Gasthaus blends German classics 
with contemporary favorites
Weissgerber: 'Our goal is to offer what the customer expects'

By Sara Rae Lancaster - Special to The Freeman

March 28, 2013


Weissgerber’s Gasthaus features a variety of Germanic art. 
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – Weissgerber’s Gasthaus has been a prominent part of the Waukesha community for 30 years. But equally important to owners Hans and Lisa Weissgerber is the restaurant’s ability to stay true to its German roots while adjusting to the ever-evolving nature of the foodie world.

“At that time when we opened, we felt very strongly that the tradition and heritage of German food in Milwaukee –specifically in the the western part of the Milwaukee area – was not very well served,” Hans Weissgerber recalled. “So we decided to enter the market here in Waukesha with a solid, strong German restaurant called the Gasthaus.”

Easily recognized by the building’s authentic German architecture and design, the Gasthaus continues to offer its traditional supper club menu and atmosphere longtime patrons have come to expect. Sauerbraten (tender slices of marinated beef served with a gingersnap sauce and sauerkraut, red cabbage and spaetzle and Wiener Schnitzel (thinly sliced Wisconsin veal that is lightly breaded and panfried, and served with spaetzle and red cabbage) still top the list of most commonly ordered menu items.

But that doesn’t mean Weissgerber has been afraid to make a few changes.

“We used to solely have a traditional German menu,” he said. “However, our goal is to offer what the customer expects, and today they expect a different type of fare that is more diverse and more simplified.”

To cater to the tastes of all restaurant patrons, from the couple looking to recreate a dining experience they once had in Germany to the businessperson entertaining a client, newer menu items like Veal Ramona (Wiener Schnitzel and crab cake topped with a champagne hollandaise sauce and served with lemon polenta and sautéed spinach) and the stuffed pork chop (a thick center cut 12-ounce rib chop filled with sausage stuffing and served with mashed potatoes and the house vegetable) or Gasthaus Nudeln (a vegetarian option featuring asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash and sun-dried tomatoes tossed with wide pappardelle noodles and sherry cream sauce) pay tribute to the current food trends without sacrificing the Gasthaus’ German roots. In addition to paying attention to the changes in the types of dishes customers want, Weissgerber also tunes into customers’ changing choice of dining environment.

“Many people enjoy eating at a more casual environment, and our bar and lounge area is now a pleasant place to eat at,” Weissgerber said.

Weissgerber’s Gasthaus features a variety of Germanic art. 
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

The bar and lounge area comes with its own menu that reflects popular pub grub infused with traditional German flavors.

The haus sausage selections is a popular choice among those who chose to eat in the bar and lounge area. Meat-hungry guests can choose from an assortment of authentic German sausages: bockwurst, smoked brat, Bavarian brat, currywurst and knackwurst, each served with warm German potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage, Dusseldorf mustard and rye bread.

“We also offer a good variety of sandwiches,” Weissgerber added. “We have a great BLT, but with a little Gasthaus touch.”

Toasted whole grain bread, crisp bacon, Havarti cheese, butter lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise make the Gasthaus BLT a sought-after specialty, in addition to the Alpine pizza (featuring toppings of sauerkraut, bacon, Emmethal and goat cheese, sautéed onion and sliced sausages), the smoked salmon sandwich (North Sea lox on blended cream cheese, red onion, tomato and capers on rye) and “Braumeister’s Goulash,” (a savory country-style beef goulash with spaetzle). And, yes, chewy, salty, traditional Bavarian pretzels are also available to accompany any one of the German and Wisconsin seasonal beers on tap.

After 30 years of providing Waukesha County with authentic German fare, the Gasthaus is ready to prove it’s more than just a taste of Germany.

Said Weissgerber, “We are a destination restaurant and a family restaurant. We are a supper club and a casual dining restaurant. We are the place that every businessman can eat at and a place that every person in the community can eat at.”

 

Weissgerber's Gasthaus
2720 N. Grandview Blvd
Waukesha, WI 53188
544-4460
http://www.weissgerbers.com/gasthaus/

 

Bavarian Bean Soup
From Weissgerber’s Gasthaus

STOCK:

1/2 box smoked pork hocks

2 lb. pork base

1 lb. ham base

8 onions, coarsely chopped

2 bunches of celery, coarsely chopped

12 carrots, coarsely chopped

8 parsnips, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup coarse black pepper

1/2 cup fresh garlic

1/2 cup paprika

8 bay leaves

2 bunches parsley

Put everything into largest heavy bottom stock pot. Fill to 6 inches below stock pot rim. Let simmer 3 to 4 hours.

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS:

1 box small white beans, soak overnight

1 1/2 gallons diced carrots

1 1/2 gallons diced celery

1 1/2 gallons diced onion

1 gallon chopped and washed leeks

1 gallon diced parsnip
 

TO MAKE SOUP:

Strain stock through a large-hole strainer, pull out pieces of pork hocks. Strain 1/2 of the stock again through a fine mesh strainer into a smaller pot. Add half of the small white beans. Boil until tender (if stock was reduced too much add 2 gallons of water.)

Strain remaining half of stock back into a large pot. Add the remaining half of small white beans. Boil until tender.

Saute all vegetables on flat top grill with salad oil, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

Once beans are done in the large pot, remove beans with a banjo strainer. Set them with the sauted vegetables.

Using about 1/2 gallon of roux, thicken large pot of stock until it reaches the consistency of a nice sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, making sure none of the roux balls. Return all of the beans to the pot. Add the the other pot of stock, diced ham hocks and all the vegetables. Bring to a simmer. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes; remove from heat.

(Note: Recipe is in industrial proportions. For household use, reduce as desired.)