How often do you get to eat authentic German food? Sure, there’s the occasional sauerkraut here and wienerschitzel there, but when’s the last time you sank your teeth into an uberbacken schweinesnitzel (pork chop au gratin)? Fredericksburg is the ideal place to explore these indulgences, from fried appetizers to fancy steaks.
A good starting point is the Fredericksburg Brewing Company (245 E. Main St., 830/997-1646, www.yourbrewery.com, $9–17). Located smack-dab in the middle of all the action, this brewpub provides a remarkable taste of German culture and cuisine. Diners are encouraged to enjoy one of the finely crafted homebrews—made on site in the shiny copper tanks near the dining room—in the biergarten out back.
The beers are immensely satisfying, especially compared to the mass-produced products available at most bars and restaurants. Although the Peacepipe Pale Ale isn’t as hoppy as most bitter brews of this type, it has a sweet, full flavor; the Pioneer Porter, meanwhile, is everything a rich, dark beer should be.
The menu items are just as flavorful, including German fare such as jager schnitzel, sausage, and the incomparable uberbacken schweinesnitzel (a tasty pork chop smothered with tangy cheese, colorful peppers, and a sweet apple cider cream sauce), along with local specialties such as chicken-fried steak and venison chili.
For a slightly more formal meal, go to Der Lindenbaum (312 E. Main St., 830/997-9126, www.derlindenbaum.com, $10–24). Located in a historic limestone building, Der Lindenbaum is the place to go for a truly authentic German dining experience. The standard German dishes (schnitzels, steaks, homemade breads) are worth sampling, but the restaurant’s specialties are more traditional meals such as sauerbraten (Rheinland-style sweet and sour marinated roast beef) and schweinekotelett (pork chops in mustard sauce). Save room for the strudel.
On the other end of the spectrum—in formality, not in quality—is the Altdorf Biergarten (301 W. Main St., 830/997-7865, $7–13). This comfortable, noisy establishment feels more like a bar than a restaurant, and for many Fredericksburg visitors, it’s a nice way to complement the town’s vacation vibe. Altdorf has an impressive selection of German and Texas beers, and the food is quite decent, particularly the schnitzel, sausage, and potato salad.
If a hefty plate of meat and potatoes isn’t what you’re after, there are nearly a dozen bakers in town serving up pastries and light lunches. One of the best is Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe (249 E. Main St., 830/990-0498, www.rathersweet.com, $5–10). Tucked away in a pleasant courtyard behind busy Main Street, Rather Sweet is a wonderful place to enjoy a sandwich, salad, or especially a delectable pastry. Not surprisingly, the homemade bread is outstanding—especially on the bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato sandwich—but the desserts are the main draw here, and you can’t go wrong with whatever suits your fancy. The Mexican chocolate cake is amazing, and customers return regularly for the enormous fried pies, lemon tarts, PB&J cookies, and turbo-charged brownies.
Another noteworthy place to pick up some sweets is Fredericksburg Bakery (141 E. Main St., 830/997-3254), which specializes more in homemade goodies than lunches. The cookies are well known throughout town, and people flock here to pick up fresh-baked loaves of bread to enjoy at home, their hotel, or even while hanging out on Main Street.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition