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Free Asian carp meals at 9 locations in Illinois on Saturday

The event will also highlight the effort by state officials to rid Illinois waterways of the invasive species
An Asian carp leaps into the air after being spooked by Captain Nathan Wallick of Peoria Carp Hunters. His customers can try to shoot the flying fish with bows and arrows on the Illinois River in Peoria, Illinois. AFP PHOTO/MIRA OBERMAN

CHICAGO — (AP) — Asian carp are finally ending up where they should be: on the dinner table. 

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will offer free Asian carp meals at nine locations across the state on Saturday. The event will also highlight the effort by state officials to rid Illinois waterways of the invasive species.

Nutritionists have shown that Asian carp are versatile as a dish as well as nutritional. There will be tacos, hush puppies, and sliders served in a variety of ways.

The 9 locations are: 

  • Chicago, Logan Square: Unity Park, 2636 N. Kimball Ave. from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Asian carp tacos will be prepared by El Rancherito Restaurant
  • Chicago, Lincoln Park: Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop, 2070 N. Clybourn Ave. from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Asian carp burgers will be prepared and served by owner Dirk Fucik.
  • Chicago, Pilsen: Open Books Chicago, 905 W 19th St. from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Asian carp tacos will be prepared by Mole Village Mexican Restaurant.
  • Peoria: Kelleher’s Restaurant, 619 SW Water St. from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. In partnership with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and Distillery Labs, Kelleher’s will serve a chef’s choice of regular Asian carp daily specials.
  • East Peoria: Levee District, 370 W Washington St. (tent near Target parking lot) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. In partnership with the City of East Peoria, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Greater Peoria Economic Develop Council and Distillery Labs, a chef provided by Sorce Enterprises will prepare and serve Asian carp.
  • Springfield: Carter’s Fish Market, 1900 S. Grand Ave. East from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Owner Clint Carter will prepare and serve Louisiana style Asian carp hush puppies drizzled with a Remoulade sauce. Beginning Oct. 21, customers can enjoy a fish taco special at The Barn located at 1501 Wabash Ave.
  • Quincy: Red Light Bar & Grill, 428 Maine St. from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Red Light Bar & Grill will prepare and serve Asian carp sliders; the sliders also will serve as a daily special for the week following the Asian carp cookout.
  • Carbondale: Giant City State Park Visitors Center (tent in parking lot), 235 Giant City Rd., Makanda, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Chefs from Cristaudo’s Café, Bakery and Catering will prepare and serve a Jamaican Escovitch fish taco filling for park visitors to pick up and consumer at their leisure. Cristaudo’s also will serve this dish at upcoming Southern Illinois Collaborative Kitchen events in the coming weeks.
  • Carterville: Walker’s Bluff Vineyard, 326 Vermont Rd. from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Chefs from Walker’s Bluff Vineyard prepare and serve the Asian carp in the winery’s tasting room.