Prost! {Chicago}

Eating out with friends is one of my favorite past times. Seriously, if it was a sport I’d be MVP. I also feel like there’s just something about sharing a laugh and a meal that brings people together. One of my dear friends once said that the table is where friendships are born. I love that idea. So when I wanted to connect  Chicago friends both new and old, I thought what better way than over good food?

FullandFearless_prost_bratwurstWhen I went to Germany earlier this year I developed a taste for German beer, and the food wasn’t half bad either. With Oktoberfest in full swing, I’d seen a few of my favorite Chicago bloggers post about a place called Prost! in Lincoln Park. Their menu had plenty of authentic options, and while there weren’t any beer maidens or servers in lederhosen, I can say the food didn’t disappoint.

The service was painfully slow, so a few friends ordered appetizers to share. My personal favorite was the pretzel. It arrived at the table on a wooden pizza paddle – 20 ounces of buttery goodness. Prost! is quick to boast that their pretzels are fresh, never frozen, and rolled by hand. Ours was baked to a beautiful golden brown, sprinkled with sea salt and served with a variety of dipping sauces. While the mustards were good, the beer cheese was the crowd favorite. A rich, cheddar sauce with bold accents of beer paired with bread covered in butter and salt – what’s not to love?

I went back and forth on what to order {and I had plenty of time to decide because I’m pretty sure our server went out back for a half-hour nap}, but I finally decided to go traditional. I knew I wanted to try something new and picked Chef Martin’s wurst, but stayed familiar by picking the brat. The savory sausage was served with sauerkraut and a variety of dipping sauces, which were very deceiving. I honestly don’t know what they all were, but I can say they tasted drastically different than they looked. There was the traditional mustard, a yellow option that reminded me of a mild curry, a dollop of brown sauce that appeared to be gravy but tasted of apples, and a white topping that I assumed was sour cream but was surprised to find very sweet and almost syrupy. FFullandFearless_prost_pretzelor my side dish I picked German potato pancakes. The two cheesy cakes were fried to a crisp on the outside, yet still soft and creamy inside.

Of course all this rich food must be washed down with a rich beer. While in Germany I became a fan of Dunkel {or dark} beers, so I ordered the House Dunkel at Prost! It arrived at the table, a rich mahogany drink that looked like chocolate in a glass. It even tasted like chocolate a bit –  with soft flavors of vanilla and nuts, it was sweet and smooth.

Much better than the food was the company. I’ve fostered several little friend groups in Chicago, and it was fun to see them collide around the table. Great conversation was had, and I’d like to think new friendships were made.

Where are some of your favorite places to gather around the table with friends? I always appreciate a good recommendation!

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