2525 East Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92806
We are always on the hunt for places to eat before we go to a Ducks game, but coming from South OC we are usually relegated to picking up fast food and eating it in the parking lot quickly so we can make it inside to see the puck drop. The traffic gods were especially kind to us on this particular Wednesday early evening, as we made it up to Anaheim in a record 35 minutes during rush hour, which allowed us plenty of time to try Jagerhaus.
Jagerhaus has been here as long as I can remember. I did a little research and found out that this restaurant has been in business since 1979, so this year marks their 40th anniversary of serving the people of Anaheim, which is a big milestone for any place of business. In that time they have only had two owners. The original owner retired in 2000, and Sandra Schwaiger has been at the helm ever since. She mainly handles the front of the house duties, while three chefs, who were trained by the original owner take care of the cooking duties.
With only a handful of German restaurants dotting OC, I always found it odd that Jagerhaus and the Phoenix Club, another restaurant serving German cuisine, are within two blocks of one another, but there must definitely be a market for it since they have both been in business for so long. Breakfast is the busiest meal at Jagerhaus, with their most popular items being the German pancakes and an omelet that features sauerkraut and bratwurst, something I will definitely need to come back for.
For now, it was dinner that I needed to help give me the energy to cheer on our hometown Ducks. Jagerhaus, which sits at the end of a long strip mall right near the Ball Road exit of the 57 Freeway, has quite an impressive menu. They offer plenty in the way of German favorites and items you just don't see on menus anymore, think rabbit, elk, deer, boar and a roast ham hock that you need to call in a day in advance to have it held for you. It had been a long while since I last had a proper German meal, so I was excited to see how I'd enjoy Jagerhaus and their German cuisine.
I always get excited when a bread basket arrives at our table, usually because I'm very hungry and this is not something that you have to buy. Okay, I'm a little cheap. The bread or I guess I should say in this case, rolls, were very good and soft, but what made these for me was the European butter that came out with them. European butter with its richness always makes everything taste better. They were really nice about asking if we wanted refills of the rolls, but we politely declined because we had our food coming and I did not want to be overly full at the Ducks game.
You can't get more German than a Large Soft Pretzel ($3.50). I'm not really into pretzels because I find them hard and dry, but this was not like an American pretzel. It was soft and pliable, lightly salted on top, and made even better with their special blend of mustard. This pretzel will ruin you for anything you call a pretzel from your local mall.
Entrees come with two sides, and Katie selected this Dinner Salad as one of her selections. I have to say, for being such a simple salad with iceberg lettuce, some shredded carrots, and red cabbage, this was very tasty. It came out very cold, was good sized, and what I liked the best was that it was dressed well, with plenty of blue cheese incorporated on each item. One of my biggest pet peeves about salads is that there's never enough dressing. I know I'm probably in the minority on this point. Dressing just makes veggies taste better and this was a very well made blue cheese dressing.
We might as well finish with Katie's meal this evening. She selected the Stuffed Chicken Breast ($20.95). This very tender, fried chicken was filled with broccoli and cheese and then perched on top of gravy. Katie was pleasantly surprised with how great this tasted. For her side item, she went with Spatzle. This was both of our first times having this German staple. Spatzle is pasta and at Jagerhaus it's covered in a mushroom gravy. Katie said it took some getting used to, but once she did it was very comforting.
When I see that something on a menu is listed as the most popular, I'm usually drawn to it. That's what happened when I spied this German Combo ($21.95) listed as their most requested entree. I had to have it. This plate contains a trio of sausages, a Nurenberger bratwurst, knackwurst, and polish sausage, and is rounded out with a grilled pork chop. All of the meats were delicious here, with their different flavors and textures. I liked the polish sausage the best, with its rich meatiness and slight smokey tinge to it. The other sausages were terrific as well. The pork chop was nicely grilled and tender, not anything like what my mom used to cook for us growing up. Those chops were fried to a crisp. I went a very traditional route with my two side items, sauerkraut, and German potato salad. The sauerkraut was fine and helped cut the richness of the meats. I believe this was the first time I've had real German potato salad, which is served warm with bits of onion and bacon in it. This has ruined me for the cold potato salads I've had my entire life. This warm version is so much better. I'm now a convert.
Dessert was our last hurrah at Jagerhaus, and I needed to give their German Chocolate Cake ($6.95) a whirl. This was fine, obviously, homemade but with a lot of desserts from around the world, it was not as sweet as I would have liked. The cake was moist, but the icing is where this lost me. It was kind of drab and did not have the sweetness I was looking for. Maybe apple strudel or bread pudding next time.
Even though we did not finish with a bang at Jagerhaus, I have a feeling that we will definitely be back before Ducks games, traffic willing, and for sure breakfast sometime. After our visit, it's easy to see why Jagerhaus has been around for so long. German food is the real deal of comfort food, with its delicious sausages, gravy, and side dishes. Service on this evening was very attentive and things kept progressing well enough that we had plenty of time to see the puck drop at the Ducks game.
Out of five hunting lodges, (because the name of this restaurant translates to hunting lodge), five being best to zero being worst, Jagerhaus gets 3.5 hunting lodges.
For more information about Jagerhaus, head to their website here: http://www.jagerhaus.net/index.html