Laschet's Inn: German Comfort Food

February 21 2008 - 10:00 AM

German food seems to have very slowly fallen out of favor, and every once in a while there will be news that a German restaurant or pub is closing.   Maybe I’m wrong, or maybe I don’t see a trend in the opposite direction, and to be fair there have been a few German-themed bars, such as Prost, in Lincoln Park, opening.  But for the most part the German places around town generally tend to be older.  One of these is Laschet’s Inn, which until very recently was run by Germans.  The current owners have vowed not to change anything, except add tables in front during the summer and a biergarten in back.   

I met a friend out for German food at Laschet’s Inn, wanting German beer and food.  I’ve eaten there once
before, and made a pact with myself that I would come back.   The first
thing you notice about the place is that there are a lot of regulars,
and it’s tough to find a bar stool in the early evening.  Not a bad
thing, of course; it’s nice to be somewhere where you know almost
everyone.  Laschet’s, to be clear, is a pub first, and there are eleven
beers on tap, no Bud Light.  I started out with a
Kutscher Alt, a delicious darker, chocolate-y beer.   I researched
altbier and found that it is an older style of beer (and by older I
mean pre-19th century!) that preceded current lighter lagers made in
Dusseldorf.  A person next to me suggested trying quarter-liters of
different beers so we could sample a wide variety, and that was advice
well taken.  I tried a Hirter Morchl, an Austrian dark beer (called a
dunkel) that had a bit of sourness, a bit of sweetness, and an overall caramel finish.   

My third beer was a Hacker-Pschorr gold lager.  I first said, sure,
I’ve had Hacker-Pshorr, but not realizing it was a lager I tried it,
and it is a bit sweeter, less carbonated, and more full bodied, less
hoppy than other types of lagers.

Next it was time for food.  I ordered the rouladen, which was a beef
wrapped over pickle, carrots, and maybe onions, prepared
wonderful–beef was tender, and it was served with some spaetzel (type
of egg noodles made in Germany)  I had it with a spicy goulash soup
with beef, and this was not the tomato and bean goulash I had in
elementary school, but a thick, peppery beef and paprika soup. There
was also red cabbage, which was more sweet and had less of a vinegar
taste, also tasty. The owner also gave us a shot of apple schnapps to
end our meal.

Being in the big city and in the "scene" can seem a bit cold at
times, and it’s nice to know that places like Laschet’s Inn are very
neighborly (and serve great food!)

Laschet’s Inn
2119 W. Irving Park Road
773-478-7915

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