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MSP--German food

Two questions:

1) Is German food by definition un-chowish? It seems that one should almost be embarrassed to admit liking it. But I do. Should I keep this information secret when I find myself in epicurean circles?

2) If it is acceptable to like German food, is Glockenspiel in St. Paul a good place? Again, I like it (although it's been a while since I've been there.) It's really cheerful and I think the food is good. I think the atmosphere is much better than Gasthaus Bavarian out in Stillwater. What do people think? Or should I not even be raising this subject?

Lovers of German food, step out of the shadows!

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  1. I haven't been there in a while and know it has changed hands and I believe is now owned by someone who has a meat market.

    Before that, I have had good food and bad there. For example, Friday fish fry where the fish was not piping hot. But don't hold that against them -- maybe it's better now.

    I have always liked the atmosphere in the bar on a weeknight. A combination of regulars, neighborhood people, and people from the Czech Hall upstairs. (Again, haven't been there in a bit.)

    I liked the fact that the beer selection was pretty good and the bar area was well lit. I would go in there with a book myself and enjoy being able to see well enough to read.

    1 Reply
    1. re: karykat

      Oh, I meant to also say that yes, I think German food can be chowish.

      For example, really good German sausages are definitely chowish.

      For some reason, it sometimes seems to be executed badly a fair amount.

    2. German food unchowish? No. There's a lot of clunky execution of stereotypical German food in restaurants. Similar to clunky execution of other ethnic cuisine. German food is not a celebrated "mother cuisine" (Italian, French). There are great culinary traditions in Germany and regional variations. Peasant food and more sophisticated modern food influenced by French and Italian technique exists in Germany and worldwide. Generally speaking if you like sausage, pretzels, sauerkraut, and beer you'll find the world's best in Germany. If you like peasant cooking you'll also find very soulful food. Can you find it in MSP? I haven't found it yet.

      The meals I've had at Glock, Black Forest, Gasthaus Bavarian, Winzer Stube, Otto's have been palatable, but in all cases I'm there more for the German beer and sentimental feelings about German culture than the grub.

      1. First off: I am Austrian, been in MN for almost 20 years now.

        As to # 1 - once you get past the sterotypes, German and Austrian cuisine can be surprisingly refined and at times even light. And in a state where Lutefisk is perfectly acceptable there's no reason to be embarresed about liking any kind of food.

        #2 I thought the Glockenspiel did ok on both of my visits. The best choice in the metro in my opinion is the Winzerstube in Hudson, WI. Most other places are acceptable but not something I would seek out on purpose. My one experience at the Black Forest scarred me for years - I had a hard time telling the Wiener Schnitzel and the Potato Pancake (Kartoffelpuffer) apart.

        The best place I visited in the Twin Cities was years ago on Lyndale and 27th. A small restaurant run by an old chef who had been in the Twin Cities for years. The food was very authentic and the place smelled right. He was famous for his Chutneys - not a very German thing, I know. Anyone remember the name of that place?

        1 Reply
        1. re: maauwi

          Oh, I remember that restaurant at Lyndale & 27th! But I can't think of the name either. I loved his food, and the sauces were wonderful. I remember that the chef was into healthy food from fresh, local ingredients, long before the organic/locavore movement took hold. (He was definitely ahead of his time.) I really miss that place!

          I agree that real German and Austrian food is definitely chowish - I have many fond memories of the food I ate in Swabia (Stuttgart area) many years ago. Other than this long-gone mystery restaurant, there's nothing in the Twin Cities that even comes close.


        2. German food is definitely chowish. When we vacationed in Bavaria a couple of years ago, I had written off the vacation in advance as a "non-food event" - big mistake. I had quite a few delicious meals there, with an emphasis on local and fresh ingredients. The food wasn't heavy, and the selection was quite a bit beyond what I typically think of as German food. Plus, the hotel breakfasts are still my favorite for any destination: assorted meats, cheeses, breads, jam, cereals, yogurt, eggs, etc, etc. Fabulous.

          I've been afraid of spoiling my food memories by visiting the local places here so I'm also interested in hearing what's good.

          1. place you were all talking about I think was the mitterhaus resterant with Klas Mitterhaus who was the chef. Did a bit of everything and was very good

            3 Replies
            1. re: liney714

              That's the one! Thanks. He had classic Austrian Beisl (neighborhood pub) fare. It even smelled right!
              And wouldn't you know it the Chef Klaus Mitterhauser also has a web site:


              gotta love google!

