Review: Juergen’s Bakery and Restaurant

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Ethnic, Food Porn, Restaurant Review

Since my husband is working from home today, we decided to go out together for a late lunch – it was almost 2:30 before we even made the decision, so most lunch spots were out of the question because they stopped lunch service at 2. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I suggested Juergen’s. After all, it was one of the places that is on my short list to try asap, plus they didn’t close down between lunch and dinner? Bonus.

When we got there, it was fairly dead, so finding parking on the street right in front of the place was a breeze. Since the restaurant was pretty much empty, she directed us to seat ourselves, and we found a nice little two-top table by a window. She let us know that they were out of schnitzel, and only had goulash sauerbraten, and gave us a few minutes to peruse the menu (just an FYI: this is an older menu, some of the prices have increased since then).

All lunch entrees come with a basket of their bread, so she brought out a overflowing (quite generous for two people, actually) basket of assorted breads, including brotchen (rolls), mischbrot (my favorite!), a multi-grain bread with nuts and dried cherries, some butter, and some of their homemade raspberry jam. Yum. I could have munched on bread all day. It was very reminiscent of the breads that Oma (my great-grandmother) bought when I was younger, or ones that she would make herself at home.

juergensbread

Since they were out of some of the items (and since it was pretty quiet at that time in the afternoon), the waitress (who also does the cooking as well, I think) was kind enough to allow my husband to order a Kraut Omelette ($6.50), which they usually stop making at noon. It was huge and filling and an amazing combination of flavor – it was stuffed with swiss cheese and sauerkraut and bratwurst. It came with a couple slices of canteloupe, which I think is a good thing. As it was, my husband couldn’t finish it in one sitting.

juergenskrautomelete

I went for something more traditional, their Goulash Sauerbraten ($11.75), which is a flavorful, sweet and tangy gravy over their tender chunks of beef, served with a bread dumpling. This is pure comfort food for me, and the most authentic I’ve been able to find in Columbus to date. If I didn’t know any better, I could close my eyes and swear I was back in Oma’s kitchen. On tasting it, I knew exactly how they made it, as it is the same recipe my family uses.

juergenssauerbraten

I also got a side order of spaetzle ($2.50) to soak up the extra gravy. Their spaetzle are easily the best in Columbus – substantial dumplings that they pan fry to give them a bit of nuttiness and crisp.

juergensspaetzle

The Sauerbraten also came with their red cabbage, which was a bit sweet for my tastes – next time around, I’ll know to substitute the spaetzle for the cabbage to make the dish exactly how I want it to be.

juergensredcabbage

Stuffed to bursting and already at the point where we were boxing up half of our meals, we also stopped at the bakery counter to get a few pastries for later.

This is a little gem of a place, right in the middle of German Village. If you find yourself out that way, walking or driving by the place, take a few minutes to stop in, either for a pastry and coffee or an entire meal. And on your way out, check out their German deli area, which carries a lot of German deli meats I usually have to drive back to New Jersey to get.

If you’d like to go: Juergen’s Bakery & Restaurant, 525 S. 4th St, Columbus (German Village). 614.224.6858.

Update 6/8/08: I’m going to have to rescind my recommendation of Juergen’s, as the quality of food/service has gone way downhill. Our wait for food was LOOOONG (hard to believe as it was just us and one other couple in the restaurant), I ordered gulaschsuppe with bread dumplings and spaetzle, but they were out of bread dumplings (at noon), so I ordered a double order of spaetzle. I got my gulaschsuppe after 20 or so minutes, and then it was another 20 minutes later that I got my first order of spaetzle, then another 10 or so minutes until I got my second). By this time, my gulaschsuppe was cold as could be. My husband got the sauerbraten and was in the same boat, also ordered a double order of spaetzle, and got maybe 1 cup total (should have been more like 2 cups), and was told what he got (a single order, I’ve ordered that dish before) was a double order. Our server didn’t refill water, they didn’t have the AC on during a 90+ degree day (it was sweltering in there), the whipped cream for our apple pancakes was rancid, and it was just horrible all around. We left there with a $30+ bill feeling extremely ripped off. When we approached them about the issues, they shrugged them off and didn’t seem to care. You all know that I usually give restaurants the benefit of the doubt, but given how abysmal this last visit was, I *won’t* be returning, ever. I love German food, but the dreck I received yesterday was baaad.

Juergen's German Bakery on Urbanspoon

14 Responses to “Review: Juergen’s Bakery and Restaurant”

  1. Meredith Says:

    They also serve the most traditional european breakfast in COlumbus. An excellent find!

  2. Meredith Says:

    They also serve the most traditional european breakfast in COlumbus. An excellent find!

  3. Meredith Says:

    They also serve the most traditional european breakfast in COlumbus. An excellent find!

  4. Meredith Says:

    And apparently, I don’t know how to leave a comment. Sorry for the duplicity!

  5. Jeff Says:

    This place is great, be sure and check her stand out at the German Village Oktoberfest this weekend! I’m a resident of GV and tried Thurns based on your recommendation, their products are excellent.

