-Grubbing in Chicago(land)
Where the locals eat and also all those who know
Please Note this is a repost of one of my favorite stops along the Lake. The original page wasn't loading as I was made aware of by some readers thru an email. Since I get here now and then, especially during warmer months I'm reloading it with a few updates. I have a few more pictures to add into the collection as well as some additional info. Once again thanks for reading.
"Dino should be as much a treasured natural resource as Illinois Beach State Park"-JoelF
"Eat here once and you'll be back again"-Dino himself
"When I get my sail boat, I'm harboring it near Zion so I can eat Porky's big, juicy, succulent, shrimp all day" -The Stanimal
"do these come wrapped in bacon and served between a dixie cream?"-Don Barzinini
"This is the best fried shrimp I have ever had" -KingT
"So this is why Forrest Gump was so crazy for shrimp...huuuh, now I get it" -BStalworth
Capt. Porky's is straight north up Sheridan Rd. from Chicago
I wanna take this time to introduce you to Dino...king of fried shrimp and as we call him over in the Chi--"Shrimp daddy dollars" cause he's reeeal. Dino is also known as Captain Porky and has to be Zion, Illinois and its surrounding areas most popular resident. Captain Porky's is one of the great eating gems in all of America and it rests right along Sheridan road adjacent to Illinois beach state park in Zion along the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. It has no tables inside and it's takeout only but that's ok because you can eat it on the hood of your car, in your car or at the beach, weather permitting of course. In fact this place isn't just frequented by the locals, those who know and aren't from around the way will take the drive on a nice day and love doing so.
Guy Fieri hasn't been here yet...but you know he's coming
When I tell you that everything is good at Porky's, I shit you not, and the fresh fried jumbo gulf shrimp are the best I have ever had and I done eaten fried shrimp at alot of places. Got it? Good. When it comes to fried shrimp you can put it there with hot dog's, pizza, Italian beef, pizza puffs, ribs and other notable Chicago style foods. Unfortunately the fried shrimp shack is a dying breed and of those that are left only a handful do a five star effort. First up on the list is the best, I cant make you wait. The key to ordering your fried shrimp at Porky's is to make sure you order the large jumbo shrimp. The difference here is that you will watch Dino weigh, bread and fry the shrimp all after ordering. The fresh shrimp are large in size and hand breaded to a tempura like crust. My main problem with most of the places around today is that they use a pre-breaded frozen shrimp that has way too much breading...not here.
You get the idea of the size
Notice the thinness of the batter
The moment you walk into Porky's you are greeted by a large refrigerator packed with ice where you can see thru the glass what is available for fresh frying on that day. Aside from the shrimp which are a must order every time, they do everything exceptionally well here. The calamari like everything else is fresh breaded and contains both rings and crispy tentacles and not just a few of the good parts about half and half. This is some of the best 'mari I have had. On any given day they could have crawfish tails, lake perch, wings, alligator, frog legs, soft shell crab, gulf shrimp, fried clams ala New England, walleye and a handful of other seafood available fresh for frying. I have never had anything bad there from the display case. The shrimp, calamari, crawfish and clams are my favorites thus far. But since this is a repost with recent visits added on, it only gets better.
The calamari is better than any fancy sitdown joint's and also half the price
Close-up of the fresh fried crawfish tails
Captain Porky's Perfectly Fried Shrimp
Whats funny is when I made the OP on this place back when this site was first starting, I had that comment about Guy Fieri up above there. Well since then DDD has gone to Dino's other spot that the locals love called-The Shanty. I have not made it over to the Shanty yet but will do so this summer. I wonder if Guy made it over to the other family owned joint featured here? Well in my recent since the OP was made I have had nothing but goodness from the guys over there. Almost all of the fried veggies and cheeses come from Dino's own farm and as mentioned above are fried to perfection to the point where you can still taste the freshness of the veggies when their in season. Whatever is in season is also on the specials page taped to the glass.
Porky's fry's everything to perfection
My favorite battered veggie in the land is the fried zucchini from CP's
Smoked Rib Tips
If you like something in the display case then by all means order it up and watch them hand bread and fry it for you. It will be good. How serious is Dino about his craft? most of the ingredients he uses he also produces. The batter for the fried items, did I mention the fresh fried chicken wings are bomb? come from duck eggs laid by his ducks at his farm. On any given day you may find any variety of mushroom from his farm available for frying. Cheese from his local goats? yep that's fried fresh available to you too. As if all this selection wasn't enough they also have Gumbo, jambalaya, po' boy sandwiches and real smoked BBQ like Ribs, Chicagoland favorite rib tips, chicken etc. It has to be one of the more unique chow spots in the country. I love the dedication they have to be the best at what they do..and they sure do succeed.
Some of the finest fried shrimp anywhere
38995 N US Highway 41
Wadsworth, IL 60083