Old German Bar and Bierkeller
Just a notch up in price--and served on real plates--other Old Country-inspired offerings still provide great value, with meals under fifteen bucks. Suited for sharing is a charcuterie platter Germanized with liverwurst, ham, and pumpernickel amid its varied cheeses and pickles, including crisp pink and green radish slices. Most colorful plate award goes (surprisingly) to the solid slab of Bavarian meat loaf, stuffed with ham and cheese and browned in a skillet, then flanked with bright green spinach spaetzle (also crisper than the traditional doughy version), and yummy, not-too-sweet braised purple cabbage. The only salad offered is a good one: a filled-to-overflowing bowl of chopped kale dressed in balsamic-mustard vinaigrette and sweetened with hidden treasures of Riesling-poached pear, dried apricots, and walnuts. Topped with pumpernickel croutons and a scoop of red quinoa, it's plenty to share at your booth or a healthy meal for one under nine bucks.
A friend of Austrian descent liked her big smoked pork chops accented by a simple beurre blanc sauce and sauerkraut, and it'd be hard not to love the authentic texture and full fruitiness of the house-made applesauce served alongside a generous order of crispy edged potato pancakes. But the platter-wide swirls of a bland "horseradish sour cream" squiggled over the top lacked the rich flavor that dollops of real horseradish or sour cream could have added to the potato pancakes. I imagined a dancing hand wielding a plastic squirt bottle in the kitchen, doing up the showy flourishes you see on the Food Network.