Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fish Sandwich Showdown

-Grubbing in Chicago 
5 Sandwiches You Should Try

With Lenten season in full swing I thought now would be a good time to get a post up about some fish sandwiches to be found in Chicago. I never eat at fast food corporations like McDonald's but if forced too I'll order myself a filet o' fish. That's something that for whatever reason I like every couple of years. But today we explore five spots who deserve your business and want it by offering tasty fish sandwiches. I recommend all of them featured here today. Enjoy.


I believe that the Dock's in the strip mall on 87th in Chatham is the last one left. For those unfamiliar, Dock's got its start in 1973 at 87th and Dorchester and was basically to fried fish and shrimp in the city to what Harold's is for fried chicken these days. At a time there many more. Shark's it was/is not. Much better.

Though on the brink of extinction this is a healthy outlet with constant traffic

The "quick fix" of fried shrimp was $3 so I said what the heck and tried that too. It was nothing great, you can even see in separate ones that some were fried longer than others. But still you cant beat the price.

Fried Shrimp

Now their famous fishwich was what I remember it to be. Two lightly coated whiting filets go on one of their signature wheat rolls and it's topped with tarter, lettuce and tomato with the option of cheese. Bring your own bottle of hot sauce or ask if they have any, that would of made it much better and similar to the famous hot fish sandwiches of Nashville. Wednesday's they're on special for $3.89 each. Good sandwich.

Famous Fishwich Sandwich


Located in a desolate business area on Chicago avenue just off Grand is a cute southern style diner called Feed. They've been a part of the area for a while now and I'm always pleased with what they make. But I hadnt had their southern fried catfish sandwich until recently. What was I thinking? This is one of the best fish sandwiches in the biz. They give you a huge filet which you need to break in half to make into a sandwich. Their fresh cut fries and other sides are great as well. Ask for extra hot sauce.

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Catfish Sandwich from Feed

New England Seafood Company

The Tribune's Kevin Pang does good food work over there and apparently great food minds eat alike. At the start of lent season he did a Fish Sandwich roundup of his own and me and him both agree that the one at the New England Seafood Company on Lincoln avenue deserves to be on any best of list. The place doubles as a fish monger and they do a heck of a job with their haddock sandwich. Nothing fancy here, just a really fine constructed sandwich. More on this place when the time comes. In the meantime try this.

 Haddock Sandwich from NESC

Ba Le

When Lent started I decided I was going to try and post a worthy place to eat a fish sandwich each Friday on LTHforum. So when I started sharing them someone there mentioned that they really like the cod Bahn Mi over at Ba Le. The guy who rec'd this one was right on. Nice find sir. They take a nice piece of Corona battered cod and place it in one of their Bahn Mi buns and it becomes a somewhat unique fish sandwich. More on this Vietnamese sandwich shop HERE.

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Bale's Corona Battered Cod Bahn Mi Sandwich


The last place on our list needs no introduction. The only reason it hasn't had it's own post is because I'm saving it for "Classic Chicago" month later on. Superdawg is the cities only drive in left and one of the best places to get a hot dog in the best city to eat them. But that's not all they do well.

Chicago's Only Drive In

Some folks swear by their cut in house crinkle cut fries which are fried in beef tallow. So when Kevin Pang found out that the cod filets used in their SuperFish sandwich were fried in it as well he had to try. So did I. Served on a classy onion bun with the option of cheese they place two creamy fried cod filets between the bread and include some of their first class fries and tarter sauce too. Nevermind best fish sandwich at a Drive In, this is one of the best in the city overall. I'll be back for one sooner than later.

The SuperFish Sandwich

Bonus Recipe!

I was up on Lake Superior last summer and one of the several family owned fisheries near us had freshly caught walleye at $8/lb. I cooked with it or whitefish everyday we were up there and have a report coming soon. Pan fried walleye is still one of my favorite fishes to eat and it also makes for a great fish sandwich. While up there I saw a truck for Boston Fish Company in Des Plaines outside one of these family fisheries. They were loading up for a haul back to the suburbs. I would recommend checking them out.

Loading up outside Halvorson Fisheries (Cornucopia, WI)

Walleye is the official state fish of Minnesota and cooking it coated with Ritz cracker mixture is the unofficial state dish. I pan fried the fillets with a crushed ritz cracker coating (used like any other). I also added some slivered almonds into the mix and the sandwiches turned out great. I cooked the fish in a mix of bacon grease and added olive oil in when needed. As we all know by now bacon makes everything better. You'll have to leave it out for lent though if you do that kind of thing. Still fantastic. See y'all next time @chibbqking.

Coating on and ready for cooking

Ritz Cracker Crusted Walleye Sandwich

112 W 87th Street
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 723-0055

2803 W. Chicago ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 489-4600

New England Seafood Company
3341 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 871-3474

Ba Le
5014 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 561-4424

6363 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-0660


Dave T said...

It's already nearly impossible to squeeze in the door of Boston Fish Market as it is. Now I'll probably never be able to get the best calamari or whole roasted grouper again - because you blabbed this best-kept secret to everyone. Thanks a lot!

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