Laschet’s Inn: Authentic German CuisineAddress: 2119 W Irving Park Rd
As the recent German-American Festival descended on the heart of Lincoln Square, there was no doubt an influx of new faces (and appetites) to the heart of the Square?s gemulichkeit, the Chicago Brauhaus. ?Unfortunately for them, far fewer will likely have taken the opportunity to amble further south to dine at Laschet?s Inn, where the true spirit of German homestyle cooking resides.
Opened by Karl Laschet in the early 1970s as a bar, Laschet?s began serving food in 2000, when then-owners Franz and Ursula Kokott started providing chow to the regulars, two of which were current owners Matt and Mannie Lodge. ?Despite a relative lack of experience in running a restaurant, the Lodges thrive by serving what the Brauhaus? bread-and-circuses approach can lack – honest, simple German cooking in a low-key living-room feel. ?In fact, Ursula?s own family recipes still make up the bulk of the menu, and she?s still available to answer questions should the staff need to know more about wurst or rouladen.
Manager Carrie Kortokrax landed at Laschet?s after a career in restaurants, breweries and brewpubs, and is planning on bringing that beer-centric focus to the forefront at Laschet?s. ??It?s been neat for me to come to the site and focus on German styles of beer. ?That, I think, gets overlooked. ?And gaining all this culture as well.? A full meal at Laschet?s can last hours and generally consists of rye bread, a hearty soup or salad (if you opt against the house specialty dressing, warm bacon vinaigrette, you?re crazy), and an entree with braised red cabbage, popcorn-light spaetzle, rustic potato salad or sauerkraut.
Guests can linger all night over regular bottles of lager and pilsners up to huge 1-liter steins of beer. Finally, at the end of the meal, a palate-cleansing complimentary shot of schnapps to of-age patrons in differing fruit flavors. The love of the culture translates onto the plate, something not lost on Kortokrax.
?I don?t lie when I say this, I feel so blessed to work at a place that I truly believe in everything about it,? she said. ?The food is great, the beer is great, the customers are the most thankful and grateful on the planet. ?They accept that we are what we are, we want you to sit back and relax, enjoy your dinner.?
Kortokrax?s plans for Oktoberfest include special draft releases, a pig roast, football specials, and even entertainment from Paul and his Alphorn – and if you?re not psyched about an Alphorn party, then check your pulse. The summer festival is over for another year in Chicago, but that doesn?t mean that the celebrating has to stop, as evidenced by the complete lineup, which you can find here.
2119 W Irving Park Rd