Sunday, February 23, 2014

Authentic Austro-Hungarian Biergarten Exceeds Expectations

Pilsener Haus & Biergarten
1422 Grand Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030

I know a lot of people tend to stay on Washington Street when they are in Hoboken, however, if you find yourself wandering past 14th street and towards Weehawaken, there is a fantastic gem called Hoboken’s Pilsener Haus & Biergarten. It is an authentic Austro-Hungarian beer garden in a huge open setting that is somehow also very warm and inviting. They have tons of imported beers on tap and craft beers by the bottle. If you are not a fan of beer, go for the food! A deliciously traditional biergarten menu is accompanied by the grill options (sausages, burgers, and more). Bring all of your friends and fill one of the big family style tables for an evening that is guaranteed to be fun!
We began with beers. We ordered an Oktoberfest and a Schneider Aventinus. The diversity in the draft selection is staggering; you will be sure to find something that you enjoy. If you would rather have a more familiar beer they also have a formidable list of craft bottled beers. If you want to make a statement order a liter, there is nothing like drinking beer from a medieval sized glass. 

We accompanied our beers with a bavarian soft pretzel. It is served with liptauer cheese and their house-made mustard. The pretzel is massive, soft, crispy, salty, and airy. Simply a perfect soft pretzel! The cheese is creamy, and tastes similar to pimento. The house-made mustard is fantastic! It is also great on their sausages, bratwurst, weisswurst, kielbasa, and frankfurters from the grill. 

To start we shared the steamed bier mussels. They are served in a smoky vegetable and weissbier broth. We all agreed, some of the best mussels we have ever had! If you like mussels, you have to order these; if you don't like mussels, you have to try these because they are very likely to change your mind. 
As our meals, we ordered wiener schnitzel and braised pork cheeks. The wiener schnitzel dish consists of two pork cutlets served with parsley potatoes, cucumber salad and a lingonberries sauce. The pork cutlets are extremely juicy and tender. The cucumber salad is tangy and cold, it is a nice contrast to the warm cutlets. As a person who is not a huge fan of potato salad, the parsley potatoes were delicious, closer to a German style potato than a traditional American potato salad; very tasty side. The lingonberry sauce completes the dish by adding a sweet element. Pair your cutlets with a bite of any of the sides and you will have a different experience; all of which are scrumptious. 
The braised pork cheeks are braised in caraway seeds, marjoram, and Haus Pilsner. They are accompanied with sauerkraut and pretzel dumplings. The pork cheeks were tender with an almost sweet flavor to counterbalance the savory and dense pretzel dumplings. The sauerkraut offered sour notes that tied together the entire dish. If you do not like sour flavors you would be better off with another dish, but for someone looking for a bold dish to pair with a great beer, look no further. 

In the past, we have had almost everything from the grill, it's all delicious! We have also tried the Hungarian beef goulash and the sauerbraten. We have never been disappointed here. We cannot say enough about the food. Whether you love beer or traditional beer garden food, we insist that you venture off of Washington Street and experience more of the smaller less known restaurants in Hoboken, NJ. A short walk, drive, or cab ride away, you may find yourself in a gem as well. Prost!