Hot!Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone?

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KimChee43
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2003/09/22 17:13:11 (permalink)

Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone?

Dear Friends:

Well, autumn is here. It's getting on Oktoberfest time. I've got a hankering for some really fine German cuisine. Where can it be found? We've eaten at the Berghoff and Chicago Brauhaus in Chicago. Neither one did much for us at all. Our absolute favorite used to be Dieterle's in Elgin, Illinois, but it closed years ago. We've tried Mader's and Karl Ratsch's in Milwaukee. Wasn't too keen on those either. We're willing to make a weekend road trip to find some good German food. Somebody please tell us where it is?!

Many thanks.

KimChee43
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    wanderingjew
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/22 17:27:36 (permalink)
    You might want to consider Columbus Ohio. They even have a section of town called German Village. I believe Madison Wisconsin also has quite a few German Restaurants as well.
    #2
    KimChee43
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/22 17:33:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    You might want to consider Columbus Ohio. They even have a section of town called German Village. I believe Madison Wisconsin also has quite a few German Restaurants as well.


    WANDERINGJEW: Many thanks! Have you ever tried any of the German restaurants, though, in either Columbus or Madison? If so, which ones, in your opinion, are worth a weekend road trip?
    #3
    Bushie
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/22 18:00:11 (permalink)
    KimChee, if you want to drive just a TINY bit further, come on down to Texas and go to the place where I celebrate Oktoberfest every year; the Walburg Restaurant, not too far north of Austin, in Walburg, TX. EXCELLENT German food, and a great time overall:

    http://www.walburgrestaurant.com/index.asp

    #4
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/22 18:00:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by KimChee43

    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    You might want to consider Columbus Ohio. They even have a section of town called German Village. I believe Madison Wisconsin also has quite a few German Restaurants as well.


    WANDERINGJEW: Many thanks! Have you ever tried any of the German restaurants, though, in either Columbus or Madison? If so, which ones, in your opinion, are worth a weekend road trip?


    I haven't tried any of the ones in Madison. I tried Schmidt's Sausage Haus in Columbus and that was really good. Right in the heart of German Village. I don't really know if it's worth going there for a weekend trip, however there are plenty of shops and brewpubs to keep you busy!
    #5
    Craig328
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/22 19:20:57 (permalink)
    Ole Helderberg in Tequesta FL is far the most authentic German cuisine I've ever seen. Sorry no web site, hours are Tues-Sun 4:00PM to 11:00PM very exclusive dining ... and affordable.
    #6
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/22 23:41:24 (permalink)
    Cincinnati has 5 or 6 good quality German restaurants.....
    #7
    spadoman
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/23 08:12:56 (permalink)
    Weekend Road trip for German food. Sounds like you're in the Chicago area, so, try Minnesota! Carl's Bavarian Hunter Gasthuas in Stillwater, MN. Right across the river from Wisconsin and only a few miles North of I-94. & hours from Chi town. Great food, great beer, Oktoberfest every weekend in the "big tent" Accordian music. Lederhosen clad waitstaff and did I say good food? This is the place that catered the Oktoberfest party scene in the movie "Grumpier Old Men". It was filmed about a week into November and Carl personally supervised another tent and set-up the comp[lete deal downtown Stillwater. They know their stuff.
    #8
    hatteras04
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/23 08:58:46 (permalink)
    I live in Columbus and unfortunately most of the German restaurants have closed. Schmidt's Sausage Haus on Kossuth in German Village is the exception. It is good but my favrotie thing to do there is to buy the sausages from their deli case (especially the Bahama Mama) and cook them myself. The cream puffs are also not to be missed. For some good pictures go to:

    http://www.hollyeats.com/Schmidts.htm

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    kland01s
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/23 09:27:17 (permalink)
    KimChee43, I have friends who are involved in the Fox Valley DANK (German) club and travel to all the Octoberfests in the midwest with their German dj business. They like Bavaria Hof 933 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, Il. I have gone there once with them and the food is pretty authentic. I seem to remember it being in a strip near Golf but at the time there was much construction in the area (3yrs ago) and I got a little lost. BTW, the club had just held their Octoberfest 2 weekends ago on Randall Road in South Elgin, I hope you went.
    #10
    Bushie
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/23 09:40:50 (permalink)
    Here's an Oktoberfest I used to attend when I lived in Missouri. (I doubt you'll be coming down to Texas as I mentioned above. ) Hermann, MO, has a number of restaurants, though frankly, I don't remember a whole lot about the food. The Fest sure was fun, though!

    http://www.hermannmo.com/
    #11
    mek
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/23 11:27:30 (permalink)
    KimChee43-
    Indeed, where have they gone? Puzzling, especially when the largest ethnic group in America is German-Americans (26%).
    If you are ever in Hagerstown, Md., you must go to Schmankerl Stube. They do a magnificent job.
    www.schmankerlstube.com

    Baltimore will celebrate its annual Oktoberfest at the 5th Regimant Armory.
    http://www.md-germans.org/oktoberfstempty.htm

    Zum Wohl !
    mek
    #12
    4fish
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/24 12:49:55 (permalink)
    KimChee43, here's one you might try on that weekend roadtrip.

    http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2003/09/21/food/00laxfud.txt

    I haven't been there myself yet but an acquaintance who's a native of Germany tried it and said it was good. The "town" of Victory is no more than a wide spot in the road but there are lots of bed and breakfasts in towns along Highway 35 and plenty of hotels in La Crosse.

