Last week I was fortunate enough to finally meet two fantastic Fashionistas. Shelley from Still Blonde After All These Years and Brianna (along with her husband) from Bre’s Baubles were in town for the Verizon Voices Program, and the three of us agreed to meet up for dinner at the famous Chicago Berghoff restaurant. The Berghoff is one of Shelley’s favorite Chicago places, and one, I’m embarrassed to admit, I’d never been to. I knew I was in for a treat, but I had no idea exactly how wonderful of a treat it would be.
Dinner, drinks, and dessert were divine.
Everything that landed on our table was absolutely fantastic, from the presentation to the flavor. For appetizer, the ladies ordered the Stuffed Mushrooms and the Potato Pierogies to tide themselves over while they waited for me to battle my way through Bulls traffic. I arrived just in time to snatch one of each and wash them down with a cold Berghoff Hefe Weizen. Both appetizers were so good, I cursed fellow Bulls fans for making me so late!
Then it was time for dinner. I ordered the Sausage Trio. I thought about getting Wiener Schnitzel a la Holstein, but knew I wouldn’t finish all of it and knew it wouldn’t be good as leftovers. I will, however, be back for it! The Sausage Trio was a bratwurst, a smoked Thuringer, and a knockwurst, and it came with sauerkraut and German potato salad.
As expected, everything was delicious! The Hefe Weizen matched perfectly with all three sausages, which were all fantastic. The knockwurst was my favorite, which I expected, but they were all wonderful, especially when piled with perfect German potato salad and sauerkraut, with a smidge of spicy mustard. Despite the 4 of us gabbing, I couldn’t help but think of my Papa and smile. The Berghoff was his kind of place, and I wish we would have had a chance to go together.
Now, if you’re not a fan of German food, there are plenty of other things you can get on the menu that aren’t so traditional. Brianna’s husband got one of the specials, the Peppercorn Steak, which looked (and apparently, judging from the empty plate, tasted) fantastic. Shelley and Brianna also had beautifully plated dinners that looked delish!
Oh, and dessert! Granted, I didn’t finish my dinner, but I certainly couldn’t pass up Pineapple Creme Brulee. Oh. My. Goodness. I did my best, but I couldn’t quite finish it… though our fantastic waitress Linda practically had to pry my spoon out of my hands when she took it away from me.
If you like creme brulee and fresh pineapple, get your tush over to Berghoff like yesterday. Holy cow! I thought, when I ordered it, the pineapple creme brulee was going to be pineapple-flavored custard. But it was actually standard creme brulee full of sweet chunks of pineapple. So different and so wonderful.
If that wasn’t enough, Keith gave us a private tour and history of the Berghoff.
Keith is officially the Maitre d’ at the Berghoff, but unoffically, he’s the Berghoff historian. He told us all about the history of the restaurant, from the opening, through Prohibition, to now. And oddly enough, I found out that the Berghoff family purchased one of my family’s favorite restaurants in Michigan, Tosi’s, which I hadn’t known but thought was pretty cool. I knew that the Berghoff had closed in 2006 (after over 100 years in business), but I hadn’t known that the reason it re-opened was largely because Chicagoans were asking for it. I also didn’t know that the person running the Berghoff now was a Berghoff herself!
Keith took us into the original bar, showing us old photos, paintings, and even the historic Chicago liquor license, numbered one. One of the coolest photos was one of the massive Ferris wheel at the Chicago World’s Fair.
He also pointed out two photos, one of which was taken in the 1930’s and is all men, and the other taken in 2011, with all women in it.
We got to go into the larger banquet area, where there were incredible murals of historic Chicago, including one of the World’s Fair. Combined with the incredible stained glass, it was all incredible!
The Berghoff is truly a Chicago gem.
Hubs and I are already planning on going back to enjoy the food and drinks. I highly recommend that if you’re ever in Chicago, you head on over to the Berghoff. Take a few minutes to enjoy the food, but don’t be afraid to get up and look at the pictures on the walls (many of them from the World’s Fair era), ask the staff questions, and take in the amazing history of the building, the restaurant, and the name Berghoff.
Thank you to the Berghoff staff, notably Ted the General Manager, Keith the Maitre d’, and our server Linda, who made sure the Fashionistas were well taken care of, felt right at home, and had all of our questions answered (with very full bellies). And thank you to Shelley at Still Blonde After All These Years for setting everything up!
I was compensated for this post in the form of a complementary meal and drinks. Opinions are all my own. For more details read my Disclosure Policy.