Monday, May 20, 2013

German Cuisine in East Tennessee

Since we’ve retired and relocated from Chicago down to East Tennessee, we haven’t eaten in some of the more common ethnic restaurants we’d become used to up north...  In this area we have visited Vietnamese, Mexican, French, Indian, Italian, Irish, Cuban, Chinese and Thai restaurants… 

We do have a lot of Mexican restaurants, a few places with French cuisine, a couple of pretty good Thai eateries and more Indian restaurants than we expected.  The only Vietnamese restaurant we’d found has since closed.  There aren’t any Greek restaurants within an hour of where we live…and we’ve only found one Chinese restaurant that we really like.  There are a couple of pan-Asian places that are fairly good. 
Up until now, we haven’t eaten any Korean, Polish or German food since arriving in the area… and we still haven’t found a good Greek restaurant anywhere in East Tennessee…even if we drive for more than an hour from where we live.  We do have a favorite Italian restaurant…and we have another one on our list to try. 
 When Lynne and George suggested that we all go to the only German restaurant in the area, we jumped at the chance!  Our friend Karen joined us for dinner as well.  It didn't hurt that I had a 50% off Groupon Coupon!

This is Restaurant Linderhof, the only German restaurant in the Knoxville area!  It isn’t a large place but it’s cozy and decorated in the fashion that would have befitted a member of ‘over-the-top’ German royalty.  The restaurant terms it as Austro-Hungarian décor…

For some reason, we didn’t capture a photo of the outside of the restaurant...and I couldn't find one on-line.  It is located in a strip shopping center which is partly vacant…but it is in a very nice neighborhood.  You can see Lynne, Karen, myself and George in the left-hand side of Laurie’s photo.

Restaurant Linderhof isn’t a huge place but it is a little larger than it first appears when you come through the front door.  These pictures were taken a little before 6 PM on a weeknight…and by 7 PM, Linderhof was quite busy.
When George requested his favorite gin, he was disappointed to learn that the restaurant didn’t carry it.  One of the owners came to the table and talked about their top of the line gin…his favorite brand.  Then he provided George with a small glass of the gin to taste.  He liked it and ordered his drink. 
When I found out that all of the beers that they offer are German…and I am a sissy when it comes to beer…the waitress brought me 2 small glasses of their mildest beers to taste.  I liked one of them very much and ordered a pint. ($5.95)  We really appreciated their efforts to find something that we liked to drink!

At Restaurant Linderhof, all Platters and Old World Specialties are served with a bread basket, a soup of the day, a small salad plate and a choice of one side item. 
Between us, we tried 2 different soups.  This is the Lentil Soup.  It was very good.  Our only issue was that it would have been better if there was just a little more soup in the bowl…and it could have been a little warmer.

This was the Beer Cheese Soup… It was excellent, although the portion size was obviously on the light side…about half a bowl…and it too could have been warmer.  On the positive side, if I had a big bowl of this soup with some good bread, it would make for a great meal in itself!
Now is as good a time as any to talk about our waitress… She tried to be helpful…as with the beer samples…and she did suggest menu items.  However, she was way too ‘familiar’…over the top and in your face casual and too personal.  She was also forgetful… She confused the orders, got the bills mixed up, and forgot to bring things to the table that we’d asked for… I found her quite annoying and I wasn’t alone in my opinion.

This is the small salad plate that came with our dinners.  It’s described as a tasting assortment of German salads, with potato salad, cole slaw, cucumber salad and red cabbage slaw.  We all agreed that it was unique and it was very good indeed!

I was the only person out of our group of 5 that didn’t order schnitzel.  This is Karen’s entrée…I believe that it was the Pork Schnitzel with Rahm sauce plus a side of German fried potatoes.  She enjoyed her dinner…
We had another issue that impacted our experience at Restaurant Linderhof.  Laurie, Karen and I found ourselves sitting on an uncomfortable bench during our meal.  It was hard with a super straight back and for me at least, the seat was too high in relation to the table and my meal.

This is Laurie’s Veal Schnitzel with German Fries.  There was plenty of food but she thought that her dinner was just OK… She is used to a more crispy crust on her schnitzel plus a bit more Rahm sauce.  Also, the Rahm or Paprika Cream Sauce lacked a bit of the distinctive flavor that she’d enjoyed at German restaurants in Chicago… She did like the glass of House Merlot ($6.95) that she had with her dinner.
The complete schnitzel dinner options are priced as follows: Chicken with any of the sauce preparations, (Jager, Zigeuner, Swiss, Holstein or Paprika Rahm), is $15.95.  The Pork Schnitzel dinner is $21.95 and the Veal Schnitzel dinner is $27.95. 

Both George and Lynne ordered the Swiss Schnitzel…topped with sautéed onions and melted Swiss cheese.  George ordered asparagus as his side.  They thought that their meals were OK too… They too lived in Chicago and other large metropolitan areas as well and they’d had better German food too.
There are 7 different wurst (sausage) meal options on the menu to choose from.  They are $14.95 each and they come with either sauerkraut or rotkraut…the latter is made with red cabbage.  Other specialty dishes of interest include Schweinshaxe (Pork Shank) $26.95, Veal Rouladen ($25.95) and Abgebraunter Leberkase (Bavarian Breakfast) for $17.95.  There is also a nightly chef’s special…

For my entrée, I decided against schnitzel and ordered the Hungarisches Gulyas (Hungarian Goulash) with a dumpling for my side item. ($18.95) This was described as ‘choice selections of beef roast in a rich Hungarian sauce’.  I expected the beef to be cooked to the point of fork tender…but instead most of it was actually hard and dry in the middle.  The gravy or sauce was fairly good and it ‘saved’ the beef… Regarding the dumpling, I guess that I expected a big bread dumpling but instead this dumpling was kind of mushy and sticky throughout.  The sauce helped that as well…
OK… This isn’t a big German community with lots of demand for top notch ethnic food.  We thought that overall…minus the waitress…the ambience and the food were OK…acceptable.  I probably should have ordered a wurst plate or the pork shank and also, it would have been better if we’d sampled a wider variety of the offerings on the menu.  From what we saw, Restaurant Linderhof is fairly popular, so after many years in business they must be doing something right…
Restaurant Linderhof is located at 11831 Kingston Pike (US Highway 11) in Farragut Tennessee.  Phone: 865-675-8700.  To learn more about this restaurant and to check out the menu, go to
Just click on any of Laurie’s photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for another meal with Laurie, our friends and myself!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Sounds like you had the same reaction as us. our first time, a few years ago, we loved it, but the last two more recently, it was just okay - it's changed hands at least once. I doubt we'll go back.

  2. It all looks good anyway! The best German food was when we lived in Germany. :-) But, as you know German restaurants are all over the place here and my fave, hands down was the old Berghof in Chicago. We miss it, but have some great stories about dining there! You need to move back up this way for all the great restaurants!!! Have a good week!

  3. Dear Dave, I sounds like you liked it but not crazy about it.
    I must say a waitress or waiter can make or break the meal. At least you say it was o.k. and you had a nice evening with Laurie and friends.
    Blessings, Catherine