    It is a bit of a hike from the Chicago area, but my brother lives in Wheaton and likes driving up the Great River Road when he comes to visit. Much more fun than Interstate 90, particularly when he used to drive a convertible!
    #13
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/25 01:41:45 (permalink)
    Best German restaurant I've ever been in is the Student Prince in West Springfield, MA. Totally worth the trip, but then, for us, the trip is only about 80 miles.

    My wife (who as it happens was born in Germany) thinks that the reason there are so many fewer German restaurants now is that as an immigrant population, Germans are fairly well-assimilated now in a way that, say, Thais and Brazilians aren't yet. (There are something like half a dozen EACH Thai and Brazilian restaurants in my immediate neighborhood.) As a result, there's less impetus for the connection to home that a restaurant represents.
    #14
    KimChee43
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/25 13:01:10 (permalink)
    I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this topic so far!You guys are the greatest. My husband is the primary driver in the family. He prefers a road trip no more than several hours from home; however, we do travel a lot, so it's nice to know of German restaurants in other parts of the country.

    We like Eastern European food, too. There used to be a place near us that specialized in roast duck. The family came from Czechoslovakia, if I'm not mistaken. The grandma made the ducks using a wood-burning stove for many years. All of the side dishes, including the rolls and muffins, were made from scratch. When they updated the kitchen, a commercial stove/oven was put in, and I remember a newspaper article where the grandma said that all this "new technology" was hard for her. She missed her wood-burning stove. After she died, her son took over. The food slipped a bit. Then, HE died, and HIS son let the place go. It's been gone for some years, but I sure do miss that duck. Sorry to be off topic...just reminiscing...anybody know where they serve a mean roast duck?
    #15
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/25 13:47:45 (permalink)
    hey kim, the bohemian cafe is one of the stern's favorites(and mine too!). Duck is one of their signature dishes. Omaha is a neat town ,home of my wife, and just the right distance from you for a weekend trip. The Zoo has a GREAT tropical rainforest. The Czech embassy thing I just found by accident, but add your picks to their list as you find them.
    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=458
    http://www.mzv.cz/washington/general/restaurants.htm

    bill
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    kland01s
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/25 13:57:20 (permalink)
    KimChee, was the the Bohemia Inn that was on Rte. 47 north of Lily Lake? I used to love going there, in the summer you would see the Grandmother out in the garden, cutting herbs.
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    KimChee43
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/25 15:22:23 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by kland01s

    KimChee, was the the Bohemia Inn that was on Rte. 47 north of Lily Lake? I used to love going there, in the summer you would see the Grandmother out in the garden, cutting herbs.


    KLAND01S: Yes! It's been closed for a number of years now. The Grandmother, of course, has been dead for some years; likewise, her son. We used to patronize the restaurant up until her son died, even though the kitchen was very inconsistent. After her grandson took over the business (I think he was pretty young; maybe late 20s), they arrested him for murder. Of course, the restaurant was shut down then. He was later convicted, even though the police never found the body. (Or maybe they found parts of it. I don't remember. It's been a while.) Do you remember reading about that in the newspapers?
    #18
    kland01s
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/26 09:03:41 (permalink)
    Yes, I do remember, I had forgotten about that. They tried a restaurant with a wild game theme for awhile, The Serengeti I believe. Never went there. There was also The Golden Pheasant that I think was German based food. It was on Rte. 25 north of St. Charles and again, it was a case of the parents, who originally started the place, dying and the kids not wanting to be in the business. I seem to remember they had pretty good food, we used to hold company lunches there.
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    KimChee43
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/26 09:25:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by kland01s

    Yes, I do remember, I had forgotten about that. They tried a restaurant with a wild game theme for awhile, The Serengeti I believe. Never went there. There was also The Golden Pheasant that I think was German based food. It was on Rte. 25 north of St. Charles and again, it was a case of the parents, who originally started the place, dying and the kids not wanting to be in the business. I seem to remember they had pretty good food, we used to hold company lunches there.


    KLAND01S: I remember reading in the newspaper about the couple who bought the Bohemia and turned it into a place featuring exotic game entrees. They also remodeled the motel attached to that place. We never ate there, though. I wonder if the new owners ever made a go of it.

