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Phil Smidt's substitutes?

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I'm coming home for a visit soon, and Mom is still in mourning for the demise of Phil Smidt's. She craves a new source for lake perch boned in butter the way that P.S. did it. Anybody have good recs? We know about Teibel's, which seems to be the most popular response to the question, and we've tried various other places in the area, but so far, Mom's still not quite found an adequate replacement.

Generally, anything deep fried is pretty much out - she preferred the sauteed version. Anything with heavy breading also gets a thumbs down from Mom.

Has anybody tried the perch at Tin Fish? Might they be a candidate? Mom has liked the scallops there, but has been hesitant to try the perch for fear that it will fall into the "just not as good as Phil Smidt's" category. She's the sort that once she has a "sure thing" item at a particular restaurant, she just orders the same thing again and again. At Tin Fish, the scallops are her "known good" item, but if somebody can provide a T.F. to P.S. comparison on the perch front, we might luck out.

Thanks in advance for any help. Mom's in her 80s, and while we've heard rumors of plans for Phil Smidt's to reopen in a new location, at Mom's age, it's not a given that she'll be around by the time it happens, if it ever does. I want to bring her a little boned lake perch bliss while I can.

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  1. You might want to try the Lansing Knights of Columbus when they're open for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. I think your mom will be happy...I know my dad is every time we go there for the perch!

    1. UP FOR GRABS on Calumet Avenue. TEIBEL'S is an old standard as well. UFG has boned and buttered. Teibel's has frog legs as well. They also have broiled lake perch. Interesting and very good

      1. Alas, Phil Schmidt's did not reopen. I have not been to Northwest Indiana since 2005, but at that time, the Town Club (a restaurant open to the public, despite its name) in Highland, on 45th Street, I think, had good boned and buttered lake perch.

        Tiebel's Restaurant in Schererville, of course, is the place everyone mentions for boned and buttered lake perch and when I was there in 2005, the pan-fried lake perch was still excellent.

        I think it is a sad commentary on what used to be a Calumet Region tradition that hardly anyone on these boards has come up with any other restaurants that still serve this heavenly specialty.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gfr1111

          >> I think it is a sad commentary on what used to be a Calumet Region tradition that hardly anyone on these boards has come up with any other restaurants that still serve this heavenly specialty.

          I wouldn't jump to any conclusions about an entire region, just because there weren't any more posts five years ago on a topic that was actively posted to for all of two days!

        2. Dick's restaurant just south of St. John on Route 41 (about 10-15 minutes south of Teibels Restaurant at Rt 41 and 30) has good lake perch. They are an'old school" restaurant like Teibels but much smaller. The dinners come with a bread basket and a relishes of cottage cheese, kidney bean salad and coleslaw. The perch are very lightly coated and fried. That's where I get my perch fix when I am in the area. I found Schmidt's to be sub par before they closed; I ordered boned perch and hit bones in every filet. I very seldom hit a bone at Dick's.