Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: Julius Echter Weiss & Resi's Bierstube

Craft Circa:  1643 
Style:  Hefeweizen
ABV:  4.90%
Notables: Available year-round

Restaurant:  Resi’s Bierstube
Restaurant Circa:  1973 
Type: German
Notables: Great beer garden and cool taps

Overall:   Good beer and great food.  Resi’s offers an extensive menu of traditional German delicacies and beer.  So what’s a bierstube?  According to Wikipedia, it’s German for “beer hall” or a large pub that specializes in beer.  I went to Resi’s because I felt like sitting outside on a warm Chicago evening and enjoying German food and wheat beer.  It seems German restaurants have disappeared here in Chicago so it’s not often that I partake.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  The beer garden was bustling. The inside, while not as packed, had great ambiance, there were posters everywhere, and it had a good vibe.  The one and only waitress was bouncing from table to table like a pinball.  The bartender actually came out and took our drink order.  “I’ll have the Julius Echter.”  Why, you ask?  Honestly, I thought the name was cool.  And the beer hit the spot.  I wanted a German wheat beer or weiss (Wikipedia) and this looked like it would deliver.  Granted, I squeezed and twisted the lemon slice, it went for a swim, and then I took my standard two sips.  Some would say “You did what?  You put the lemon in?  AND before you did your taste test?”  No disrespect to the traditionalists out there but I like it this way.  The beer was refreshing; a classic wheat.  While the service was slow at times, I was in no hurry.  I was having dinner and beer with a very dear old friend. No, he’s not 70 and I’ve only known him for a year.  He’s a high school buddy. 

So my friend ordered the classic Rahmschnitzel Dinner (no, not made from “ram”), and I had the Schnitzel Sandwich.  We steered clear of the Schnitzel with two eggs, as my friend said, “It comes with a cardiologist.” So watch out; your heart may go “Pop!”

The sandwich came with German style potato salad and sliced pickles.  I added the gravy for more cholesterol ;).  We shared Resi’s famous potato pancakes with sides of apple sauce and sour cream … yummy.  We were not disappointed.  Each bite was a trip back to Deutschland (though I’ve never been, I have had my share of German food and watched plenty of travel shows. Think Anthony Bourdain and Rick Steves.  Yeah, I know.  I actually referenced Bourdain and Steves in the same sentence. That’s like referencing Alice Cooper and Church Lady).

I suspect Resi's would be an ideal place for Oktoberfest revelry and if you go during the Oktoberfest season, make sure you bring your very LARGE pretzels.

Acquisition:  Schnitzel Sandwich, Weiss Beer on Tap, Potato Pancakes $28-$32 (while a bit pricey going with friends you can share the food because the portions are plenty, of course DO NOT share the beer)


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