Carlson’s Fishery

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Carlson’s Fishery has been in the hands of the Carlson family for generations. The owner, one of the brothers of the current generation, talked to me for a minute about the volume of fish that comes through their doors. He and his brother had been out on Lake Michigan that very morning at 4AM.

The fishery itself is spotless clean, and right behind the counter is where the action happens. Even though we were there in late afternoon, after any catch had come in, I could still feel the energy of the facility. I really like the idea of buying some fillets while fish are being filleted right there.

The products were top notch. I had never had whitefish pate before, but we ate a whole container in just a couple days. The smoked fish sausage was also a first for me, and it was delicious, a must-try. The beef jerky was really tasty too, although it gave Etta smoky jerky breath for a few hours.

On a nerdier, restaurant-business insider note, I appreciate the way Carlson’s has taken steps to modernize the family brand. The fish logo, and presence on instagram, shows that the owners get it.

I posted a photo of Fishtown online and my friend from growing up in CT, Dave Stender, who I haven’t really talked to in about a decade, commented, “Obviously you got the smoked salmon and white fish!” Carlon’s is legendary.

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