Let's start with the beer - because that's the first thing we ordered. :) I visited with my husband and in-laws, the perfect bunch to accompany me. My father-in-law immigrated here in the late 1950's from his home near Berlin. As we ate our lunch, my mother-in-law told me that before he came here, he had been learning to be a brewmaster in Germany.
So, my father-in-law ordered his favorite German brew, Hofbrau.
My hubby ordered a Hacker-Pschorr Weiss
I was the driver, so I ordered a weenie little 1/3 liter glass. :) I got Dab.
If you're not the driver, though, you can get a boot of beer for $30. My father-in-law told me that the tradition in Germany is to pass it around the table and the person who drinks the last bit foots the bill for the refill. :)
PROST! (Or is it spelled Prosit? I've seen it both ways.)
So, we started off with some German rye and pumpernickel bread. Always have to have a slice of rye with butter with a German meal!
We got four different appetizers and sampled each one. My father-in-law picked the Baked Forest Mushrooms - wild mushrooms sauteed in Burgundy wine and herbs, gratinated with fresh goat cheese and served alongside seeded flatbread. Totally bursting with flavor!
My mother-in-law went for the paradise shrimp - coconut battered fried jumbo shrimp served with a zesty pineapple mango sauce. My mother in law was surprised by how truly JUMBO they were. Very succulent and tender and the sauce was perfect. Not exactly German fare, but who cares? It's fried coconut shrimp! Who doesn't love that?
Next was Frickadellen, which I had never tried before - sirloin patties with capers and onions and topped with grilled onions and a thin brown sauce. Oh, my....you had me at capers! Superb!
And lastly - probably the most poplar German appetizer - potato pancakes, served with the traditional sides of applesauce and sour cream as well as some Granny Smith apple slices. These were some of the best I've had. The last couple times I've ordered them in other establishments, they were a little too dry and on the crunchy side. These were moist and soft and pretty much perfect as far as potato pancakes go. Bravo!
Each was wonderful, but boy, I can't get the taste of those mushrooms with goat cheese out of my brain!
With our meals, we got soup or salad. Hubby got the goulash, which I had to try. It had a good flavor - a tasty tomato base, very meaty with cheese on top. Yep, pretty awesome!
My father-in-law got the lentil soup. I forgot to get his comments, but since he ate every bite, I'd say it was satisfactory at minimum.
I got a house salad. Yeah, I know a salad is a salad and I could get it anywhere. But since hubby ordered a goulash, giving me the opportunity to try that, I went with a salad. I was pleased to see a beet on top and lots of dark greens. I hate getting a restaurant salad made with browning tasteless iceberg lettuce and this was as far from that as you can get.The homemade Garlic dressing was perfect - not too strong.
So, when I dine out, I hate to go to places that have a limited menu of like 4 or 5 options. On the flip side, I'm turned off when I see an 8-page menu. When you do too many things, it's hard to do them all well and it's just too hard to decide. Edelweiss was middle ground. We were there for lunch - about a dozen sandwich options and about a dozen entrees.
My mother-in-law ordered saurbraten, one of my absolute fave German dishes, with spaetzel and red cabbage as sides. She swore she'd share a piece, so that freed me up to try out something else. Again, one of the best examples of this dish I've had.
Before bringing out my husband's Wurstplatte, our waitress brought out some horseradish and Dousseldorf mustard. Tried a smidge of the mustard. Love it!
And, of course, I had to sample the knockwurst - it was super tender with that garlicky flavor that I adore.
Excuse me while we pause here for a refill.
My father-in-law ordered Rindsrouladen. Somehow this one got passed me and I didn't try it out. It's a lean, thin sliced beef roll stuffed with onions, pickles, bacon and spices with a red wine sauce. After this visit, I'm inspired to use wine more in my cooking...and use more onions - they add so much flavor!
Here's mine. I'm a sucker for schnitzel. This was the Schweine Schnitzel, breaded and fried slices of thin pork. Oh, so good! And I always get German fried potatoes on the side along with red cabbage.
When my father-in-law asked for a shot of Schnaaps after dinner, our charming waitress, Michelle, suggested Apfel Flimm. Mmmm...spot on! Perfect after dinner drink! Like apple cider, but better. :)
Prost again! I don't know why I never knew before that it was like the German word for "cheers." We said it often during out meal.
We got dessert to go. This was cheesecake, which was served with raspberry sauce, which I unfortunately didn't get to try. When we returned home, my dad had stopped by and we sent it home with him for my mom who is recovering from surgery. Talked to her today by phone. She approved. :)
This dessert was beyond amazing - the Marzipan Cream Cake. I love Marzipan and when you layer it in between cake and then cover it with whipped cream and drizzle it with chocolate, you have a definite winner!
I also brought home a slice of Black Forest Cake, which got a bit thrown around in the container on the way home and didn't make for a pretty picture, but it sure did taste good. Oh, and my father-in-law had some Espresso after dinner, too. I'm not a coffee drinker, but the little cups are just too cute.
I'd love to get back sometime for the evening entertainment. Even at lunchtime, the lively foreign music was music to my ears. And the decor transported you off to a different place.
Oh, and I should mention that there's a brand new beer garden that's been added!
7650 W. Irving Park Road
We were there early for lunch, but reservations are recommended for dinner. Call 708-452-6040 for reservations.