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The name's Beinlich. Charlie Beinlich.

The name's Beinlich. Charlie Beinlich.
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  • The name's Beinlich. Charlie Beinlich.

    Post #1 - November 1st, 2004, 3:48 am
    Post #1 - November 1st, 2004, 3:48 am Post #1 - November 1st, 2004, 3:48 am
    Seriously, this bar in Northbrook has the BEST Shrimp Cocktail combo (Shrimp + crab meat) I've ever had. And a great burger, too.

    I was just randomly thinking of places I miss back home, and Hole in the Wall (a whole other story) popped into mind.. and then came CB's right next door.

    The cocktail combo is so good. Jumbo shrimp on top of shredded crab meat, oh man. I think the freshness of the seafood is what makes it taste so good, but who knows. I barely use the cocktail sauce when I eat it...

    And usually when the waiters ask "how'll you like that burger done" it's a good sign the burger is going to be pretty good. (med rare of course..)

    Anybody have experiences here? I'll post on Hole in the Wall later this week if nobody beats me to it.

    Charlie Beinlich's
    290 Skokie Road
    Northbrook, IL
    (847)-714-9375
  • Post #2 - November 1st, 2004, 8:03 am
    Post #2 - November 1st, 2004, 8:03 am Post #2 - November 1st, 2004, 8:03 am
    What do they charge for a shrimp combo cocktail?
  • Post #3 - November 1st, 2004, 8:27 am
    Post #3 - November 1st, 2004, 8:27 am Post #3 - November 1st, 2004, 8:27 am
    HI,

    Last time I was there, it's been too long, it was around $8. for the seafood cocktail.

    Walking into Charlie Beinlichs takes you from the North Shore to a Wisconsin Supper Club. Wood paneling, trophy fish, a certain guy's guy atmosphere, where children are welcome if accompanied and watched over by a parent. Charlies is also a bar, which is why solo children are not welcome.

    Charlie died last year. I was worried it would close. Fortunately, his daughter and son-in-law have pledged to keep it going.

    The menu is very limited to the hamburgers, seafood cocktails, fries and sandwiches are posted on a board. Many in my area believe it is the best hamburger.

    Charlie's is also a bit fickle. They will sometimes close for two weeks for a "Gone fishing" vacation. So if you are coming from afar, then call in advance. If indeed you do come and they are closed, then proceed further south on Skokie Valley Road to 41 North, which has a Claim Company Motherlode type hamburger.

    P.S. Scott - don't worry about someone getting there first, we are offering information which varies from person to person also from visit to visit.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - November 2nd, 2004, 2:07 am
    Post #4 - November 2nd, 2004, 2:07 am Post #4 - November 2nd, 2004, 2:07 am
    Cathy2 wrote:P.S. Scott - don't worry about someone getting there first, we are offering information which varies from person to person also from visit to visit.


    Oh - I was just joking around. :0) I'm just suprised nobody has posted on the little italian joint Hole in the Wall yet... it's a great little gem of a restaurant. Seats maybe only 25-30 people at a time!

    Have you tried it Cathy?
  • Post #5 - November 2nd, 2004, 10:45 am
    Post #5 - November 2nd, 2004, 10:45 am Post #5 - November 2nd, 2004, 10:45 am
    Beinlich's wins hands-down for my favorite hamburger in the Chicago area. Something about the texture of the beef and their complete willingness and ability to cook it to any 'done-ness'. The crinkle fries are an added bonus and their cup of cole slaw is pretty good too. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.....
  • Post #6 - March 23rd, 2005, 4:39 pm
    Post #6 - March 23rd, 2005, 4:39 pm Post #6 - March 23rd, 2005, 4:39 pm
    Today I had a late lunch at Charlie Beinlich's. I was there just before the Check Please broadcast, this was my first visit since. I learned traffic has increased on weekends. The first weekend they had people waiting half an hour with overflow hanging out at the bar. The guy who chose the place is a regular and was getting a lot of good natured grief. The second weekend, the regulars were able to take back the bar because the wait was no more than 10 minutes. They are still seeing new faces popping up though the initial crush is over. They indicated after having been exposed twice on WLS-TV's James Ward, so they were prepared for the bulge in business.

