Imagine savoring a lightly breaded, golden fried, thinly cut chicken breast. Add soft, fluffy mashed potatoes and gulp it all down with a crisp, refreshing beer while live music all the way from Germany plays. Welcome to Hofbräuhaus!
Hofbräuhaus began in Munich as a demand for better brews grew, the brewery abiding by the 500 year old Purity Law which only uses water, barley, and of course, hops. Bringing the idea to American, the long wooden tables of the beer hall are a tribute to the style used in traditional German pubs as the space, which seats over 500 patrons, is open and inviting. Staff adorned in lederhosen and dirndls are attentive and friendly. The ambiance at Hofbräuhaus is warm, family friendly and jovial as talkative guests young and old sit across from each other at the tables, high tops, at the bar and outside patio. The surrounding neighborhood is full of entertainment, shopping and music venues to assure a plethora of options for a day or night out.
The convivial brew master, Rob, at the Rosemont Hofbräuhaus location, explained how special equipment is used to keep in standards with the Purity law such as spunding devices that control the pressure and that “the irony of it: using old fashioned process with modern equipment.” He went on to say that the micro-brewery is “practically automated” and that all the brewing apparatuses, like the brewing ingredients are “handmade in Germany.” When asked what the benefits of using the old basics of the Purity law he argued that it is “a badge of honor” as customers experience “purity and quality, elegant simplicity.” Rob was trained on the job for almost 25 years and he added that he’s been “fortunate to work with knowledge Master Brewers of America since 1997”. He recommends pairing a Dunkel with Jägerschnitzel, or the hunter style pork cutlet because the “dark beer is robust, complex come together and blend seamlessly”. With a new seasonal beer added every month, the first Thursday’s the new barrel is tapped and wheeled around the restaurant giving free samples to patrons. Prost!
The chefs at Hofbräuhaus, contribute to the success of the restaurant by cooking up delicious meals. Chef Gil said he was “trained on the job essentially over the last 40 years and first started as a bus boy. I have had a host of great experiences working all stations within the kitchen in a variety of restaurants in the city of Chicago and beyond.” He attributes his inspiration to become a chef “from my mother who worked in my elementary school cafeteria. My brother Dwayne also helped me to land my first job at The Water Tower Place Downtown.” His recommendation for drink and food pairing is “ the 2 lb. Schweinehachse (Pork Shank) be paired with the Hofbrauhaus Lager. Chef Frank discussed how he is from Germany and was inspired by his parents as he cooked with his mother growing up and his father was a chef, so it is “partly in the blood.” Chef Gil went over tips he thinks are essential in running a successful kitchen which include: “effective communication, providing our staff with the right tools to be successful, and showing up to work each day passionate about the culinary industry.”
The doughy homemade spätzle is a perfect complement to all the meat options such as veal and pork sausages that are juicy, soft and tender. The warm sauerkraut serves as a palate cleanser as your mouth waters for more bites of the curried wurst, native to Berlin, which is crispy, moist and caramelized with a sweet sauce to pair over it. The chunky, tangy potato salad goes well with the lemon soft scent of breaded goodness that is the chicken schnitzel. Don’t forget to taste the sauerkraut balls, fried to perfection with gooey warm melt in your mouth flavors.
Why travel to Germany when you can check out the only German beer hall in town and get a taste of the communal dining without having to hop on a plane? The lively accordion playing and dancing musicians set the mood for a fun night of eating and drinking. Lift your stein and dig in!
For more information and reservations check out: hofbrauhauschicago website
Photos: Yvonne Pulido
5500 Park Place
Rosemont, Illinois 60018
Sunday – Wednesday 11AM-11PM
Thursday 11AM – Midnight
Friday & Saturday 11AM-2AM