Das schmeckt gut!
On an unseasonably warm day in the middle of December, a stroll down South Street brought us to the doorstep of Brauhaus Schmitz. The German beer hall has been around since 2009, pleasing folks throughout Philadelphia with fare faithful to its cultural roots. We snagged a pair of chairs at the bar area, which offered a great view of the counter and the rest of the restaurant. The place only had a couple parties when we arrived, but by the time we left, the place was packed to the gills– seems like it’s never too early to throw back a beer!
We ended up choosing the Nürnberger Bratwurst Sandwich with Pommes and the Jägerschnitzel with Spätzle and Kartoffelpuffer. Portions are extremely hearty and leave an ample amount for leftovers. Throughout our lunch, Luke also nursed a robust dark beer that complemented the meal well.
The housemade bratwurst contained pork, marjoram, caraway, and mace. The sausage itself was moist and had a good amount of spices that added great depth of flavor. The sandwich was topped with a healthy amount of pickley sauerkraut that added a spark to the sausage’s porky content. Served alongside the Pommes (french fries) were small dishes of curry ketchup and two types of housemade mustard (smooth–like a robust dijon–and grainy–seedy, sweet, and tangy–varieties). The ketchup had an unexpected kick that satisfied our spicy-sweet cravings (I also didn’t realize curry was a flavor popular in German cuisine). Even though neither of us are mustard fans, we were still quite pleased with the dipping sauces provided.
The pork schnitzel we got is also known as “hunter’s schnitzel,” perhaps due to the wild mushroom-bacon-red wine gravy served alongside it. This thick gravy in fact became an excellent dipping sauce for the french fries from our other dish; it was my favorite component of the dish. For the sides, the Spätzle (sautéed egg dumplings) and Kartoffelpuffer (shredded potato-and-onion pancake) were good, but just acted as supporting cast to the amply-sized schnitzel. The schnitzel was as good as it could be– deep fry anything and it tastes good. The meat was easy to cut and quite tender.
For authentic German fare in the heart of Philly, Brauhaus Schmitz is your destination.