Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Duke of Perth

After an exhausting round of Whrily Ball this past Friday, I'd worked up quite an appetite. With a personal best of 6 points on the day (that's a lot for those of you that don't know how hard it is to drive a bumper car and throw a wiffle ball at a small hole with a jai alai stick), I felt like I'd earned a good meal. Joined by Whirly Ball MVP, Madeline Jones, and Best Sportsmanship Award Winner, Kayleen Fabini, I headed to pick up a third guest. All the way from Hinsdale, Rachel Hahn (a Jeff Eat's Chicago enthusiast and friend from undergrad) met up with us as well. Rachel wanted to check out something interesting, and we all wanted somewhere with good drinks, which led us to The Duke of Perth.

The Duke of Perth is a Scottish Pub located in Lakeview on the corner of Clark and Oakdale. It's a simple two room, narrow building. There's probably seating for 50 or so at all times, and when it gets warm, they have a pretty cool looking back patio.

The Main Room at The Duke of Perth

When we got there, we got the last available table, and were extremely lucky because a minute later a long line formed for the next available seating. I'm pretty sure they don't take reservations, but if there's a wait they have a great drink menu to keep you busy while you wait. Even though the place was packed the whole time we were there, we were never rushed in even the slightest way. Long after our meal ended, they kept refilling our waters, and the check was only brought out upon request.

The general theme is that this is a place where you can hang out casually with friends as long as you want. Many tables seemed to be nursing a few beers throughout the night, which was comfortable to do, mostly because the music was kept to a low level. It was a real pleasure to have some audible conversation in a packed pub.

The Food
Do you like fish sticks? Do you like them in your mouth? If you answered yes, then you might.... love the Duke of Perth. Every Wednesday and Friday they have all you can eat Fish and Chips. I've heard from many self-proclaimed Fish and Chip enthusiasts that these are the best in the city. I haven't really tried many other restaurants' Fish and Chips besides D4, but I could see where these reviews were coming from. The batter was crispy but light, and the fish was perfectly cooked, maintaining a light and flaky texture. The fries were pretty darn good, although the Scottish pub style is a little soggier than I usually prefer. The tartar sauce is made in house and excellently complemented anything I could find to dip in it. You also get a hefty helping of peas. These are delicious, and they make you feel better since not everything on your plate was deep fried. As soon as I finished my first plate, a second one arrived. It was also pretty sweet that the waiter turned a blind eye when everyone ate off my all you can eat plate (also attributed to the general chill atmosphere).

 The Fish and Chips and a Bellhaven Scottish Stout

Kayleen and Maddie split a burger, which they seemed to like well enough, and Rachel had the Slamin' Salmon and Cod Cakes which she seemed to love. She described them as having the crisp of a latke with the filling having the texture of mashed potatoes. They were well seasoned, and you could really taste the capers which really gave the dish an interesting twist. Both these plates came with peas and chips as well.

The Slamin' Salmon and Cod Cakes

It's also important to mention the excellent beer and scotch selection. We all tried and shared a variety of scrumptious Scottish pints throughout the meal. As someone who likes darker beers, I was able to find many suitable options. The Duke of Perth is also famous for their Scotch Flights ranging from $19-90 based on the quality and age of the scotch. If that's your thing and you have the money, then this is your place.

In general, I'd never give much props to the Scottish/British genre of food. It's all fried, and many of the dishes are pretty much a pile of mush, but At the Duke of Perth, they've done it pretty well (plus I don't really like malt vinegar on my fries). I felt like it was authentic and really reasonably priced at $10 for all you can eat. The delicious food combined with the fact that we could have sat there all night drinking Scottish Stouts in a good environment is why I'm giving the Duke of Perth 3.5 out of 5 Pearls.

Duke of Perth on Urbanspoon


  1. By using the term "guest" you make it seem like you footed the whole bill. Speaking of which, when will you be able to use your status of food blogger to score free meals at these places?

  2. I like how you label me "a Jeff Eats Chicago enthusiast." It's so true!

  3. I echo Maddie in suggesting that we need to capitalize on your food blogger status to get free meals.