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“Shadow Of The Past”
Review of Chicago Brauhaus

Chicago Brauhaus
Ranked #577 of 9,530 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: German, Bar, European, Central European, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Welcome to the Chicago Brauhaus For over 40 years we have been serving up good cheer in Chicago's Lincoln Square Neighborhood. We offer a friendly Bavarian atmosphere where friends and family of all ages can enjoy a good meal, a stein of cold beer and dance along to the sounds of the world famous Brauhaus Trio. It is always Oktoberfest at the Chicago Brauhaus. We hope to see you soon! Your Hosts Harry and Guenter Kempf
Glenview, Illinois
Level Contributor
131 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Shadow Of The Past”
Reviewed April 13, 2014

This Lincoln Square area, once upon a time, was known as a "German Town". It had German delicatessens, butchers, stores, restaurants, German Club, library, etc. Next the Greek restaurants moved in and after them, which is now, it is a mixture of everything and everybody…constantly changing and gentrifying. There were three or four very good authentic German restaurants and beer halls in this area and ….they are all gone, just like in the rest of the City and suburbs.

The Brauhaus started across the street approximately 40 years ago. The inferior is in the style of beer hall. Large number of formica tables, with red chairs, lined up in the rows and close together. There is a long bar where "regulars" enjoy their beer. On weekend there is a small band, rest of the time….solo musician playing German songs and old favorites.

The food is mostly German with random introduction of American and Mexican dishes.
The sausage are predominately Sheboygan, commercially produced, which at this time maybe considered the best…however they do not match "past" authentic sausages and meats produced by local German butchers. The portions were ample with typical German sides. Sauerbraten was not freshly prepared, it was reheated with heavy sauce over it. Smoked pork chop was dry. There is a limited number of chicken dishes and there are no veal dishes on the menu. This is unusual because veal is one of the main staples of German cuisine and restaurants. For the party of four, 2 pieces of stale rye bread and one piece of dry grain bread were served. Additional bread had to be requited a number of times. When delivered, it was not any better. It could be concluded that the food is just about average and somewhat overpriced. The variety and authenticity is not there.

The beer selection by bottle or draft is extensive and very good. Drafts are typical German beer hall selections. Wine selection is limited.

Service by a couple of "motherly" waitresses was knowledgable, pleasant and somewhat slow.
The busboy service was lacking in attendance and performance.

Unfortunately, it can be easily said that "old fashioned" authentic restaurants and German food are history….so in this beer hall have a few beers, enjoy "umf-pa-pa" music and ….."Prosit" !!

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank autremonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    50
    61
    23
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
73 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“It is somewhat pricy for the average food you get. You pay for beer and atmosphere.”
Reviewed March 27, 2014

Food is average and the menu selection is the same. Somewhat pricy for the type of food you get. If I am not mistaken, there is only one chicken entree. Most of everything is pork or others German style fries oily and mashed. Ruben sandwich mediocre to poor- very dry meat. No one was in charge of water/soda refill, no desert menu available. Selection of beer - OK. Live music - one man show when we were there. Many small children enjoyed the tunes. Nothing too special for me. Again, personal opinion; however, it is worth a try.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank FelixCon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
39 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Food and atmosphere are great!”
Reviewed March 3, 2014

Went here a couple of weeks ago with some friends and had a fantastic time! The decor is great, Old World brew hall feel and the food is fantastic! The entertainment for the evening was rather off but they were so bad that they were comically great! I had sauerbraten that, although not as good as my Oma's(how could it be?) it was fork tender and did have a good flavor. A friend was very pleased with his rouladen and of course the beer was good! We will be back!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Liz M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
159 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
“Pretty darn authentic beer hall”
Reviewed February 11, 2014

Having just spent 3 weeks in Germany and Austria over the summer we were eager to get our hands on some more German food and beer.
They restaurant takes reservations and we erred on the side of caution, although we didnt need them, I would still recommend as it looks like it could fill up.
There were four of us, two of us had the Schnitzel, one had the fried chicken and one had the osso. They no longer have the Vienna Schnitzel (veal) so we had the pork instead. It was pretty good, not the veal, and certainly not as good as in Germany, but very good. The fried chicken also was good as was the pork osso.
The menu is not super heavy with german standards but they are there, as well as a lot of american food for the kids.
They have 6-7 kinds of beer, we went with the Hoffbrau in liter mugs, the beer is very light and a liter only gave a slight buzz.
The interior is similar to a standard beer hall, efficient and simple furnishings, long tables and a dance floor.
The band was fun and played the standards along with the toasts. There were several very precious older couples that came to dance, and they tore it up.
The ambience is very fun.
The service, as many have pointed out can be slow and they often forget to check on you. This is exactly the way it is in Germany! lol... So I guess it adds to the authenticity! But seriously, it was annoying, and the reason I cannot go for five stars.
This is not an upscale place, it is a beer hall. It is not gourmet German food, it is a beer hall. It is not the greatest service you have ever had, it is a beer hall.
Go in with your eyes open, ready to have fun, drink some beer and sing some songs, maybe even get out there and dance.
Prost!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PHXTrainer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reidsville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
52 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great fun and Great food”
Reviewed January 29, 2014

If you love German food, this is the place in Chicago. Food is to die for and the service cannot be beat. Don't forget to have Wolfgang play the Chicken Dance for you. If you are as lucky as I am, you might even get one of the servers to do it with you !!!
GREAT FUN !!!!!!!!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sharon J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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