Picture this: a 13 year old Kathaleen, sitting in her foreign language class and hating every minute of it. Furtive glances were shot every few moments to the clock and only enough effort was given to pass the class. So why did I take the class then?
In 7th grade, we were asked to choose between Spanish, German, and French for a 6 week long immersion class that would take place the last half of the year. Everyone was required to pick one. It was thought that by doing so, it would encourage us to sign up for a full year of foreign language in the 8th grade and have a leg up in high school. I thought about doing Spanish but since I grew up surrounded by Hispanic speakers, I wanted to do something different. So I chose German and quickly learned it was the wrong choice for me. By the end of that month and a half, I swore to myself that I would NEVER have anything to do with ANYTHING German for the rest of my life. The next year saw me picking Spanish and embracing my heritage.
Fast forward a BUNCH of years and here I sit – My third Miniature Schnauzer curled up next to me, a 10 year old BMW in the garage, and a husband with German/Prussian ancestry. Get this, he literally bought a pair of lederhosen this summer and with my encouragement too! You know what else? I kind of LOVE German food. Like really love it. Almost as much as I love my tacos. My 13 year old self would be ashamed and disown me.
So why did I tell you this story? Because this love of German food lead me to try Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant in Columbus, OH. Located on the south side of CBus, in German Village, the Schmidt family started the business in 1886. According to their website, J. Fred Schmidt immigrated to the U.S. from Germany and soon started Schmidt’s Meat Packing House which became the leading name with grocery stores everywhere. Over the years, Schmidt’s became a staple in German Village and Columbus. By 1967, the first restaurant was opened and with tried and true family recipes, it’s prospered ever since.
For my part, I’m addicted to the Curry Wurst. It’s served with fries and makes a great lunch or light dinner. The Sauerkraut-Bratwurst Balls and Potato Soup are also must-try selections. If you’re looking for something more satisfying, I’d recommend any of their Schnitzel plates. That’s my husband’s go-to selection, Holstein style. The Saurbraten is next on my list of dishes to sample! Of course, I could eat my weight in the German Potato Salad, Spatzel, and applesauce. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the Cream Puff or Apple Strudel. However, if nothing on the menu tempts your sweet tooth, Schmidt’s Fudge Haus is not but a handful of steps out the restaurant’s front door.
Having been to Amber Rose in Dayton and Hofbrauhaus in both Columbus and Newport Kentucky, I personally like Schmidt’s way better. Prove me wrong! I’m open for debate. Plus, it gives me an excuse to go to The Book Loft of German Village (OMG, I could spend ALL DAY THERE!), The Red Stable, and Stauf’s Coffee Roasters (Mmm, lattes for days).
So if you ever find yourself in Columbus and you’re looking for a great place to eat, check out Schmidt’s! Great food, a cozy atmosphere, and every Wednesday through Saturday night they have live German music.