Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

On German Restaurants

Joe Knippenberg referred here to the imminent closing of Berghoff’s, a traditional German restaurant in Chicago. Looking back, I tried to arrange a dinner there in early December for a Liberty Fund conference, and found the sales staff strangely unwilling to accommodate our group’s needs. At the time I found it baffling, but now it makes perfect sense--a classic case of short timer’s attitude.

In my reference to the Jacob Wirth in Boston, I failed to mention one of its most striking characteristics--a gigantic old bar that occupies most of one wall. The workmanship is amazing, although it shows signs of wear; after all, it’s experienced over 125 years of heavy use. But what I found most interesting of all were the Latin words that appear near the top of the enormous structure: "Suum Cuique." Not having ever studied Latin, I asked the bartender (oddly, an Irish lass with a pronounced accent) what it meant. "To each his own," she replied. A damn fine thing to have on a bar, I think.

I also happened to notice one potential reason why the Jacob Wirth continues to do well--it serves a lot of American fare. Our table was close to the kitchen, and I think I saw more burgers than anything else going out to the diners.

Incidentally, I would steer Ohioans who enjoy German food to Zum Rathskeller, which for years was a private dining room for members of the Columbus Maennerchor. Today it’s open to the public, with a fine selection of authentic German foods. And when the Rathskeller has a sing-along, it’s real German beer-hall music. When we went to the Jacob Wirth for their sing-along, the piano player was banging out...The Eagles. And here I was, my lungs all set for a rousing chorus of "Du, du, liebst mir im Herzen," or, better yet, the "Schnitzelbank." I blame American cultural imperialism.

Discussions - 3 Comments

All isn’t yet lost. Herr Professor Doktor Jon Schaff has a Chicago alternative. I’d also invite you to my mom’s, but they’re not quite ready for visitors in the new house.

John
While midwest based, not biased, NLT’s is a political blog, and all politics end up in DC.
When I was a resident of metro DC in the mid/late 70’s there was only one German resturant to go to and it’s still there:
Old Europe,
http://www.old-europe.com/,
Of course, as a native of San Francisco, Hans Speckmann’s was the finest German restuarant I’ve ever eaten at, gone now as is most of the best of that city, http://www.noevalleyvoice.com/2001/March/Rumr.html
Remaining in SF, however, is another world class German eatery, Schroeders
http://www.schroederssf.com/hist.html
Mike

I must say, the best German food I’ve had in my life was at a place called the Bayern Stube in a little town called Gibson City, Illinois, about a half-hour from Urbana-Champaign. Every February they hold a "Hunter’s Feast" with a special menu including such delicacies as quail and wild boar.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/8039