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Fritz and Frites, Galena, Illinois

A little French, a little German, a lot delicious…

Plate of Chicken and french fries from Fritz and Frites

— Alice Ericksen, RFT Contributor.

Galena, Illinois, located in the far northwestern corner of the state, is a Midwest tourist Mecca.

The “town that time forgot” is the former home of Ulysses S. Grant and, strolling through the historic downtown district, you’ll see buildings maintained in their original 1850’s condition. There area’s numerous antique stores, boutiques and restaurants are a traveler’s delight and one of these restaurants, Fritz and Frites, is well worth a visit.

Fritz and Frites was opened in 2006 by chef-owner Fred Grzeslo. He bills the restaurant as “A Little French…A Little German…A Little Bistro” and it’s an apt description. The atmosphere is intimate, yet casual and the food is a definite blend of French and German specialities. When we visited for lunch, we were so impressed, we came back for dinner a couple of days later!

Fritz and Frites brick building in Galena, Illinois

Fritz and Frites Bistro fits right in with the historic buildings of downtown Galena.

Their reasonably-priced wine list is exclusively French and German. We shared a bottle of Terre de Mistral Cortes du Rhones that was a perfect, crisp complement to our meal.

We started with Escargots de Bourgogne. The six snails were perfectly cooked and the sauce was not overwhelming, but such a good mix of garlic and butter that I kept dunking my crusty French bread in it throughout the meal.

Salad with bacon and blue cheese crumbles from Fritz and Frites

The Frisee Salad was loaded with bacon and blue cheese crumbles — yum!

Then we then tried the Frisee Salad, a generous helping of fresh greens served with a light vinaigrette dressing and topped with a generous amount of blue cheese and bacon.

For our entrees, we wanted try both French and German offerings My husband ordered the Weiner Schnitzel (deep fried veal cutlets) and I ordered the Poulet Roti avec Pomme Frites (roasted chicken with French fries). The Schnitzel was very good, but nothing special. However, the chicken, moist and perfectly seasoned, was the best roasted chicken I’ve ever had! The frites were very thin and crispy and made a perfect complement to the chicken.


Fritz and Frites main dish

Real bottom line: Based on our experience, I wish we had more time in Galena to sample more of Fritz and Frites’ menu. It’s a great place for lunch or dinner.

Fritz and Frites
317 North Main Street
Galena, Illinois

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Alice Ericksen

Alice Ericksen is a retired school superintendent who lives with her husband, Paul, in Ohio. When Alice isn’t trotting around the globe enjoying great restaurants, she and Paul love to cook at home.