The craving hits like a ton of bricks. The weather is changing, football is starting up and it becomes a little less necessary to keep the summertime physique. What we crave is comfort food (read: gravy) and German food is hard to beat for that.
For me, Laschet’s is like being transported back to home or the homes of my ancestors. I can’t really decide on one or the other. It evokes the kind of carefree contentment that does not often exist in big cities. The decor is an awesome throwback and the hockey sticks hanging from the ceiling are kind of the perfect touch to make a German place seem at home in Chicago.
The entire place feels like a Bavarian neighborhood joint and has the eats and drinks to boot (yep, a pun, watch Beerfest). In Chicago, I have not found a better selection of German taps and the food is exactly what it’s supposed to be. Thus, I can’t say with much authority whether it’s the greatest German food in the city: I’ve only even tried a couple other places. However, the meals at Laschet’s have dominated my other German-food experiences in Chicago.
As far as specific menu items go, any comfort food enthusiast should be well aware of Spaetzle. Butchered pronunciation abounds with this item, but the MMMM… when eating it always sounds right. Spaetlze is a fried flour noodle/dumpling side dish that combines well with gravy and meat to achieve true comfort food effects: a full stomach and sleepiness. Needless to say, Spaetlze is in the comfort pantheon.
The other food lives up to the billing as well. The sauerbraten is really good (and not easy to find elsewhere) and the schnitzel is exactly how it should be. The only item on the menu that I haven’t been really impressed with is the appetizer sausage plate. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong.
One last point must be made here. This is not a restaurant for light eaters and drinkers. The portions are huge and the beer glasses come by the liter. So, when the weather gets cold, but you want to be warm inside, loosen your belt and enjoy the German songs and free schnapps at the end of your meal. You could even make a competition out of trying to stay awake the entire way home.