of selling the freshest seafood as inexpensively as possible, and was an immediate success.  These day’s, Frank’s daughters run the four current locations while developing more expansion plans.

The menu is brief.  Buy by the plate,  pound, or partial pound.  Fried shrimp (regular), Chicago style (spiced fried), Catfish, Scallops, Perch, Chicken Strips and Frog Legs.  Sides include fries, rings, zucchini, slaw, and a few other items.   The top price on the menu is $20 / pound for the shrimp, a fairly reasonable price.  Eat in or take out.

I opted for some Chicago style shrimp and some cat, with a few fries on the side.  Everything was fried perfectly and the ‘seasoned’ pieces had a slight hint of heat.  Shrimp are good sized with just the right firmness, and cooked when you order.   A choice of condiments is offered:  seafood sauce, bbq, tartar, lemon juice, and  one other I forgot already.

This is great stuff.

Franks menu at the bottom of the page.


Louisiana Shrimp Boats

Louisiana Shrimp Boats

Louisiana Shrimp Boats

Shrimp Off the Boat


Chicago Style Shrimp

Chicago Style Shrimp

ppFranks Chicago Shrimp Menu

Frank's Chicago Shrimp House on Urbanspoon


Franks Chicago Shrimp Review

Franks Chicago Shrimp Review

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