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The Hotel-Gastof Andreas Hoessl and restaurant Zum Stich'n at Grafenwoehr, Germany on July 6, 2020. It's located in central Grafenwoehr, not far from the U.S. Army training base.
The Hotel-Gastof Andreas Hoessl and restaurant Zum Stich'n at Grafenwoehr, Germany on July 6, 2020. It's located in central Grafenwoehr, not far from the U.S. Army training base. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes)
The Hotel-Gastof Andreas Hoessl and restaurant Zum Stich'n at Grafenwoehr, Germany on July 6, 2020. It's located in central Grafenwoehr, not far from the U.S. Army training base.
The Hotel-Gastof Andreas Hoessl and restaurant Zum Stich'n at Grafenwoehr, Germany on July 6, 2020. It's located in central Grafenwoehr, not far from the U.S. Army training base. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes)
Zum Stich'n in Grafenwoehr, Germany, as seen May 22, 2020. The restaurant is offering outdoor seating only.
Zum Stich'n in Grafenwoehr, Germany, as seen May 22, 2020. The restaurant is offering outdoor seating only. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes)
At the restaurant Zum Stich'n, there is a fountain with plants that makes for a pleasant dining experience in Grafenwoehr, Germany.
At the restaurant Zum Stich'n, there is a fountain with plants that makes for a pleasant dining experience in Grafenwoehr, Germany. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes)
The spaetzle with cheese and onions served with a salad at the restaurant Zum Stich'n in Grafenwoehr, Germany on May 22, 2020.
The spaetzle with cheese and onions served with a salad at the restaurant Zum Stich'n in Grafenwoehr, Germany on May 22, 2020. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes)
A Kulmbacher pilsner is on its way down at the restaurant Zum Stich?n in Grafenwoehr, Germany on May 22, 2020.
A Kulmbacher pilsner is on its way down at the restaurant Zum Stich?n in Grafenwoehr, Germany on May 22, 2020. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes)

For a small-town restaurant, Zum Stich’n has a lot to live up to.

It’s one of a handful of places to eat in Grafenwoehr, a rural town of about 6,000 people about an hour from Nuremberg.

Grafenwoehr is also just outside the gates of the U.S. Army’s largest training area in Europe, where thousands of soldiers and their families arrive in the country each summer for the start of their three-year tours. For many, Zum Stich’n will form their first impression of German food.

Fortunately, it should be a pretty good one.

Patrons at the restaurant and beer garden, which is part of the Hotel-Gasthof Andreas Hoessl, must sit outside and wear a mask over their mouth and nose until they’re seated. When the weather is remotely acceptable, Germans often prefer to eat outside anyway, even without a virus to a worry about. So for the newcomers, the experience will remain an authentic one.

I usually opt for the table in front of the fountain in the middle, because it’s pleasant and there’s a breeze on a warm day.

My favorite meal is the spaetzle with cheese and onions — if you’ve never had it, think German-style mac and cheese, but with egg noodles and more flavorful cheese. It’s served with a salad that goes nicely with a Kulmbacher pilsner, which is a pretty good example of Bavaria’s high standard for beer. The beer garden has a few other pilsners and a radler, which is a low-alcohol mix of lemonade and beer.

Some other good options include a cheese platter with crackers for an appetizer and the bratwurst pfannerl, which is grilled Nuremberg sausages on sauerkraut with potatoes and horseradish. Nuremberg’s bratwurst, unlike the more common styles, comes as small, smoky links. They’re enjoyed at festivals throughout the country.

For those in a rush or who would rather skip eating out, Zum Stich’n also offers takeout, like many German restaurants that have adjusted to coronavirus reality. Their food makes a nice alternative to the usual takeout pizza and allows you to set up your own little homestyle beer garden at the end of a long day.

johnson.manny@stripes.com Twitter: Manny_Stripes

Address: Neue Amberger Str. 27, 92655 Grafenwoehr

Hours: From April – October, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., closed Wednesday. Hot dishes are available from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Prices: Between $5 and $20

Menu: English, German

Phone: +49 09641 92270

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