    My lunch today of a hamburger with cheddar cheese cooked medium rare with grilled onions was exactly as expected. Thank goodness!

    Certainly the business was welcome, there were no complaints, yet it hardly changed their business. This may be one of the few Check Please restaurants which kept its cool and didn't loose their stride by the exposure.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - March 23rd, 2005, 5:20 pm
    Post #7 - March 23rd, 2005, 5:20 pm Post #7 - March 23rd, 2005, 5:20 pm
    Cathy,

    Are the fries the made in house type from russet potatoes?

    :twisted:
  • Post #8 - March 24th, 2005, 4:49 pm
    Post #8 - March 24th, 2005, 4:49 pm Post #8 - March 24th, 2005, 4:49 pm
    We went to Charlie Beinlich's once and were not that impressed with it. I don't remember what I had, but we have been in no hurry to return. It seems like people who went there during their childhood have a special fondness for it. They have a very limited menu, which I never like, so it may just be that it is not my cup of tea.

    We have been to the Hole in the Wall about a billion times because I made my boyfriend (now husband) take me there over and over again just so I could have the whitefish. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.

    I finally broke my whitefish streak when I found out I could order plain old gnocchi with red sauce - a favorite from my childhood. This is not on the menu, but they can usually make it. They do a pretty good job with it.
    I am not a salad lover, but I think their salads are supposed to be a big deal. The fried calamari is pretty good. They also have great desserts.

    We never drank there very much because we always had a bit of a drive home. Also, it is pretty damn busy on Friday nights (this is when we usually went) but if you get there by 6:15, you would probably not wait more than 20 minutes. I was working up that way till 6 so it was perfect for us. Don't work up there much now (my new boss is only about 6 months old and her table manners need work) so it has been awhile.

    It is a small place, they don't take reservations and I believe they only take cash. They prefer parties no larger than eight. The full name is technically Francesco's Hole in the Wall. The owner's daughter (I think) has a restaurant next door called ... Next Door. We have gone there when Hole in the Wall is too crowded or closed. Hole in the Wall does close for a couple of weeks at least once a year. I think the whitefish is about $15, give or take a couple bucks.

    -Pam

    Francesco's Hole in the Wall
    254 Skokie Boulevard
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847-272-0155

    Next Door Restaurant
    250 Skokie Boulevard
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847-272-1491
  • Post #9 - March 24th, 2005, 5:54 pm
    Post #9 - March 24th, 2005, 5:54 pm Post #9 - March 24th, 2005, 5:54 pm
    tiapam wrote:The full name is technically Francesco's Hole in the Wall. The owner's daughter (I think) has a restaurant next door called ... Next Door.


    I have heard the same information these are father and daughter businesses. I live only 10 minutes away and have never been. I believe they are open in the evening only, which is likely why I have never been.

    I go to Beinlich's a few times a year. I like the total none North Shore-ness of the place. For a brief while, I am transported to the northern fringes of Wisconsin. Their menu is idiosyncratically brief with no prices stated. What they do produce is done very well. I took a regular poster there for the first time recently who loved the shrimp and real crab cocktail.

    I will correct my error in not going to either the father or daughter's establishments. My dinners usually start on the late side, so standing around waiting for a table is not my forte.

    Thanks!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - March 24th, 2005, 7:18 pm
    Post #10 - March 24th, 2005, 7:18 pm Post #10 - March 24th, 2005, 7:18 pm
    Cathy-

    Just to warn you, the North Shore-ness that you do not see at Beinlich's is usually in pretty strong evidence at Hole in the Wall. That being said, we do love the waitresses, most of whom remembered us after a few visits. According to the Reader website they are open for lunch on M, W, Th, F. It looks like they are closed on Tuesdays. I think Monday and Wednesday would probably be your best bets for a quick table later in the evening, but as I said my experience has been mostly pretty early on Fridays.

