I am English and my wife is Italian so it doesn't figure that we'd be dining at a German restaurant. But Chicago is a mixed bag of virtually every ethnic group you can think of so we have decided to visit restaurants of every kind, from Italian to French to British to German to Asian to Thai to Mexican. Everything but sushi. You have to draw a line somewhere. We chose Chicago Brauhaus at 4732 North Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Square because it is rated among the best German restaurants, if not the best, in the city. Hosts Harry and Guenter Kempf have been in business for over 40 years. They offer a stein of cold Bavarian beer (is there any brand better?) and serve traditional German specialties and Bavarian fare in a family-friendly Oktoberfest setting with the famous Brauhaus trio and German bands and polka music and dancing in an Old World atmosphere. I'll admit that I'm not at all familiar with German cuisine but the more I taste, the more I like, especially Lachsbrot (smoked salmon on toast with egg, onions and caviar garnish) and a bowl of hearty beef goulash soup for appetizers, fried shrimp and scallops, Eisbein mit Sauerkraut (boiled pork shank served with sauerkraut and potato), Schweine Schnitzel (pork loin cutlet breaded and fried, served with apple sauce, potato and vegetable) and Wiener Schnitzel (Vienna style cutlet breaded and fried and served with potato and vegetable) for entrees and Black Forest cake for dessert. Our dinner choices were mostly traditional. After scanning the menu, I plan to order Konigsberger Klopse (veal and beef meatballs in a white caper sauce and potato) or Rindsroulade (beef rouladen, thin sliced sirloin of beef rolled with mustard, bacon, onions and pickle, slowly braised and served with spatzle or potato dumplings and red cabbage). This is the kind of place you can enjoy getting to know.
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