Killian's Irish Red and Other Flavors of Kouri's
Carol and I became aware of the concept of a “local” during the time we lived in the small English village of Langtoft back in the early 2000’s. Neither of us could have been dubbed “big drinkers” before we moved to the UK, so our time in bars was mostly spent just waiting for a table at a local restaurant. But that all significantly changed when we moved into our house just across the A15 from the Waggon and Horses, our local pub, back in 2001. The incredible times we spent with our “mates” in that stereotypical British establishment are well documented elsewhere on this site so I’ll just comment here that the prospect of finding another “local” was not something for which Carol and I held out much hope after our return to America.
And that held true til we moved to our home here in Far Hills and discovered Kouri’s Grill & Bar just a couple miles down the road. As I’ve described in detail here in “Kindred Spirits”, we don’t do reviews or even features about restaurants, but I feel compelled to tell you about our new local here in this venue and I can do that as long as I disguise it by appearing to talk about a libation. So let me start there.
I hadn’t had a George Killian’s Irish Red since sometime around 1990 when it was the only bottled beer I drank at “The Slide Rail”, a bar in Pontiac, Illinois which we occasionally visited back in the day. And the odd thing is that I don’t particularly remember even liking it much. So fast forward to our time in England when, for me, the taste of all beer changed after experiencing real ale for the first time. Drinking anything other than real ale from that time on was difficult at best and because I had never really developed a taste for lager, I essentially stopped drinking bottled and canned beer after we moved back to the states.
Much to my surprise and delight, however, my time in England had unknowingly sharpened my taste for hand-made beers and while I had eschewed microbreweries before our time abroad, when we returned to the states I found that those beers and ales came as close as possible to the hand-pumped delights I’d come to love in the UK. And even better, the more interesting bottled beers that I’d essentially disregarded for years became a passion for me whenever I would choose to have one at a local eatery.
And so that brings us back to Kouri’s. Carol and I had frequented this restaurant from time to time after we moved into our home in the Germantown Hills area but we didn’t really become “regulars” til around 2011. We get recognized when we walk in now, which is nice, and whenever Stephanie is our server, we are made to feel like family...not something we take for granted. Over the course of our time there, Kouri’s has offered, among others, Smithwick’s on tap and Beck’s Dark in bottles...two favorites I’ve discovered here in my beer renaissance. But my current rave is this Killian’s Red. It’s interesting to me that this beer is so appealing to me now since my memory of it is still tainted with a palate too unsophisticated to appreciate the brewers’ true art. In fact I’m often humbled by my lack of “taste” when it comes to beer, although I do believe I am progressing.
And while I truly do want to give kudos to the folks at Killian’s for producing an outstanding beer, I must say that my real motivation for this diatribe is to tell you about the love I’ve developed for our new local...Kouri’s. Carol and I have dined all around the world and at our ages, I feel we’ve earned the right to think we know what we’re talking about when it comes to the dining experience. Kouri’s provides what we consider to be a perfect one. First off, the place is immaculately clean and well maintained...and I’ve really looked. I’ve even scrutinized the sports memorabilia that grace the walls and I can’t find a spot of dust. If they take that kind of care out front, I like the chances of there being a very clean kitchen in the back and frankly, that’s kind of a big deal for me. I’ve already commented on Stephanie and how she treats us but every server, every bartender, everyone at Kouri’s makes us feel welcome from the moment we walk in. And while that’s nice, let’s talk about the food...where the rubber meets the road for a restaurant, right? I’ve never had anything at Kouri’s that wasn’t excellent. I’ve mostly had only the pub type food and I can’t speak for everything on the fairly extensive menu. But I’ve had a wide array of entrées at Kouri’s and all have been really, really good...without exception. I worked with statistics quite a bit over the years and I will say that based on the large sample size I’ve now been able to record, I feel pretty safe in saying you won’t get a bad meal at Kouri’s.
So... warm welcome, clean environment, professional and courteous service, wonderful beer and oh yeah...great food at reasonable prices. My hat’s off to the folks at Kouri’s. I'm very proud to call your place “my local.”
If you'd like to visit Kouri's, they're located at 105 Elizabeth Pointe Drive, Germantown Hills, IL 61548 - tel. 309-383-4551.