The buzz about Bavarian

If you think the San Antonio area is only known for its Tex-Mex, think again. Located just outside of San Antonio at 5512 FM 78 Kirby, Bavarian Restaurant is one of the more hidden, unique diners San Antonio has to offer.

Opposite of dilapidated railroad tracks, one wouldn’t imagine that this restaurant offers some of the most authentic German food. Upon first glance, it resembles someone’s home — a feeling that resonates throughout your entire dinning experience. The main dining area is no bigger than a large living room. Lace curtains hang on every window and beer steins cover the inset wall that separates the servers’ area from the guests. It’s hard to imagine that you’re not eating at an elderly neighbor’s house.

Due to the tiny size and large popularity, customers shouldn’t expect to be seated promptly upon arrival unless they can plan ahead and arrive just as the establishment opens for lunch or starts serving dinner. Upon finally being seated, one will find a table draped with a white linen tablecloth and faux flowers. It may be hard to pinpoint just when you will see your server again after they take your order and bring you mediocre bread rolls. Although the servers are all familiar with authentic German dishes, on certain days, there may be only three of them at a time to manage the packed dinner floor.

Most of the menu at Bavarian Restaurant has distinct German tastes and influences with options such as spätzle, a type of egg noodle or dumpling. Owner and head chef, Horst Schoninger, is known for visiting guests and sharing life stories during dinner hours, adding to the welcoming feel of the restaurant. Schoninger brings other cultural tastes to the menu with his serving of a curry bratwurst and salami sandwich. The menu is divided into halves; the first being schnitzel with different toppings and the second half featuring bratwurst and sandwiches. The schnitzel alone is full of flavor and makes you forget the main aspect of the dish is simply fried pork. However, the bratwurst and the sandwiches leave much to be desired.

The side dishes leave you with mixed feelings. The oven-fried potatoes have a home-cooked taste just like the red cabbage but paired with almost every plate appears over-reaching on behalf of the restaurant. The spätzle is on the dry side unless paired with the delicious mushroom-based gravy.

The dessert selection also has a fault. The traditional house specialty, Bavarian crème cakes, is a shinning star on the dessert menu while the other offers of cheesecake, apple strudel and carrot cake are lackluster. Like the cakes, the selection of beer and wine (both imported and domestic) depends on what the restaurant has on hand at the moment.

The menu prices of Bavarian Restaurant may leave you with empty pockets if you are not planning on splitting the bill. Portions are large enough to need a to-go box, so you do get your money’s worth. Entrees range from $7.50 to $10.95; Bratwurst from $6.95 to $7.25; and sandwiches from $6.25 to $7.25.

For those on a tighter budget, bring somebody to share any of the specialty-topped schnitzels and a side for $8.95 and a slice of cake for $2.95.

If you are in the mood to try something authentic, Bavarian Restaurant offers a cuisine that is sure to be an experience. Don’t be fooled by the plain exterior and simple means, Bavarian Restaurant brings home-cooked German food to the greater San Antonio area.

Bavarian Restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m Tuesday-Saturday and from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.