              1. re: liney714

                Yes, that's it! Herr Mitterhaus was that wonderful chef. Such amazing food. I wish he would come over and cook dinner for me tomorrow night.


                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  I would have to agree about the Glockenspiel-I had a good burger here once-really really good-but the same burger a year later was horrible. (probably not the place to get a hamburger, but it sounded good at the time...)The second time I got spatzle and sausages, and wasn't impressed, although it was a fun family celebration of my dad's birthday, and he thought it was good.

              2. How about some Austrian instead.
                In my hunt for Chef Mitterhauser I a came across and Austrian Restaurant in St. Cloud

                I have not been myself but those guys look like the real deal. I will visit soon and report

                1 Reply
                1. re: maauwi

                  Went to Winzer Stube in Hudson for the first time this weekend. A bit of a rushed visit due to a fussy kiddo, but overall very good. I got the chicken and dumpling soup and the geschnetzeltes (sauteed veal, creamy mushroom sauce, spaetzel, red and white cabbage). Very good, though I like a little more tang in my red cabbage and this was milder. Overall, we'll definitely try it again.

                2. Food is food. Anyone caught continuing a debate about what should be on this forum in terms of food types is .............. (can't say it here).

                  I love German food and have eaten in Berlin and Munich. In the Twin Cities, I've eaten twice at the Gasthaus in Stillwater, several times at Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit in NE Mpls, and once at the Black Forest. I rank them in that order for food.

                  I really should try the Winzer Stube in Hudson. I've also read good things about the German Haus near Camp Douglas along I-94 in WI.

                  Black Forest Inn
                  1 E 26th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                  Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit
                  2300 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                  Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter
                  8390 Lofton Ave N, Stillwater, MN 55082

                  Target Bluff German Haus
                  1216 State Road 208, Camp Douglas, WI

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: GutGrease

                    It's been fun reading all the responses to my original query. And you've given me a lot of new places to try, too.
                    Danke schoen!

                    1. re: GutGrease

                      My family and I had fun at the Winzer Stube. Very Weinkeller. The Bavarian Hunter, according to my husband, is more reminiscent of old Germany. But the cool thing is, it's a great place to take your kids. There's room to run and there's just a more relaxed atmosphere.

                    2. WInzerstube in Hudson is delicious. A week before Christmas, my best friend and I both ordered their fresh big beers and although the server was a little too vivacious, the food was stellar. I had a wonderful schnitzel that was moist and crunchy. It had a red and green bell pepper cream sauce and tasty sauerkrauts. It also came with soft lefse? the German orichette pasta. Partner got the curry brat and fries and with the fresh crusty bread and beer, he had a moment. I think the schnitzel was $14 and the brat $9. Overall, very surprising to find in Hudson and excellent German fare.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: stepawayfromthetable

                        I think you mean spaetzle, the small German dumplings.

                        Lefse is a Norwegian potato flatbread.

                        1. re: shoo bee doo

                          YES! I knew there was a weird combination of e's in it!

                      2. I would say the Gasthaus near Stillwater is better than the Winzer Stube in Hudson. Much more authentic. Is Bavarian Food the same as German Food?

                        Winzer Stube
                        516 2nd St Ste 100, Hudson, WI 54016

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: KarlGiswald

                          There are some very distinct differences between Bavarian Cuisine and the rest of Germany. Bavaria is the Texas of Germany - there's Bavarians and then there's the "others" aka Saupreissn. Bavaria's close proximity to Austria shows it's influences in dialect as well as food.
                          Typical Bavarian dishes would be Weisswurst (a very pale veal sausage), Pork Roast - seasoned with caraway seeds, a very cripsy crust and served with a beer jus, Dumplings - both potato and bread dumplings, Leberknoedelsuppe - a strong beef broth with a liver dumpling. Of course Schnitzel are well represented but many of them served different styles then the rest of Germany - although they have started to practice the barbarian custom of adding a flour gravy to Wiener Schnitzel (which is the true reason why Austria let Germany become independent in the 19th century).
                          Wiki's article is actually quite accurate: http://wikitravel.org/en/Bavarian_food
                          I have not been to the Bavarian Hunter but the menu does look rather Bayrisch with some general German dishes mixed in.

                          1. re: KarlGiswald

                            While I'm at it........
                            Has anyone made it to the Austrian Schnitzel Headquarters in St. Cloud?
                            They look like the real deal but it's a bit of a drive.