Helmer's is a restaurant located on the Uptown part of Hoboken. Serving authentic German cuisine, it opened in 1936 by the Helmer family who immigrated from Germany. It was then sold in 1940 to the Lueders from Bremerhaven, Germany.
There is definitely a particular atmosphere there, rendered by the decor: high wooden booths, wooden tables and beer steins on top of the bar.
If you are a beer fan, they have a mice selection of Belgian and German beers, served in big beer glasses also used to serve...water.
As I mentioned above, their menu proposes authentic German food, like wurst, Sauerbraten (pot roast) or schnitzel. But they also serve American dishes such as cheeseburgers or NY Sirloin steaks.
After we ordered, they brought us some bread:
There was a pretzel bread as well as one that I guess was pumpernickel bread. This bread was perfect to open our appetite.
They were stuffed with some meat and herbs.
The stuffing was light and tasty, letting the mushrooms be the star.
Then, Jodi ordered the grilled ham and muenster sandwich:
It was like and open face sandwich, composed of Black Forest Ham, melted Meunster Cheese, sliced Jersey Tomatoes, served with French Fries.
I liked it: simple, very comforting, there was a lot of ham and cheese.
On my side, I ordered the Wienershnitzel ala Holstein or veal schnitzel with a fried egg:
I had a choice of sides: sauerkraut, mash potatoes, fries or spaetzle. Spaetzle are egg noodles eaten in Germany, Austria, Alsace - France-, or Switzerland. I found it incredible that they charge you $3 if you order them! I picked sauerkraut and mash potatoes.
Schnitzel is a thin piece of meat that is coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. This dish can be found in many countries, sometimes with their own twist. In Italy, it is called Veal Milanese (if made with veal of course), escalope Viennoise in France or apanados in Colombia.
The Wiener (Veal) Schnitzel was cooked a cheval, meaning with a fried egg on top that had a perfectly runny yolk, giving a breakfast feel to the dish. The meat was tender, with a nice crispiness from the coating. I definitely enjoyed it. However, the sides were just ok: the sauerkraut was very sour and the mash potatoes had too much garlic.
This was a very good lunch that brought us back to our last trip in Germany two years ago and I am sure I will go there for dinner to try some other dishes!
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!