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Do We Need More German Restaurants?


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I heartily welcome the renewal of a German food purveyor at the market (see my post in Pennsylvania Cooking on the RTM topic concerning Brauhaus Schmitz's agreement to open Wursthaus Schmitz), but it raises a question about the sudden mushrooming of German restaurants in center city.

Once upon a time the only German restaurant around was Ludwig's Garten on Sansom. When it closed we were Gemütlichkeit-less. Now, however, we've got Brauhaus Schmitz, Frankford Hall, and the newly opened Bierstube in Old City. Even Jose Garces and has threatened to get into the act with a Wurstmacher in the old Letti Deli on 13th Street.

Is this a "hot" new trend that's bound to eventually fizzle? I definitely want one or two German restaurants in Center City, but more than that might compete one another out of business.

Or is it simply about the beer?

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Wasnt there a German "Fast Food" restaurant in some malls (KOP Plaza near Woolworths & Springfield bottom floor near Escalators)

You could buy Underberg and Bahlsen and Oetker etc there too..

Anyone recall the name?

It was NOT Wienerschnitzel.

Edited by GlorifiedRice (log)

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I have no idea what the german fast food restaurant in KoP was. I do remember growing up in NY there was a chain called Zum Zum.

In reply to the original post, there used to be some good german restaurants in the northeast, where there was a german community. We are left with shells of what used to be with the Hop Angel replacing the old Blue Ox Brauhaus across from Riekers.

Also, having spent a good amount of time in Northern Germany, I really wish we had more of a represntation of the other styles of cooking other than the heavy wurst centered cooking from Bavaria.

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I think we are FAR from saturation. How many Italian restaurants are there in Philly? Mexican? Chinese? There's room for German places to find their own niches, they're not all trying to do the same thing, and even if they are, there's no reason that a city the size of Philly can't support more than one German restaurant.

Think of any regional cuisine out there: there are plenty of conceptually similar places that don't really compete with one another, because of location, or price point, or whatever.

A new taqueria?!? Don't we have enough taquerias? Nope, no such thing. I'll say the same for wurst stands and grand beer halls and fancy, formal German restaurants too. If they're good, and in tune with the fact that it's 2012, I say the more, the better!

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz


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  • 3 weeks later...

The Zum Zum chain was a figment of Restaurant Associates; interesting wiki on Joe Baum sheds some light on that time in NYC.


Around the same time there was another 'chain' out of Germany called Wienerwald and I see they still exist but not in the US. Was that the one in KOP? The wiki below has some interesting comments on its venture into the US.



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