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Monday, February 6, 2017

Portland, OR: The Jury's Still Out As To Whether Or Not I Become A "Regular"

Stammtisch (German, Gastropub)
401 NE 28th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Northeast Portland, Kerns
Phone number: (503) 206-7983
Prices: $$$$

Not quite what I expected, having spent quite a bit of time in Germany and with a name like Stammtisch (German: a table reserved for "regulars"). More of an American bar/pub look than a German gasthaus, they do have some larger community-style tables you would see in Munich and other places in Germany, but that was about it.

They have a nice selection of German beers on tap at fairly reasonable prices ($5-$7 for 0.5 liter). I usually order my go-to, Warsteiner Dunkel, but decided on the Weltenburger Barock Dunkel instead, a dark, robust beer that was quite tasty.

The menu is not big, but that is usually a good thing because ingredients are normally fresher. Their plates come in "Kleine" (small - $4-$9), "Mittel" (middle or medium -  $10-$16) and "Grosse" (big or large - $12-$23) with a nice selection of six or seven choices in each size class.

My wife would have gone with the Bretzel (pretzel - $5) as a starter, but because I left her in Kansas, I ordered the Currywurst ($6), a sliced pork and veal sausage with fries and house curry ketchup in a small cardboard bowl (which I found a bit odd). What the dish lacked in presentation, it made up for in flavor and was quite tasty although not quite hot enough.

Their entrees include the classics: Sauerbraten ($19), Wienerschnitzel ($15), and, of course, my favorite, Jägerschnitzel ($16) which I ordered. The seared pork loin was medium in size (small by German standards) and the mushroom gravy (Hunter's sauce) had all of two button mushrooms on top. The cutlet was served on top of the spätzle and red cabbage that accompanied it, not my preferred serving method. I love both spätzle and German red cabbage, but Jägerschnitzel should never sit on top of such an acidic and colorful side dish as red cabbage in my opinion. Spätzle? Maybe. Red cabbage? Absolutely not! I have had all types of schnitzels in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, and Bosnia-Herzogovina (as well as the U.S. and India believe it or not) and it was never served on top of anything. In fact, in many places the sides (spätzel, potatoes, vegetables) are routinely served family style in separate serving dishes, so the only thing on the plate is usually the schnitzel and it is normally massive.

The server was friendly and efficient although he never told me his name. I asked him about the size of the portions in order to determine whether or not I should order the currywurst and the Jägerschnitzel and after telling me, I decided to order the currywurst. My beer had arrived in the meantime and I was in no hurry to go back to an empty house, so I savored the brew and starter, planning on ordering another beer when he took my entree order. Next thing I knew, the Jägerschnitzel arrived much to my surprise. He must have misunderstood my intentions, but fortunately I would have ordered it anyway and had not changed my mind in the interim. I did not need the second beer anyway.

Parking is on the street only and a challenge to find a spot anywhere close, particularly for a disabled person/veteran. The currywurst could have been served in a proper dish or bowl, not something taquitos come in at a little league game. The jägerschnitzel should not have been "assumed" and absolutely NOT placed on top of the red cabbage. A small German salad and some pumpernickel would have also been a nice accompaniment to a $16-$23 dinner  Finally, a little German ambience would lend itself well to the surroundings, but overall it was a decent, pleasant dinner.

CombatCritic Gives Stammtisch 6 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Six Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16/'17

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!

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Read Chris S.'s review of Stammtisch on Yelp

Stammtisch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCritic
View my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Portland, OR: The Jury's Still Out As To Whether Or Not I Become A "Regular"

Key Words: Stammtisch, German, Germany, gasthaus, schnitzel, Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, beer, bier, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog

Translation for Civilians: G2G = "Good To Go"

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