Expect authentic German dining at Gasthaus Schleppi
June 24, 2016
It doesn’t get much more authentic than Gasthaus Schleppi.
The restaurant, located in the village of Schoenenberg-Kuebelberg, west of Ramstein Air Base, offers straightforward German fare in a pleasant but unadorned setting. On warm days, guests can sit in the beer garden outside. On my family’s recent visit, Schleppi offered unassuming local charm and open-armed hospitality that extended beyond the staff.
Schleppi offers an English-language menu, but the proprietors, present on the evening of our visit, spoke very limited English. In fact, our server looked at me quizzically when I attempted to order an advertised shot of peach alcohol in German, inflected with what I suddenly and self-consciously realized was an overwhelming American accent.
At a loss, the server enlisted the help of a man at the bar, who approached our table smiling and eager to put his promised English skills to the test. I tried again, carefully enunciating both the English word “peach” and its German equivalent, pfirsich, while gesturing to the board on which it was mentioned. The man gave a knowing nod and started to explain to me which two teams were competing in the Euro Cup soccer game showing on the TV next to the board advertising the elusive drink.
Somehow, time and distance helped the server figure out my meaning as she eavesdropped on our struggling conversation from behind the bar. She loudly proclaimed, “Ah, pfirsich likoer!”
My helpful new friend smiled and clapped me on the back at the resolution of the mystery. Then he said “No, thanks,” explaining that peach liquor was too sweet for him and he was only drinking beer. Turns out he was still confused — now he thought I was trying to buy him a drink.
You don’t have these problems at Chili’s, I thought to myself. But you also don’t get these memorable, unexpected experiences.
With the confusion cleared up, my family and I turned to our meals. We each ordered a schnitzel with french fries and a house salad, taking advantage of a Monday evening special that delivered all four of our entrees for 30 euros total. The food was very good, the service friendly and attentive, despite the formidable language barrier.
We finished our schnitzels, watched some more of that soccer game and headed out into the evening. As we left I offered customary good-byes to all of the apparent regulars occupying the bar stools and scattered tables, including my English-speaking friend at the bar. Looking back, I wish I’d bought him a beer.
GASTHAUS SCHLEPPI Address: Saarbrueckerstrasse 80, Schoenenberg-Kuebelberg, Germany. From Kaiserslautern, take Autobahn 6 toward Saarbruecken to the exit for Waldmohr, then follow signs to Schoenenberg-Kuebelberg. Schleppi is on the main street through town.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday. The kitchen serves hot dinner entrees starting at 6 p.m.
Menu: Traditional German classics along with salad, pizza, steak and pasta dishes.
Prices: Full-price entrees are as cheap as 7 or 8 euros ($7.85 to $9) for pizza and pasta, but the salads and schnitzels start at about 10 euros and the meat entrees are upwards of 11 euros. The restaurant offers a few specials: any schnitzel and sides for 7.50 euros on Mondays, all pizzas for 6 euros Wednesdays and steak with sides for 12.50 euros on Thursdaya. Friday through Sunday, children accompanying a full-paying adultveat free from the children’s menu.
Information: See www.schleppi.de or visit Gasthaus Schleppi’s Facebook page for more information. Call for reservations at (+49) (0) 6373-2785.