Schnitzel Garten Offers True Bavarian Experience
by Ken Levy
From schnitzel to bratwurst to huge pork shanks, authentic German food can be found in just one German restaurant in the Treasure Valley.
Eagle’s Schnitzel Garten serves up genuine—and memorable—traditional and family German recipes. There are no shortcuts to bringing that German home cooking to the table, from buying local whenever possible to mom and daughter Georgine and Stephanie Jeffries serving your dishes in traditional Bavarian dresses known as dirndl.
Partners Courtland Hugues and Elena Filenova—and half of their staff—are native Germans who offer the best of their native home cooking.
“You have to grow up with this food,” Hugues said. “The key to success is that people have an affinity for this food and, for them, this is paradise.”
Paradise comes in many forms, such as the Jager Schnitzel, comprised of a large, thin veal cutlet, gently breaded and fried and topped with a subtle yet flavorful sauce featuring fresh mushrooms. It’s served with Gurkensalat, or cucumber salad, prepared in a sour cream and dill sauce.
Schnitzel also comes in chicken and pork, in several different recipes such as their original, paprika chicken and Bavarian white, which are available for purchase and home grilling.
Hugues, who came to the U.S. from Germany in 2007 with his “life partner” Elena, said he had “a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant” in his native Germany. When he moved here he discovered there was no German restaurant in the Treasure Valley and decided with Elena to make Schnitzel Garten happen.
“There are so many Germans in the valley, you have no idea. I thought it would be good for the community, good for the Germans, good for business to have a German restaurant here,” he said.
Here, they can find more favorites including bratwurst with sauerkraut and German mashed potatoes. All of Schnitzel Garten’s wursts and sausages are made in-house. Other German specialties include seasonal dishes, and there’s plenty of partying at Oktoberfest, with specialty beers, live music, and authentic food served on the dates that coincide with the festival in Munich.
Their Oktoberfest chicken is a rooster served with sides such as warm potato salad or fries with curry ketchup. Hugues said the after-club crowds often stop for currywurst and fries, among other “typical German street food.”
The restaurant offers a beautiful outdoor dining experience in their biergarten, along with weekly live music and catering. They offer rotating varieties of imported German draft beers, from dark Hoffbrau lager to Schenkerla “Smokebeer,” as well as blondes and hefe weizen.
You’ll find Andech’s beer here, “a well- rounded, subtle, unique” brew that’s been around for about 500 years, Hugues said. The Benedictine monks of St. Boniface in Munich and Andechs brew the beer.
They also offer a full bar, with schnapps and other liquors, and a wide selection of wine.
“I love this building and the beer garden,” he said. “The restaurant here is more of a destination, and people really do drive here from all over: Utah, Oregon, east Idaho, Washington…we even had guests who flew in one evening, from California. They all come here, and they all come back. They say this is even better than in Germany.”
Hugues said he and Elena are thinking of expanding to a second location, either downtown or in Meridian.
For more information:
1225 E. Winding Creek Dr.
Hours: Noon-close daily, closed Mondays