Mader’s German Restaurant: Famous for the Food?!

Last year, my mom told some people from work that she was going to Milwaukee for German Fest and she said that at least 7 people asked her if she was going to Mader’s? “It’s a famous German restaurant!” So we thought, huh… we should go! On Friday evening, my mom and I headed out to Milwaukee for an event on Saturday at the Mitchell Park Domes, Germany Under Glass, but first, dinner at Mader’s Restaurant.

Our Server, Krystal

When we first walked in, the staff was very polite and sat us in a booth by the bar. My first thought was wow! The decor was very Old World German. Not beer garden-y, not old-german man-y, not oma-y but like 16th century German monk style. It was very impressive, but the intense decor didn’t take away from the warmth. I felt welcome and comfortable.

I loved that the servers wore dirndls! It looked like they all wore their own and they were all classic and traditional style dirndls. Our server Krystal was great! She was super sweet and I later found out on Saturday that she had asked someone to get some Rare Dirndl information for her because she wants a dirndl!

The 3rd thing I noticed (1st being the decor and 2nd the dirndls) was this table stand advertising their specials… using the font Papyrus… this font needs to die. I loathe this font. Ok, moving on to the good stuff.

The menu was difficult to read because it was full of pictures of all the famous people that have eaten there. While it was cool to see who all has been there, I was really more interested in what I was going to eat.

But first… beer! I order a Weihenstephaner Vitus, a weissbock that is one of my favorites and my mom ordered, (uh… i don’t remember, oops!) Anywhoo, they were both served in their 110th anniversary steins, which was kinda cool, but very heavy.

Ruben Rolls

Looking over the menu, there was 1 thing I noticed right off the bat; the entrees were expensive. Not outrageous, but definitely more than I’m used to paying for German classics like schnitzel. We started with the Ruben Rolls, because when I called to make the reservation that’s what the recording recommended, and it was a great recommendation. It was essentially a Ruben inside an egg roll served with Dusseldorf mustard and boy were they tasty.

And then there was the complimentary pretzel roll. I will go back for that roll. It was fresh out of the oven, soft yet crispy, not too salty. (I may or may not be drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it.)

The best thing we ate all night!

Unfortunately that’s where the salivating stops because the rest of our meal was… meh. I was so put off by the $30+ for all the German favorites that I ordered one of the “Kleinen Platten”(small plates) of Vegetarian Spaetzle, a side of Roasted Brussel Sprouts and the Friday Night Fish Fry Special with potato pancakes and sauerkraut. The Spaeztle was some veggies and Spaetzle in a bland Alfredo sauce, the fish was so thin we could barely find it amongst the breading, the potato pancakes were kinda sweet and fluffy, (like a breakfast pancake) and the sauerkraut was so sour! But, the brussel sprouts were really good and fresh.


For dessert, I had to try one of their after dinner drinks, the “Pink Squirrel: a forgotten Milwaukee favorite” It was ice cream mixed with some alcohol and raspberry something… that was a tasty treat!

Overall, I feel like I jipped myself because I didn’t get any of the German food because the prices got me all nervous. I would go back again to try some actual German favorites and for the pretzel roll, but I honestly have no idea why people were so insistent that we go there. Just because Usher, William Shatner, Clark Gabel and Tim McGraw ate there?

What do you think? Did I miss something? I’ll be back in Milwaukee again soon, what should I try there that you think is better then the alfredo spaetzle concoction and the heavy duty fish fry?

P.S. The suit of armor in the window was really cool too. Seriously, the decor was fantastic!

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!

Advertisements

Restaurant Review: Stony Run Inn and Grill – Kempton, PA

Today is a special treat! A guest post about a German Restaurant that I probably won’t have the chance to try, but luckily my friend Heidi wrote a review. Enjoy!

Hi, I’m Heidi Kelly of HKelly designs and I live in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, so I guess it is no surprise that we found a very nice German/Austrian restaurant just miles from home. Stony Run Inn and Grill http://www.stonyruninn.com/


At first, I wasn’t so sure about going, when I think of german food I think about saurkraut and heavy food and I am a picky eater, but my husband convinced me. 
 

Well I opened up the menu and the first thing I look at is the drink menu and I was beyond excited to see many champagne drinks!! I don’t drink beer, but I am a sucker for champagne! Besides drinks the food selection was great, there were even some American meals in case someone wasn’t into the German food.

My husband and I decided to go authentic. We ordered appetizers he had a cabbage soup and I had scallops wrapped in bacon. The appetizers were the perfect size. Then we ordered our meals, I had the pork schnitzel and he had saurbraten, he also had the German beer, Warsteiner.

All in all, one of the best meals I have had in this area! The wait staff was amazing and super knowledgeable! The owner, chef even came out to talk to us! Our waiter, I think was a part time actor, had a great German accent when he wanted to and we had a great time. We ended the night with a German coffee for my husband and we split a raspberry chocolate cake! If you ever find yourself in Pennsylvania Dutch Country near Kutztown, PA this restaurant should be on your list!

My husband and I decided to go authentic. We ordered appetizers he had a cabbage soup and I had scallops wrapped in bacon. The appetizers were the perfect size. Then we ordered our meals, I had the pork version of weinerschnitzel and he had saurbraten, he also had a German beer Warsteiner. All in all, one of the best meals I have had in this area! The wait staff was amazing and super knowledgeable! The owner, chef even came out to talk to us! Our waiter, I think was a part time actor, had a great German accent when he wanted to and we had a great time. We ended the night with a German coffee for my husband and we split a raspberry chocolate cake! If you ever find yourself in Pennsylvania Dutch Country near Kutztown, PA this restaurant should be on your list!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here  

Restaurant Review: Old German Beer Hall

My first time at the Old German Beer Hall in Milwaukee WI, was a few years ago when I went with a few friends to get a beer after the German Fest and it was a blast. We drank delicious beer and took shots from the Shot Ski. This time, I went with my mom on the Thursday before German Fest since we had finished setting up the booth for the day and we were a bit hungry!


