Since starting IHABL I haven’t done nearly as many restaurant reviews as I’ve wanted to. Truth be told (and don’t tell my bank), but I go out to eat so much that by the time I’m ready to sit down and rave about a restauarnt, I’m oftentimes headed out the door to try another and become equally enthralled. (Sidenote: in high school my English teacher would take points off if you used certain “taboo words” — and oftentimes was one of them. To this day my heart skips a beat when I write out any of those words, as if something bad is going to happen because of it).
Anyway, this past Sunday my parents ventured into the city to bring me some final touches for my apartment. I’ve been wanting to take them to some of the cool restaurants in my neighborhood so I was excited when they agreed to go out to dinner with me (*cough cough* pay for dinner *cough cough*).
Eating with my family can be tricky: my mom doesn’t eat meat, I don’t eat red meat, my brother basically eats meat exclusively, and my dad will eat anything as long as a green vegetable isn’t within arms length. When I heard that my brother, god love him, wouldn’t be coming along, I jumped at the chance to take them to Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market.
Fahlstrom’s is a restaurant that doubles as a fish market, so you can simply stop by, choose from 16 pieces of fresh fish daily, and prepare it at home yourself if you don’t feel like eating like a king and then having someone else clean up after you.
The restaurant prides itself on a few things: 16 pieces of fresh fish to choose from daily (ever-changing based on season and availability), the cereal wall, breakfast anytime, and all-you-can-eat crab legs on Tuesdays. Oh, and The Crabster, but more on that later.
Do you want a filet of mahi mahi or a bowl of Apple Jacks? No biggie, do both. (Say, WHAT?!)
The menu is…..overwhelming. There is a menu chalkboard on the wall, a menu they hand you as you sit down, and an additional piece of paper that lives on the table and offers even more choices. Truth be told it took 20 minutes AND the opinions of two servers before I could even settle on an appetizer. Somehow we managed, and soon enough the Shrimp Kargot was sitting before us. Boursin, garlic butter, Gruyere, Parmesan, garlic bread
I don’t know how else to describe this except a garlic butter hot tub accompanied by a hunka hunka burning garlic bread love. There were some dirty deeds going on in that hot tub. The garlic was seeping into every pore of the protein and the shrimp were loving it. Aside from escargot, this was the most garlicky dish I’ve ever had and I was in utter ecstasy. It was so good I would unquestionably eat this on a first date because it would be so much more important to me that my date try this than save face by ordering a piece of grilled chicken and chewing Orbit all night in anticipation. But that’s irrelevant…
After another few minutes of looking over the menu, my parents and I decided to order three dishes and split them, as I have a serious case of Food FOMO and I think they could see the blips of sweat rolling down my face as I worried I was going to make the wrong decision.
First we went with The Crabster, one of the specialties at Fahlstrom’s and, in the words of our server, “what people come here for.” Hand-shucked and seasoned Alaskan King Crab on a toasted New England roll topped with creamy coleslaw.
Second up, the Alaskan King Crab Macaroni and Cheese. Crab, Gruyere cheese sauce…married and baked.
Finally, the Seafood Bisque Fettuccine. Filled to the brim with shrimp, scallops, fairy dust and magic.
If you asked me to pick a favorite I would literally weep. The Crabster is what I would order again, because the other two were so heavy and rich that I felt like 16th-century royalty shoving them into my mouth as fast as possible. I wish I had a single negative thing to say about any of these dishes so you would better trust my authenticity, but everything was truly wonderful. The shrimp, crab, and scallops were cooked perfectly. They are very difficult proteins to master and just a few seconds can make the difference between underdone, perfect, and overdone. I also appreciated that Fahlstrom’s doesn’t skimp on the seafood. They take a stand for quality AND quantity, and they stick by it. There were huge pieces of crab in both the sandwich and the macaroni, and it definitely made it worth the price point. Wait, let’s just zoom in on that mac one more time:
I only wish I stopped by for a later dinner so I could have enjoyed all these incredible eats with a glass of white wine. Until next time, Fahlstrom’s…..oh, and what’s the likelihood that you’ll deliver crab mac directly to my couch…..
Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market
1258 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago IL, 60657
Monday – Friday: 11am – 10pm
Saturday: 9am – 10pm | Sunday: 9am – 9pm
Oh my gosh, you have me totally craving seafood right now. Living so close to the coast you’d think there were a million seafood restaurants in Williamsburg, but there are only a couple I like. That place looks awesome!
Quality over quantity! I hope you have a few favorite restaurants out there because I know I can’t live without seafood 🙂
Be still my seafood lovin’ heart! Do they deliver to Georgia?
I’m sure we could work something out with FedEx 😉
I NEED that mac and cheese! I’m not even usually a seafood lover but it looks so good I don’t think I’d even care! YUM.
You could put anything in that mac and cheese and it would be outstanding haha
That place looks amazing! I always try to go to seafood places, but 16 pieces of fish! It sounds heavenly!
It was to die for — so many choices and every single one that we tried was a hit.
If you ever want me to crash a Monica/Mike date here I’m more than happy to 😉
This looks amazing. I can’t bring Neil here or he will buy all the most expensive fish bc we NEED TO HAVE THEM.
They sell pre-cleaned, raw BEAUTIFUL shrimp for $11-$12 a POUND. It’s absurd. It’s a hidden gem.
What an eclectic place! I’ve gone past there a couple of times, and I never would’ve thought you could get cereal inside a fish market haha. I also didn’t realize it was a fish market AND seafood restaurant. Everything about this place sounds ah-mazing.
There are so many cool quirks about this place! It’s definitely worth stopping by. Best seafood I’ve had for a long time — every single thing was a hit.
Oh my life… These dishes couldn’t be further from what I normally eat… Yet I want them soooo bad. Also cheese is life so pairing those with creamy meaty fish…. Major drool!
Oh and I had to laugh with ‘oftentimes’ – I genuinely have never heard of that as a word before! Haha!
Unfortunately I’ve been eating like this WAY too often. I need some of your discipline!!
My brother told me all about this place.
I NEED to check it out!
Absolutely. It was a hit all around!
How come oftentimes is taboo? I totally never got taught that haha! To be it sounds super legit! Garlic butter and garlic bread… Ummm YES PLEASE! I work at a French restaurant so yeah I am pretty much a big fan of garlicky sauce haha.
Hahaha garlic and butter is a French classic — makes me think of escargot! Now I want it!
omg. This is legit my kind of place.
Get Chicago on your list and I’ll take ya 🙂
Omg sweet baby jeebuz that garlic hot tub. I’d frigging BATHE in that stuff.
SAME. It would be so good for the skin too, I think. It’s clearly a healthy decision.
Oh man… you had me at hot tub of garlic!!! amazing!
I think I need to trademark “garlic butter hot tub” — it’s blowing up!
That looks amazing. I thought i liked seafood before moving to SoCal, now I’m flat out addicted. And that garlic tub… whoa.
I’m seriously considering moving to SoCal JUST for the seafood. Please tell me it’s not overrated!
Not overrated in the least! It’s like food heaven here.
OH that pasta!! I haven’t had pasta in way too long. That might change after reading your post 😛
See I’ve been eating like this a little TOO much — I really need your discipline 😉
I’m not a seafood lover, but this makes me want to go get a crabster. Like now.
I feel like if you’re ever going to like seafood you would like it here. You can put butter, garlic, and cheese on anything and it would be killer!