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German/Austrian Food

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  • Dave Feb 26, 2004 09:27 AM
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What is the best place in DC (or the DC area) for German or Austrian food -- schnitzel, sauerkrout, apple strudel, etc...

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  1. Dunno. But Tyler Cowen has this to say about German:

    "There are no German places in this area worth eating at. And yes I have tried Café Berlin, and that Europa place up on Wisconsin. Don't even think about it, as they say."

    Here's his Austrian recommendation:

    Cafe Tirolo, 4001 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, behind Tara Thai, closed weekends, 703-528-7809.

    "Will be familiar to those who knew the old Café Monti. Run by an Austrian, so they have some posters of the Alps. Exactly the sort of place you don't expect to find in northern Virginia. Real Wiener Schnitzel, for one thing. And excellent pasta with first-rate ingredients. Best is the Veal Scallopini. The food has a strongly European feel, yet the place looks like a Deli. A unique combination, and highly recommended. At lunch it is full by 12, so beware and arrive early. Given what else you can find in Arlington and thereabouts, this is the only place left that still feels exotic."

    3 Replies
    1. re: Marty L.

      I thought I'd give you guys a headsup. Tirolo is closed for dinner until it warms up enough for them to open their outdoor seating. They are extending lunch to 4pm in the meantime.

      Also, Tirolo is Austrian and Italian (although the chef is Austrian.) The food is good. I particularly like the almond pear tart.

      Also...this place can't be seen from the street. It is in between Tara Thai and a building.

      It is Metro accessible...Ballston Metro.

      1. re: Marty L.

        I agree with you on Cafe Tirolo. I've always been pleased when dining there.
        They do an especially good job with the fish and scallops entrees, too.
        Just be sure to try the goulash soup! It's incredible.

        1. re: Marty L.

          Tyler Cowan talks about the "old Cafe Monti". Isn't it still open on Duke Street in Alexandria? I've heard wonderful things about it in the past.

        2. I ate at Old Europe on Wisc about 5 years ago and thought it was very well done. It had been 5 years at that point since I was in the old country, but still knew Deutsch and conversed with the owner and his son in the native tongue. The biggest thing that got me was the bill at the end.

          I've heard nothing but excellence about the place in Shepardstown WV, but I have not been. (forget the name right now).

          To just get a bit, Brickskeller actually does a very good job with their warm potato salad.

          And then, of course, you should make sure you make it by the German Deli in Falls Church (Rt. 29, south of the Church, on the east side of the road). They are also pricey, but import a lot of good things including wines, non-perishables, and some excellent meats and cheeses.

          I have not tried Cafe Berlin, but have heard it's adequate in food, if not atmosphere.

          Please report back on any thoughts and findings you discover.

          Prost!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Dennis S

            The name of the place in Shepherdstown, WV is the Bavarian Inn. I haven't been there in ages but they seem to focus more on wild game entrees than on authentic German food.

            I've been to the Wurzburg Haus in Rockville...I forget most of my meal there, but I definitely like the potato pancakes at Cafe Berlin on Capitol Hill, especially if it is on a nice spring/summer evening when I'm on the patio with one of their large beers in hand.

            1. re: JoyS

              There's a place out in lovely Upperville VA called the 1763 Inn that serves German food.

              Has anyone tried it?

              1. re: Bob W.

                I've been there once, thought it was quite good.

          2. Old Europe on Wisconsin Avenue is OK if you are in DC. Just don't go expecting much. Cafe Mozart in downtown DC is also OK.

            The Washingtonian Magazine usually cites Wurzburg Haus on Muncaster Mill Road in Rockville, MD., as the best German restaurant in the DC metro area.

            2 Replies
            1. re: GregJ

              I think Old Europe is very good food/beer. If possible, wait for March (link). I usually get an extra side plate of asparagus!

              Link: http://www.old-europe.com/events_spra...

              1. re: GregJ

                We had two consecutive au pairs from Germany. They ate at all of the places mentioned on this board, and found none of them to even RESEMBLE the food they had back in Germany.

                They both thought Wurzburg Haus was the worst of the lot. One time one of the girls went with some friends, and asked the waiter why the food wasn't really German. He said when the place first opened, they served German food, but the Americans didn't care for it. So now they serve "German style" American food.

              2. The Schmankerl Stube in downtown Hagerstown is authentic and very good. I think its much better than the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, which draws a lot of tourists and conference attendees. The Stube is also less expensive. That said, I'm not sure that its worth a special drive from DC, but it is one of the only good places to eat if you are in the area.

                Link: http://www.schmankerlstube.com/

                1. The Schmankerl Stube in downtown Hagerstown is authentic and very good. I think its much better than the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, which draws a lot of tourists and conference attendees. The Stube is also less expensive. That said, I'm not sure that its worth a special drive from DC, but it is one of the only good places to eat if you are in the area.

                  Link: http://www.schmankerlstube.com/

                  1. cafe mozart has some very nice cakes and pastries. the front is a market/deli with lots of austrian and german items. The restaurant and bar is in the back (you have to walk through the store.)

                    1. It has probably been a year since I've been there, but Euro Bistro on Elden Street in Herndon did a pretty fair job on Weiner Schnitzel, Sauerbraten and spaetzle at that time.

                      1. Nora of Restaurant Nora is Austrian and the food she serves is more like that one would get in a serious contemporary Austrian restaurant than most of the other places cited below. Good quality ingredients creatively prepared, which is exactly what an Austrian chef in Austria would be doing. You probably won't find Wienerschitzel though.
                        R.

                        1. It's quite a drive, but the Bavarian Chef in Madison, VA, was fantastic when I was there last. They even had good beer on tap.

                          To get there, take US 29 South forever... I mean, until you're 30 minutes away from Charlottesville.

                          PS- It's been mentioned in other posts, but it's been many a year since Wurzburg Haus has approximated anything close to German food. Ugh. Stay in town, grab a quick empanada or something. You'll be doing yourself a favor.

                          Link: http://www.food-plan.org/restaurant.c...