There are several hallmarks of a good restaurant. “That’s the place where the chefs eat.” “I eat there because cops are always eating there.” Heck, I’ve even overheard, “Ya gotta eat at La Mexicana because that’s where the Mexicans eat.” By these regards, Gerhard’s should be chockfull of people in black turtlenecks, critiquing Werner Herzog movies. It’s not, though. I’m about 1/256th German (my great-great-great-great Grandmother French-kissed a German once) which makes me the most viable candidate to review this sausage-fest of a restaurant.
Gerhard’s is a recent Denton-by-way-of-Roanoke transplant that took the place of the good-idea-that-could-have-been-handled-better known as The Simone Lounge. Gerhard’s is a well-managed replacement.
We were seated immediately. Gerhard’s has a full bar and is surprisingly large inside. Their menu (careful, loud music upon clickage), is full of authentic German dishes that we couldn’t wait to dive into. Although we were sat at makeshift picnic tables, it was the last thing on our minds once we got our grubby hands on the menus.
We started our meal off with some chilled red wine and then split two appetizers; namely the kartoffel croquettes (fried potatoes stuffed with red bell pepper, jalapenos and onions) and some assorted bratwursts. The menu at Gerhard’s is daunting. Everything sounds delicious and it would make most vegans/vegetarians faint. That said, it does hinder your ability to make a choice. We, however, chose well. Both of our appetizers were delicious. The ‘wursts had just the right amount of snap to them and opened up to juicy goodness. Our favorites were the curry wurst and the one that was wrapped in bacon, but duh. The croquettes were also dreamy. Having visited the state fair recently, we were experts on all things fried, and these were on par with the fried jambalaya. They were the perfect juxtaposition of crunch to squish and just spicy enough to make it count. Could the entrees hold up to the high bar that had already been set. Yes and no.
We have a friend who likes to quiz waiters and waitresses. Maybe you have a friend like this, too. Maybe you have to constantly hear questions like, “What do you recommend?” or “What’s the best thing on the menu?” Are you tired of it, too? Anyway, one of those questions was asked and our kind waitress recommended we try the Bayrischer Schweinebraten (Bavarian pork roast). Now we must have been feeling easily persuaded that day (maybe it was the iced wine we enjoyed with our appetizers?) because we fell victim to this. The food arrived in a timely fashion. However, we would have been better off had this particular entree never come out. The roast was grey, dry, tasteless and seemed to have been microwaved. It was the 2nd dish we’ve ever sent back. The waitress was kind and apologized profusely. We ended up getting the Fleischsalat (or sausage salad). It more than made up for the tomfoolery with the pork roast and all was right in the world.
Another diner at our table ordered the Schnitzel Wiener Art (fried pork cutlet). After laughing at the name, we found out that weiner art is actually delightful. It easily outdid other German restaurants in the metroplex, Edelweiss included. The pretzels were soft and salty in equal measure. Heck, we could go for some right now if they were open this late. Oh well. But the true measure of a good German restaurant is always their sauerkraut, a side loved by few, but smelled by all. Gerhard’s ‘kraut was adequate. We’d love to hear that we’re wrong, but doubt that it was made in house (is sauerkraut ever made in house?). It wasn’t something that we’d put in our to-go bag, had we not scarfed everything down already, but it wasn’t bad enough to totally ignore.
We’ll definitely hit Gerhard’s up again. At this point, we know to work the hits and not to trust that waitress who looked like our friend from high school. Gerhard’s is all-in-all a welcome addition to our square and a good match for our town’s most well-known musical output, Brave Combo. Welcome to Denton, Gerhard’s!