Harald Nuewig is gone. What took him so long?
I went into the Bierhaus when they first opened, and I had a few negative things to say for a change, and the owner wasn't too happy about it. I mentioned that the place wasn't quite fully operating yet, and he asked me if it was fair to review a restaurant that had only been open a week. In response I asked him if it was fair to charge full price for their menu if they weren't providing a full experience. It caused me to think about it, and I wrote this article on soft openings. I've since developed the philosophy that if a restaurant is open and they're charging full price for their menu, then they're open to criticism in the same way as any other restaurant.
I was in the mood for something other than mexican or a sandwich, so I figured I'd drop by again. Physically, the place is exactly the same as it was before, except that the TVs now all work. 1/2 of the were on soccer, and the other half had advertisements on them.
I thought about some German dishes but they were mostly around $18, and I didn't want to pay that much. I went for the Nurnberger Sausages with sauerkraut and roasted potatoes.
The atmosphere in the place is anything but authentic or festive. They crank house music, which didn't seem to go with the girls dressed in their Dirndls. Lorreen, Keisha, finger in throat. The only thing decent was Nena doing a german version of 99 Red Balloons. The food came out in about 10 minutes.
Fritz & Franz Sausage
This looked like a decent lunch plate; I think mashed potatoes would go with this better but everything was fine. They have big tubs of grain mustard on the table; The sausages were mild as was the Sauerkraut. Some bread would have been nice too. But overall a decent lunch, if not overpriced. $13 plus $3 for an iced tea.
Fritz and Franz Bierhaus quietly opened on East Commercial in the old Zo’s Off the Hook Sports Grille location. Not many people know that it’s open, and there was no problem getting a free spot. If you know how the parking lots work over here; the spots closest to the buildings are metered, and the spots furthest away are free. It’s pretty stupid to me; to see everyone parked far away, in a part of town where Geritol is in high demand, seems anti-social.
I’d been to Zo’s before it closed and was never a big fan; of course I’d only been there on a Sunday when the place was packed with regulars.> It’s a pretty big place; there’s a bar that runs along the left side of the main room, 2 rows of bench seating have replaced all of the tables, while the back room has more traditional tables. There are euro banners hanging on the walls throughout; the decor is sort of old-world plywood. There’s a big tub of grain mustard at the center of each table.
Fritz & Franz Bierhaus Interior
The wooden benches are a bit wonky; I’m not a tall guy and I felt like the table was on my knees. The joints weren’t quite right; it reminded me of the furniture my Dad used to build in the basement. My dad never finished anything; he’d build stuff out of wood and slap a cushion on it.
I was originally going to get a bratwurst on a bun, but it doesn’t come with anything and I couldn’t find a side that I thought was worth it. They don’t have potato pancakes; so I decided to just get the chicken schnitzel. which comes with potato salad. They don’t have iced teas, so I settled for a club soda.
There were only 2 other tables; there’s one woman in a dirndl who is hostess, server, bartender and DJ. The place just seems barren; sort of like you’re eating in a closed restaurant. There are TVs all over, but every one of them is on soccer. There is no ambiance whatsoever.
Fritz & Franz Bierhaus Back Area
I was thinking of what the place was like when it was Zo’s; I’m not sure I could see myself coming here to watch Sunday Football.
The food came out and I had to wait a while to get a picture as the woman was omnipresent. The first things I noticed was the not-so-ripe awkward slices of plum tomato, and the lemon on the chicken. I didn’t want to make up the sandwich until I got a picture, so I nibbled on the potato salad. EEEk, if this wasn’t the worst potato salad I’ve ever tasted. It was cold, mayo-less version with just an awful vinegar taste. Being German, I’ve had a different version at every one of my relative’s households and more at various Oktoberfests; some better than others, but this was just inedible.
The chicken itself was fine. I sliced off the bad parts of the tomato and tried it with and without mustard.
Fritz & Franz Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich
I thought about the excellent pork cutlet schnitzel they have next door at Edelweiss Bakery and Deli and I wondered why I’d want or need to come into this place for this?
They’ve only been open a few days, but at this point I can’t get excited about it.