Dark stained wood, exposed stone, and stuffed deer heads give the Gerst Haus a definitively German feel (of course the Oom-pah music doesn't hurt either). Set just across the river from the main part of Nashville, Gerst Haus bar and restaurant was an unexpected find on today's hunger-induced wanderings. Even more surprising, we were just in time for happy hour! Any one of the four half-priced appetizers would have been more than enough to fill us up (even sharing), but we got three.
If you're unfamiliar with German food (though it does strongly influence quite a bit of American cuisine), the Sausage Sampler is a great place to start (11.99 normally, our price 6.00). It comes with a selection of four German sausages (long, thick slices of bratwurst, smoked mett ring, berliner mett, and kielbase, the winner). The plate also includes rye bread, horseradish, German potato salad, and a hefty scoop of sweet and spicy sauerkraut (on the side). The Munich Cheese Dip, a mixture of cheese, salsa, and ground beef, came across more Mexican then German, but was tasty in a pub food, Super Bowl party kind of way (7.99, our price 4.00). Our favorite of the day, however, was definitely the Gerst Bavarian Pizza. This strange appetizer consisted of two big slices of rye bread topped with pizza sauce, kielbase, and Swiss and cheddar cheeses and is baked until the cheese is brown. (Mommy!) We couldn't finish half the food we got, but with this incredible bargain and a belly full of hearty, strangely familiar German food, who can complain? With an ample menu of choices like Beef Stroganoff, Goulash, and Quail, any diner can find a hearty new favorite. And, yes, they have hamburgers and roast chicken for the less adventurous in your party.
Couldn't manage dessert this time around, but with Bavarian Apfel Strudel and the Flourless Chocolate Cake on the menu, you'll want to share dinner and save room! Write me and tell me how the desserts were at Gerst Haus. I'll be so jealous!