While some might argue that Germany's Alps are not as spectacular as those in neighboring Switzerland and Austria, few would dispute Bavaria's superior beer scene. I would go a step further and say that its cuisine is a notch or two higher too. Mittenwald provided a perfect opportunity to put this to the test since the town had its very own brewery. Heralded as the highest altitude brewery in private hands, Brauerei Mittenwald looks the part with a very rustic dark wood exterior and a matching somewhat kitchy interior. There is also an outside seating area but at this altitude it's only really functional before the sun sets as temperatures drop quickly when it does.
We both opted for the daily special which is generally a good choice at Bavarian restaurants especially when it's Schweinsbraten mit Knödl (roast pork with dumplings). It was an ample portion for €10.80 and features two very large dumpings, one made of potato and the other of bread. We don't generally like the latter but these were quite tasty, reminiscent of Thanksgiving stuffing in the US. The pork was succulent with just enough of the crispy skin to make you want more but not get you sick. We left full and satisfied with the food, surely to return if in Mittenwald again.
The beer was another matter. We sat outside to catch the last rays of the sun and I had a Edel Märzen which was a deep copper brew with a promising tan head. This is a rapidly disappearing style of beer once prominent in Bavaria so I always have one if there is one on the menu, especially if on tap as this one was. It unfortunately lacked the spicy character that is the hallmark of the style and though appropriately malty, it wasn't quite dry enough and bordered on being cloying. Not bad, just not overly tasty.
Favorite Dish: Doreen had the Jager Dunkle which was only available in a bottle. This one looked even more promising, deep amber with a very dense tan head. It was drier than the Märzen and though a well made beer, it wasn't overly tasty either. Since we were in malty territory, I opted for their Josefi Bock which unsurprisingly was on the sweet side and lacking the dryness that makes for a rare great bock. Their Karwendel Hell was light gold and refreshing but again a bit on the bland side and could have used a bit more in the hops departement. Their Kellerbier is only available in the restaurant/pub and is served appropriately in a krug (stone mug) so no visuals are available. These are unfiltered or lightly filtered beers which generally makes for a fruitier and somewhat less defined flavor. Ideally, they should be highly hopped to offset this characteristic which this one was not. Some breweries go with an unfiltered version of their pils but it seems this one did it with their already sweetish Helles. The result was again a lack of dryness and generally on the bland side. I was just about to give up but we'd come a long way and while my descriptions of the beers probably make them sound bad, they weren't. They were just not overly tasty. They also were generally quite reasonable in price, €2.60 for a half liter of regular beers up to €3 for specialties. The Berg Pils came out in the appropriate glass with a regal rocky head but I didn't get my hopes up until I smelled the floral hop aroma. Indeed, it was a nice dry hoppy pils, something not always easy to find in southern Bavaria and odd here since all their other beers leaned in a malty direction!
Our two meals with five beers came to €34.90 so certainly good prices for a tourist town in the Bavarian Alps. Service was quite good for Bavaria too. Our waitress was friendly and we never had to wait long for her to ask if we'd like another beer.
Berggasthof St. Anton was not in our plans but on our second day in Mittenwald we decided to do a small circuit hike and it brought us by a series of eateries, one right on an alpine lake. Unfortunately, that passing was a bit too early for lunch but it did serve to show us that the prices in the mountain huts and restaurants were not as high as we had imagined. So, when the also quite scenic Sankt Anton came into view and it was closer to lunch time, we decided to give it a go. Though there was no lake in sight, it's high vantage point gave great views of the surrounding peaks. It was a glorious day so rather than sit in the cosy looking interior (surely a haven in bad weather!) we opted for a nice spot outside under a large shade-giving umbrella. Needless to say, it was quite busy.
Favorite Dish: Service was prompt with such premium seating but really waiting with such a view would not have been a problem if the service had been typical Bavarian slow. I ordered a schnitzel with potato salad which was not only huge but very good as well. Doreen ordered Ochsen mit Bratkartoffeln (ox with fried potatoes). As good as mine was, hers was better and I was glad we had made plans to split the two meals. Her meat was amongst the best ox either of us had ever had. For the unwary, ox is really just beef and the meal is similar to pot roast, very tender and generally served with some horse radish. The fried potatoes are similar to home fries with nice spicing and onions for good measure.
We washed our meals down with the local helles from the Mittenwald Brewery. I must say it taste a lot better at this even higher than the brewery elevation (no mean feat since the brewery claims to be the highest elevation privately-owned brewery in the world). Perhaps it was the effort of getting there or we were just very thirsty but it was quite thirst-quenching.
The two meals with a beer each came to about €30. Not bad when you consider the transport of goods to the remote location.
Though Germany is noted for their cake, having it out is one thing we rarely do but on our last day in Mittenwald we finally succumbed to it. It's hard to not do in a place like Mittenwald as there seems to be a bakery every 30m! After our hike to St. Anton, I grabbed a beer at the brewery while my wife grabbed our overnight bag from the B&B. Once back in the brewery, she checked out the desert menu as she was in the mood for a sweet but saw nothing to her liking. So, our on our way to the train station we passed this smalll cafe.
Cafe Paula looked promising and it was conveniently on our way from picking up our bags at our Bed & Breakfast to the train station. Ok, it was tough as it was also just up the street from the brewery but I pressed on and actually bypassed a beer stop in lieu of cake! The interior was cute but it was a bright sunny day so we sat outside.
