Al’s Char-House – LaGrange, IL

29 11 2008
  • 32 S. LaGrange Road
  • LaGrange, IL 60525
  • (708) 354-6255
  • Website
  • Menu
Als Char-House in downtown LaGrange.

Al's Char-House in downtown LaGrange.

Isn’t it funny that J’s favorite restaurant is a steak house?  Here’s a place that celebrates steak yet J can’t stand the site of a medium rare piece of meat.  Funny.  We got back to J’s parents on Friday after a long day of shopping…yes, we got up for Black Friday sales and I got a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  J got a new coat that she’s been wanting for a while and my mom saved hundreds of dollars on Christmas presents.  After a nap, we headed back to Chicago where J’s mom said she was craving Al’s Char-House.  J and I were talking about going there the other night but decided on BBQ instead.  Once J’s mom got off work, we loaded up and headed to LaGrange for dinner.

Al’s Char-House is in downtown LaGrange which is beautiful.  The area is a model for new urbanism with a number of restaurants, shops, and condos.  We parked in a surface lot a couple blocks from the restaurant and walked.  It gave us an opportunity to check out some of the other store fronts downtown.  Al’s shares a building with a Mexican restaurant.  When you walk in, your confronted with the choice of going straight ahead to the Mexican place or take a quick left and go down a flight of stairs to Al’s Char-House.  The staircase going down is covered pictures of Western idols and memorabilia.

Al’s Char-House is a mix of Southwest and Old West.  Being in the basement, there are no windows, but it’s not something that’s noticeable.  We showed up on a Friday night around 8:00.  My girlfriends parents were worried that the place was going to be full so we called ahead to get our name on the waiting list.  When we got there, we found that wasn’t necessary.  There were a number of people eating, but the restaurant is huge.  The design is interesting.  You walk to the different dining rooms on what almost feels like a catwalk.  There are a number of dining rooms off the main walkway, but you have to either go up or down a step.  We were shown to a booth in the back of the restaurant.  It wasn’t the typical two people on either side booth.  It was one of those u-shaped booths instead.  J and her mom scooted in to the inside while her step dad and I took a seat on the wings.  One of the most interesting decor features was the seat backs in the booths.  Instead of cheap, plastic backing, they had real throw pillows.  Those pillows could come in handy for an in between course nap. Read the rest of this entry »