    Yes, I recall "Mack's Silver Pheasant" on Route 25 north of St. Charles. There is a "Mack's Golden Pheasant" on North Avenue, I think. We pass it on the way to Hamburger Heaven in Elmhurst. We've never been there though. I wonder if the food is any good.

    By the way, do you remember "The Milk Pail" in Elgin during the good old days when it was surrounded by some woods? They raised their own trout, pheasant, and so on...they had their own bakery (everybody loved the cinnamon rolls). Neat little shops, too. You couldn't get in the place on weekends, because it was packed. The food was always good. Then, it was sold to some "businessmen" who basically trashed the restaurant in favor of turning the place into an "outlet mall" and "miniature golf haven" . They tore out most of the trees. We ate there once after the new owners took over. The food was horrid. Never went back. Every time I pass the place, I sigh.
    #20
    kland01s
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/26 11:15:37 (permalink)
    Loved the Milk Pail! In it's day it was THE place to go to impress. The food was very good, they had the game farm and a shop where you could buy turkeys, ducks, trout etc. The last I ate there was for Sunday brunch 2 years ago. Nothing special and it certainly isn't the same as it was long ago. BTW, I worked for the Dundee post office during the holidays in the 1960's when I was in college, I always dreaded getting stuck doing the shipping for the Milk Pail, all those frozen turkeys and such....scarry!

    You are right, it was the Silver Pheasant.
    #21
    mayor al
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/26 12:39:24 (permalink)
    Let me add a recommendation for a Czech Restaurant in Westmont IL...The Bohemian Crystal We have dined there several times when visiting family in the Chicago area. Here is a review of the place from a Chicago TV Food reporter.
    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/news/ward/010402_ward_BohemianCrystal.html

    Hope that contributes to a nice dinner for Y'all.

    AL
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    KimChee43
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/26 13:01:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

    Let me add a recommendation for a Czech Restaurant in Westmont IL...The Bohemian Crystal We have dined there several times when visiting family in the Chicago area. Here is a review of the place from a Chicago TV Food reporter.
    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/news/ward/010402_ward_BohemianCrystal.html

    Hope that contributes to a nice dinner for Y'all.

    AL


    Thank you so much for the recommendation, Mr. Mayor!
    #23
    kland01s
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/26 13:04:09 (permalink)
    Thanks for that mention Mr. Mayor. I went to a wedding reception there and it was the most awesome food I ever had at a wedding! Pasteries were served instead of wedding cake and were decadent. This was the wedding of a man who worked for me, he is Czech and had only been here 3 years, his wife is Lithuanian and had only been in the US 2 years so for them to select this place for their wedding, you can tell it is very authentic. BTW, I was the only person there who spoke English only, I did a lot of nodding, smiling and enjoying the food!
    #24
    thejab
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/26 20:36:00 (permalink)
    On a recent road trip from Chicago to California we stopped at the Rathskeller in Rockford IL. I thought the food was great. I had the sausage assortment - some of the sausages were housemade and some were from a local sausage factory. The sides were good, especially the Lyonnaise potatoes, potatoes and onions fried in an iron skillet. In the upstairs is a bar and deli and in the basement is the restaurant. It's been there since 1931 and it's located at 1132 Auburn Street.

    I took a picture of the sign.
    #25
    cooper
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/27 16:24:30 (permalink)
    Berghoff's in downtown Chicago has some great meals. Whenever we are in the area it is a required stop. Great food and bread is sensational. Beer isn't bad either.
    #26
    cooper
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/27 16:26:10 (permalink)
    Just recently visited an Oktoberfest in the area and it was wall to wall people. I can't understand why so many German restaurants were forced to close due to lack of business.
    #27
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/27 18:54:06 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    How about the late, lamented Kolb's Rastaurant (Est. 1899) in New Orleans? - Or does any self-respecting New Orleanean lament the passing of Kolb's? It might be like mourning the closing of the old Falstaff Brewery on Gravier Street....
    Wonderingly, Ort. Carlton in UnGermanly Athens, Georgia.
    #28
    jennycola
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/30 14:27:52 (permalink)
    We went to a fine German restaurant in Appleton, Wisconsin, on the main street (College Avenue), named Old Bavarian. Good selection of meals, great sauerkraut & bratwurst soup, sausages, etc. I could easily see a fun trip in that area for the fall color!
    #29
    chezkatie
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    RE: Where Have All the German Restaurants Gone? 2003/09/30 16:15:16 (permalink)
    Don't laugh at me but I have a question to ask. What is a real German restaurant. We are on our third au pair from Germany and they laughed at the two German restaurants that I took them to. They claimed they were Bavarian and not German. Also, none of them had ever had German potato salad........what gives?

    All I can think is that different parts of Germany have different foods just like in the USA or maybe I am wrong.
    #30
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