Guthausmühle is full of homemade German food
January 8, 2009
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — At the end of World War II, Russian soldiers marched through Fritz Edinger’s farm. They slaughtered the cows and smashed the plow. In the garden, they munched on the daffodils and tulip bulbs.
"It seemed to be a delicacy for them," Edinger recalled in a speech about the 50th anniversary of Guthausmühle, his family’s restaurant that they later opened on the farm land.
Before leaving, the Russian troops set the barn ablaze. Everything burned to the ground, except for a small portion of the farmhouse. It would become the main dining room of Guthausmühle.
American soldiers soon replaced the Russians, and the most damage they did, Edinger remembered, was to leave gum stuck to the underside of the tables and chairs. He recalled the ambience of the restaurant when the Americans first arrived: "Beer, wine and coke flowed like water," he said, "and the rooms were filled with smoke."
It has since been more than a half century, but American soldiers can still taste schnitzel for the first time at Edinger’s restaurant.
"It is always a great pleasure if we have an American visitor," said Friedel Edinger, who married Fritz in 1962 and still runs the inn and restaurant.
During the past 50 years, they have fed colonels and generals. They have had offers to visit many parts of the United States; a set of bullhorns hangs over the bar, a gift from a captain who had a Texas ranch. Even Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a guest.
Except for the prices — a full menu of schnitzel and a half-liter of beer was $1 in 1950 — things have not changed much at the small restaurant at the edge of Baumholder.
They serve several types of schnitzel, from the common veal to a gypsy schnitzel, which contains pork and is smothered in red gravy. The home fries are golden, and they also cook up several cuts of steak.
"They are perfectly done," said Bernd Mai, a German spokesman for U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder.
He has been eating at Guthausmühle, or the Edinger Haus, as it is more commonly called, since he was a kid. He always recommends it to people as a place to have lunch on weekend afternoons when most restaurants are closed.
"A lot of people don’t know about it anymore," he said. "I go there if I want to have homemade food."
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Tuesday.
Drinks: Beer, wine and spirits
Prices: Schnitzel is about 8 to 10 euros for a full plate with home fries and a salad. Steaks are about 12 to 14 euros.
Clientele: Soldiers and Baumholder locals
English menus: No, but Friedel Edinger is happy to help
Directions: Take Ringstrasse to L169; turn on L169; follow signs to Guthausmühle
Phone number: 06783-2219