Starting as a child and continuing now as a young adult, a few weeks before Christmas, my mom, dad, and I venture out for one of my favorite holiday traditions– a trip to “German Town”.
Lincoln Square is a near-north Chicago neighborhood founded in 1925. Historically known as a heavily German-influenced and populated neighborhood, the area now additionally has a mix of Italian, Greek and Mexican cultures. Born in Germany, my mom counts Lincoln Square as a special “German Town” in Chicago and it is for that reason we go back year after year.
Continuing our family tradition this past weekend, my parents and I got off of the Western Brown “L” line stop and were greeted to the Christkindl Market in Lincoln Square. As soon as you opened the door to the winter white tent, sweet smells of strudel mixed with savory delights of German fried potatoes, triggering your stomach to make room – and quickly. A high school choir sang holiday hymns as shoppers scanned a variety of items for sale.
Outside the tent, between Lawrence and Lincoln Avenue, sprinkled along the two streets are a few German shops filled with European wooden decorative carvings, tasty bakeries, Gene’s Sausage Shop and The Chicago Brauhaus.
I was able to pick up a few chocolate ornaments for the Christmas tree this year and my favorite, Marzipan at Gene’s. My mom and dad on the other hand, went to town at the deli, picking up a variety of deli meats, cheeses and sausage. Dad even managed to sneak in a few bars of Lindt chocolate into the basket too.
Finally all shopped out; we walked to the Chicago Brauhaus for a late lunch. An accordion filled the dining room as we sat down, tapping our toes along to a polka. We enjoyed our meals, conversation and music.
When climbing up the L stairs, with bags of food, wine and chocolate treats, I marked my first 2010 family holiday tradition complete.