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Calumet Fisheries
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Calumet Fisheries

Continuing our South Side tour, we come to my favorite historical area of Chicago: the places where they shot the Blues Brothers. I’ve been a big Blues Brothers fan since I was quite young and, by chance, Adam happened to drive us through the neighborhood where some of the scenes were filmed. We didn’t get a shot of the church as we were driving by, but the restaurant that we were stopping at was right at the 95th street bridge, which is the bridge that The Blues Brothers jumped over when they were running for the cops. It doesn’t really look doable in that video, but what are you going to tell me? That Jake and Elwood don’t deserve a few miracles on their quest to help the church? Come on, SON!

Calumet Fisheries is at the base of the bridge:

That is the first of my series: “Hagan open his mouth in amazement and points at Chicago landmarks.” I think, subliminally, I was remembering this picture as we shot it. You need to click that link, by the way – it’s one of the funniest pictures ever to grace the internets. I don’t know where I got it, but I don’t know where to get it or look for it, I saved about 20 of my favorite gifs in a folder on the internet and should have saved them all here. There’s a great picture of two chihuahuas dressed in pink and blue respectively, the blue one has his tongue sticking out and the caption is “Chillin wit mah bish.” If you can find that one for me, I would greatly appreciate it. If you could just post a link to your favorite JPG in the comment section, I would greatly appreciate that as well.

Jake and Elwood would be proud of this place. I don’t know what kind of Chicago cuisine this represents, but it was at this time that I was getting tired of food. Adam had his heart set on a specific item, then the girl we were with saw the smoker and was very curious about what came out of it. My favorite part of this equation was the smoker:

Looks pretty rugged, huh? That thing is designed for volume. I don’t know where this place is between that people would stop to go here, but it seemed that we were following a pretty convoluted path to get to and from this bridge. Someone told me there were a lot of bridges in Chicago. Didn’t get the exact number from a cursory google search, but there are 52 over the Chicago river alone. I wonder how many people have tried to jump over the bridge since the movie? Or just any bridge? How many people successfully jump drawbridges per year, you think? Am I still not talking about the food? Have you seen The Informant!? Sometimes I feel like I’m writing like that, but not recently more than in the last few sentences.

Here’s the menu:

We only had two things, but RC Cola went with both of them. I tried to find the distribution area of RC Cola and all I found was a communist theory on how Cali and Hawaii were going to be ceded to China. I didn’t even type in “Royal” or “Crown;” Google needs an algorithm improvement for their image search.

There’s going to be a new series on my site called “What The Fuck Wednesdays,” where I find some crazy shit at the store and figure out ways to use it to make tasty things. Right now, I have some soda that reads “Latin Flavored.” At least I think that’s what Sabor Latino means … maybe it means “flavor of latin.” That would make more sense, but it still leaves something to be desired in regards to what it actually tastes like.

Why would I take a picture of a can of soda? Well, when was the last time you saw a can of RC, New Yorkers? I haven’t in a long time. If they’d had Moxie, I might have ordered that, instead.

Like I said, the girl was enamored by the smoker, and she got the Smoked Salmon:

That is one honkin’ piece of smoked salmon. I was not in the mood for it at all and I was full, so you tell me how good it was. I wanted it on a bagel, personally. Does any one of my readers just sit around picking at a huge piece of smoked salmon all by itself? I doubt it. What this was supposed to go with, I couldn’t tell you.

I hate writing these paragraphs – the paragraphs about stuff I didn’t really like but was too full to appreciate it if it happened to actually be good. They aren’t fulfilling for me to write and they aren’t fair to you, if you’re reading this for more than entertainment. I’m going to try and not get full for you guys in the future so I can make sure and be of sound mind and stomach when I critique a dish …

HA! As if. Seriously, though; how do I stop writing that paragraph about the last stop restaurant on super foodie tour days? To that point, Adam only recommended the Fish Chips:

Ours were a little too crispy, but there was beauty inside that may have been displayed by an expert fry cook. The crispy fry was something that I appreciated in some bites, and was irritated by in others. Some had thicker fried exterior than others, and I ended up enjoying the thin ones more, today. They didn’t give us nearly enough tartar sauce. Maybe I’m a fatty, but I like lots of tartar sauce. Rarely does anyone give me enough tartar sauce without me asking for more. Is this a cost saving move or are they trying to tell me something? I asked for three times more tartar sauce than they gave us and we ate all of it but that small amount you see on the back of this Toyota Camry.

This was the dinner table. That’s how you roll down by the bridge. There was a Latino guy selling watermelons out of the back of a truck right next to us – definitely added to the ambiance. There’s something noble about selling fruit; I always got an orange in my stocking growing up, and the orange, more than anything else, signified Christmas. My fruit salesman on 17th and 6th is named Imran. He’s out there every day. Quite noble. I’ll save the rest of the orange story for a December post, for now; fruit salesmen: noble.

This place is certainly a slice of what Chicago is all about. The fish chips were decent, I’m sure the fish AND chips are the same, but bring a bagel, cream cheese, capers, and red onions if you’re going to get the smoked salmon. It ain’t raw, but it will improve your experience. Worth a trip if you’re on a mission from God.

Calumet Fisheries
3259 East 95th Street
Chicago, IL 60617
(773) 933-9855‎

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