    I hope you like it! I wish I lived 10 minutes away. Well, except that then I would live on the North Shore and I might develop North-Shoreness. I guess I will stick to the north side and continue developing my North-sideness.

    -Pam
  • Post #11 - March 24th, 2005, 10:14 pm
    Post #11 - March 24th, 2005, 10:14 pm Post #11 - March 24th, 2005, 10:14 pm
    went last year after not having been for at least 15 years. Burger was not the mountain of joy from my youth. It's a very good burger and I love the place but it's not a great burger.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #12 - March 24th, 2005, 10:56 pm
    Post #12 - March 24th, 2005, 10:56 pm Post #12 - March 24th, 2005, 10:56 pm
    I love Beinlich's but don't love their burgers. I need more "char" on my burgers for them to be transcendant. I really think Player's Grill in Highland Park turns out the best burger on the North Shore . . . better than Beinlich's, Nortons or Hackney's. And when you order it medium rare, you get it medium rare (although I'm not implying that the same isn't true of the other places I listed).

    Players Grill
    1855 Deerfield Rd
    Highland Park, IL 60035
    Phone: (847) 831-4445

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #13 - March 25th, 2005, 12:16 pm
    Post #13 - March 25th, 2005, 12:16 pm Post #13 - March 25th, 2005, 12:16 pm
    The debate rages on and I'll throw my 2 french fries in....Beinlich's is a terrific burger (I do have to get Evil Ronnie there soon) whereas Player's so-so. Beinlich's tastes fresher (I used to go the Player's a lot in a past life). However, a good alternative at Player's would be the skirt steak sandwich on garlic bread with grilled onions.
  • Post #14 - March 25th, 2005, 6:29 pm
    Post #14 - March 25th, 2005, 6:29 pm Post #14 - March 25th, 2005, 6:29 pm
    The Lovely Donna wrote:However, a good alternative at Player's would be the skirt steak sandwich on garlic bread with grilled onions.

    LOL...I believe they call it The Max and I think it's great too.

    Edited to add: the meat at Beinlich's is sourced from Lakeside Foods and yes, it is stellar.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #15 - March 26th, 2005, 6:50 pm
    Post #15 - March 26th, 2005, 6:50 pm Post #15 - March 26th, 2005, 6:50 pm
    Evil Ronnie wrote:Are the fries the made in house type from russet potatoes?


    I stopped in this evening to pose your question: Were they Russet? He didn't know. They use frozen Ore-Ida peeled and trimmed.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #16 - March 26th, 2005, 6:52 pm
    Post #16 - March 26th, 2005, 6:52 pm Post #16 - March 26th, 2005, 6:52 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Evil Ronnie wrote:Are the fries the made in house type from russet potatoes?


    I stopped in this evening to pose your question: Were they Russet? He didn't know. They use frozen Ore-Ida peeled and trimmed.

    Are they not crinkle-cut? That's what I seem to remember at Beinlich's.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #17 - March 26th, 2005, 7:07 pm
    Post #17 - March 26th, 2005, 7:07 pm Post #17 - March 26th, 2005, 7:07 pm
    Ronnie Suburban wrote:Are they not crinkle-cut? That's what I seem to remember at Beinlich's.


    No crinkles.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - March 26th, 2005, 9:45 pm
    Post #18 - March 26th, 2005, 9:45 pm Post #18 - March 26th, 2005, 9:45 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Ronnie Suburban wrote:Are they not crinkle-cut? That's what I seem to remember at Beinlich's.


    No crinkles.


    Don't the rightmost french fries in this photo from Beinlich's appear to be crinkle-cut?

    Erik M.
  • Post #19 - January 20th, 2006, 3:32 pm
    Post #19 - January 20th, 2006, 3:32 pm Post #19 - January 20th, 2006, 3:32 pm
    Our monthly ex-Searle-IT lunch met at Beinlich's on my suggestion, since we've been trying other burger-toting joints in the general area (Blackie's, Red Star Tavern in Deerfield, another tavern-y place on Deerfield Rd I reviewed but can't remember the name of...).

