Hidden gem, hole in the wall, seafood in Chicago that’s actually fresh
Dirk’s Seafood & Gourmet Food. A new Chicago hidden gem, or pearl!… get it? …you know? because pearls come from oysters? And Dirk’s sells seafo-…
You know what, nevermind. That was terrible. I apologize.
I do stand by calling it “hidden gem Chicago” though because its at, like, Clybourn and Southport. Who the hell ever goes by Clybourn and Southport? It’s a terrible location. It’s like Lincoln Park’s wasteland, there’s no landmarks to reference it because there’s really not a whole lot west of the CTA compared to everything over there between Sheffield and the lake. Maybe that stretch of Clybourn might get some runoff from the DePaul area, but that’s about it.
I was only over in that turf because I go on weird biking routes since I’m a rebel and don’t listen to what google maps tells me.
Anyway. As I was saying. Dirk’s Fish Market & Gourmet Food…
*They’re actually a little more well known than you’d think. Dirk’s chefs were the ones to cook up the Asian Carp for free and serve the “Asian Carp sliders” at this year’s Taste of Chicago.*
I’ve never seen it before. I stopped partially because I was hungry, but mostly because I enjoy looking at edible critters in fish tanks. There really aren’t many places left where you can get a live lobster in Chicago. Remember when Jewel and Dominick’s used to have lobster tanks? I haven’t seen that since I was a little kid. And for a 6-year-old, it’s just about the most entertaining thing in the store. I swear, it was like going to the zoo.
And if that was a zoo, then Dirk’s Fish is like… I dunno.. Disney World or something. There’s a tank stuffed with live lobsters and another tank was empty, but probably houses crabs during season. On ice behind the glass, lies just about every edible fish, filleted or whole- which are almost as fun to see.
Dirk’s sells sushi, whole trout, several types of salmon, seafood, and freshwater fish. A lot of it was far too expensive for me to even look at, but I was able to snag a soup and a chunk of smoked salmon for a $15.00 lunch (with enough to spare for the fridge). I got Conch Chowder soup, because when was the last time you saw Conch Chowder in a store? And when was the last time you had soup that didn’t come out of a can? It tasted awesome.
Normally I hate tomatoes, whole, diced, crushed, you name it. But I’ll sometimes forgive their existence beyond ketchup when mixed in a good, fresh soup.
I don’t care how much I bash hippies and hipsters, they’re on the right track with this whole ‘eating fresh, local and organic’ stuff.
Dirk’s Fish is Chicago Ranter approved. The soup was awesome. The smoked salmon was fresh. I would have taken a hipster-worthy instagram picture of my buy, but it didn’t last more than a minute on my plate before I dug in…