I had to be in Chicago on business for one week in April of this year, so my wife and I have decided to dine at restaurants we have not had the pleasure to eat at in the past, when visiting Chicago.
I am sure, just like me, other food enthusiasts have seen the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. One of the restaurants the show has visited was the Chicago Brauhaus in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood of the city, so for our first night dinner that was the restaurant for us.
If your hotel is on the river, which in this case ours was, getting to the Lincoln Square area is a little bit of haul. It is about a 20 minute taxi ride, but if you prefer, you can take the subway or as it is called the EL (Elevated) by the locals, using the Brown Line and getting off at the Western Avenue station.
Being a neighborhood, off the beaten path restaurant, I figured we do not need reservations. Sure enough, we had no problem getting a table. My wife and I were both looking forward to this dinner since we do not have too many chances to eat at an authentic German restaurant close to us.
I have looked at the menu prior to leaving the hotel, so we had an idea as to what we wanted for dinner. Still, looking at the menu, I was considering changing my selection, but at the end, we both went with our first choices.
For the two of us, the first selection was unanimous; we had to start with a bowl of Leberknodel Suppe, Liver Dumpling soup. One word comes to mind, Delicious. The dumpling was tender; the soup itself had a wonderful flavor of meat and vegetables.
For the main course my wife had selected Rindsroulade, Beef roulade with spatzle and red cabbage and I went with another traditional German favorite, Sauerbraten, braised, marinated beef with spatzle and red cabbage. If you do not know, Spatzle is a small dumpling, consisting of dough poached in boiling water. Like the soup, both of our dinners were excellent. We have both sampled each other’s dinners also and the flavors brought back memories of trips to the German countryside. There was only one little problem with our dinners. We have both ordered spatzle with our meat and we have both received potato dumplings instead. Normally, I would have said something to the waitress, but in this case I went with what they have served us, since the potato dumpling was very good also. For dessert we both selected Apple Strudel, a good choice to finish a perfect meal. In addition to the spatzle incident, about the only negative thing I can say about the food is that there was not enough of it. Although delicious, I felt that for the $6.95 soup, the $17.95 Rouladen and $17.95 Marinated beef we should have had more of what to eat on our plates. However, I must add that the amount of food we have received at the Brauhaus was similar to what you can expect when you eat in Europe at a restaurant. Hmmm….maybe I am just used to the portion size we get at some other restaurants in the US.
The service itself was prompt and courteous, but at times our tall blonde waitress seemed to be cold as ice. I can only assume that she was having a bad day and the rest of the time she actually smiles at her customers.
All the while we were enjoying our dinner; the restaurant also had live music to entertain us. Two elderly gentlemen, German I suspect, were singing their hearts out. A little dated material, but we loved it. In conclusion, the food is good, the service was ok. If you are in Chicago for a number of days, I would recommend trying the Chicago Brauhaus if you want to experience authentic German food. However, if you are only in Chicago for one night, do not waist your money.
If you own or manage Chicago Brauhaus, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.