You might wonder how a conventional old-timey steak house could survive on a several block stretch of hipster/millenial targeted restaurants. But Al’s Char-House, in downtown LaGrange, IL, not only survives, but thrives, by following the basic rules for success in the hospitality segment:
1) quality food, 2) good value, 3) consistent service.
For decades, I’ve had this bucket list of old-timey Chicago places I have wanted to get to – like Sinatra’s favorite Italian hangout, Capone’s secret HQ in the back of a suburban restaurant, a diner at the beginning of Route 66 — and so on.
Al’s Char-House ended up on the list recently, someone’s suggestion, and while it’s an inconvenient jaunt for me, personally, I’m glad I made the trip, and you should give it your consideration.
They’re ‘famous’ for all things steak and related, and have some monsters, including a 56 ouncer. If you’re ever asking “where’s the beef?” take comfort in knowing it’s in Al’s aging room.
While others in the party ordered steaks, naturally I went for a burger, because that’s my job here. Basic burgers, amply sized, are char-grilled and topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion. I added blue cheese, and the restaurant was extremely generous with it as a topping. It was cooked as ordered, and on a soft, but firm bakery bun that would have been capable of holding any toppings I desired.
Natural cut fries were my side choice, and they were good +. We started with their version of an onion ‘flower,’ and I’m pretty sure it’s the best version of that I’ve tried.
Al’s entire menu, including beef, chicken, seafood, sandwiches, salads, ribs and more is online, here’s a link to the beef offerings. They have a kid’s menu, and tots will enjoy the ‘cowboy theme.’ Als Char-House caters, and has private function rooms, as well.
Als Char-House Review