As far back as I can remember, Otto’s Brauhaus has been there, a mile north of the Turnpike, on busy Easton Road, even before the Days Inn was erected next door.
Indeed, it was founded over 75 years ago.
Though it changed ownership a few years ago, the new owners were smart enough to make this change invisible. The menu, the chefs, the longtime hostess—Ursula—the serving staff and the restaurant’s interior are largely intact, thereby holding on to Otto’s large, longtime following.
Otto's offers four dining areas from which to choose: a light airy room with big bay windows, a darker central dining room, a cozy atmospheric bar decorated with hanging moose heads and shelves of beer steins, and an unusually large canopy-covered and tree-shaded outside patio—great for alfresco dining this time of year.
The large portions of stick-to-your-ribs food—many of which are served with rich gravies—are best washed down by a sudsy, cold German beer. There are no less than 15 German brews on draft, and 20 more German brands are available in bottles, including four varieties of rare (read: expensive) Ayinger’s, plus a few popular domestics.
German cuisine is decidedly meat-centric, favoring beef, veal, pork tenders, and steaks and chops. But you don’t have to have German food. The menu offers lots of standard American dishes, including seafood, sandwiches and salads.
At dinner, the entrées run $14 to $25. (At lunchtime, many of these same plates are only $9 to $13). The tab for our dinner for two, with appetizer and soup, including two beers, was $52.
Also, Otto’s is widely known for its great breakfasts; its three-egg omelets are among the most original and best in the ‘burbs.
A bowl of snapper soup was rich, thick and meaty with good flavor enhanced by a few drops of sherry.
My companion’s bratwurst—two large veal sausages—was tender, mild and savory. The side dishes of classic German potato salad and creamed spinach were on target.
The day’s special, the “German Trio,” overflowed the plate and allowed me to taste chicken Jaeger, “leberkase” (veal loaf) and orange glazed overcooked ham steak, with red cabbage.
I recommend any dish named “Jaeger-something,” such as the Jaeger Schnitzel (veal), whose sauce—a mushroom, bacon and onion gravy with a splash of white wine and cream—is superb.
Our “St. Pauli Girl” server was attentive and assured.
At one previous early evening visit, we sat inside. At 6 p.m., the overhead speakers began blaring stereotypical, Old World German “oompah band” music. Thankfully, at our request, the overly high decibels were turned way down, and our conversation could resume.
A week ago, we took advantage of the perfect late June weather, choosing a table on the outside patio under the canopy. The setting sun provided a warm glow.
Of course, I ordered a bottle of St. Pauli Girl beer and a chilled glass, while my LDC (Lovely Dining Companion) had a Miller Lite. We shared a dozen steamed clams in a buttery clam broth and a bowl of snapper soup. Both were very appetizing starters.
I was attracted to the photo at the top of the German specialties page of the menu. It was the loin of pork platter with spaetzle (German-style noodles) and red cabbage ($16). The platter was exactly like the photo. I really liked the spaetzle, though the thick slices of pork loin were a bit too well done for me.
My LDC picked an amazing salad topped with four delicious lamb chops ($11) as her main course, and she really loved it. She was able to substitute mozzarella for the goat cheese.
For dessert, we had the homemade bread pudding topped with whipped cream. It was just “OK,” according to my bread-pudding-loving LDC.
To contact Mitch Davis, you can e-mail him at: MdavisMainCourse@aol.com
Overall rating: mmm (out of 5 m’s)
The Main Course at Otto’s Brauhaus:
Location:233 Easton Road (Route 611), Horsham
Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dinner prices: Appetizers: $7 to $9; entrées, $15 to $30
Ambiance: An old-world classic feel
Credit cards: All major accepted
Alcoholic beverages: Full bar, great beer selection