Along with a group of friends we decided to be adventurous and leave the island to celebrate a birthday in Houston. The birthday girl selected Rudi Lechners German restaurant of Gessner. The first positive thing was the table being ready at the precise time reserved. I find that unusual in restaurants these days. We were promptly seated and taken care of by a great waiter. There were twelve of us in our party so we had a variety of menu items at the table. I started out by ordering kaesespaetzle for an appetizer. Let me tell you it was VERY good. Basically a German version of mac & cheese made with spaetzle and caramelized onions on top. Another appetizer at the table was cabbage rolls that were good. For my entree I selected the Schweinshax'n (Pork Shank). The waiter informed me it could take up to forty minutes for the roasted shank which was not a problem since it is one of my favorite German dishes. It arrived and I could not believe the size of the shank and the perfect roasting. The outer layer of fat was nice and crispy as should be and inside the pork was juicy and tender. If you ever visit it could easily be shared between two people. The plate included sauerkraut and red cabbage with German fried potatoes. A heart healthy meal? No, but it was outstanding.
Another person ordered the stuffed chicken fried steak which is stuffed with swiss cheese and jalapeños. It is not actually German but I tasted it and it was tasty. He devoured it in not time and raved about it. Nice and different from the traditional CFS. Birthday girl had the Wiener (veal) schnitzel and finished the whole thing. On the other hand another person had the beer (pork) schnitzel and was not that pleased. She simply said she has had better. I tried it and found it to be quite tasty. While I am the one known for trying a bit of everything I did not get to sample all twelve entrees at the table but everyone seemed very happy and full after food and German beers.
Making the evening even more fun was the entertainment provided by Alpenfest a German Duo that even played a Swiss alphorn. Everyone in the restaurant seemed to enjoy the music and it was quite lively with a lot of energy. They even did the Chicken Dance which I danced to with the birthday girl.
If looking for something a little different in this area of numerous Mexican, Italian and Asian restaurants I would highly recommend Rudi Lechners for a German style evening.
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