The Old Bavarian Review – Appleton, WI

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Birthday dinners have been a great tradition in my family. Growing up my mom would bring me out to eat at the restaurant of my choice for my birthday, and I loved it. Typically we could even go to a nicer than normal restaurant since it was a special occasion, so that meant most years I excitedly requested Red Lobster… the crème de la crème of fine dining in my young eyes.  <Insert your own snobby jokes here>

Old Bavarian AppletonLuckily when I invited my mother out to celebrate her recent birthday (I believe she turned 39 again), she had no such request. Instead she was in the mood for German food. This meant I got to dine at the Old Bavarian again for the first time in 3 years!  Oh, how I had missed it like my great grandpa misses his lederhosen.

We met for dinner during the week just in time to take advantage of their $10 schnitzel special, which is really a great deal. The special runs till 6pm, so you don’t even need to compromise with an early dinner if you want to take advantage of it.

The décor of the restaurant leaves a little something to be desired. It is slightly dingy and dark, reminiscent of a long Bavarian winter. This is not a restaurant I would recommend for the atmosphere, however the food more than makes up for it.

Upon taking our seats the extremely friendly hostess enthusiastically explains how everything is made fresh. The pork loin for the schnitzel is cut, flattened, and breaded after you place your order, which I really respect. With the owner of the Old Bavarian being from Germany, the authenticity and care really shined through.

My mother ordered the Jaeger Schnitzel and my girlfriend and I each ordered the Schnitzel Art Des Hauses.

Quick German food ordering language lesson: Schnitzel is a breaded meat cutlet that is hammered thin and fried. So weinerschnitzel, jaeger schnitzel, and schnitzel art des hause are all schnitzels; just as a hamburger, bacon cheeseburger and double cheeseburger are all burgers. The other additional words added to schnitzel on the menu will describe how it is being served. For example, jaeger schnitzel is a breaded cutlet served with a mushroom sauce. The schnitzel art des hauses came with white asparagus, ham, mozzarella cheese and topped with three cheese sauce, whereas wienerschnitzel is just served with a lemon wedge.

Appleton Old BavarianThe only disappointment I had with the food was that lack of lighting available to properly photograph it (the photo on the left has been greatly enhanced for your viewing pleasure). The food was delicious! All three of us eagerly ate everything on our plate without complaint. The breading with perfectly crisp, the meat was juicy, and the sauces coving the schnitzel were all very flavorful. I am often not a huge fan of mushrooms but I really enjoyed the jaeger schnitzel when sampling my mom’s dinner. Though next time I return I would be hard pressed not to order the schnitzel art des hauses again, even though there are other items on the menu I am eager to try.

I also have to give a shout out to croquettes (Kroketten). These are delicious fried mashed potato balls that my mom had the divine inspiration to order as a side. With a golden crispy crust and a piping hot creamy interior, these are a great alternative to French fries or mash potatoes. I promise you’ll be happy that I told you to order them.

Old Bavarian Apple PieQuite honestly, our server was very forgettable, but the hostess was exceptionally attentive and friendly. Upon finishing dinner we were too full for desert, however our friendly hostess appeared again to chat us up and then proceeded to serve us some complimentary apple pie shots and housemade gluehwine since it was my mother’s birthday. I highly recommend both drinks. The gluehwine especially is a great lower alcohol winter drink bursting with fruit flavors that is served hot.  You are even able to purchase this in growlers for home consumption.

German food is not something most people eat on a regular basis; however it is a nice change of pace from the typical gastronomical rut we all get in. Next time you are looking for something new, or perhaps just a little different head over to the Old Bavarian. Don’t let a menu full of dishes you may not recognize scare you. A little taste of the old country will come as a welcomed treat for even the most timid pallets.

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