Zur Kate vs. Bavarian Point Restaurant in Mesa: Schnitzel Standoff
Amy Edelen Jagerschnitzel plate with potatoes and sauerkraut at Zur Kate.
Oktoberfest is in full bloom, and while beer and brats go hand-in-hand, there happen to be several other German dishes worth trying, and jagerschnitzel is one of them.
Traditionally, jagerschnitzel is a pork cutlet topped with a burgundy or creamy mushroom sauce. The schnitzel can be prepared with breadcrumb or flour coatings and often is served with a side of potatoes and sauerkraut or cabbage.
Coming from a German family, I grew up eating foods such as schnitzel, sauerkraut, and strudels. So when I moved here, I went on a hunt for German restaurants in the Phoenix area that prepared jagerschnitzel. To my delight, I found two -- in the same Mesa shopping plaza.
In This Corner:Zur Kate
Amy Edelen Bar area at Zur Kate.
The Setup: Zur Kate, which means "to the old Smokehouse" in German, has been in business since 1983 and is owned by Horst and Elena Schlembach. Located in an east Mesa shopping plaza, the wood-paneled restaurant is cozy and replicates the "Gasthaus" atmosphere common of restaurants in Germany. Waitresses wear Dirndl dresses, and an accordion player performs there Friday and Saturday evenings. Schnitzel plates are priced at $12.
Amy Edelen Accordion player at Zur Kate.
The Good: Zur Kate has generous portions -- the jagerschnitzel plate came out with potatoes and sauerkraut. The schnitzel was breaded and crisp on the outside, but the pork was tender. The mushroom gravy tasted home-cooked with the right amount of seasoning. The sauerkraut was fresh and the potatoes were delicious. I ate the whole plate of food. The restaurant has a small bar area with strictly German beers on tap, including Warsteiner. The servers were friendly.
The Bad: The restaurant is very small, and I had to sit at the bar area to eat, since there wasn't a table available.