SUN PHOTO/LIZA MORROW
Wolfgang Jahn shows a plate of the restaurants
By Liza Morrow
sun staff writer
The main reason to make your way to the Old Hamburg
Schnitzelhaus, a German restaurant squished between Solos
Pizzeria and Walgreens, is not for its hamburgers
(despite the name Hamburg, there are none) but for its home
style authentic German cooking, and specifically, the schnitzel.
While Old Hamburg might not cause a culinary flutter in
most sections of the Gulf Coast, it is an ethnic oasis in
the restaurant scene in and around Anna Maria. A place to
soothe a diner weary from the sight of too many half-eaten,
fried grouper sandwiches.
The restaurant, which quietly exudes ethnic charm, is a
family affair, under the cheerful management of Brigitte
Jahn in the kitchen and her husband, Wolfgang, who claims
he is "the nobody behind the bar that just makes sure
everyone is happy." The look is warm and woody, with
dark beams and decorative beer steins that say "Germany."
Crisp white curtains frame the windows and flags of Germany
and the United States decorate not only the walls but wave
to passer-bys outside the entrance. The pretty waitress,
daughter Christina Jahn, fits into the picture with a logo
stamped white T-shirt and jeans. Service is always warm
Like the restaurant, the food has a homey quality. Reasonably
priced, the dishes are hearty and restorative. Beef lovers
should try the roulade, a tasty sliced steak rolled around
a stuffing of fried onions, bacon and pickles. Or the goulash,
chock full of fork-tender chunks of meat and accompanied
by yummy hand-formed egg noodle spatzle. Other good bets
are the bratwurst, a tasty grilled pork sausage, and the
more delicate weisswurst, made of veal. Both arrived with
snappy sauerkraut and homemade mashed potatoes.
But the stellar entrée and namesake is wienerschnitzel.
Simply presented, it is a plate-filling, crusty, buttery
escalope of either pork or veal (additional $3) breaded
ever so lightly, served with salad and crispy roasted potatoes.
Huehnerschnitzel (like wienerschnitzel, but with chicken
instead of veal), and Wienerschnitzel ala Holstein fried
with eggs and anchovies are standards here. Another dish
with satisfying character is the stuffed cabbage
two he-man-size rolls filled with a mixture of ground pork
and beef. For the adventurous carnivore, Schweine "Haxen
Bayer Art", or pork knuckle, Bavarian style is the
special every Friday.
Many diners will choose German beer with this hearty fare.
Five choices are available on draft for $3.80 a third liter
or $4.80 for a half liter and $9.50 a liter glass. The two
sweets hailed as wunderbar are a homemade flaky warm apple
strudel under a drift of whipped cream and a light Black
Forest cake simply luscious. The homemade cheesecake
and apple cake are also on the mark.
Old Hamburg Schnitzelhauss
1 4-to 5-ounce veal cutlet, pounded thin
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Canola or vegetable oil for cooking
Lemon wedge and a sprig of parsley for garnish
Lightly season the veal cutlet with salt and pepper. Coat
both sides with flour. Pat gently to remove excess. Dip
cutlet in eggs and then coat with bread crumbs. Set aside.
Heat enough oil in a sauté pan to barely cover the
breaded cutlet when placed in the pan. Sprinkle a few breadcrumbs
over the pan to determine the correct temperature. When
the breadcrumbs begin to sizzle, carefully place the cutlet
in the pan. Be careful not to splash any hot oil on your
skin. Cook wienerschnitzel until lightly browned around
the edges, then turn it over carefully to cook the other
side. When both sides have a nice brown color, remove the
schnitzel from the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined
plate. Garnish with fresh parsley. Squeeze lemon over wienerschnitzel