I was startled by a message from Elena, whose alarm-clock tone
of voice announced Ulrich’s is under construction. I too would be upset
if it is to be remodeled to look like a modern restaurant. I don’t have
feelings about most eating establishments – but to me, Ulrich’s is the Grand
Dame of traditional cusine. Its cosmetic wrinkles are like those
of a mature woman whose face radiates classic beauty.
Off to Ulrich’s, I reacted to Elena’s message as I would if she
told me my grandmother was getting a facelift. I love her looks just
the way they are.
Ulrich’s opened in 1868 – eight years before General Custer rode
to his death at the Little Big Horn. It evolved from tavern, to speakeasy
(“blind pig”); to what it is today, a German restaurant with an Irish
pub–featuring feisty music of Irish and German rebellions –and Guinness on tap
that is a sweet as mother’s milk.
Babe Ruth dined there in 1921 and suggested that a dish be named
after his waitress: “Hot Buffalo.”
Ulrich’s owners, Jim Daley, Jr. and his wife, Mimi, assured me
that the remodeling will restore Ulrich’s to a 1920s look.
After taking some photos of the remodeling in progress, I
sampled the food (Bratwurst, potato salad and sauerkraut). I was
satisfied the food is delicious as ever. Next time, I’ll try the
“Hot Buffalo.” If the ghost of “The Babe” was with
me, I suspect would have named another dish after my waitress, Sandy:
“Classic Buffalo”. Her warm welcome and smiling attention made
me realize that the food and the feelings of Ulrich’s are so wonderful, I’ll
forgive a tasteful renovation of its looks.