Elgin Turners Fish Fry Review – Elgin, IL

Elgin Turners Fish Fry Review

Every year in the run up to Easter, the local Turners chapter puts on a weekly fish fry.  What are Turners?  Members of a German fraternal club that promoted German culture, physical culture, liberal politics, and supported the Union war effort during the American Civil War. Today they seem to be more social and civic oriented.

The chapter near me is in Elgin, IL, a distant burb of Chicago, just south of Interstate 90, and their Friday night fare offers a choice of Haddock, Catfish, Walleye, Shrimp, or a Grilled Chicken Breast, including sides of slaw, baked potato, fries, rings, or seasoned baby reds. Rolls and butter are also provided as well as generous amounts of tartar sauce, lemon and butter.

All entrees are priced between $11-$13, and service is from 5-8PM Fridays at the hall, which is located at 112 Villa Street in Elgin. Parking is in the rear of the building, service is on the second floor. There is a full bar, and their hours are longer than just the dinner service.

We opted for the catfish, as it was a whole fish, bone in, lightly batter, and it’s been difficult for us to fine bone-in cat lately, most everyone serves filets. American habits, I guess.  Also had the walleye, and exceptionally large filet, nicely breaded, and went with the onion rings for a side, large whites with a tasty thick beer batter.

Both fish selections were prepared perfectly. Crispy coatings, flaky, moist flesh. The slaw was creamy but with a little bit of kick to it.

Service was fast with an affable professional waitperson who came around just often enough to make sure our drinks were kept full.

I had been once before. 2016 apparently, and I wrote about it on this site. At that time, service was on the lower level, but it’s moved upstairs which is roomier and lighter.

I’ll go several more times before Easter, I guarantee it. While I haven’t checked their calendar recently, they also used to serve special dinners on National and German holidays.  More details on the club here.

While not as dramatic as Masonic Temples around the US, the Turners have constructed some interesting meet halls.  Photos here.


Elgin Turners Fish Fry Review