I really love getting invited to foodie adventures, but sometimes I can’t make it. *Insert sad face here* It’s a tough life, but I’m glad I have friends that can go in my place!
Kristina’s review of German Schnitzel Haus:
Thanks to an invite from Jacksonville Restaurant Reviews and Daisy’s busy schedule (she had to drive her mom to the airport on the evening of this dinner), I was lucky enough to attend a foodie adventure recently at German Schnitzel Haus. As you can likely tell from my last name, I have very German roots but in all honesty, I’ve never been a huge fan of German food. When I think of German food, I think of really heavy meals that automatically include sausage (and I’m not a big fan of sausage). I love sauerkraut but that’s about it. When Jerry reached out to Daisy about this event, he explained that the restaurant has a new chef who revamped their menu and made some great changes to the place. I’m willing to try almost anything once so when Daisy asked if I’d like to attend in her place and write a guest blog, it was an easy yes!
The location (which I found out is relatively new) is a little hidden, it’s basically behind the Fresh Market on Atlantic Blvd. As I was sitting in the booth waiting for the event to start, the manager Lisa (who happens to be the Chef’s wife) came over and introduced herself. She explained to me that they adjusted the menu back towards more traditional German foods. Between that and the intro about how they’re also working in as much fresh, local food as possible, I was pretty excited.
The first item we tried was the beer cheese soup. I’m a big soup fan in general and this soup was fantastic. The little bits of bacon on top were perfectly cooked and a little sweet without tasting like candy (I find that sweet bacon can easily be way too sweet). The soup itself was cheesy and flavorful without being too heavy. Next up was the German wedge salad (iceberg lettuce, landjaeger sausage lardoons, pickled red onion, fried spatzle, and a mustard vinaigrette). Generally I am not a wedge salad fan (iceberg lettuce is far from my favorite) but this was great. When I think iceberg lettuce I generally assume there will be a lack of flavor but all the toppings insured that that was not the case. The pickled onions and the vinaigrette especially played really nicely together. This was easily one of my favorite courses.
Lisa also let us know that they have a beer garden outside and lots of large TVs around the restaurant, plus a huge bar. She also mentioned that they believe it’s very important to know what you’re eating and where your food comes from. She even told us that one of the three sausages they serve is made in Riverside (the other two are German). Our next dish was my favorite of the night. The goulash is sourced locally and she gave us a heads up on the Chef’s surprise twist (sun dried cherries). I’m not generally one for cooked fruit of any kind but the cherries really added to the overall flavor. This would be a perfect winter time dish. Hearty and flavorful, not unlike a big bowl of chili.
At this point I was started to get really full but I was determined to power on and try everything. Next out was their hand made, in house pretzels. Yum! Even though mine was one of the smaller pretzels, I could only manage to finish half. It tasted really fresh and went perfectly with the mustard it was served with. Next up was a potato pancake topped with quark cheese and applesauce (made in house). The potato pancake was absolutely fantastic (someone at our table called it a sweet hash brown, which was a great reception). Unfortunately I don’t like applesauce and again, was so full I couldn’t finish it but very tasty.
The last of our “dinner” courses was frikadelle (basically a meatball). German Schnitzel Haus uses ground pork and ground beef. Apparently this item had been on the menu previously and was taken off for some time but is a customer favorite. It wasn’t my personal favorite but there was a lot of flavor in both the meatball and the sauce. We finished off the night with some fresh apple strudel. Lisa explained that the desserts are actually not made by Chef Steve but by Miss Gitta, who happened to have been our waitress as well. She is a German pastry chef who does all of their desserts. As previously mentioned, I don’t really like cooked fruit but the strudel was definitely a hit with my fellow attendees.
Overall, I was super impressed with my visit to German Schnitzel Haus. I had heard some mixed things but I think the changes being instituted by Chef Steve and Lisa are wonderful. The food was great and their menu has something for every taste. Big thanks to Jacksonville Restaurant Reviews, Chef Steve and Lisa at German Schnitzel Haus, and Daisy for letting me have her spot at the dinner and share my thoughts on her blog.