Good German, Eastern European or Russian Food in Chicago
Bringing my son to Chicago from Reno. He is a big fan of the above. I use the El a lot and occasional taxis so location is non-specific. Also any recommendations of things he might enjoy. Thanks
Despite the worldwide hype about its closing & the family retirement sham -- the Berghoff is still running:
Plenty of borscht, Vareniky, Pelmeni, and Blinchiki here:
Couple of other option a bit further out, and way less dressy:
The German food at the Berghoff was terrible even before they pretended to go out of business. You and your son will be much happier at Laschet's Inn or Resi's Bierstube, both on Irving Park.
For another variety of Eastern European cuisine, go to Healthy Food on Halsted in Bridgeport, for excellent Lithuanian food. They have limited hours in the evening, so try to get there for a lunch or weekend brunch.
There are Russian grocery stores and bakeries up on Devon Ave (e.g. Three Sisters), and a wonderful Georgian bakery as well (Argo). Devon in general is worth exploring for its wild ethnic mix (Indian, Pakistani, Assyrian, Israeli, Afghan, ...)
As far as other things to do, you might want to check the music listings and event listings on metromix.chicagotribune.com for Eastern European items. You don't say when your son will be visiting, but -- for example -- if he's coming in mid-August there's a Ukrainian Days Festival Aug 18-19.
Have fun and report back if you can.
I like Resi's Bierstube for a very casual meal in the St. Ben's area - on Irving Park. I think they got some new servers in the last 3 months.
I like Bavarian Haus but I prefer Laschets Inn (2119 West Irving Park). For me Bavarian Haus is a little too expensive for what it is. It reminds me a bit of Mader's in Milwaukee. I hate shelling out $20.00+ for roast pork or a sausage plate. Laschets Inn has comparable quality with good selection of German beer, homemade soup/bread, and outstanding spatzle. Laschets is more like a German bar that happens to have good homestyle German food.