The Chicago Brauhaus will have its last day this Sunday December 10th. A Lincoln Square institution for over 50 years and one last German restaurants in the area – it will be greatly missed. I am re-posting my story from 2011 along with new photos.
Well, according to Andre Knowlton of Bon Appetit it just may be. A couple of years ago BA named New Austrian as, “the cuisine of the year.” Since then Knowlton notes a trend toward Germanic fare, attributing it to the pork craze and craft beer. I’m not a die-hard follower of food trends, I just like good food and a good atmosphere. But it’s hard to argue with the likability and prevalence of pork and beer. Especially in Chicago.
Not knowing that much about German food but welcoming a taste change from the Asian-Fusion/tapas/all-things Italian I decided to go to Lincoln Square and try the Chicago Brauhaus. This restaurant is an experience. You feel like you are walking into a German home from the 1970s and your uncle Gody and band, who has been there for almost 20 years, is leading an Oktoberfest sing-a-long with a dance floor that fills up as the night progresses. Every once in a while, Guenter one of the owners, will come out and play the drums. The Brauhaus is also open for lunch if you don’t have your dancing shoes with you. There is a huge beer list as well as a full bar.
Okay for the food, here are some dishes that are both authentic and tasty:
-Geschmorte Schweine Haxen: Signature braised pork shank served with sauerkraut and spätzle or potato dumplings
-Leberknödel Suppe: Liver dumpling soup
-Rindsroulade: Beef rouladen, slowly braised thin sliced sirloin of beef rolled with mustard, bacon, onions, and pickle
-Heisse Würstl: Hot sausages, any on the menu