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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, February 24

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« New Craft Beer Map Makes Hop Chasing Easy Friday Foodpic: Get Your Plate Ready »

Openings Thu Feb 12 2015

Seafood Utopia at Fahlstrom's

fahlstroms2.jpgConfession: I've never been to Glenn's Diner, despite my soft spot for both seafood and Guy Fieri. (Bear with me here.) However, although Glenn's Diner lives on in spite of the departure of its namesake leader, Glenn Fahlstrom, I think I've found my new go-to place for seafood and I'm not looking back. Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market, the new Lakeview-based incarnation of Glenn's, is all chalkboard specials and low-key nostalgia -- not to mention, delicious heaping plates of food.

I grew up visiting my grandparents in Cape Cod and have become very familiar with the humble seafood shack over the years: pastel paintings of seashells on the walls, sticky blue tabletops, Styrofoam cups of chowder. And of course, most ubiquitously: the seafood platter. Fahlstrom's may be lacking in paintings of shore-washed sailboats, but the generous plates of flaky fish with salted potatoes have little to apologize for. I tried the Ritz-crusted grouper and found it refreshingly simple: no ceremonious plating, just the chance for the fish to speak for itself.

fahlstroms3.jpgThe restaurant itself is similarly unadorned, a welcome departure from trendy reclaimed-wood tailored-apron aesthetics. (Not that these don't have their place elsewhere -- I'll gladly drink a cocktail out of a Mason jar any day.) During my visit, part-owner Alex Magno -- between entertaining my questions about the restaurant and running food for the kitchen in a pinch -- sang a glorious rendition of "Happy Birthday" to a guest, bringing me back to days and places where, you know, things like that actually happened. Turns out he's also a former professional opera singer, so that helps.

Magno explained the ins and outs of the menu to me, as well as showing off the biggest departure Fahlstrom's makes from Glenn's: the in-house fresh seafood counter, where customers can purchase their dinner and then cook it, too. "We get in fresh seafood every day," he says, "so sometimes we run out of product or menu items, but our goal is for people to get the best available seafood here." In between bites of the Crabster, an exceptional sandwich loaded with tender crab meat and coleslaw, and slurps of a hearty, meaty clam chowder, I feel my love for seafood rekindling. This is neighborhood cooking at its finest.

Falhstrom's Fresh Fish Market
1258 W. Belmont Ave.

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JOHN / February 12, 2015 2:19 PM

If you love seafood then you might wanna try the shrimp at It tastes amazing!!!

john / February 12, 2015 2:22 PM

If you love seafood then you might wanna try the shrimp at It tastes amazing!!!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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