Ethnic German food in VC? Ja, ja!

Jeanette's Edelweiss in Newbury Park pleases Teutonic and adventurous palates

Restaurant review By George Miller

There are many kinds of ethnic food restaurants in the county, chiefly Latino variants (mostly Mexican) , with quite a few Italian and Chinese, some Jewish, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, British, Irish and Middle Eastern fare. There were only two real, sit-down, full-menu German restaurants (sandwich delis not included) in the region, when I came here in 1980. One was gone within a few years. The second, deceptively named “Old Vienna,” survived until recent years.

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Jeanette’s Edelweiss looks like a small Munich beer hall, finished in rich, natural woods. Photo: CitizensJournal.us

Then “Brats” came to Newbury Park and was pretty popular for a while. It shut down, we hear, because of a conflict between the two partners. It reopened as Jeanette’s Edelweiss, under new ownership/management. The “Grand Opening” sign was still up, even though it’s been open a while, when I drove in, with a German-born friend in tow. We saw only one other customer there when we arrived for a Friday lunch, although there were 16 by 1 PM. Not many. Later, I asked why such a good restaurant had so few customers and was told that they need to advertise more.

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Edelweiss has more than 2 dozens beers on tap and more concoctions with juice, lemon, syrups and even Coca Cola added. Photo: CitizensJournal.us

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Jeanette’s Edelweiss has beer taps on both sides of the bar console. Photo: CitizensJournal.us

Of course, we started off with beer- Weihenstephaner wheat- my friend with a chilled one liter stein (looked bigger) of it that would have put me immediately into DUI territory.  He just poured some into a glass for me, since I had to drive back afterward and do CitizensJournal.us work. Coming here with a designated driver is highly recommended, since most German beers are twice as strong as American brewskis.

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Currywurst at Jeanette’s Edelweiss (note EMPTY beer glass. Photo: CitizxensJournal.us.

My friend ordered a “currywurst” (bratwurst with a dark and sweet curry sauce. left) with massive steak fries and a cucumber salad. I ordered the house sauerbrauten in a marinade gravy, with fresh home-made red cabbage and a tall potatoto dumpling.

The currywurst was sehr gut (very good)! The fries with sea salt were slabs, not like the skinny, greasy things you get in fast food joints, They provided a nice tray of different kinds of sauces and mustards. My German-born friend said the food looks and tastes authentic and backed that up by promptly making reservations next to the bandstand for that very evening with another friend. He said he will buy the $100.00  “Stein Club” card, which enables purchases any time at “happy hour” prices.

The sauerbrauten (below) was made from a good grade of beef, marinated, then slow-cooked for tenderness, yet it retained excellent texture, was crosscut into thick steaks and smothered with gravy and spaetzel. The big potato dumpling tasted almost as good as my foreign-born great grandmother used to make with sauerbrauten for the family in NY. Those recipes were handed down to my American-born Bohemian grandmother, French-Irish mother, then finally to my Italian-French-Canadian wife, who has enhanced it over the years. Crock pots and blenders have revolutionized making these since the old days (I make the gravy). Next time, I will endeavor to inspect Jeanette’s kitchen, too.

The only reason I didn’t rate the sauerbrauten excellent is that it was made blander for American tastes, while I prefer it really pickely/spicy. When I mentioned that to our attentive, but overworked server Mickie, who was handling 16 customers at that point, she said that she hears that a lot. Further questioned, she offered that they do have a spicier version, but you have to ask for it.

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Sauerbrauten at Jeanette’s Edelweiss.Photo: CitizensJournal.us.

The overall effect of the good, cheerful, polite, but slightly slow service (made to order), excellent ingredients, preparation, presentation and atmosphere made for a pleasant, relaxing time. It’s good that I was able to move the deadline for our newsletter out to 4:15 pm that day, but you may have to get back to work earlier :-). Incredibly, my friend went off to play tennis in 85 degree heat afterward. I’ll bet it’s nice having dinner here, with no deadlines, beer taps flowing, Fraus serving, band playing and in good company. 

Not being content with merely devouring an already good meal, for dessert, I tried the nutella pudding- a huge, rich chocolate concoction made with hazelnuts and whipped cream on top. I added a small chocolate-covered cream cannoli and blew my caloric intake quota through Sunday night. But, it was delicious. I had a real hard time making up my mind, with such an amazing array of scrumptious-looking (but pricey) strudels, cakes, pies, dumplings, torts, puddings, etc., competing. They filled an entire display case up front. My friend was very content to just keep drinking beer.

Our bill for two came to just shy of $50 before tip. But you can easily cut that by not having tankards of pricey beer, rich desserts and sticking to the reasonably-priced lunch specials on the menu at $9.95. Dinner prices are higher for the main entrees, but not the other stuff.  Then of course, there’s the Stein Club for hardcore cases.

JeanettesEdelweissLogo

2160 Newbury Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320 (805) 498-7300

http://jeanettesedelweiss.com/contact/  [email protected]

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Finishing touch: Nutella pudding with cream cannoli.

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George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

 
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