Hours: Breakfast, lunch, dinner: seven days
Tiny carry-out shack at the foot of the 95th Street Bridge that's still smoking and frying a range of aquatic critters. Cash only, with an ATM on the premises.
In a 1998 Reader story, Calumet Fisheries Hector Morales lamented the decline in business that came with the death of the steel industry on the southeast side. But the tiny shack at the foot of the 95th Street Bridge is still smoking its own chubs, trout, and salmon steaks, heads, and collars over oak logs. These creatures remain moist after smoking, having been brined overnight. The vulnerable constitution of shrimp is the best endorsement of this process, remaining juicy and intensely smoky—though the monsters come dear at upwards of $20 a pound. Polyglot sailors still weigh in for fried catfish when they dock, and the fresh, crispy breaded aquatic life—frog's legs, shrimp, scallops, and smelts—are expressions of maritime rhapsody, like the sea spray that escapes the breaded crust of a juicy fried oyster. The dramatic location—its where Elwood jumped the drawbridge in the Bluesmobile—is an ideal spot to clamber down to the rivers edge with an order of deep-fried ocean critters and watch ships chug by.