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Looking for a Taste of Germany? Well, We Tried…

This entry is part of a series, Restaurants»

Wiener Dog

I’m pleased to report that this sorry attempt at a restaurant has closed.

My wife and her best friend had a bad day at work, and I didn’t feel like cooking. PJ and I were cruising around looking for a good eatery to raise the coolness quotient of with our presence where we could enjoy a relaxing meal, without much luck. We even looked at the newly opened BJ’s Brewhouse nearby, but they were swamped. I guess the new hasn’t rubbed off of that one quite yet.

While we were riding and chatting, talking Paula’s stress down to less explosive levels, her BFF called and said she was hungry. We settled on Nuernberg Brauhaus, a Pflugerville restaurant we’d tried to visit before. (We’d heard the owners were from Germany.) However, previous attempts had been on weekend evenings, and the place was always packed. A good sign, we said, but we always left hungry to go somewhere else.

Thursday evening, we thought maybe we had a chance.

The outside dining area wasn’t full when we met at Nuernberg, and with the weather as nearly ideal as we’ve seen this year, we chose to sit out in the late evening. The two waitresses were very busy, as the inside seating was almost fully occupied with a large party. “Large” is relative in this joint; they’re not a big place. Their location was once a donut shoppe, and fitting a working restaurant into that space doesn’t leave huge dining spaces.

We got our menus and placed our drinks order, then settled back to look over the food offerings. I had picked out a bottled German beer from their adequate list, and it was served at proper temperature in a nice glass. A proper start!

Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well after that…

PJ ordered a simple meal comprised of the tomato soup appetizer, and some “baked brie.” D-lady wanted a burger without any condiments or pickles. I went for the Zweibelschnitzel, a meal I fell in love with while touring and working in Germany.

Service was a bit slow but we were busy talking through the issues of the day and didn’t really notice. The food began to arrive and the troubles began. The burger was completely wrong, and didn’t add to our guest’s relaxation level. PJ’s soup was “pretty everyday,” and not very warm. The brie wasn’t as expected, but was tasty at least. That seems to be the only item that tasted good.

Schnitzel

The waitress who brought the burger was apologetic once she heard our complaint, but was quick to blame “the large party inside” for the mixup. Hey, if there’s an issue with a dish at our table, I don’t want to hear excuses. The wait staff don’t need to be overweening or anything, just ready to make it right. Excuses, they’re completely unnecessary. We got an earful, though, before the burger went away to the repair shop.

How did the burger turn out? Well, after rework, it still wasn’t any good. Oh, it was as ordered, at least. The meat was dry and over-cooked, with absolutely no juice whatsoever. The “style” was about right, as I remember such things. I suppose that’s what we get for ordering an “American” meal at a German restaurant. (Although, isn’t Hamburg in Germany? Hhmmm…)

My schnitzel was nothing special. A small cut of breaded meat, apparently from a freezer bag, somewhat over-fried and covered in a nearly tasteless sauce with a few bits of onion swimming in it. No body to the sauce. Almost no spices, no herbs at all, and under-seasoned as well. The accompanying blaukraut was “insipid” according to PJ, who’s become quite the cabbage maven over the past few years. You’d think cabbage would be one of those dishes that’s hard to mess up. Simple braised cabbage, I agree. Blaukraut, also known as rotkohl, is a bit more complex a dish. Well-done, it should have a nice purple color, with a liquor that has a bit of a vinegar bite in addition to some sweetness from, say, an apple.

This savorless mess had none. Instead, while it was about the right color, its flavor was flat and muddy, and there was no indication that the liquid was anything but greasy water. I’m a fan of cabbage in most anything, but I couldn’t finish this side dish. As quoted by a Zagat reviewer years ago, “The food may be bad, but at least the service is slow.”

None of us finished our meal, and we were actually relieved to escape without further damage. The price for two entrées (one a hamburger), two appetizers and a beer came to well over $40.

Overall, this was the worst dining experience we’ve had in the Austin area in years, and we’ll not be back. Maybe we had our expectations set too high, as we all enjoy good German food and we’d heard that Nuernberg Brauhaus was the new place to score some. The two guys at the next table were sure enjoying their time, although they were only sampling beer. Maybe that’s the secret? In any case, our experience wasn’t anything like those diners who have posted reviews at Chowhound and Yelp.