Favorite Dish: We had two pieces of cake. One was an apple strudel type concoction in vanilla sauce and the other one was a seasonal one with plums. My wife had a coffee and I went for a fresh buttermilch which was advertised in the window. The strudel was not bad but the sauce was a bit tasteless. The plum one was dry and not very tasty either. Doreen's coffee was okay but my buttermilch seemed no better than one from a grocery store. It certainly wasn't bad but I guess I was expecting too much. The beverages were typical prices (around €2-3) and the cakes were as well in the plus €2 range as well. Actually, these prices are pretty good compared to US prices but the cake in particular is much higher than in my wife's native Saxony area of Germany and to be honest the cakes are far better too.
The food is typical Bavarian. Lots of pork, lots of dumplings, lots of potatoes, in fact lots of everything. There is a wide choice and trout cooked in various styles is a popular choice. If it's on the liver is beautiful with mashed potatoes and onion gravy and often a roasted or cooked apple half. OK liver isn't everyone's favourite so it doesn't appear regularly on menus in restaurants but here it does. There are two big rooms inside but if the weather is good there are plenty of tables in a courtyard/biergarten to enjoy the food and beer outside. Excellent value and a very busy place. The serving girls do a tremendous job coping with the numbers so don't complain if you have to wait. Have another beer and enjoy it. After a long day walking the hills this is just the place to finish the day off.
Favorite Dish: Kalbs leber because liver is hard to find and they cook it so well. Liver and onion gravy. You can't beat it!
It is very much "alpine" decor. It is dark and warm and comfortable. There are wood beams and paintings along with mounted stuffed animals.
The service was incredibly friendly although it appeared to be all over Bavaria. We had a window seat so we could watch the tourists walk by on the main street outside.
On a chilly spring day, it was a haven.
Favorite Dish: Here's my journal entry for lunch in Mittenwald at the Alpenrose.
"It is absolutely charming with wood beams, stuffed animals and general alpine decor. I ordered wild boar with spatzle, a pear and cranberry sauce and Ed got wiener schnitzel Italian style. Both were excellent as were the variety of breads. It was a good choice."
On our second trip to Mittenwald enjoyed a relaxing meal at the brewery restaurant. The Postkeller Mittenwald serves up delicious German food and their own Mittenwald beers. Anyone that knows Hubby will know that he likes to sample the various beers around Europe.
We were there earlier in the day so the restaurant had just opened and there were only a few tables with people in them. It was a little chilly outside, so we opted to take an inside table.
Our party enjoyed several different kinds of German foods – some of them are favorites and others were new to us. We shared with each other so our friends could try other German delights as well as their own plate.
I had the Käsespätzle – a type of macaroni and cheese with roasted onions on top. I get this a lot and this restaurant served a huge portion that was really tasty and was served with a very large side salad. Hubby got the goulash soup and bread – again, he was served a delicious meal to go with his beer. Our guests tried the vegetarian plate and the other got the opposite – a grill plate full of different types of meat. All was delicious and we probably ate way more than we should have on this trip.
The only downside to the visit was that the server was having a bad day – I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt – and was rather grumpy. He seemed to be the only one working so maybe he was just overwhelmed, although he was always very prompt with his service.
Next to the restaurant, the brewery operates a shop that sells the various types of beers brewed up at the Mittenwald Brewery.
We walked to the restaurant since we were coming back from a hike, but there was a some free parking at the restaurant; otherwise, it is not a far walk from the center of town and public parking lots.
Overall cost was about average for similar restaurants in Germany; considering this is a tourist area, it wasn’t bad – the four of us ate for 38 euro, not including drinks.
We stopped in at this café for a late lunch after hiking the gorge. It wasn’t our first choice, but one of the first places open in town in November. The day was sunny and warm so we sat outside. Our server was pleasant and very helpful.
The café is a bakery as well as the restaurant. I had seen a sign for potato soup, which would taste yummy after a hike. Sadly, they were out of that soup so I got a different soup – this one was two noodle balls with onions and ham served in a chicken broth and with a basket of a variety of breads and pretzels on the side. It was unique and had a good flavor. I was not disappointed. Others in our party had various dishes (one was a pasta salad, the other was a sandwich) and they said the food was delicious. All the meals were colorful and beautifully presented.
There is ample parking across the street from the restaurant.
Would I go back to Café Paula? Maybe, if other places were closed. Our time there was pleasant, but not outstanding enough to warrant a return visit. There are other restaurants we want to try. But for a quick, light lunch, we were satisfied with our time here.
The restaurant looked so cheesy from the outside, we had to ask a couple of people coming out what they thought of the place. One couple told us they vacation every year in Mittenwald and this was the best place in town. So we took a chance! Our verdict? The decor isn`t anything special - but the food is amazing!
Favorite Dish: Daniel had a salad. But it wasn`t any old salad - it was a work of art that delighted his taste buds. Salads are apparently a specialty here - pick any of them - you can`t go wrong.
I had turkey breast medallians in mushroom sauce with the most amazing spätzle I have ever had. It came with a small salad - of which I especially enjoyed the slivered cucumber pieces.
Cafe' Konditorei Confiserie Haller is a real nice place in the town of Mittenwald.
We had the best strawberry with cream pie we have ever had, and we have eaten a lot of strawberry pies in our life.
The people here will even walk you around the place and tell you about every pie, cake or cookie ever made and even give you a little sample.
This place is a MUST STOP if you visit Mittenwald.
Favorite Dish: Any of the cakes and a good cup of coffee or tea.