One Of The Best Italian Beefs In Illinois Can Be Found In A Loves Park Gas Station
You never know where you're going to find some treasures, so make sure you leave no stone unturned.
Da Catch is a Rockford institution. I honestly don't know how long they've been around but I've been aware of them for at least 10 years. I didn't try Da Catch until about 5 years ago when I went to the one (that's now closed) on Auburn. I went with what they're famous for, the fried fish.
I didn't love it. I'm sure it's great fried fish, but while I like fish, I'm not a fan of fried fish. After the less than stellar fried fish experience, I essentially wrote off Da Catch for my dining options.
Then something magical happened. I had to go into the BP on Riverside in Loves Park by Valli for something. Da Catch had opened up a shop in the back of the gas station and they had a sign up that said that they were selling tacos as well as the rest of the Da Catch menu. I love tacos and am always looking for a new place so I ordered 3 steak to-go.
When I got home I was treated to 3 very above average tacos, not the best I've ever had, but it showed that there might be some great food coming out of that kitchen. So I planned another trip to try some more of the menu and was very pleasantly surprised.
I ordered the Italian beef with fries and when I got home with it, I made a noise when I opened the container that was caused by pleasant surprise and anticipation.
Some of you might complain that the beef looks a little dry. That's fine and I understand that. I don't like my beefs to be too wet. They gave me some more au jus on the side to moisten it at home but I didn't need any of it. The bread was soft, beef was very well seasoned and the whole thing totally worked. Don't sleep on the fries either, Crispy, even after sitting in the container for 10 minutes and they dust it with a lemon seasoning that is quite honestly a little addicting.
I can't wait to plow through the rest of the menu. Again, not knowing anything about how Da Catch works, I can only speak to the one on Riverside in Loves Park. I'm not sure if each one is owned and operated individually like a franchise or if there is a common owner, but the one in Loves Park has some wonderful people working for them and the food is outstanding.
You might have driven past this place a hundred times and never thought twice about going in. I'm here to tell you that you should. Start with the beef and work out from there. I might even give the fish a second try.
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