I’m an internet snooper when it comes to food. When my mind starts to drift while working, I start googling places to read menus and chef profiles online. Which is how I landed at Bauer’s Brauhaus in Palatine last night for dinner with Prince Charming. It’s so close to our home, I couldn’t believe I missed it. I knew he would be happy having grown up during his formative years in Germany. If there’s anyone who knows schnitzel, it’s my Prince.
Obviously, this place is loaded with great German beer but they have a huge selection of stateside as well as local brews. They offer a flight for $12 of six draft tasting portions. We went with a half liter of Tucher Hefe-Weisse. The original space was already a German haunt so when the new chef, Jason Bauer, swooped in, he felt the following was already there…why mess with a good thing. Professionally trained at Kendall College, Bauer previously worked under Paul Virant at the highly-touted and award-winning Vie in Western Springs. He’s now gone into a family business with his aunt, uncle and father inspired by his roots of spaetzle and schnitzel. They completely gutted the inside and succeed in creating an updated Alpine atmosphere. I loved the huge ceiling-hugging stein chandeliers. Prince Charming especially loved the beer wench outfits that each of the female staffers run around in. It made me feel like I escaped to Epcot on a rainy night.
I was craving a good schnitzel and I got just that. Bauer has done a great job of melding old world dishes in an updating setting with quality ingredients. We started with the huge pretzel served with three dipping sauces along with the potato pancakes. Bauer’s potato pancakes are thick and crispy on the outside yet tender and heavily woven with sauteed onions on the inside. Hard to stop eating them. He was nice enough to send out some plump mussels in a perfectly seasoned Riesling broth spiked with dill.
I didn’t veer too far from my plan and ordered the veal schnitzel (offered in pork too) with herbed spaetzle. Um, let’s just say, I earned my clean-plate award for the evening with Prince Charming reminding me that he needed to taste it before it was gone. Prince ordered the sausage platter which comes with three homemade sausages: bratwurst, knackwurst, thuringer accompanied by sauerkraut and pretzel dumplings. By meals end, we decided that we’re thrilled to have a really good German option so close to home. The place was packed and for good reason. I imagine it will be with such a huge beer selection and a cozy bar…the wenches help too. I love family owned restaurants as it feels good to support a hard working chef with roots.
45 W. Slade
No reservations. Plan to wait after 6.30 PM