Fried Green Tomatoes: Popular Galena Eatery Offers Beefed-Up Event

Reservations are filling fast for this beloved restaurant’s Memorial Day weekend special: dry-aged, premium beef that pairs spectacularly with an award-winning wine menu.

Fried Green Tomatoes’ ultra-premium dry-aged steaks event, held from May 24-27, gives Galena-area diners a chance to savor beef that has been aged to perfection for 28 days.

In a city steeped in history, Fried Green Tomatoes is a Galena original.

The restaurant, popular with tourists and townies alike, has been a jewel in Galena’s culinary scene since owner Fred Bonnet opened its doors in 1993. Three decades later, the eatery, at 213 N. Main St., is considered a must-stop for anyone craving classic American comfort food, Italian favorites, fresh seafood and, of course, the restaurant’s namesake dish.

The fried green tomatoes, in fact, are so popular that Bonnet and his staff serve more than 200 pounds of them per week.

Over the years, accolades have poured in. The restaurant received the OpenTable Diner’s Choice Award in 2019, and for several years the wine list has netted an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, a national publication dedicated to wine and wine culture.

For Fried Green Tomatoes’ wine connoisseurs, a glass is well complemented by a select cut of USDA filets and porterhouse steaks. While they’re a staple on the menu every day, Bonnet and his staff are grilling up something extra special for Memorial Day weekend: an ultra-premium, dry-aged steaks event.

Dry-aged beef is a premium cut of meat that’s aged for an extended period to produce a concentrated flavor with buttery, nutlike notes. The specific conditions under which the meat is aged, including precise temperature, humidity and airflow, allow the enzymes in the meat to break down muscle tissue, creating a delightful and tender steak that’s a favorite among steak connoisseurs.

Fried Green Tomatoes receives regular Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator, a national wine publication.

Diners at Fried Green Tomatoes can look forward to beef that has been dry-aged to perfection for 28 days to create a premium protein with a profound flavor profile.

The event, held May 24-27, promises to be as unique as the venue. Fried Green Tomatoes is housed in a historic building that’s rumored to have connections with Civil War general and U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, whose family owned and operated a leather goods store on Main Street before the war.

This building also housed several businesses before Bonnet moved his restaurant here in 2004. While the building has gone through a number of changes, the restaurant’s interior reflects its rich history, featuring exposed brick walls and vintage decor.

Reservations are always a good idea at this popular eatery on Galena’s busiest corridor, but it’s especially helpful for Fried Green Tomatoes’ dry-aged beef event, as seats are expected to fill up quickly. In fact, staff often find themselves booking tables months in advance.

Fried Green Tomatoes is open for dinner Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday until 9 p.m. and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

To make a reservation or to be part of the dry-aged steaks event, call (815) 777-3938.