Saturday, February 27, 2010

*** CLOSED *** Gerhard's ~ Roanoke, Texas ; Denton, Texas

For regular readers of the RJG, and given my light posting, I cannot imagine there's too many of those - you might remember my thoughts on the lack of German food in the DFW area. I truly feel it's a somewhat ignored regional food tradition. Here's more info on my feelings around this.

So now us folks in NE Tarrant can crow about our own German restaurant. Well, OK, technically not NE Tarrant, but we'll adopt Roanoke for the cause.

Gerhard's is a brand new restaurant in what is shaping up to be a very cool "old town" Roanoke. Thanks to the success of Babe's and the Classic Cafe, many flock to the quaint old one-horse train stop that has now become a desirable suburb of the vast DFW area. They're still in the process of recreating the town that never was, and doing a darn good simulation of such. The Dallas burger institution Twisted Root has been an early adopter (and we went on New Year's Day - it's excellent - and will report eventually on it). And so now is Gerhard's, who has moved into one of the new buildings with an older looking exterior. The interior is exactly what I'd expect a new place in Hamburg to look like - light textured woods, open spacing, sleek contemporary dining arrangements, and a bar option with a flat paneled television screen no doubt showing European soccer when they have a chance. So, sure, it's not an old musty beer cellar. You can't create a place like that - it must evolve as such.

The Mrs. and I split a couple of plates. She kind of went "man diet" probably to please me, and you can't have a better wife than that. So a plate of Wiener Schnitzel and a trio sausages arrived with sweet corn, fries, potato salad, and a large soft chewy pretzel. The Wiener Schnitzel is excellent. A perfectly seasoned fried pork cutlet spread across the plate. They cook it the German way, without dumping some gross sweet sauce all over it. The three sausages are 1 bratwurst (yum), 3 frankfurters (yummer) and 2 Nürnberger Rostbratwursts (yummest). The sweet corn is superb, as were the potato salad and fries (simple thin ones, just as in Germany).

Wash that down with a couple Warsteiner Dunkel's in a frozen mug, and we have a winner here folks.

With a menu that has other mouth watering temptations such as Cordon Bleu, Bratwurst Sliders, Fried Bologna sandwiches (hard to find outside of the Midwest regions of America), Roanoke Schnitzel (chicken schnitzel), and Goulash - I sense this is a place we'll be going to for a long time.
If German food is your thing, or if you've just never thought to try it, now is the time. I'm really rooting hard for Gerhard's, as I think the possibilities are endless here.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Finally
Had the Wiener Schnitzel, Nuremberger Bratwurst and Sauerkraut, Great food!!!!,
love the way they decorated, great service, will be back to try the Hunter's Schnitzel

Anonymous said...

You should go back. The place is a train wreck: poor service, Gerhardt is rude to his patrons, takes over an hour to get food. The atmosphere is rediculous and the prices are not justified. I will be astonished if - without changes - this restaurant lasts the summer.

Christina Norman said...

We went tonight for Fasching (think Mardi Gras for Germans) and it was wonderful! The spatzle was very southern German with swiss cheese and the bratwurst wasn't just Johnsonville sausages. The owners were great and treated my children like angels and the music was Wunderbar! Made me long for the five wonderful years we lived in Kaiserlautern! I highly suggest giving this place a go if you like German food of any kind . . . don't let one reviewer turn you away from such a great place.

Anonymous said...

How about two reviews? Dieser platz ist nicht Deutsch.

I have had German food from everywhere from my Morher's kitchen to all over Germany and I am sad to say that Gerhard's is a huge disappointment. It started with the ambience. My wife commented that perhaps they were going for a modern look alá a new Berlin, but the decor is quite unpleasing. Unframed posters and glass tables with moderne chairs do not really work. The chair legs were so narrow that our son nearly flipped the chair three times. The nicest feature is the ceiling, but it unfortunately creates terrible acoustics. Every child's voice was amplified and mixed, so it sounded like the backing track to the Rollercoaster Tycoon computer game. I could actually clealy hear the conversation two tables away, even over that din.

The host was pleasant and we were quickly seated. Our waiter presented himself quickly enough and soon explained that there were many beers that were out of stock. This is verboten in a German restaurant. It took about 15 minutes to get the drinks in a very slow restaurant. The Bitburger came in a pils glass, which was a nice European touch, but the size was quite small for the price in Texas. I can take you to a restaurant in Manhattan where the beer is twice as large for the same price. The beer also had a pronounced metallic flavor. The Wärsteiner Dünkel was a much better deal and had no aftertaste.

We ordered our meals. I got the sausage sampler and asked if I could have red cabbage instead of sauerkraut. The waiter informed me that it would be no problem. My wife ordered the Hunter Schnitzel and my son the grilled cheese kid's meal. After ordering, a full cup of water spilled. The waiter quickly came with about five towels to mop up our mess. He halfway cleaned the table and then proceeded to use the towels on the floor. He then came back up to the table with the same towels! It is possible that one towel never touched the floor, but for obvious reasons, it was a ridiculous move.

Our food came. My sausage was on a bed of sauerkraut. I reminded the waiter that I had asked for red cabbage instead. He looked at me and told me that sometimes the cooks were too busy to make a substitution. I looked around. There were at least twenty empty tables. I asked what was going to happen next. He did get me red cabbage and apologized that it was his fault. He was very nice, so I was nice to him, but should he not have informed me of problems with substitutions when I ordered.

The sausage was passable but nothing like you would find anywhere in Germany or even Long Island. The mustard was decent, but Aldi has a better choice. The pretzel was no better than a frozen supermarket type The schnitzel was flavorless. I've never tasted one so utterly bland and cooked so poorly. The grilled cheese sandwich was on good bread but contained fake cheese. My son would not eat it, as he has never had fake cheese in his seven years.

The bathrooms were modern and very clean. There is a vending machine by the front door with German candy. We wanted to buy two pieces. It takes quaters only, so I asked the hostess for change of a five dollar bill. She asked me to wait and said it would be easier to get a key. She returned 5 minutes later with an annoyed man who opened the machine and arrogantly asked if I just wanted quarters of if I really wanted some candy. At this point, I became annoyed by the entire experience. I asked for the two pieces of candy and informed the gentleman that he was the ludicrous dessert of a terrible dining experience I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone. It was expensive for the quality of food and in no way a German dining experience. Take your money elsewhere.