Saturday, November 19, 2011

New German Restaurant in Portland

Husband and wife duo Herr Herr and Steffi Shulte opened a new restaurant called Shulte & Herr at 349 Cumberland Ave.  It is a welcome addition to the upscale restaurant-rich, but European restaurant-poor city.
Serving breakfast and lunch they offer a nice variety  of authentic German cuisine.  The menu is not overly long which makes choosing easier and selections are explained so no prior experience with German is necessary.  Steffi waits tables and is at once your friend with exuberance for what she serves.  She even spent time with me thumbing through one of her favorite picture-laden cookbooks from the late 60's pointing out her favorite scenes.  Herr is the cook and bakes their own bread providing that extra touch of home cooking.

On my first visit I ordered the Bergmannkiez, named after a neighborhood in Berlin where Steffi is from.  The plate arrived with a colorful array of meats, cheeses, fruit and a homemade jam.  Immediately recognizable was Spanish Serrano ham and  chorrizo alongside a couple other cold cuts pared with a big slice of brie and parmigiano-reggiano cheese.  The plate was served with a  nice sized basket of breads and toast.  The coffee is strong and is the perfect accompaniment to the standout flavors of the plate.

The lunch menu offers traditional German bratwurst, sauerkraut, beer-braised beef and gulash.  Also on the lunch menu (I haven't tried lunch yet) is sauteed spaetzle, a type of egg noodle with caramelized onions, emmentaler cheese and chives.

The potato pancakes I ordered this morning were cooked to golden brown served with house-cured lox, horseradish sauce, capers and cornichon pickle.  I particularly like that the breakfast is not so protein-heavy as American breakfasts so often are.  To my surprise I even had room (barely) for a portion of apple strudel.  I scooped the added whipped cream into my coffee and enjoyed the combo while pursuing one of the German cookbooks available to patrons on a shelf.

The cozy atmosphere has only 7 tables which gives a feel of intimacy and Steffi has placed framed photographs of her childhood on the walls, one of which is of her mother as a child. Dishes range in price from $5 to $12 and if you have room for dessert, you may regret it, but you will leave well satisfied.

Breakfast and lunch at Shulte & Herr is served Tuesday through Saturday from 8 AM to 3 PM and brunch on Sundays during the same hours.