The ambiance was nice, it wasn’t very busy when we first got there, but when we left the bar started filling up with the after-work beer drinkers. We didn’t wear our Rare Dirndls because we knew that we were going to be wearing dirndls all day for the next 3 days… so we opted for something a bit more casual.

Thursday was 1/2 price liters, so if course we had to have a liter of beer. I had the Hofbräu Weißbier and my mom had the Hofbräu Original. Our server was Kaitlin and she was nice and her service was great (however I really, really wish she wasn’t wearing a dirndl costume, but she did pull off the look better than most).

We ordered the Curry Wurst appetizer, the Schweineflügel -“Pig Wings” which were described as 3 Meaty Pork Petit Pork Shanks Served with Barbecue Mustard Dipping Sauce. We also had a side of Sauerkraut and Spätzle. We were a bit nervous that it was not going to be enough food, but it sure was!

The Curry Wurst was crispy and the sauce was absolutely delicious!!! I did however smell a bit like curry for the rest of the night, but if that’s the only side effect I would order the curry wurst again in a heartbeat!

The Schweinflügel were also wonderful. Lovely pork flavor, with just enough fat and crispiness. The dipping sauce was super tasty… a unique blend of BBQ sauce and mustard flavors. I could have easily eaten an order by myself!

Unfortunately, the sides were less desirable then the appetizers. The sauerkraut tasted like it was fresh out of the can. The Spätzle was definitely home-made but the amount of butter was overwhelming… didn’t stop me from finishing it, but it was simply too much butter.

Overall we had a lovely time, there was live music towards the end of our stay and like I mentioned the service was great. We would go again to try the other things on the menu and the beer specials are too good to pass up!
Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

Restaurant Review: Kiko’s Meat Market

When I moved into the Lincoln Square area, I was immediately intrigued by a small restaurant on the corner of our block, Kiko’s Market and Restaurant. Although, Kiko’s is a Bosnian restaurant, so much of the menu is familiar to me since I’m of Donauschwaben descent. I decided to do my next restaurant review on Kiko’s since I think the food is slightly similar to German food and I was craving my favorite dish this afternoon 😉

The atmosphere in Kiko’s is very unique. It is a family owned restaurant that has been serving Bosnian food since 2003. When you first walk into the restaurant it’s glaringly obvious that this is a hot spot for Chicago Serbians. Most people will look at you with those, “I don’t know you… what are you doing here” eyes, but once you are seated (in the summer there is a lovely outdoor area) the strange looks subside and everyone continues to speak in their native language to their family and friends.

My first experience was ordering take out with my dad while we were doing construction in the studio, but my second was a really great one. My boyfriend and I met my parents there to celebrate my dad’s birthday and we were on a mission to try a variety of things. Before we ordered we were served fresh baked bread served with two spreads. One was ajvar, a veggie spread made from eggplant, roasted red peppers and garlic… it was incredible and I was concerned that I would fill up on bread, but considering the other spread was kajmak, a salty/buttery cheese spread… I was ok with filling up on bread. Soooo good, and really unique… both things I’ve never tasted before.
Pastrmka na žaru in my own kitchen!

For dinner, my mom couldn’t pass up the Sarma and my dad was more than excited about the Gulaš (we figured it was like goulash), Christian had wiener schnitzel and I had the Pastrmka na žaru (rainbow trout). This dish was noted as being a favorite on the menu and I love fish, so I figured it had to be good. It turned out to be a whole roasted trout served with rice (or fries) and krautsalat. Luckily, ever since my trip to Ghana, I’ve had a love affair with fish served whole… so this dish looked AHmazing! And it tasted amazing too! It came with an intense garlic/parsley oil (super tasty, but über garlicky) and it was simply delicious, I don’t really know how else to describe it! The fries were pretty good and the krautsalat tasted just like Oma’s!

I also tasted everyone else’s food (duh!) and the sarma was very similar to my Oma’s however, the goulash was different, but still really good. The schnitzel tasted like schnitzel… but I was more obsessed with my fish and the bread!
In the market waiting for my take out

Tonight, I decided to order for pick up (for no other reason than I was too comfy in my sweatpants to put real pants on). I again ordered by favorite fish dish, but this time I got to enjoy it in my own kitchen. When you order for take-out, you have to pick it up in the market section. It’s a little market where you can get Bosnian specialties and I indeed got some for myself! I got a jar of ajvar, fresh made kajmak, and some chocolate (including a Kinder Bueno… my all time fav).

If you want delicious food that has slight German undertones and you’re looking for something different than the typical sauerbraten and schnitzel, but you don’t mind being treated a bit like an outsider, I highly recommend Kiko’s Market and Restaurant.
 Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!   

Restaurant Review: Laschet’s Inn

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!

 Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

An Excellent Lunch

Today my uncle Larry took my family out to lunch and he wanted to take us to Bauer’s Brauhaus so my family could check out my dirndls at work and the great atmosphere that new restaurant provides. Lunch was soooo yummy! BEST deep fried pickles I have ever had! The cheese curds were also really tasty. I think what made them so delicious is that they were battered and not breaded. My sister got the weiner schnitzel and she said it was great and the spatzle and rotkraut were also yummy.

Starting up a new business, whether its a fashion line or a restaurant, it takes drive, perseverance, and guts! Please support local business and us nutty entrepreneurs.

I’m so happy that Bauer’s Brauhaus was pretty busy when we went this afternoon and I can’t wait to go back because I know I will be dreaming about those pickles tonight! As tante Heidi would say… YUMO!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here