Amidst all the quaint shops, bars, and eateries in downtown Galena is an outpost that has as much personality as it does food and drink options.

That "joynt" is Durty Gurt's, memorable for its name alone. Elevated by its homey aesthetic, neon signs, and eye-catching décor, it's a restaurant that is likely undefeated in leaving an impression.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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Over the last ten years, when my parents vacationed in Galena, they made it a point to go to Durty Gurt's, either for an appetizer or one of their burgers. And yes, maybe a boozy milkshake or two.

One of the many great qualities about Gurt's is the variety they boast: their menu is chockful of familiar entrees, hand-patty burgers piled high with fixings, and... did I mention the boozy milkshakes?

A Brandy Alexander milkshake at Durty Gurts. Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
A Brandy Alexander milkshake at Durty Gurts. Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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One person in our party opted for a Brandy Alexander milkshake, a tasty and rich take on the popular cocktail.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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When it comes to appetizers, I'm quick to spot and then subsequently order the cheese curds on the menu. I've found them to be one of the biggest barometers for whether or not I'll like the food to come. Cheese curds can make or break a meal.

Thankfully, Durty Gurt's serves them exactly how I like them. Soft, (pleasantly) salty, and bursting with cheese.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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I opted for a salted margarita. It was a scorching 90 degrees the day we went, and I figured after a long afternoon of swimming, a margarita would go down like water. I was correct.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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My kind of bars and restaurants are those with copious amounts of posters, signage, wall décor, and the ensuing personality that stems from it all. Gurt's isn't short on any of it. While you wait for your food, you'll find yourself entertained by all those things emblazoned on their walls; topped off by a memorable, instantly recognizable logo.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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The eatery's emphasis on neon not only brightens the environment but casts a sheen of nostalgia over the restaurant. Durty Gurt's feels like a time-capsule place, and it doesn't feel like it's trying too hard to achieve that effect.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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My father opted for the Philly Cheesesteak. The hand-cut fries were delicious. I can't confirm, but they might be duck-fat fries, maybe my favorite style of French fry. Either way, I had to resist the temptation to order another side of them.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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Dear reader, I was seriously contemplating a burger. But then I saw they offered shrimp scampi, and, well, I love shrimp more than I love most meats. Pair that with the scrumptious French fries and it was as satisfying meal as you could've asked for on vacation.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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But on the other hand, it's a good thing I live in Dubuque and Durty Gurt's is only a stone's throw. They're located at 235 North Main Street in Galena, IL. View their full menu here.

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