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May 12, 2008 02:05 PM

[Houston] Report - Rudi Lechners

Along with a group of friends we decided to be adventurous and leave the island to celebrate a birthday in Houston. The birthday girl selected Rudi Lechners German restaurant of Gessner. The first positive thing was the table being ready at the precise time reserved. I find that unusual in restaurants these days. We were promptly seated and taken care of by a great waiter. There were twelve of us in our party so we had a variety of menu items at the table. I started out by ordering kaesespaetzle for an appetizer. Let me tell you it was VERY good. Basically a German version of mac & cheese made with spaetzle and caramelized onions on top. Another appetizer at the table was cabbage rolls that were good. For my entree I selected the Schweinshax'n (Pork Shank). The waiter informed me it could take up to forty minutes for the roasted shank which was not a problem since it is one of my favorite German dishes. It arrived and I could not believe the size of the shank and the perfect roasting. The outer layer of fat was nice and crispy as should be and inside the pork was juicy and tender. If you ever visit it could easily be shared between two people. The plate included sauerkraut and red cabbage with German fried potatoes. A heart healthy meal? No, but it was outstanding.

Another person ordered the stuffed chicken fried steak which is stuffed with swiss cheese and jalapeƱos. It is not actually German but I tasted it and it was tasty. He devoured it in not time and raved about it. Nice and different from the traditional CFS. Birthday girl had the Wiener (veal) schnitzel and finished the whole thing. On the other hand another person had the beer (pork) schnitzel and was not that pleased. She simply said she has had better. I tried it and found it to be quite tasty. While I am the one known for trying a bit of everything I did not get to sample all twelve entrees at the table but everyone seemed very happy and full after food and German beers.

Making the evening even more fun was the entertainment provided by Alpenfest a German Duo that even played a Swiss alphorn. Everyone in the restaurant seemed to enjoy the music and it was quite lively with a lot of energy. They even did the Chicken Dance which I danced to with the birthday girl.

If looking for something a little different in this area of numerous Mexican, Italian and Asian restaurants I would highly recommend Rudi Lechners for a German style evening.

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  1. Thanks Swamp! I have always wondered about that restaurant, and now I have a good report to go by. That kaesespaetzle sounds delicious.

    1. last november, i went for the wednesday night oktoberfest buffet (then $13.95pp, now $14.95pp) and it was not bad. the goulash, variety of sausages, and roasted chicken were delicious. the salad bar was boring, the beef rouladen was a disappointment. it was dry and flavorless, although it looked delicious. the schnitzel was a little tough and dry -- i'm sure it's better made to order. the roasted potatoes and spaetzel were bland, the red cabbage was pretty good. the band was pretty cheesy but very fun -- went well with the festive atmosphere.

      i went with a group of 5 friends. this was a novelty dinner meaning we went more for the total experience and we weren't expecting as much from the food. we had a great time, especially with the $2.50 draft beer special, but i won't be back anytime soon.

      swamp, i'm glad to hear the food was better when made to order.

      2 Replies
      1. re: neverfull

        I've had a similar experience with their buffet. I think maybe I'll try them again from the menu. You should try Old Heidelburg. The portions are smaller but the quality of their German sampler platter was better than the Rudi's buffet.

        1. re: Herithoth

          thanks for the rec. i have a friend that has been pestering me to go to old heidelburg. he loves any restaurant where he can get red cabbage, but i was hesitant. maybe we'll give it a try now that i've heard something positive about it. i'd like to give polonia (polish) a try first though.