So we were driving back from Toledo yesterday and we stopped off on the south side of Chicago at Calumet Fisheries for some smoked fish. We’ve both lived around (not in, around) Chicago for 15 years, but we heard of this place on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. I was never a huge smoked fish fan until 6 months ago, when a co-worker brought in some Northern his brother had caught and smoked up in Minnesota. Since then I’ve been hooked (haha, pun).
You can tell just by looking at this place that it’s going to be good. I’ve never eaten and place with the menu written on the side of the building and been disappointed. Inside we met the owner and within three seconds Leslie was already asking about Anthony Bourdain. Our cover was blown. I was hoping to swoop in, buy fish, and be gone without looking like Bourdain obsessed food geeks. Oh well. He talked to Leslie a little bit about Bourdain’s visit, and pointed out some pictures on the wall with Bourdain, as well and a promotion poster Bourdain had signed for them. You got the impression that the publicity for the show has done wonders for they business. Good for Tony, this place deserves it. They do pretty much one thing, they don’t try to please everybody, and they don’t try to pretend to be something they aren’t. This place felt as genuine as it gets.
Taking a picture of a picture of someone taking a picture of Bourdain. As close as Leslie will ever get to Tony.
Mmmm. Smoked Salmon (in the back) and garlic and black pepper crusted smoked trout (foreground). We didn’t actually try the fish until we got home today, we were stuffed after our lunch in Chicago (that’ll be the next post). We haven’t tried the salmon yet, but if it’s anything like the trout, it’s fantastic. The belly is so fatty it melts away in your mouth. The meat is flaky (but not dry) and permeated completely with a smoky, garlicly, peppery flavor. Leslie will post details later on what we did with it, but I would have been perfectly happy just eating it as is.
By the way, below is a link to a fellow foodbuzz blogger who has also been to Calumet. I just came across their blog and I’m really enjoying it, take a look:
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