    I very, very much liked this burger. I ordered medium rare, and got nice, soft, pink and red beef. Completely unexpected, based on the last decade of overcooked burgers at restaurants where "medium rare" often comes as "you can spot a little pink there if you squint."

    A large patty, not run through the garden, on a sturdy-enough bun, with pickles (not hamburger dills, thank FSM), and a small side of slaw. Onions available raw or grilled (the grilled were over-cooked in my opinion, and were rather mushy -- my only complaint).

    Fries are indeed crinkle-cut, which makes it less likely they're cutting them in-house, but crisp outside and creamy inside, just the way I like 'em. (No McD's shoestrings for me, please).

    While I enjoyed Blackie's, I realized what I liked there was an enjoyably garnished burger. Here, it's all about the burger itself, no need to hide it. More char, as asked above? Not for me... I don't need to burp ashes.

    $8 for a "Hamburger Deluxe" or 8.50 for a "Cheeseburger Deluxe"
    The entire menu is here, just a sign on the wall without prices.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #20 - February 20th, 2006, 3:42 pm
    Post #20 - February 20th, 2006, 3:42 pm Post #20 - February 20th, 2006, 3:42 pm
    I just called 411, to get Beinlich's number, and got a recording that said words to the effect of "The customer has requested that the number not be given."

    So I went on Metromix, and got a number for Beinlich's. I called it, and was greeted with some weird tones and an automated hang-up.

    So I went on the Reader restaurant site, just to see if they had a different number for Beinlich's, because given the weird tones I heard when dialing the number I got from Metromix, I couldn't believe that number could be right. And indeed, the Reader site did have a different number for Beinlich's. So I called it. And I didn't get the weird tones this time. Instead, I got a recorded message: "The number you have dialed has been disconnected."

    If Beinlich's were only closed temporarily, you'd think they'd keep their phone number functioning so that customers could hear a recorded message with information to that effect. It sounds like they might be under the wrecking ball, to make room for some obscene development. Or perhaps have already been flattened.

    Anybody got a clue?
  • Post #21 - February 20th, 2006, 3:50 pm
    Post #21 - February 20th, 2006, 3:50 pm Post #21 - February 20th, 2006, 3:50 pm
    Odd. Their website does not list a phone number. Though, maybe not so odd, as Beinlich's has always seemed like the type of place that would see a phone as more nuisance than necessary.
  • Post #22 - February 20th, 2006, 3:53 pm
    Post #22 - February 20th, 2006, 3:53 pm Post #22 - February 20th, 2006, 3:53 pm
    HI,

    I drove past Beinlich's Friday night, they were definitely open.

    Mario's Italian Ices does not have a phone number. Period. I believe I had heard Beinlich's didn't have a phone number either. For instance, when you use anywho.com then <beinlich> <IL>, you get:

    Beinlich's Hardwood Mulch
    Northbrook, IL 60062

    I know Beinlich's is closed Monday.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - February 20th, 2006, 6:18 pm
    Post #23 - February 20th, 2006, 6:18 pm Post #23 - February 20th, 2006, 6:18 pm
    Glad to hear they're open. A friend and I wanted to meet for lunch there tomorrow. My experience trying to reach them on the phone (detailed above) convinced me they were gone, and we picked a different place. Now we're back to going to Beinlich's.

    (Phew--narrow miss for Beinlich's, eh? They almost lost, oh, twenty-five bucks at least! :) Good thing there's such a forum as this, to put the word out about their existence to people other than those who happen to drive by. Obviously, Beinlich's can have a phone or not have a phone, as they wish. By the same token, I'm allowed to feel miffed or not to feel miffed by Beinlich's message of "we don't need your stinkin' business," as I wish.)
  • Post #24 - February 21st, 2006, 9:13 am
    Post #24 - February 21st, 2006, 9:13 am Post #24 - February 21st, 2006, 9:13 am
    Their phone number is 847-291-0420.
    Paulette
  • Post #25 - February 21st, 2006, 9:21 am
    Post #25 - February 21st, 2006, 9:21 am Post #25 - February 21st, 2006, 9:21 am
    Thanks, paulette. Wonder why they make it such a mystery?

