For part of my childhood I thought there was only one kind of fish: lake perch. That’s because growing up in Northwest Indiana my Grandmother would often take me to one of the area “Perch Palaces” to dine on the delicious, golden-fried nuggets of goodness. There were other things on the menu at these taverns, bars and restaurants, but for us there wasn’t anything better than a Lake Perch dinner. Over the year’s I’ve eaten lots of different kinds of fish but I always return to my favorite.
Town Club Restaurant
2904 45th Street
This is where i had my first experience with Lake Perch and like they say there’s nothing like your first time… This place has been around forever and has an old-school supper club vibe. The perch is fresh and plentiful and if your with your grandma don’t forget to order a kiddy cocktail.
Teibel’s Family Restaurant
1775 U.S. Highway 41
Everyone from the “Region” knows about Teibel’s. It’s a venerable special event/ banquet restaurant, but sneak in the back door and get their perch plate dinner at the cafe. Their terrific vinegar-style coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment. (note: this restaurant is currently remodeling its main dinning room)
Schererville Lounge Restaurant
48 East Joliet Street
Driving by you might think this is just another bar, but the food here is a real find. The perch dinner starts with a traditional relish tray which will take you down memory lane.
Traditions Restaurant & Pub
2739 Highway Avenue
When I started going here it was called Ben’s Tavern and though it’s had several names since then this place has always been a solid choice for its seafood offerings. Some people love their massive crab legs dinner but for me it’s all about lake perch… lightly battered and fried to perfection.
Dick’s Restaurant & Bar
10808 Wicker Avenue (U.S. 41)
Saint John, Indiana
Another traditional “special event” restaurant in northwest Indiana. They may be more well known for prime rib and chops, but they do an excellent version of the lake’s finest fish.
Dan Blom/CBS 2 News, Investigative Producer