Friday, April 7, 2017

A Visit With Eric And Family – Sunday

We had originally planned to stay another day but since Eric had to work, Ann was leaving town and the weather was nasty, we decided to drive home Monday and make this our final day, so we marked the last two things off of our list.  We began with all six of us making a mid-morning drive west into Aurora – the adjoining town and 2nd largest city in IL. 

Our destination was The Wurst Kitchen, which has been making sausages since 1895 and sits on the corner in a residential neighborhood.

We were waited on by the owner’s daughter who also helps make the sausage and she was very knowledgeable and helpful.  $250 later we had a summer sausage, several flavors of smoked meat sticks (like Slim Jims but better), at least ten 4-packs of various frozen sausages (including elk) and a few odds and ends.

At $7-8/lb, we thought the sausages were a great deal and see several potential blog posts in them.  Eric's go-to sausage place is Kreger's Brat & Sausage Haus in Naperville and I have some of it in the freezer - if we have some of the same from both places, we'll do a taste test.  Access to neighborhood restaurants and specialty stores like this is one of the redeeming values of the big city - maybe the only ones for me.

Mid afternoon, we headed a couple of towns south (they all touch each other) to Lemont, IL for supper at the Old Town Restaurant located on a main street in downtown - the pink building.

It bills itself as a Polish and Lithuanian restaurant with a little German thrown in and judging from the languages being spoken by most of the customers, it was easy to believe.  According to the server, there are a lot of Eastern Europeans living in the area - about 40% Polish and Lithuanian.  The inside of the restaurant was very well decorated in a nice European style - the ceiling decorations appeared to be carved wood.

We ordered some wine and beer – Żywiec on tap and two appetizers – mixed perogi’s (filled dumplings) and Kugelis’ (square potato cakes) all of which were good.  Next up was soup and Eric and I got liver dumpling soup (beef broth with liver meatballs) and the others had beef noodle – I thought the soup was very good.

For main courses, the kids had Schnitzel and cheese perogi’s.

For the rest of us, it was a Polish Plate - stuffed cabbage, sausage, periogi's, potato dumplings, kraut.

Stuffed Cabbage with mashed potatoes and kraut.

Budapest Potato Pancake - potato pancake stuffed with goulash.

And  a Lithuanian Plate for me - pork cutlet, sausage, potato dumpling, Kugelis’, and kraut.

We were served a plate of mixed Kolackes for dessert.

I thought everything was good but not great and since the place came highly recommended, including 4.5 stars from Yelp and Trip Advisor, I assume that this was excellent for this type of food but just not as good to my taster - perhaps a little too bland.

So for the trips food recap, I would not go back to Superdawg or Lou Malnati's, I would give Old Town another try if in the mood for Polish food, and I would eat breakfast at Egg Harbor as often as I could.  Next trip I'll be sure and write down the recommendations from our Chicago native friends.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


3/26/17 Event Date


  1. Larry, Great photo! We lived in Chicago for about 28 years and we never heard of or visited either the Wurst Kitchen Sausage Company in Aurora or the Old Town European Restaurant in Lemont. What a selection of sausages! We had a great butcher shop in Niles but when it comes to sausage their 7 or 8 choices pale next to Wurst Kitchen... We do miss eastern European food but you are right, it is a bit bland. Our favorite place for that kind of dining was the Bohemian Crystal in Westmont IL. I love kolache/kolacky cookies! We had a Polish neighbor who would make me a batch at Christmas and I always looked forward to that sweet gift! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  2. I love little stores like your sausage place, and the inside of the Polish restaurant is beautiful! Too bad your food only warranted a good but not great rating, but I suppose that has to happen, so we know when we get great food, right? Looks like it was a nice trip, and not too far to drive.

  3. That Wurst Kitchen looks awesome , my kind of store. As for the foods they are different by for me kinda bland as well. And we do get a lot of German and Mennonite foods in our home area.At least you had time with the family.

  4. My goodness what a treat with stuffed cabbage and Kolackes! You did well in the sausage store - I think they saw you coming. I hope we'll see some sausage posts coming soon. Have a lovely weekend.

  5. The Midwest seems to have the best sausage. The Kolaches look pretty darn good

  6. I most definitely would have purchased toooooo much in that sausage store. What a great place. and my gosh, that meal! A feast. Looks like you had a great trip - big city and all. :)

  7. While the food might not have been as good as you wished, it is always interesting to try different things. I haven't had kolache since I left Texas, I used to love them.


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