    (That number matches neither the one on Metromix nor the one on Reader Restaurant Raters. And when you call 411, thinking that 411 might have the correct number, you learn that it's "unlisted.")

    Now that I'm in possession of the real, supersecret-handshake number, I feel so special.
  • Post #26 - February 24th, 2006, 12:31 am
    Post #26 - February 24th, 2006, 12:31 am Post #26 - February 24th, 2006, 12:31 am
    I live close to CBs and have yet to go there. I must go. But the burgers at Michael's, in Highland Park on Second Avenue are divine. Char-cheddar burger, with grilled onion and whatever else pleases you. They use the Merckt-style cheese...I'm sure the straight hamburger is good, too, most of Michael's food is good. But don't let its hot dog stand history fool you: this is a serious burger, medium rare of course. I had one from Hackney's on Lake recently and for my money it didn't hold a candle.
    Last edited by Jan on February 24th, 2006, 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #27 - February 24th, 2006, 12:40 am
    Post #27 - February 24th, 2006, 12:40 am Post #27 - February 24th, 2006, 12:40 am
    Jan

    Haven't been to Michael's in a long time. When we went, got the dogs and fries. All that I remember is that the food was good and that I had to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. Prob the most expensive dog that I have had.

    Now, How big is the Cheddar burger? 1/4 lb? 1/3 lb? And what does that cost?
  • Post #28 - February 24th, 2006, 6:11 am
    Post #28 - February 24th, 2006, 6:11 am Post #28 - February 24th, 2006, 6:11 am
    hmmm...I've posted before I've done my homework. I just eat them from time to time. They make me feel guilty. I'm going to have to do research and get back to you: size, price. In the name of science, I'll do it!
  • Post #29 - February 24th, 2006, 3:50 pm
    Post #29 - February 24th, 2006, 3:50 pm Post #29 - February 24th, 2006, 3:50 pm
    gp60004 wrote:Jan

    Haven't been to Michael's in a long time. When we went, got the dogs and fries. All that I remember is that the food was good and that I had to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. Prob the most expensive dog that I have had.

    Now, How big is the Cheddar burger? 1/4 lb? 1/3 lb? And what does that cost?


    I dont mean to stop Jan's research (in fact I encourage it), but...

    www.michaelshotdogs.com

    Ive never been - if its *that* good, I must try it sometime. However,
    according to the online menu, your "hot dog" cost 2.79, or 2.89 if
    it was a "char dog". The char-burger would cost 3.79, the
    char-cheeseburger 4.39.

    Doesnt sound outrageous, if its good - Paradise Pup, who have *great*
    burgers, have similar prices IIRC. Unless this is an old online menu
    and Michael's is now much more expensive? (Or, of course, unless
    the burgers are tiny - they dont mention their size :-) Paradise Pup's
    are 1/3 lb IIRC.

    BTW, made it to Thats-a-Burger way on the Southside a few days
    ago. Darn good cheseeburger (probably), for 3.95, comes with
    fries (I say probably because I added on a "egg" topping to my
    cheeseburger, and they gave me a regular burger with egg and
    no cheese, which I didnt discover until later when I was eating it
    while driving. But it was good - would have been even better
    with cheese). This used to be the best good-burger deal in town
    I think, but they have raised prices now (its probably still the
    best deal Id guess - the fries werent great, but its a pretty
    big and freshly cooked burger for 4 bucks before tax. It is,
    however, way down on 71st street :-)

    c8w
  • Post #30 - February 24th, 2006, 5:42 pm
    Post #30 - February 24th, 2006, 5:42 pm Post #30 - February 24th, 2006, 5:42 pm
    Ok, gp60004, research completed, and it's almost as c8w says (thank you for that) but a tad higher: burger, $3.99; char-cheddar burger, $4.49. They're a little over a third of a pound. Fries are separate at $1.69 (and good). Pricey, and a control group of three -- the only people I know who eats burgers there -- think very highly of them.

    Jan

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