Yes Claus, there is a German restaurant here
By Lynn Dirk, Content Editor, GLOB Correspondent
A month ago, I went with Trish Riley, eco-film earth mother and green neighbor, on the Tour of Kitchens*. Unfortunately, we got a late start and the food was missing from 2 of the 3 houses we visited. The house that did still have food, however, featured sausages – and beer! – from Stubbies and Steins, located just West of the Main St. and University Ave. intersection. They were cooking sausages on a charcoal grill. I want to be a vegetarian but the one thing that keeps getting in the way is pork – especially sausages! The samples I had were fantastic. When I got home, I looked up the S&S website and found a regular restaurant menu of primarily German food. How come I didn't believe there was German food in Gainesville?
In addition to a variety of sausages like bratwurst and knackwurst, the menu listed foods that I love like potato pancakes, Hungarian Goulash soup, schnitzels, salads like Gurkensalat (cucumber salad) and Kartoffelsalat (warm potato salad), and homemade apple strudel. ALSO, there ARE vegetarian dishes, including "NOTwurst" (soy-based) and Portabello Schnitzel. The one thing missing that I LOVED and remember from when I lived there is oxtail soup. Like a dark gravy with small chunks of meat, it is heavenly soup.
For the next few weeks, I was craving a meal at S&S. Sadly, I saw they don't serve lunch, but Stubbies does have a Sunday brunch, and finally I had an appointed time.
The day before I went, I was discussing S&S with the GLOB Master and his friend Andy Caldwell before they went off to the O&B game. I was telling them that there was a full restaurant menu, and they were insisting it was mainly a bar. Since the argument came down to whether there was a separate seating area with tables, my evidence petered out because I did have the impression they were very small considering where how they are wedged in on University Avenue and probably had few if any actual dining tables. Little did we know.
The big day came. The GLOB Master and I headed over right at opening time – noon. It turns out there are 2 doors at S&S. We went into the east door and came into the bar and then noticed a door to the right. We go through that door and lo and behold are numerous tables, including a long table with benches like they have at German beer houses. The German décor is quite elaborate and well done, including a cobble stone floor.
Ironically, I discovered that the food during Brunch was a limited menu, which did not include goulash soup or the purple cabbage or any of the salads. I was very disappointed, but the brunch menu does include two types of sausage and potato pancakes, so I would still get some of the German food I was craving.
The GLOB Master and I decided to order 2 different dishes and share: I ordered the vegetarian Roasted Potato, Onion and Dill Crepes and he ordered the German Breakfast, which consisted of two organic free range eggs (!!!), choice of 2 sausages or bacon – he chose neurnberger, small breakfast-type sausages, and potato pancakes or roasted potatoes.
While waiting for the food, we had a Mimosa, which comes with the Brunch and was excellent! The food came and it was very good. The sausages were great! The eggs were great! The actual crepes were well done. I don't know much about crepes, but the potatoes and onion were on top instead of inside. Is that usual?
I was a little disappointed in both potato dishes: I didn't read the menu closely – it said FRIED potato pancakes, so they seemed a little like a hash brown cake to me, but I still enjoyed them very much with applesauce, the traditional accompaniment. The potatoes – and onion – on the crepe were supposed to be roasted but they seemed almost steamed and there could have been more onions. Still, with the hollandaise sauce, the dish was enjoyable. There was a nice variety of mustards to go with the sausages.
The owner or manager came by our table and when I asked how long they had been serving food, he said since 2008, 3 plus years! How come I didn't know? They have been relying on word of mouth. I have always said I have a big mouth, so S&S lucked out that I showed up! By the way, I think this is the only German restaurant in Gainesville. Is that right, GLOBers?
Guess what? I'm going back. For dinner.
*The Tour of Kitchens is the Junior League of Gainesville largest fund raising event to support local programs for women and children.
Editor's Note: Lynn Dirk, an editorial and communications assistant at the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, is a devout enthusiast of all food things healthy.
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Jon Rose Friday, 13 April 2012 12:00 Comment Link
Anyone who can't become a vegetarian because they can't give up pork is OK with me. Does it get any better than sausages and beer! Love those Krauts!