  6. Graham Says:

    How disappointing. I’ve made a habit of visiting Juergen’s every couple of weeks for some of her Mischbrot (which I freeze and toast for breakfast in the morning), and I usually pick up some desserts while I’m there.

    We’ve eaten meals there twice. The first time, I got the Sauerbraten, which was delicious, but the portions were pretty small. The second time, I again ordered the Sauerbraten, but was told they were out, so I got a Naturschnitzel instead. It was okay… not wonderful, though.

    The last loaf of bread I bought actually had a piece of plastic embedded in it (looks like it might have come off a mixer or something), but was otherwise fine. I’ll probably continue to visit for the bread (because bread I make at home just isn’t the same), but I have to admit to being a little wary of some of the rest of the food. It looks like she never has any business, so I wonder how long some of the stuff there sits around. (Both times we ate there, we were the only diners.)

    My grandmother’s background was German, too, and I miss her cooking, so this is really disappointing. Whenever I make Sauerbraten at home… well, I just don’t get it quite right.

    I have to wonder if it’s getting a bit much for the owner to keep up. And I really don’t know how they make any money, but I would think they’d have to get some business, since the place has been open since the ’60s, hasn’t it?

  7. earlene wandrey Says:

    i been in germany often,and i know.This is the closes you can get,i seen the place busy often,yes it has been there since the 60s,a little,gemuetlichkeit

  8. David Says:

    Why does one bad experience trump your prior good experience? Why not explain your good experience and your bad experience and then let dinners decide on their own? Not recommending this place is a shame and makes me question your other reviews.

  9. columbusfoodie Says:

    It trumps my prior good experience because of the way the bad experience was handled when we approached them with the issues – any restaurant can have an off day, but the good restaurants will address whatever was off about the meal when approached with the problems, and fix the issues, either by taking the bad (sent back because it was rancid) item off the bill, or apologizing, or something. I have left both experiences (bad and good) up on the review, and as with any of my reviews, let the reader decide for themselves. I've simply said that I no longer can recommend it, and won't be returning myself (and haven't, in the 2 years since our last visit).

  10. displacedheimat Says:

    Nevermind the less-than-enticing restaurant inspection reports that you can read online. The first time we went, it was delicious. The second time, it was unreasonably hot in the establishment, and a couple of things didn't taste quite right. My friend said his Jägerschnitzel tasted as if it had been soaked in dishwater. Our second experience, in combination with the inspection reports and several other less-than-stellar reviews have kept us away from the place for about two years as well.

  11. Bill Says:

    Ate there on Saturday April 24, 2010 arrived around 11 AM. We were out of town visitors with no prior knowlege of restaurant. I had a sauerkraut omelette and my friend had the spinach omelette. Service was slow, but food was very good and served hot. Welcome greeting was luke warm at best but gradually warmed. Bakery items lQQked delicious. I would go again.

  12. Janie Blank Says:

    We eat at Juergens several times a year and have never been disappointed. Have taken friends we have traveled with in Germany and they loved it. It is very authentic. And sometimes authentic in Germany might include some of the things foodie complained about such as not comping a meal or bringing out a meal when it is ready even if the other meal is not. Very typically European. Btw we were just there last week and the German Christmas cookies are delicious.

  13. columbusfoodie Says:

    My German grandmother would never serve something that was burnt, rancid, cold, small portions (especially of things that don't cost much to make, like spaetzle) or keep her diners waiting for unreasonable amounts of time to eat. And, if something were to slip past her keen eyes, if she were approached about something not being up to par, she would be mortified, and at least offer an apology. What we were asking for (an apology, and the item which was not eaten because it was rancid taken off the bill) wasn't an unreasonable expectation. Frankly, if it weren't for the bakery, I'm guessing the restaurant portion would have gone under ages ago. It's obvious that their attention is primarily on the bakery, and the restaurant is an afterthought.

    Authentic in Germany is not service that is cold and impersonal. I grew up with the sense of German hospitality instilled in me (how could I not, with my Oma teaching me everything I knew as a child about cooking?) – German hospitality means you greet your diners warmly, make them comfortable, cook the best and most hearty food you can, and then feed your diners until they can eat no more.

    I don't know what passes for hospitality in Europe these days, but if it's anything like you describe, then I weep for the lost art of pleasure (coming from seeing your customers happy, laughing, and full) over profit.

  14. Lyndsie Says:

    My husband is German, born and raised there, we live in German Village. He refuses to go to Jeurgen's because the past two times we have purchased bread there, it has been stale. He communicated this to the owner, IN GERMAN, and she told him the bread was always baked fresh and insisted that he was wrong. So we bought a few more loaves. It was again stale when we got it home. We have also eaten there in November 2010 and it was okay. It wasn't anything to write home about, and it was expensive. Also the restaurant just seems dirty and unkempt. I will not go there again and I certainly will never buy bread or baked good from there.

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