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Jun 27, 2008 06:05 PM

Teske's revisited - A Chicagoans perspective...

I was in SJ on business, last night was my final night. Went to Teske's, cause I was in the mood for some hearty fare.
I have read some of the other reviews here, most place it at mediocre, a couple downright negative. However, they were older reviews. We did not experience either on my visit. Perhaps the management "saw the light" or something, but my party had a very pleasant experience.
The atmosphere exudes old world comfort. Dark woods, old pictures and high ceilings dominate the space. Upon entering the front door, you come across the bar first, you must walk down to the end of the bar for seating. This is very familiar to me, as that's how the best German restaurants here in Chicago are set up.
Seating was prompt, and so was the service. Their meals are all inclusive, so while the prices may seem somewhat to the high end of moderate, the overall quantity of the meal makes it more of a value.
First of all, they DO have a rather impressive selection of beers from the Germanic region. The tap beers are first rate and are available in the proper, "Oktoborfest" style, meaning a proper litre. Half litres are also available.
The soup is nice, but unidentifiable. Also, on this visit, it was a tad salty. Please taste it before seasoning it! ;)
The salad, while somewhat generic, was refreshing, with a light house dressing. No other dressing options are offered.

I had the Holsteiner Schnitzel garniert mit Ei, Sardelle, Capern, Serviert mit Bratkartoffeln und Frischem Gemüse
(Pork Cutlet garnished with a Fried Egg, Anchovy, and Capers served with Fried Potatoes and Fresh Seasonal Vegetables).
My friends had Wurst Platte (Polnische und Bratwurst) mit Kartoffelsalat und Sauerkraut
(Sausage Platter (Polish and Bratwurst) served with Potato Salad and Sauerkraut) and
Sauerbraten mit hausgemachten Spätzle oder Kartoffelnödel und Rotkohl
(Marinated Beef served with Homemade Noodles of Potato Dumpling and Red Cabbage).

My cutlet came out tender, juicy and flavorful, not greasy at all. The potatoes were very nicely done, but they were out of veggies, so I got red cabbage, which was very nice indeed. My friends said they quite enjoyed theirs, as well.

A slice of apple strudel is included, nice crust, plenty of apples, very tasty. I question the inclusion of whipped cream on top; unneeded, IMHO, but, in their defense, it was fresh, not canned.

Would I go back? Yes.I think the management may have addressed the problems brought up in previous reviews, and I feel you should take a second look at this establishment.

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  1. You question apple strudel mit schlag? Unneeded, unmöglich.

    1. What were the prices of those all-inclusive meals, und what were they charging for the bier?

      Also, please remind me of the name of that big, long-established German resto in the Chicago loop.
      How would you say that Teske's compares to that?


      2 Replies
        1. re: wolfe

          Yes, it was the Berghoff. The only time I ate there, (about three years ago) we were served by a very knowledgeable Latino waiter -- changing times for sure.

          The old-school local-institution midwestern German restaurants are steadily vanishing -- a few years back, Milwaukee lost one of its big three -- purportedly the best of the bunch.

          Back to Teske's -- I think their all-inclusive policy is misguided. They serve a heavy cuisine to start with, and then bundle it with three more courses, two of which (soup and salad) are very nondescript. A la carte at a lower price would probably work better for most of their clientele.

      1. Thanks for the update.

        I'll bet they set a negative mood with the soup and salad, so by time people get to the main course they are disallusioned.

        The website has an event calander. They have a house band that plays weekly either on Friday or Saturday.

        Teske's Germania Restaurant and Beer Garden
        255 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113