This weekend, the legendary restaurant kicks off its Oktoberfest with plenty of beer and live music including two dishes that have never changed.
German food is certainly hearty, but one could argue its main purpose is for soaking up the hoppy beer that always flows freely during Oktoberfest. For over 30 years, the regulars have been coming to Mirabell, in the Irving Park neighborhood, in search of the rib-sticking food Germans love so dearly.
"Meats, starches, a lot of potatoes; a lot of sausages," said owner Jeffrey Heil.
All of their sausages come from Paulina Market, one of the best examples of a German sampler plate is the Schlachtplatte. Like many plates here, it starts with homemade sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Then they'll take a cooked veal brat, dunk it in milk and roll it in flour, before pan-frying it to give it some color and texture; there's also an all-beef thuringer sausage, simply boiled, plus a marinated and smoked pork chop. Don't forget the gravy.
The other classic German nod is schnitzel.
"The traditional one is always veal," he said.
They pound it between sheets of wax paper, then dredging it first in flour and beaten eggs. And finally, it gets a thorough coating in homemade breadcrumbs. The schnitzel is pan-fried in oil, just until crisp. It's served with a mound of homemade spaetzle and a side of rich gravy.
Over at the bar, nearly a dozen German beers are on tap, another dozen or so in bottles. Heil says the beers are uniquely matched with the hearty food coming out of the tiny kitchen.
"A great one we have is Spaten Oktoberfest and Hofbrau Oktoberfest. I also love my Riechdorf Kolsch from Cologne, Germany. Kolsch style beer; very light, very crisp," said Heil.
Mirabell will have live music every Friday and Saturday, beginning this weekend, and running through the end of October.
3454 W. Addison