Loosen your lederhosen

Bavarian World waitress Lise Hawley serves local customer Jerry Mitchell another beer.

Bavarian World waitress Lise Hawley serves local customer Jerry Mitchell another beer.

Photo By David Robert

Bavarian World

595 Valley Rd.
Reno, NV 89512

(775) 323-7646

Have you ever seen that movie Strange Brew? There is a scene during an Oktoberfest in which a flying dog drinks beer, and guys dancing around in lederhosen feed him sausage. I felt like I was in that movie when I walked into Bavarian World. I kept looking for the flying dog.

This place is cool. For 33 years, Bavarian World’s owner, Klaus, has been running the restaurant the same way—he’s keeping it real. I love to see this kind of restaurant, where they pick a theme and stick to it. This place looks like it’s designed for a huge party. When you walk in the front door, the bakery/boutique with the famous Bavarian pretzels sits to the right. To the left is the entrance to the dining room, a private party room and a bar. As I walked past the dining room into the bar area, I saw a big dance floor with a disco ball and a keg-o-rater, surrounded by enough tables to seat more than 150 people—party down! There were some college students practicing their German dance moves for the Friday and Saturday night parties. These guys definitely needed some lederhosen.

After I checked the place out, I sat myself at a table for dinner. I was on a solo mission this time.

There was only one server in the restaurant, which usually adds up to bad news, but this woman was on top of her game. She didn’t talk much, but she efficiently served all five of the occupied tables in a friendly way. I gazed at the large menu for a few minutes, and she brought out my water and freshly baked rye bread with butter. The bread was crusty and tasted fresh.

I ordered the Roll Mops ($5.95) and the sauerbraten ($14.95). The Roll Mops appetizer was two whole pickled herring fillets wrapped around pickles and garnished with thinly sliced onions. I grew up in a family of Norwegian descent, so eating pickled herring is nothing new to me, but if you don’t like whole fish with the skin on it, I’d recommend something else, like the sausage sampler. After I ate the herring, I had the dinner salad. This was romaine lettuce tossed in vinaigrette with pickled green beans, cabbage and cucumbers. There was nothing special about this salad, but it wasn’t bad. The sauerbraten arrived shortly after I ate my salad. This dish was very German. The beef was marinated, roasted, tender and covered with sour cream gravy. Alongside the beef was spaetzle, my favorite part about the dish. Spaetzle is a German pasta, which came with warm red cabbage cooked in vinegar and sugar. Its mild flavor gave balance to the heavy acidic flavors of the cabbage and the gravy.

After I finished my meal, I walked into the bakery to check out what was for dessert. I ordered the Bienenstich ($1.75), which translates to “bee sting” cake. This was a dense cake filled with Bavarian cream and topped with honey and almonds. It was the best part of the meal, and the bakery is the best part of Bavarian World. You can buy whole strudels, plum cakes and many other traditional German pastries, including the pretzels. It’s another world in here.