Okay, so it's TECHNICALLY Kentucky so this post could go on one of two boards but in the hopes that someone from Cincinnati reads this; Has anyone actually EATEN at the Hofbrauhaus? How does it rate in terms of the more traditional German fare? My mom and sister ate there and still complain about it but I think they had Caesar Salad or some Friday's-esque fare.
While we're on the subject, what are some of the better places to go in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky for German?
I disagree that much of the german heritage is gone....I come from a very germanic family and I know many other german families in Cincinnati. They all seem to be concentrated on the westside, and so, pertaining to this conversation, a lot of good german food can be found at festivals on the westside. The germania societies Oktoberfest has good german food and it is this time of year (it may be over, not sure). As far as restaurants, I like the Black Forest....it is just north of I275, but I can't remember the exit...I'm sure you can find it in the phone book. Their saurbraten tastes just like mine!!!, and their other traditional german fare is great!
When I first moved to Cincinnati 20 years ago, I also wondered why there weren't more German restaurants. A friend who grew up here said Cincinnati was settled mostly by Northern Germans, "the ones who don't know how to cook." As for Schmidt's, I'd say the Iron Skillet is better.
A good number of the Germans in Cincinnati came from Bavaria, the southern part of Germany. Considering that the major wave of Germans to Cincinnati arrived close to 120 years ago, much of the "German identity " is gone.
Thirty years ago, there were a fair number of good German restaurants. However, most closed over the years as their owners died off.
While I like German (and Eastern European foods) and occasionally prepare sauerbraten, make homemade bratwursts, and make up some weinerschnitzel, my waistline can no longer handle a steady diet of those kind of meals.
My husband and I was were just discussing a few weeks ago that it is odd that Cincinnati doesn't really have any German restaurants really known for good food. I haven't been to Haufrbrahaus but it does seem to be considered more of a drinking establishment than anything else.
We used to go to Forest View Gardens when I was a kid and I remember I like their Sauerbraten (and the entertainment!), but it has long since closed.
When we want good German food, we make the drive up to Schnmidt's in Columbus. If you try it, be sure to go when they have the buffet (which is almost always). I'm really not a big fan of German food, but this is GOOD!
I don't think anyone goes to Hofbrauhaus expecting to be dazzled by the food. It's a beer hall, and I hear the food is decent.
The Iron Skillet in Newtown has German and Hungarian food -- good schnitzels, paprikash, spaetzle, potato pancakes and red cabbage, plus sauerkraut balls on the appetizer menu.