Caenator Emptor…

Nuernberg Brauhaus on Urbanspoon

Nuernberg Brauhaus, 1202 FM 685 #B5, Pflugerville, TX 78660 512.990.5544 Open six days a week: Tuesday-Thursday, 11 AM – 2 PM and 5 PM – 9 PM; Friday, 11 AM – 2 PM and 5 PM – 10 PM; Saturday, 11 AM – 10 PM; Sunday Brunch, 11 AM – 2 PM. Parking front and back. Reservations not required.

Enjoy the (Not So Tasty German Fare) Heat!

Entries in this series:
  1. Cool River Café and Southwestern Poblano Soup
  2. Restaurant Review: Gumbo's Louisiana Style Café
  3. Restaurant Review: Chola Indian Restaurant
  4. Restaurant Review: Fujian Grand China Buffet, Austin
  5. Restaurant Review: Casa Garcia's Tex-Mex Restaurant
  6. Review: Mesa Rosa Mexican Restaurant
  7. Restaurant Review: Truluck's Seafood, Steak and Crab House
  8. Restaurant Review Update: Fujian Grand China Buffet Restaurant
  9. Restaurant Review: Pho Viet Restaurant
  10. Sunday Brunch Anniversary Celebration: Moonshine Restaurant Patio Bar and Grill
  11. Late-Lunch Steaks at the Blue Oak Grill
  12. Mama Roux: So Good There's A Song About It, Sort Of...
  13. Phil's Ice House, an Austin-Weird Place for Great Burgers
  14. Easter Sunday Dinner: A Poor Experience at a Usually Reliable Locale
  15. A Sedate Spring Lunch at Zed’s
  16. Looking for a Taste of Germany? Well, We Tried…
  17. Fresh and Tasty Tex-Mex, Prepared by a Grandma
  18. The HomeField (Grill) Advantage
  19. Dinner for One: Sometimes the Good Stuff is Right Under Your Nose
  20. Smoky Heaven in Round Rock: Johnny T’s BBQ
  21. Tex-Mex, Better’n Sex (Says So on the Menu)
  22. The Quest Begins Anew (Just Pho Me): Mai Lien Bistro
  23. A Little Bit of the French Quarter, Here in Central Texas
  24. Quick Bites: El Caribe Tex-Mex
  25. It’s Good, It’s Italian, and You Don’t Have to Go to Europe to Get It
  26. Casa G’s for Lunch (Hint: It’s Awesome)
  27. Chola Indian Restaurant: A Good Indian Eatery Gets Better
  28. Tacos are Brain Food, and Brainiacs Eat at El Taquito…
  29. Get Your Indian Food Fix the Easy Way: Tärkă Indian Kitchen
  30. Late Lunch at Mandola’s Italian Market; Worth the Wait…
  31. I Didn’t Know Sichuan, China Included Round Rock
  32. Sunday Brunch at Pecan Street Station; Good Choice…
  33. Does Kung Fu Buffet Lives Up to Its Name? My Sample Says…
  34. The Underground Visits Ethiopia for Dinner (and Has a Wonderful Time)
  35. Pho Lee Vietnamese, It’s Total-Lee Pho (and Very Good)
  36. A Taste of Jalisco in North Austin
  37. The Great Pho Quest Continues: Pho Thaison in Allandale
  38. From New Pho to Old: Lunch at a (Nearly) Forgotten Friend, Tan My
  39. Z’Tejas, a Wonderful Place for Brunch and Clan Revelry
  40. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Round Rock: Great Meat; As For the Rest…
  41. LongHorn Steakhouse Round Rock: A New Family Favorite
  42. Salt Lick BBQ in Round Rock: More Than Finger-Licking Good
  43. Drinks and Snacks on the Deck at McCormick & Schmick’s
  44. Going Back Pho More at a Local Favorite
  45. Swagat Indian: A Disappointment With a Few Bright Spots
  46. Branch BBQ in Wells Branch: A Local Secret?
  47. Karrrazy, Man: Kublai Khan Crazy Mongolian Stir Fry
  48. VooDoo BBQ & Grill: Their HooDoo’s Pretty Good, Actually
  49. My Fit Foods: Tasty, Healthy Food, Ready in a Flash
  50. Chang Thai, Our Family’s New Favorite
  51. A Quick Trip to Agra, Without Leaving Home
  52. Playing With Your Food (and Your Mom Would Approve): Shabu Hot Pot & Noodle Bar
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