We were here twice the same day, which is strange because German food is never my first choice for a meal. This past Saturday, we arrived at our hotel, only a few blocks away from Schmidt's, very hungry and not wanting to drive anywhere after being in the car all for several hours. We went online to see what local favorites were within walking distance. The reviews for Schmidt's were stellar and my husband and daughter love bratwurst, so it was a no-brainer.
Before we left, we used the wait-list app. (Love the app. Every restaurant should have this. You can skip the whole crowded-waiting-area-excuse-me-pardon-me-are-you-waiting-to-get-on-the-list entanglement) When we arrived, about 1:00, the place was packed, and there were, according to the app, 17 parties ahead of us. Our expected seating time was 1:37. So, we found a spot in the hallway near the rest rooms to wait. We passed some time reading the news articles on the wall and messing with our phones, but soon I noticed my husband's body language amplifying irritation, my daughter's too. When I asked what was up, I learned it was the loud, nails-on-chalkboard voice of the lady near us talking nonstop AT her silent companion. So, we walked outside for a while.
I periodically checked the app. The 17 parties ahead of us were seated pretty quickly, so when there were only 2 parties ahead of us, we came back in and found a waiting spot near the dessert counter. (The desserts looked so delicious. I rarely eat dessert at a restaurant, but I was considering skipping the entree and just ordering two desserts. But which two?? The chocolate, vanilla or St. Patrick's green creme puff? The streudel? The chocolate creme pie? The strawberry tart?) Soon, there was 1 party ahead of us, but then everything slowed down. We stood facing the dessert counter for nearly 15 minutes while tables of 2 were called and waiting parties were advised of open seats at the bar. As hectic as the environment was, the staff was really cheerful and friendly to the guests.
Finally, it was our turn! In no time, we had menus, drinks, and had put in our order. I ordered the sausage sampler, and my husband and daughter ordered brats. My daughter has to have a gluten-free diet, and surprisingly, it was super easy (not usually the case) for her to order since neither bratwurst, German potato salad, applesauce, nor sour kraut have gluten in them. The only accommodation we asked the waitress to make was to make sure the cook did not put the brat on a bun.
We enjoyed the experience of eating here very much. Great service, cheerful ambiance, and a good meal. Like I mentioned, I don't get excited about German food, but I do get excited about homemade creme puffs. We were too full for dessert and considered getting a couple things to go, but we had a wedding to go to that night and figured we would skip dessert at the reception and come back later. That's what we did.
Shortly before 10 pm that night, after we got our gluten-free kid some rolled ice cream somewhere else, my husband and I made our second visit to Schmidt's. When we got there, the place had cleared out, a few tables of people were enjoying the live band music, an employee was washing the windows, and there were NO desserts on display. I was so bummed. The hostess asked if she could help us, and I said we had come to pick up desserts but I could see they were all gone. She cheerfully informed me that they had plenty in the back.
We ordered a chocolate creme puff and a strawberry tart and took them back to the motel where we "split" (meaning I ate most of both desserts since my husband was too full from food and beer at the wedding we had just attended) our treats. I've never been so happy and fulfilled by eating a creme puff. It was everything other reviewers had raved about. The strawberry tart was fabulous too, but not something I would order again. If it hadn't been so close to 11:00 (closing time at the restaurant), I might have ran back to buy another creme puff (or two) to take back with me to Maryland the next morning.
This might have been the only chance we will have had to visit Columbus and to eat at Schmidt's Sausage Haus, but if we ever come back, I will wait however long I have to to order at least dessert from Schmidt's Sausage Haus. If I'm really hungry, I might get a meal after that.
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