Service, generious portions entice at Schererville Lounge
BY MARK TAYLOR Post-Tribune correspondent April 18, 2012 4:52PM
If you go
What: Schererville Lounge
Where: 48 E. Joliet Road, Schererville
Hours: Open for dinner from 4-8 p.m. Sunday, 4-9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday,
4 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Most appetizers cost $6.95. Seafood entrees range from $15.95 for the frog legs to $17.95 for the walleye pike, $18.95 for the jumbo shrimp and $21.95 for the Fishermen’s Platter. Steaks are $17.95 for a New York strip, $19.95 for the prime rib and $24.95 the king cut filet mignon. My perch and frog legs is $18.95, while my wife’s barbecue ribs and shrimp are $19.95.
Desserts begin at $1.50 for ice cream. Eli’s cheesecakes and pies range from $3.50 to $4.50. Our Chocolate Lover’s Cake is $4.50 and the Dreamsicle and other ice cream drinks are $6.
The Schererville Lounge stocks a full bar, a choice of locally brewed and international beers and wines by the glass from $3.50 to $5 and by the bottle from $16 to $48.
Updated: May 21, 2012 8:08AM
It’s a good sign when the first thing that greets you entering the Schererville Lounge is the alluring aromas of fresh seafood, those tantalizing scents of broiled shrimp, steamed crab legs and succulent walleye seduce your nose and spark your salivary glands.
The Schererville Lounge is a neighborhood bar and eatery specializing in steaks and seafood, the kind of place your parents took you to as a kid that left an indelible impression and enticed you back for the generous portions and friendly service.
We arrived on a busy Thursday night and our server quickly welcomed us and took our orders for drinks and appetizers.
The dimly lit and familiar tavern eatery hasn’t changed much. Stained-glass lanterns light the booths and wood-trimmed walls and room-length windows separate the long bar from a separate dining room, offering views of Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox games in a sports-infused sensory overload.
Almost immediately after taking our orders, our server delivered a small loaf of bread with ramekins of cheddar cheese spread, butter and a trio of side salads that included a creamy coleslaw, cottage cheese and beets. My wife particularly appreciated the beets, an acquired taste I’ve also come to enjoy during our quarter-century of marriage.
There weren’t many nonfried appetizer choices. The last time we enjoyed the Shockers (deep-fried chicken tenders) and the tomato bread. So on this trip we chose the Wing Zings and the potato skins. The Wing Zings were surprisingly crunchy and meaty chicken wings that came with a ranch-style dipping sauce we ignored. The wings were dipped in a light, but peppery batter that livened these tasty critters. I worried that the sound of biting into them might disturb my neighbors. They were THAT crunchy!
The four potato skins were tasty, topped with cheddar cheese and an abundance of bacon bits with containers of sour cream on the side. The skins still included plenty of potato and offered a pleasing texture and blend of flavors. Still, it would be nice if the Schererville Lounge offered healthier starters that aren’t deep-fried, perhaps something raw or broiled.
From a tempting array of entrées that includes steaks, seafood and sandwiches, we selected one item from the specials board and one from the regular menu. Both were combination dishes featuring two different dishes, a good way to sample more broadly the restaurant’s fare. My wife chose the barbecue ribs and shrimp, a daily special reduced in price from its normal $19.95 to $16.95. It included a choice of soup or salad and starches ranging from baked, French-fried or wedge potatoes to rice pilaf or the daily vegetables.
When we heard the daily vegetables were frozen, she selected the wedges and the side salad. There was nothing spectacular about the salad, but it was served appropriately cold and the house red wine and vinegar dressing brought out the crunch in the lettuce and fresh sliced vegetables, providing a surprisingly satisfying course.
Her rib and shrimp combination was tasty. She ordered the tangy sauce, which while flavorful, didn’t deliver much heat. The ribs were tender and nicely broiled at the finish and the broiled shrimp were plump and flavorful. She enjoyed her crisply crusted potato wedges and I had to agree.
I ordered the combination frog legs and lake perch, which was described as a “generous portion.” I asked for the side of soup, a cup of minestrone. The soup was crammed with large pasta shells and chunks of vegetables, which swam in a thin broth.
Both the frog legs and perch were offered deep-fried or broiled, but I chose broiled. The frog legs were tender. The perch — there were only four small half filets, hardly a generous portion — were curiously bland tasting.
I’ve tried the perch here before and was taken aback at how flavorless these seemed to be. When our server inquired how we enjoyed the food and I told her about the perch, she cheerily returned minutes later with a small batch of deep-fried perch filets that were far tastier, a classy gesture. My rice pilaf was lovely, moist and made a terrific accompaniment to my seafood.
The Schererville Lounge’s desserts, which aren’t prepared in house, include apple pie, several varieties of cheesecake and a Chocolate Lover’s Cake, as well ice cream-based alcoholic beverages. We sampled the chocolate cake, which was appropriately rich and chocolatey, with a thick dark chocolate frosting and dense cake that could have benefited from a fruit or crème anglais sauce.
My wife ordered a Dreamsicle Drink, an Amaretto and orange juice concoction blended with vanilla ice cream, a spin on the childhood ice cream truck staple with a little more kick. It was tasty and fun.