Steve and I headed over to Viener Fest early one Sunday afternoon. We went at an odd hour because the previous week we had tried to have dinner there, but the place was packed and the wait was 45 minutes. Since I was starving that night, we decided to eat somewhere else but vowed to come back. I'm glad we did, because it was the best German meal I've had in Nashville.
When we got there the inside was empty, which made sense on such a pretty day because Viener Fest has a really nice outdoor patio that overlooks Centennial park. Steve and I opted for an outdoor seat to enjoy the sunset.
Since we were hungry we wanted to start with an appetizer. I wanted to try their latkes because I consider myself an expert in the subject. I was truly disappointed when they told me they had a huge party the night before and they were out of latkes. I didn't even know how that could be possible. Could they not shred a few more potatoes? LET ME IN THE KITCHEN. I think as a peace offering they gave us complementary pretzel bites. I'm personally not a big pretzel fan and these didn't blow me away. I did like the mustard sauce that came with them though!
Viener Fest has a pretty decent beer list, but they do have a few German beers with which we were unfamiliar. When we asked our waitress about the beers she seemed a little unfamiliar with them. I always appreciate it when wait staff is knowledgeable about their drink menu. She did go back in to ask the manager for more info on the beer styles, but by the time she came back Steve had done some Googling and decided on a Kostritzer, while I stuck with an old favorite, the New Belgium Trippel with coriander. The Kostritzer was a dark lager that tastes surprisingly light and slightly sweet, like it has a touch of honey. Both of us we happy with our choices. When we were there they didn't have any beers on tap yet, but the staff let us know that the taps should be installed in a few weeks.
If we're at a place called Viener Fest, we are obviously going to order the Schnitzel. Since we couldn't make up our minds, Steve and I decided to order two different schnitzels. This lovely one above is the Holstein Schnitzel made with pork. It's covered in a lemon caper sauce and a fried egg. The egg was perfectly cooked with a nice thick runny yolk, just the way I like it. The lemon caper sauce had a nice tang to it and the meat was perfectly crisp.
The other one we tried was the Rahm Schnitzel, made with pork and covered in a Swiss cheese cream sauce. This was a decadent dish and the sauce was luscious. Gosh, who would have ever guessed I would fall so deeply in love with schnitzel! My only complaint is with the presentation. I feel like the plates were pretty empty and that one slice of lemon hardly counts as a garnish. I think they need to liven it up a bit! Put some German Potato salad on there, some parsley, or even get some brightly colored plates.
Our schnitzel dinner came with a choice of two sides. Steve and I both ordered the spinach spatzle. The spatzle itself was tasty, like gnocci's less attractive older cousin. Although we ordered it with spinach, neither Steve nor I saw much spinach in our dish. Perhaps they gave us the wrong thing, perhaps they don't put much spinach in their spatzle (try saying that 5 times fast). For my other side I had the braised red cabbage and boy was it SWEET. They sure used a lot of sugar! I mean, it was great, but I just couldn't get over thinking of how bad the cabbage was for me. CABBAGE SHOULD BE HEALTHY. Steve had the cucumber salad which was ok but kinda meh.
Overall, we really liked Viener Fest. The outside patio is lovely if you can snag a seat out there. The schnitzel will not disappoint and I'm very excited to come back again when they have some lovely German beers on tap!