Dining Out, Wining & Dining

The Village Brauhaus – The Premier Place for Post Oktoberfest Feasting

By the Gastronomes

The Village Brauhaus – The Premier Place for Post Oktoberfest Feasting

If you read our newest column, Let’s Get Crafty, in the September issue you probably already have a pretty good idea of what Oktoberfest is. However, as a recap, it is tagged as the world’s largest Volksfest (folk festival). It is a 16-18 day festival running from mid-or late September to the first Sunday in October with more than six million people from around the world attending the event every year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

Here in Old Town Alexandria we have our own Oktoberfest headquarters at 710 King Street. The Village Brauhaus was opened three years ago by Bill and Chelsea Gross and it has been a hit since day one. Located at the east end of the block, Brauhaus is surrounded by Nando’s Peri Peri, Signature Thai, King’s Ransom, Five Guys, Pita House, Magnolias Restaurant, Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub and the Light Horse Restaurant. The 700 Block – on its own – is a dining mecca.

During the middle of Oktoberfest, we thought it a good time to visit Brauhaus and have dinner and join in the celebration. The physical area of the restaurant is actually the combination of two former popular restaurants that occupied the space several years ago. The result was a huge space with accommodations for large groups as well as secluded hideaways like the Paulaner Bar on the second floor.

On this Monday night the place was very busy because of Oktoberfest, so we opted for a table in the bar area for our dinner. After ordering two small (16 0z) drafts of German beer we decided to start with the Giant Bavarian Pretzel. When they say GIANT, they are not kidding. The pretzel is at least an inch in diameter and big enough that it covered the dinner plate it was served on. It is served with house made warm Bavarian cheese, paired with sweet & spicy mustards. This thing was delicious! A great start to a meal or accompaniment to the array of German beers, or great entertainment and treat for the kids.

Village Brauhaus is everything German/Bavarian. Their starters include but aren’t limited to Frikadellen (meat balls), Potato Pancakes, Goulash Soup and a choice of salads. Their Flammkuchen (German flatbread) choices are Bacon & Onion, BBQ Sauce, Mushroom & Onion. Because of the Pretzel, we passed on these.

When I think of German food I think of sausage…particularly bratwurst for me. Germany’s traditional beef & pork sausage being grilled outside is what we all remember after a day of skiing. There are eight selections of sausages on the menu under the heading of Get to Know Your Wursts. My dining partner is of German descent and went with her standby as well….the ‘brat. She opted to order it grilled extra crisp and served in a soft pretzel roll accompanied by bacon and mustard. It is served with curry ketchup and their signature roasted garlic Parmesan fries but she substituted the creamy cucumber and onion salad that was offered that evening. At a price tag of $14, the “Wurst on a Roll” is a great value.

In addition to the various Schnitzels, the menu offers ten other entrees. I asked for the Schweinehax’n. It was as advertised…crispy roasted pork shank on a bed of their house braised sauerkraut drizzled with pork glaze. This dish was fantastic. The shank was crispy yet very tender when I cut into the meat. What really impressed me was how well the sauerkraut and pork glaze complimented the shank. The two together were perfect but each could stand alone.

There are items on the menu for the vegetarians in your midst and several choices for the kinder aka kids in your realm as well as dishes that are gluten free. In this day and age, it is getting more and more difficult to have something to appease the many dietary requirements that are out there these days.

Although we initially set half of the pretzel aside while anticipating our entrees, we realized that we had sort of subconsciously munched through the other half during the course of the evening. Yes, it is that good! The thought of dessert waned as we realized that we both had leftovers to enjoy the next day but the dessert menu here is pretty extensive. The next time we are there, the berry pretzel bread pudding and the warm apple crumb cake are on the bucket list. My partner did, however, feel obligated to order a shot of Jagermeister to celebrate a good meal. She told me that the last time she had “Jager” was in another life in Utah at a Slavic festival in the early 1990’s. Not to be outdone, I ordered something from my southern heritage, equally obnoxious Southern Comfort. Have to admit, it tasted pretty good.

I have to make a point compliment the staff on the floor that night. As we have all read, pretty much all restaurants are understaffed. I don’t know if Brauhaus is understaffed or not…I do know that the people on the floor were moving at warp speed and never missed a beat in their assigned duties. The General Manager was even doing his turn at waiting tables and covering when needed. We were very impressed!

If you get a chance, or better yet…make it a mission…make a trip the Alexandria’s premier German restaurant. By the time this issue hits the streets Oktoberfest will be drawing to a close (ends October 3). Do not worry…the atmosphere is always festive at Village Brauhaus. In fact, moving a little slower may be better. Additionally, check out their ad in this and future issues for events and entertainment throughout the year.


Mon thru Fri – 11 am – 12 am

Sat & Sun – 10 am – 12 am

Sunday Brunch – 10 am – 2 pm

Live Music Fri & Sat 8:30 pm

Pub Poll Trivia on Thursdays 7:30 pm

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