Located on the Upper East Side, Heidelberg is one of the last German restaurants in Yorkville, reminiscent of the German neighborhood this area used to be. Next to Schaller and Weber, the old school German market, it has kept, some opening in 1936, its rustic and comforting atmosphere, serving a fairly large menu where pork is the star. But no worries: if you are vegetarian, they offer several options like the popular giant pretzel, that I wished was served with a cheese sauce rather than just mustard or the potato pancakes, these crispy thick patties made of grated potato, onion and garlic that are fried, traditionally served with apple sauce. Perfect to share.
For carnivores, if you prefer sausages over schnitzel, check out the sausage platter: made with bratwurst, bauernwurst and weisswurst (the white one in the middle, made with veal and pork back bacon - I admit this was my least favorite, the others being tastier); it is served with potato salad, red cabbage and sauerkraut. Nice sampler, it is quite filling, especially after the pretzel, but gives a nice taste of typical German sausages that I guess they are getting at Schaller and Weber.
Of course, going there, you cannot ignore their large selection of beer that they serve in 3 sizes, small, medium and large (no flight). Preferring dark ales, i went for the Hofbrau Dunkel that has caramel notes and a malty finish.
It’s been a while we wanting to try this place and I am glad we did, not just for the food, but also for the history this place and neighborhood has. I would probably go back whenever I feel like eating German cuisine, unless I go to the few beer gardens in the city that propose a similar fare.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Heidelberg - 1648 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10028