As you know, I love my German heritage! And what better way to celebrate it than with a good German beer and good German food. With that in mind, I’ve decided to dedicate a portion of my blog to German Restaurant Reviews! For the first few, I’ll write about some local Chicago places, but then I’ll need your help! I can’t travel all over the US searching for the best German Food (unless the Travel Channel would like to pay me to do so… hint hint 😉 Anyway, so if you have a favorite German place, click here to learn how to get your review up on the Rare Dirndl blog!
My first review is of Laschet’s Inn! (yes, I know, kinda a cop-out since I worked there for a year and a half… but this is my honest to goodness review!) Laschet’s is located at 2119 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago, between Western Ave. and Damen. I went there for dinner on a Saturday night with my sister and her boyfriend and 2 other good friends. We had a reservation, which I highly recommend making, if you want to go there on a Friday or Saturday night. The atmosphere is warm and cozy! There are lots of wood and old school German decor (some of it is actually 30+ years old!) It’s very comfortable, even on a Saturday when the waitstaff is running around and it’s really busy.
The menu is extensive and includes a large selection of appetizers, sandwiches & salads, entrees and daily specials. On Saturday the special is the Pork Shank and Königsberger Klopse. The shank was already sold out (not unusual since we sat down for dinner at 7:45 and usually they sell out by 7pm).
We started out with our favorite apps, Hackepeter (wonderful and fresh German-style steak tartar) and the Buffalo Wings. Now, I know what your thinking… “really, Erika? Chicken wings at a German place?” Um… YA!!! They are hands down the best wings I’ve ever had. They serve the wings with the bleu cheese and wing sauce on the side, so the wings come out, they are hot, crispy and AHmazing!! The Hackepeter was also really delicious! It’s served with capers & onions, and we like to dump them out into the center, drizzle some Maggi (Germany’s version of soy sauce) over the pile and then smash the little Hackepeters in it so each bite has some capers & onions… YUMO!
To drink, I had the Weinstephaner Vitus! It’s one of my favs, so I get very excited when it’s on draft. Laschet’s has 12 different German beers on tap at all times. There are some that stay pretty constant, but for the most part it changes weekly. The Vitus is a strong weiss bier or wheat beer. It’s got a different taste then a typical weiss bier, like hackerschorr weiss, and I think it’s smoother as well.
For an entree, I went with the Mushroom Goulash. I love that dish because its really unique and yummy. It has 3 different kinds of mushrooms (white, shitake and portabella) mixed with onions in a buttery balsamic sauce. It is served with Spätzle and red cabbage. The Spätzle is made in house and then seared on the flat top, so it’s a little crunchy and soooo delicious. The red cabbage is good, but it’s a tad tart for my taste, so I usually don’t eat too much of it, just a bite here and there. The entree also comes with your choice of soup or salad and I went with the salad with bleu cheese dressing. They use a combination of dressing and bleu cheese crumbles… its really really yummy! (If you like bleu cheese that is.)
My sister Monika has a gluten allergy, so she can’t have a lot of wheat, so she opted for the Potato Pancake appetizer (which has 2 potato pancakes the size of your head, so it’s more than enough food) with a side salad, with hot bacon vinaigrette, yes hot bacon (its a warm sweet dressing with pieces of bacon in it, very popular and yummy) and a cup of the Goulash Soup.
Mark had the Goulash Dinner, which is one of his favorites! It’s a spicy beef stew packed with paprika and other spices served with Spätzle and red cabbage.
And Alex had his favorite, Chicken Schnitzel with a fried egg on top. This dish is typically served with Roasted Potatoes and your choice of sauerkraut or red cabbage, but he opted for double potatoes.
It was such a wonderful dinner! We had a great time talking, laughing and enjoying our good German food. Our waitress, Cookie, was wonderful and made sure to check on us even though we were in the very back corner of the restaurant.
The last great thing about Laschet’s Inn is the “complimentary after dinner Schnapps!” Your choice of apple, cherry-peach, or Obstler (a strong apple-pear brandy that has no apple or pear flavor… but it’s one of my favs,) so we ended our meal with a “Prost”. I would most definitely return to Laschet’s… and I do, whether it’s for dinner or just drinks, I end up there at least once a month.
Do you have a favorite German restaurant and want to share it with the Rare Dirndl community? Click here to get all the details about how your thoughts can make it on this blog!