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From Germany with love

Rhein Haus hits the spot in Tacoma

The Jaeger Schnitzel at Rhein Haus in Tacoma hits the spot inbetween sips of beer. Photo credit: Jake de Paul

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ANNOUNCER: When it was announced that a German beer hall would open in Tacoma by an experienced restaurant company already doing the same in Seattle, it was oompah music to the ears of the boys. And, after giving the joint a few visits, they remain all smiles.

JASON: I love the fact that they are serving beers from Germany, but also local beers brewed in the German tradition.

JAKE:  With all the beer steins on the tables and throughout the bar, I would expect a good selection of beer, and I was not disappointed.  The beer list is heavy, not surprisingly heavy on German beers, some of which are made locally like the Stoup Bavarian Hefeweizen brewed in Seattle.  The Hef is sweet and flavorful like a wheat beer should be.  Other offerings include a dark German Pilsner brewed in Germany or the Kolsch which is brewed in Bellingham.

The big pretzel at Rhein Haus in Tacoma is both chewy and buttery. Photo credit: Jake de Paul

JASON: Being unique, you can expect long waits to get in.  But, they will text you when your table is ready, so plan to check out some other places close by while you wait (I'd suggest The Hub or Parkway Tavern).  

JAKE:  On the list of share plates, I gave the house pretzel for just $5 a try.  It's fairly large and served warm with a choice of dipping sauce.  Additionally, it's soft on the inside, and buttery and salty on the outside.  Both the spicy mustard and the beer fondue were great for dipping. Normally, I would order the bratwurst at any German place, but this time I branched out and ordered the Jaeger Schnitzel.  A breaded tender beef cutlet is fried crispy on the outside and then smothered in bacon and mushroom gravy and served atop golden mashed potatoes.  Already a great mix of textures and flavors, it is topped with pickled red cabbage that adds a little bite to the dish.

JASON: I thought the food was good, but didn't light the world on fire.  I'd suspect our military readers who have lived in Germany might not be that impressed.  But, for the casual German diner, who isn't hell bent on authenticity, I think the food is pretty good. I liked the Grillwurst Schmankerl, a sampler with two-pounds of sausages, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.  All I really wanted was food to go with my beer, and this plate made perfect sense.  I also enjoyed the German pizza - made on a sourdough crust.  I went "traditional" according to the menu - smoked bacon, onions and sour cream. Meaty, hearty and great as a chaser to a German beer!

JAKE:  I somehow had enough room for dessert - bringing my 16-year-old son helped.  Choosing between a fresh baked apple strudel, which is only available on Fridays and Saturdays, and the German chocolate cake wasn't easy, but the chocolate cake was too much to resist. This is a rich cake with layers of caramel, pecans and coconut cream, then drenched with a chocolate ganache and finally topped with toasted coconut and a pair of cherries.  The strudel will have to wait till my next visit.

Rhein Haus, 649 Division Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.4700,

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