You might say it's Oktoberfest all the time at Hofbrauhaus Chicago in Rosemont, Ill.
The restaurant, an offshoot of the legendary 400-year-old Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany, features a menu of traditional German recipes featuring everything from Wiesnhendl, which is roast chicken with potato salad, and Schweinebraten, roast pork with dark beer sauce to Wiener Schnitzel, pretzels, Black Forest Cake and a diverse selection of beers made on the premises.
Hofbrauhaus Chicago, one of only four official Hofbrauhaus's in the United States, is officially celebrating its Oktoberfest season through Oct. 31.
In addition to the regular menu, Oktoberfest specials, created by Klaus Lotter, chef at Hofbrauhaus Chicago, will be available from 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 1 to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. On Friday and Saturday nights, patrons will also have the chance to participate in a stein-holding (Masskrugstemmen) contest.
"This is the perfect environment for a true German-style Oktoberfest," said Klaus Lotter.
Chef Lotter said among Oktoberfest specialties is an Oktoberfest Roulade, which is beef stuffed with a variety of ingredients and served with potato dumplings and red cabbage.
"It's a celebratory experience," Lotter said, about dining at Hofbrauhaus, where guests dine at large, long tables in a massive dining hall.
The micro-brewery also features a gift shop with a variety of German-themed items on sale. Available at the restaurant is "The Hofbrauhaus Cookbook," which was printed in 2006 and features many of the popular menu items starring at the eatery.
"Many of the recipes (in the book) have been around since the original Hofbrauhaus," Lotter said.
Recipes featured in the cookbook include Smoked Trout Fillet with Horseradish, Munich Sausage Salad with Onion Rings, Bavarian Potato Soup with Bacon, Cabbage Salad with Bacon, Sauerkraut, Brewmaster's Pork Steak with Baked Potatoes and Stuffed Breast of Veal.
Lotter said some favorite cookbook recipes are goulash, cheese spaetzle, mushroom cream sauce and traditional pork roast.
The chef is a Chicago native and a first generation American with German immigrant parents. For more information on Hofbrauhaus Chicago, visit hofbrauhauschicago.com or call (847) 671-2739.
The following recipe is from "The Hofbrauhaus Cookbook."
Krautsalat (Cabbage Salad with Bacon)
2 pounds cabbage
4 ounces streaky smoked bacon
4 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon beef extract
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Freshly ground white pepper
DIRECTIONS: Remove the discolored leaves from the cabbage, quarter and cut out the stalk. Cut the quarters into fine strips. Alternatively, you can shred the cabbage finely on a grater. Add the cabbage to a bowl, season with salt and allow to rest. Trim the bacon and dice into small cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and fry the bacon cubes until they are crispy. Add the bacon cubes and the oil to the cabbage. To prepare the salad dressing, mix the vinegar, the beef extract, the cumin and the remaining oil. Add to the cabbage salad and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and allow to marinate for 60 minutes. Season the cabbage salad with salt and pepper and serve.