Making top ten lists is never easy, especially when food is involved. The bars I frequented in Chicago ranged from hip brewpubs to German comfort food. It's all a delicate balance, plugged into a very unofficial, highly subjective formula. But when I return to Chicago, if I were to go back to ten bars, it would be these.
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Does anyone know when the great pretzel invasion of Chicago began? Regardless, what's especially interesting is that there are now numerous styles of pretzels to dig into.
With its Bavarian façade and unmistakable black and yellow German coat of arms aglow on Irving Park, you've probably seen Laschet's Inn at least a dozen times, each with the same thought--I wonder what happens in there?
Last week, Serious Eats' own Roger Kamholz emailed me to propose an evening of spätzle and sauasage in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago, where a couple of old school German restaurants are still serving up the most straightforward and traditional food of that cuisine. Of course, I obliged. While Roger would cover the spätzle, my job was the sausage.
Resi's Bierstube and Laschet's Inn are two of the last remaining old-school German taverns that once peppered the area around North Center and Lincoln Square. Of course, they both serve spätzle, so I devised a spätzle vs. spätzle competition, which somehow lead us to Spy vs. Spy.
Rather than allowing the uninitiated to snicker and speculate on just what a wiener schnitzel might be, let me set the record straight: It's a veal cutlet that is pounded into a plate sized round, breaded, and deep fried. It's also delicious.