ZAGAT (24 Food, 20 Decor, 22 Service):
“Tasty”, “traditional” German grub washed down with “huge steins” of beer keeps this 40-year-old Glendale “throwback” going, even if the food – and the crowd – is “a little heavy”; “dirndl”-clad waitresses, “old-world” decor and a “gemütlich” vibe make it a hit with grown-ups and a “hoot” for younger folk.
Food TV Network's "Dining Around" and "The Best Thing I Ever Ate"
New York Times:
"With its walls bedecked in kitschy figurines, its waitresses in dirndls and a menu of schnitzels and wursts, this old-fashioned German restaurant is a Disney theme site — all that's missing is the oom-pah music. But the food is not as heavy as you might imagine. Appetizers like herring salad dressed with a sweet-and-sour vinegar sauce and smoked trout with horseradish sauce are practically refreshing, while main courses like sauerbraten, schnitzel and smoked pork chops are all enticing."
New York Magazine:
"Leafy, crypt-quiet Glendale may be in the heart of Queens' "Cemetery Belt," but there’s no shortage of life inside this rollicking neighborhood restaurant. Credit in part goes to the rosy-cheeked and thickly accented bartenders, who pour stein after stein of foamy pilsners and glasses of sweet liebfraumilch wine to a cheerfully expectant crowd of locals and German natives. Adjacent to the slim bar area is a Disneyesque dining room decked with Bavarian kitsch and crowned by a comically massive stuffed moose head, which presides over the festive scene with Bullwinklish aplomb. The menu is loaded with unabashedly hearty options like steak tartar, jaegerschnitzel, a lightly breaded veal cutlet that's smothered in a thick "hunter sauce" of mushrooms and spices, and a heaping plate of mouth-puckering sauerbraten, which unleashes the kind of sweet-and-sour symphony more often associated with Chinese takeout. Among the lighter options are a smoked and superlatively moist brook trout coupled with horseradish sauce, and a selection of whitefish and pickled vegetable platters, all of which can easily stand up to a tall glass of Hacker-Pschorr or Warsteiner beer."
"An overlooked tradition, or "law," adhered to by many Zum Stammtisch customers is that no woman may refuse her man at least one weekly venture to the Stammtisch. Well, after one sojourn to the Stammtisch, I told my boyfriend that he’d be the one refusing me.
The Stammtisch is a long lived tradition in Germany, almost approaching the status of an institution. The word “Stammtisch” comes from “Tisch,” meaning table, and “Stamm,” meaning a tribe, race or family. Combine the two and you get “regular” or “family” table.
This is exactly what we found when we entered the Stammtisch – a cozy, cottage-like family restaurant with sloping, peaking ceilings, authentic German artifacts, German-speaking staff and costumed waitresses.
We started with two beers from the Stammtisch’s extensive draft and bottle menu. I ordered a Spaten Oktoberfest (the most ethnic sounding beer on the list) while my guest, a light beer fan, went with a Spaten light. Both were served in foot-long glasses that really gave two for one.
After a nice loaf of piping hot German rye, we moved on to the appetizers. I sampled the “house specialty” – a cup of hot goulash soup ($2.75.) Spicy, hot and laden with meat, it was certainly the heartiest soup I’ve ever tasted. My guest favored her cup of split pea with ham ($2.50.)
Then came the entrees. The Stammtisch staff convinced me to try their “most popular item” – a lightly breaded veal cutlet known as Jagerschitzel ($15.95). It was delicious. The thick, well-seasoned hunter sauce had a rich flavor, and no bite was without a mushroom.
My guest tried the broiled salmon steak, cut to order and served with home fries ($15.95). She was in heaven. The fish was fresh and of generous portion, and the accompanying home fries were refreshingly light and fluffy. We also enjoyed two side platters of creamed spinach.
After all that hot food, we needed to cool off. I ordered the Eis Bear – vanilla ice cream topped with Barenjager liquor and a slice of orange ($6.50), while my guest tried the chocolate with Eier liquor ($6.50). Simultaneously sweet and exotic, dessert was Zum Stammtisch in a bowl."
Time Out Magazine:
"Manhattanites craving the best wurst will need to head to Zum Stammtisch."
"As any good German establishment, there wasn't a shortage of beer, and Zum has a healthy sampling of barrel, wheat, imported, domestic and even non-alcoholic beers. Dan and I chose a few selections from their barrel, including the Hofbrauhaus light and dark beer and the Warsteiner Pilsner. All of these were hearty, refreshing and very flavorful, reminding us of the good quality beer we're used to drinking in Europe. Needless to say, they taste even better in Zum's signature steins..."
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