Dining out: Raise a glass to Oktoberfest specials


• Big Skillet in Elgin recently added a variety of German favorites to its menu for Oktoberfest. Dine on cinnamon apple pork chops, wiener or chicken schnitzel, Thuringer and kraut, German pork roast, liverwurst on rye, beer brats and more. Big Skillet is at 90 Tyler Creek Plaza, Elgin, (847) 741-7331,

• Bub City is getting in on the Oktoberfest fun now through Sunday, Oct. 2, with specials such as a jumbo soft pretzel with beer cheese and spicy mustard ($8.95) and a beer brat boiled in Oktoberfest beer that's then topped with sauerkraut and spicy mustard on a brioche bun ($13.95). Wash it down with Oktoberfest beers from Goose Island and Revolution. Dine-in only. Bub City is at Parkway Bank Park, 5441 Park Place, Rosemont, (847) 261-0399, and 435 N. Clark St., Chicago, (312) 610-4200,

Pork schnitzel with warm potato salad is one of the Oktoberfest specials on the menu at City Works and Old Town Pour House through Oct. 3. Courtesy of Bottleneck Management

• City Works and Old Town Pour House are raising a glass to Oktoberfest with specials available now through Sunday, Oct. 3. Dine on crispy pork belly spaetzle basted in brown butter ($21), pork schnitzel with warm potato salad ($25) and smokehouse currywurst with bacon-braised sauerkraut ($15). Wash it down with beer specials at City Works including Goose Island Oktoberfest, Sam Adams Oktoberfest, Dogfish Head Punkin' and ACE Pumpkin. Plus, the Schaumburg and Wheeling locations will be serving Metropolitan Afterburner while the Vernon Hills restaurant will be tapping Revolution Oktoberfest. City Works is at 1850 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg, (847) 584-2500; 365 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling, (847) 941-0990; and 929 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills, (847) 984-3571, Old Town Pour House is at 1703 Freedom Drive, Naperville, (630) 448-6020, and 8 Oak Brook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 601-1440,

The Melting Pot's special Oktober FondueFest is available Mondays through Wednesdays, now through Oct. 26. Courtesy of The Melting Pot

• The Melting Pot is getting in on the fall fun with its first Oktober FondueFest available Monday through Wednesday, now through Oct. 26. Starting at $45 per person, the three-course menu includes a choice of salad; Bavarian Beer Cheese Fondue with dippers such as bratwurst, braised short rib, roasted garlic Dijon potatoes, steamed carrots and cornichons along with pretzel bread, sauerkraut and Bavarian mustard; and dessert of Black Forest Chocolate Fondue served with Black Forest brownies, sweet spiced apples, strawberries, pearl sugar waffles, bananas and cream puffs. The four-course option includes a choice of three entrees (bratwurst, herb-crusted chicken breast, duck breast, Memphis-style dry rub pork, garlic pepper steak, filet mignon, Atlantic salmon, sesame-crusted ahi tuna, wild mushroom ravioli and more) to dip in a Sam Adams Octoberfest-based fondue. Also on offer are Sam Adams Octoberfest, Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin beer and a sweet German riesling - Schmitt Söhne Spätlese Piesporter Michelsberg. The Melting Pot is at 1205 Butterfield Road, Suite A, Downers Grove, (630) 737-0810; 4931 S. Route 59, Suite 101, Naperville, (630) 717-8301; and 255 W. Golf Road, Schaumburg, (847) 843-8970,

Timothy O'Toole's Pub will be serving schnitzel as part of its special Oktoberfest menu available through Sunday, Sept. 25. Courtesy of Timothy O'Toole's

• Timothy O'Toole's Pub is in the midst of celebrating Oktoberfest now through Sunday, Sept. 25, with German biers and bites. Order up pretzels served with IPA mustard, beer cheese fondue and Guinness honey mustard ($11), the brat burger topped with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Düsseldorf mustard on a pretzel bun ($13), sauerbraten with braised red cabbage, pretzel and sausage dumplings ($18) and pork schnitzel with mustard spaetzle and broccoli ($16) at the suburban locations and chicken schnitzel in Chicago. Timothy O'Toole's Pub is at 5572 Grand Ave., Gurnee, (847) 249-0800; 412 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, (847) 984-2599; 10 W. Grand Ave., Lake Villa, (847) 979-0600; and 622 N. Fairbanks Court, Chicago, (312) 642-0700,

• The Village Squire in Crystal Lake and McHenry are honoring Oktoberfest through Oct. 31 with specials including brat chips, Bavarian pretzel bites, pork schnitzel over buttered spaetzle, German sausage combo (bratwurst, smoked Thuringer and knockwurst), brat roll, chicken schnitzelwich and caramel apple cheesecake, to name a few. Sip on Sam Adams Octoberfest and Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest, too. Village Squire is at 4818 Northwest Hwy., Crystal Lake, (815) 455-4130, and 4512 W. Elm St., McHenry, (815) 385-0900,

Giving back

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, the tapas restaurant Meson Sabika in Naperville will donate 100% of sales from lunch and dinner to UNICEF to assist the victims of flooding in Pakistan. Reservations are requested.

Meson Sabika is at 1025 Aurora Ave., Naperville, (630) 983-3000,

Free coffee!

Yes, it's true. On National Coffee Day - Thursday, Sept. 29 - B&N Cafés inside Barnes & Noble and will be giving out a free tall iced or hot coffee with any bakery item purchase. Limit of one free drink per transaction.

Barnes & Noble has locations across the suburbs.

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