Here, Eat This: A Beginner's Guide to German Cuisine
Where to get started:
Bar Munich: In the midst of Midtown's bustling bar universe sits Bar Munich. The bar's Web site heavily touts its German leanings, a welcome change from Midtown's usual yuppie hustle and bustle - but don't get too excited, there are no busty girls in dirndls serving suds or oom-pah bands playing on the patio. Think modern Germany, where you might find Teutonic twentysomethings taking up WiFi space and watching soccer matches.
Charivari: Chef Johann Schuster has been serving an always-stunning blend of European cuisines at Charivari for the last decade. If you want to try German food but your friends don't, take them here. You'll find everything from Italian bucatini and Austrian schnitzel to Romanian goulash and German spaetzle on his standard menu, but seasonal favorites include white asparagus and black bear.
King's Biergarten: There's no such thing as a slow night at King's Biergarten, a bastion of German and Austrian food and beer in Pearland. There's an actual biergarten, too, a rambling and rustic patio that overlooks a tidy bayou by day and hosts polka bands by night. King's offers an array of German and Austrian specialties such as schnitzel and soft pretzels alongside a broad array of German brews from Franziskaner to Spaten. If you managed to save room for dessert amidst all the goulash and bratwurst, there's apple strudel and Linzer torte to reward you.
Rudi Lechner's: For those in search of German cuisine with a Texas flair, Rudi Lechner's is a popular destination. Classic German dishes like wiener schnitzel served with red cabbage and potatoes; a grilled sausage trio including bratwurst, knackwurst and Polish sausage; and the simple, freshly baked pretzel and mustard are the house favorites. Though German food is generally a meat-heavy cuisine, the menu includes several seafood and vegetarian options. Lunchtime is generally quiet, while weekend dinners can get downright rowdy with live polka performances and dancing.
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2616 Louisiana St., Houston, TX