When a local treasure is discovered by the world at large, it makes you proud to be a Forest Parker. The Golden Steer Steakhouse recently received a televised tribute on WTTW-Ch. 11’s Check, Please. The restaurant at 7635 Roosevelt received four forks out of a possible five for its outstanding steaks and homey atmosphere.

The show’s visit was instigated by panelist Chris Claps, an ad sales associate from Forest Park. As Chris said on the program, his dad Vincent was mad that his favorite restaurant was being publicized, making it that much harder to get a table on the weekends.

The Golden Steer’s co-owner, Charlie Tzouras, said that the broadcast has made his restaurant “crazy” busy, with too many calls for reservations for Friday and Saturday nights. This is a pleasant problem and Charlie’s not complaining.

Charlie and his cousin bought the Golden Steer 13 years ago on Friday the 13th. It proved to be a lucky day. The Golden Steer originally came into being in 1969 but there has been a restaurant at Dunlop and Roosevelt since 1934.

Charlie didn’t want to mess with a successful formula, so “nothing changes” at the Golden Steer. The menu continues to feature fine steaks, seafood and out-of-this-world French onion soup. The 1960s décor is not updated and the restaurant’s feisty waitresses stay “until they get a pension.”

Charlie recalled the Check, Please crew first came undercover to the restaurant. Then, in mid-September, they called and announced they were returning with a camera crew to “film the dishes.” All three panelists raved about the restaurant and business hasn’t been the same since. Nancy, the bartender, said they couldn’t have had a better review if they wrote it themselves.

David Manilow, the producer/creator of Check, Please said that they review restaurants that are diverse, geographically, economically and ethnically. He felt that the Golden Steer was a fabulous addition to the show’s ninth season.

The restaurant has also been fabulous for our family. We’ve gone there to celebrate special occasions (daughter wins District 91 writing contest); for comfort food (the night my dad had a stroke); and I had a standing date with a minister to dine there the night before Thanksgiving. Though we’re both strapping men, we split the steak dinner because the Golden Steer’s meals are so generous.

Forest Park may have lost some classic restaurants over the decades: Otto’s, Homer’s the Pines but we still have the Golden Steer. A friend of mine would eat there every night if he could. The white table cloths, the fresh ingredients, the superb cooking, kept him coming back.

Now that everyone knows where to find the holy grail of savory steaks and French onion soup, natives will find it more difficult to get a table at the Golden Steer. But isn’t that a nice problem?

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