A month-long party at Edelweiss
Matthew Kosch chef/owner of family-owned Edelweiss German American restaurant in Norridge. | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times Media
7650 W. Irving Park Road, Norridge
Restaurant: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; noon-1 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m,-9 p.m. Sunday. Lounge: 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday; noon-2 a.m. Saturday. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
(708) 452-6040 or edelweissdining.com
Updated: October 10, 2012 9:26AM
What began as a local wedding celebration for King Ludwig I in Bavaria in 1810, is today one of Germany’s — and the world’s — most famous events.
Oktoberfest, which actually starts in September, is one of the world’s largest festivals, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the 16-day event in Munich.
Fortunately, there’s no need to cross an ocean to enjoy the festive spirits and tastes of Oktoberfest. Edelweiss, a family-owned German American restaurant in Norridge, keeps the party going through the first week in November.
Chef/owner Matthew Kosch, whose family hails from Oberhausen on the North Rhine inWestphalia, Germany, serves authentic German delicacies like traditional Rindsrouladen, Sauerbraten and several kinds of Schnitzel.
Every Thursday through Sunday until Nov. 3, Oktoberfest revelers will be entertained with oompah-pah bands, beer promotions and rousing raffles for beer steins and other swag.
Reservations are highly recommended, insists Kosch. “The line is out the door so, yeah, reservations would be a great thing.” With sprawling digs that seat 300 and a newly-opened beer garden, you can bet it will be a lively visit.
Besides Edelweiss’ traditional German staples, certain menu items have been added only for the Oktoberfest celebration.
The Koenig Ludwig Schnitzel, for example, is a favorite meal. It centers on pan-seared veal schnitzel served with nickel-sized asparagus topped with Hollandaise, and choice of potato ($24.95). Very hearty, and good base for plenty of stein refills.
Another special is the rich pork goulash served with Kosch’s home-made spatzle (traditional thick German noodles) and red cabbage cooked with a touch of cinnamon for sweetness ($18.95).
And, of course, no self-respecting Oktoberfest would be complete without the giant Bavarian pretzel. Topped with melted Swiss cheese, it’s just waiting to be ripped apart and dipped into choice of German mustard, roasted red pepper and ground mustard dipping sauces ($7.95).
When the weather gets colder, sample Edelweiss’ hot “Glühwein,” the spiced, mulled wine that’s just the ticket to keep you warm.
For his everyday fare, including full Sunday breakfasts, Kosch incorporates both German and Austrian recipes. Try the crowd-pleasing potato pancakes; a house special. Delicately-browned ‘till golden, salty and sweet, they are served with a dollop of sour cream and applesauce ($7.95).
Edelweiss’ lighter fare is available upon special request and includes the spicy blackened shrimp salad with avocado and American cheese ($11.95). And, for the brave at heart, the Hackenpeter (a.k.a., steak tartar) is not-to-be-missed. Fork tender and dusted with paprika spice, it is served with side capers, mustard and egg yolk for mixing to taste, and a side of German rye bread to spread it on ($10.95).
“It’s a family restaurant and I am glad to keep the German culture going and introduce new people to the cuisine,” said Kosch.