Please see updated 2009 post.
200 E. Third St.
Newport’s Hofbrauhaus is certainly a fantastic choice if you like beer. They brew everything in-house and offer a choice of light lager, premium lager, tasty weizen and a delicious dunkel, plus a fifth seasonal special that changes each month. Their Bier Garden is wildly popular, as are the massive litre steins being hoisted about in the Bier Hall as patrons sing along with the traditional German polka bands.
As you would expect from an authentic German restaurant, the menu is heavy on schnitzels, wursts, and other assorted meat-based fare. Normally this would put me off of even wanting to visit, but the lure of good beer is a strong motivator.
My husband and I have been to Hofbrauhaus numerous times, as we live within staggering distance of their front door. We have taken countless friends, family, and out of town guests with us to experience the jovial atmosphere, good food and excellent beer.
On every past occasion I have been able to order their tried and trusted Garden Veggie Burger sandwich platter, which, while not the most exciting of vegetarian options, was a vegetarian option nonetheless. While those around me enjoyed their sauerbraten and jagerschnitzel, I at least had something I could enjoy too…at least until our most recent visit last week, when we discovered a revamped menu that no longer includes the Garden Veggie Burger.
I realize that vegetarians are a minority to the restaurant world, and I can understand Hofbrauhaus’s reluctance to cater to a small percentage of the population, but it was greatly appreciated by those of us in that minority- especially when that minority wanted something solid in the stomach before imbibing a litre of Munchen Weisen. A salad just isn’t going to cut it.
However, apart from a side salad and a couple of starters there is very little to keep a vegetarian happy, filled litre steins aside. Now don’t get me wrong, those pretzels with bier cheese are pretty much the chippity-chomp, and in a pinch they can be used to cushion the intake of seasonal Prince Ludwig Oktoberfest special brews, but they aren’t exactly a well balanced meal. We vegetarians are normally quite adept at cobbling together starters to make a meal, but the price of the pretzels, plus the salad and hey, why not throw in some deep fried pickles while we are at it, and suddenly we’ve got a bill doubling that of our companions, who have opted for the schnitzel cordon bleu meal with potatoes and vegetables on the side.
It honestly seems as though vegetarians are being penalized for having to order ala carte items in an attempt to make a meal, when all that could be alleviated with a single vegetarian entrée. The creamy mushrooms with bread dumplings, for instance, or how about the Allgauer Kasepsatzle listed so prominently on the Las Vegas Hofbrauhaus web site? Heck, I’d even settle for the Garden Veggie Burger and fries option that they used to have in Newport.
But until they revamp their recently revamped menu, we are forced to eat elsewhere and visit the Newport Hofbrauhaus only to enjoy a refreshing beverage while taking in the lovely view of the Cincinnati skyline from the Bier Garden.