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German food in Austin?

Johnny Thunders Nov 12, 2007 08:27 PM

Anyone know of any good German restaurants in Austin?

I'm surprised that with so many small towns around Austin known for their German food, Austin itself doesn't have a few well known ones.

Any suggestions?

  1. t
    taliesin15 Jun 27, 2008 10:01 AM

    There've been some good ones over the years, but they have trouble making enough money to stay open. Strangely. Thing is, the Germans (and Czechs) migrated here so long ago that they've developed their own distinctive style of cooking, most notably the German/Czech style of BBQ as epitomized by the excellent BBQ joints in Lockhart and elsewhere.
    That said, let me add one other place to the list. Its certainly not mind-blowingly great cuisine or anything, in fact, very humble fare, but Scholz's Garden usually has a bratwurst with German potato salad plate that's really quite good. One local, in his 60s, of pure German descent, claims that the recipe for their German potato salad hasn't changed since the 19th century. Good Bratwurst is something I really miss about Germany, and most of the time its more miss than hit--but Scholz's Brats are fairly close to the mark. Also, sometimes during October, Threadgills does a Brat plate, and the brats they get are easily the closest I've tried to the real thing. Problem I think is the quality of the meat here isn't as good, and also (Whole Foods is particularly to blame on this count) some people have the very wrong-headed notion that sausage needs to have a lot less fat than is traditional.

    1. c
      culbrich Jun 20, 2008 08:50 AM

      A new German restaurant opened up in Taylor recently... I can't remember the name but it is right downtown. Excellent food, and I believe they may have their liquor license by now to serve beer - before it was BYOB.

      1 Reply
      1. re: culbrich
        KPeff Jun 20, 2008 11:35 AM

        Culbrich, does Taylor really have a 'downtown' or are you mocking them?

        I was about to suggest Scholz's Beer Garden, but then I remembered that I haven't eaten there. Their website indicates they only have a few German dishes (Does a bratwurst po'boy count as German? Do you think they'd add currywurst to the menu?), but I remember local food critic Rob Balon enjoying the schnitzels there.

      2. x
        xalapenocharlie Dec 8, 2007 06:27 AM

        Try Friesenhaus in New Braunfels run by owners direct from Germany at the old Krause's Cafe location on S. Castell. Like Krause's, which had been serving German food there since the 1930s, Friesenhaus serves traditional German food. They run a deli and bakery counter too. It reminds me of Kuby's in Snider Plaza in Dallas. I recently had a hearty breakfast of meat, cheese and brown bread at the Friesenhaus. They offer German entertainment too. I saw a flyer for a very "Hans and Franz" New Year's Eve in the offing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: xalapenocharlie
          chub512 Jun 20, 2008 11:26 AM

          I have to give this a hearty second. Friesenhaus is definitely worth the drive to New Braunfels. I grew up eating at Krause's and wes initially sad to see it was gone after I had been away for fifteen years. Boy was I happy I gave Friesenhaus a chance! The food is great, they have some really nice German and Austrian wines and the owner is super nice. Take out a loan for a tank of gas and go!

        2. w
          webjockey Nov 24, 2007 01:05 PM

          My German husband gave a thumbs up to european bistro. We both had the jaegerschnizel (excuse the butchered spelling), and it was filling and satisfying. He had perogies as an appetizer. I've never had "authentic perogies" but these were very tasty nonetheless. I also appreciated that the food wasn't heavily salted like many restaurants.

          1. r
            rusty_s Nov 13, 2007 06:58 AM

            My spouse lived in Germany for a few years and returns to visit occasionally--so he loves German food. He hasn't found a German restaurant in Fredericksburg that he likes, but he really enjoys European Bistro in Pflugerville. They are Hungarian, but do German staples such as schnitzel, spaetzle, and strudel quite well. http://www.european-bistro.com/

            1. TAF Nov 13, 2007 06:33 AM

              I'm afraid that if you travel around the Austin hinterland (Fredericksburg, Gruene, etc) looking for authentic German food, you might be a little disappointed. Many places claim to serve such food, and even have German names, and the owners may well be of German descent, but I've yet to find a kitchen that can produce food even close to the places I used to eat at regularly in the Rhine Valley.

              Who knows, perhaps this thread will prove me wrong ...

              1. d
                danoc Nov 13, 2007 06:29 AM

                The Walburg Merchantile, north of Austin. Food isn't the best, but the music,beer and atmosphere are quite fun. Check it out on a Friday or Satuday night. The oom-pah band in the Biergarten is a blast. My kids love it there.

                2 Replies
                1. re: danoc
                  cecilymary Dec 7, 2007 07:32 PM

                  Second the Walburg restaurant - If you like beer and brauts you'll be a happy camper.

                  1. re: cecilymary
                    angelfoodmaker Jun 26, 2008 11:41 AM

                    European Bistro is Much Much Better authentic German Food it was the best schnitzel I ever had. It's in Pflugerville and has also East European Food and Music.

                2. r
                  Rene Nov 12, 2007 08:54 PM

                  European Bistro is the only one I know of that does eastern European.

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