Resi’s BierstubeAddress: 2034 W. Irving Park Road
“Stube” means living room, but the interior of Resi’s may remind some people of their parents’ basement den. I doubt they are going to change the décor any time soon. During the colder months, the wood-paneled bar serves as a cozy nook where patrons find warmth in a wide variety of beers, wines, and spirits from the homeland. Resi’s offers 11 import (mostly German) beers on tap, DAT in tallboy cans, plus imported beers in bottles, including nine weiss beers. Domestic beers are also available, but who’s going to come to a place like Resi’s and order Coors Light?
Resi’s is more than just a bar. Hearty helpings of traditional German food, including schnitzels and sausages from Paulina Meat Market—such as knackwurst, liver, and blood sausage, and smoked Thuringers—are cranked out by one of the smallest kitchen operations I have ever seen. The schnitzels come in several varieties, including chicken ($14), turkey ($13), and Rahmschnitzel ($16), a breaded pork tenderloin with sour cream and mushroom gravy served over egg noodles. Spatzle is available with meals for an additional dollar.
If you are really hungry, try the Schnitzel a la Holstein ($17), a gargantuan pork tenderloin topped with two fried eggs and anchovies. There is one fish dish on the menu, which never seems to be available, and in one of the few signs of the 21st century, veggie burgers ($6.50) are now listed on the menu.
For a “lighter” meal you can mix and match wursts (two for $7.50), get your schnitzel as a sandwich, or try a salad. But bear in mind that the German idea of salad means a layer of iceberg lettuce with a few slices of tomatoes and cucumbers covered in protein.
The Russian Egg Salad ($11), for example, smothers crudités with German potato salad and hard-boiled eggs and tops that with slivers of smoked salmon and anchovies. The salad is then crowned with dollops of caviar and mayonnaise.
Unfortunately, prime beer garden weather will soon draw to an end, so get yourself down to Resi’s Bierstube on Irving Park to take advantage of Northcenter’s hidden oasis. There aren’t any oompah bands or singalongs, but you won’t leave hungry and you’ll overhear at least one conversation in German.