I have walked past Chicago Brauhaus in Lincoln Square on many occasions and had never set foot inside. I have to admit that it was watching an episode of Diners, Drive ins and Dives in which it was featured that finally tipped me over the door step. Thinking about it I do not know why it took me so long as I am a big fan of beer, meat, potatoes and gravy, and when I think of German cuisine I think “all of the above”
Inside it was like a trip back to Europe to a German resturant, admittedly one from the 1970′s, but still you would not think that you were in Chicago. The air was thick with German speaking voices, and there was a German folk music band playing oompah music gently.
It had been a while since I ate in somewhere that offered soup or salad as part of the deal and I was not really that fussed about having either until they mentioned Leberknodel Suppe or Liver dumpling soup (which sounds less interesting in English). I had not had that before so felt implored to try it. It was not quite as expected, I was expected a dough dumpling filled with liver, not an actual meatball of liver, and I was expecting a more pungent flavour, but in fact the broth was quite light and had a subtle liver taste. It was a nice start to the meal.
We selected of the daily specials menu. I took on the pork goulash with spaetzle and seasonal vegatables. The goulash was good a litte bit fatty but still the meat was falling apart. The sauce was a nice gravy and the spaetzle when mixed with it was excellent, on its own it was a bit forgettable, as for the ‘seasonal’ vegetables, I already forgot about them.
My companion had the braised short ribs with mashed potato and more of the seasonal vegetables. The meat was really tasty but was little bit tough maybe not such a good choice for braising. I would say that the highlight of this particular dish was the gravy.
If you want a nice gravy meal with an old time feel then the Chicago Brauhaus may be a good fit for you. I maybe need to try it again, perhaps trying some of their sausage or other house specialities before deciding where it sits in the pecking order.
Chicago Brauhaus is located at 4732 N Lincoln Ave in the middle of Lincoln Square near to the Western CTA station on the brown line. Website: http://www.chicagobrauhaus.com/