I've been looking forward to dining at Rhein Haus. The company took over the old Walker Chevrolet dealership by Wright Park. They've done a nice job on the interior. It does resemble the "hofbrauhaus" (a German beer hall).
I used to belong to the Tacoma Jaycees (Tacoma Junior Chamber of Commerce) years ago. We met at The Bavarian, which served mostly German food. I love a good bratwurst with sauerkraut and sweet pickled red cabbage. Peg's father was in the Air Force and her family was moved back and forth between Tacoma and Europe from the mid forties to the mid sixties. She went to kindergarten France and graduated from high school in Germany. She loves good bread, specifically brotchen und weisswurst. Brotchen is a bread roll (usually hard on the outside and soft in the middle). Weisswurst is made of pork and veal and the best is made only in Munich. We were both disappointed.
I was served a huge bratwurst wrapped in bacon with a large glop of slaw on top. Now, I love bacon, but not that combination. I scraped off the slaw cut off pieces and dipped each bite in sweet hot mustard. I didn't bother with the bun. It didn't look right or feel right.
Peg was served six grayish, long and skinny wursts on a bed of dry kraut. I ate one, she ate one, and four were left on her plate. They were kind of tough. One bite of the kraut was enough. The next morning we went out for breakfast and my breakfast pork sausages at the Floatation Device in Purdy, were better than the wursts at the Rhein Haus.
Rhein Haus makes their own wurst. I'm guessing they're all made in Seattle. Perhaps, Rhein Haus is trying to make wurst more healthy with less fat. But if that was true, then why wrap a wurst with bacon? They don't even attempt to duplicate weisswurst, in fact the waitress didn't even know what we were talking about when we inquired as to what kind of wurst they had.
Peg moved on from her wurst to her salad. She enjoyed it. It contained mixed greens, radish, cucumber, tomato, pretzel croutes, and mustard vinaigrette. It was a little strange having the best item from her German selection vegetarian. She also enjoyed her glass of German wine.
I ordered a root beer, which came from Australia. Australia? I thought it might at least be Thomas Kemper.
In addition to my bratwurst, I ordered a cup of goulash. Usually called Hungarian Goulash, this didn't bother me after all Germany had been allied with the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I. In World War II Germany allied again with lands of the old empire. There used to be a German restaurant in the Freight House Square. They served goulash over spätzle (a kind of pasta/dumpling/noodle), but the taste was more like a Dinty Moore type of beef stew. This goulash was more tomato based and was a little spicy. I really enjoyed it.
Our two friends who joined us for dinner had mixed feelings about their food as well, but Peg and I will try Rhein Haus again. The next time I will have the large portion of goulash and Peg will depend on the salad and German wine . . . with perhaps some apple strudel for dessert.