I had no idea when we traveled to Columbus, Ohio, last fall to visit my sister-in-law that she lived in a food mecca. Food Network shows like “The Best of…” and Travel Channel shows like “Man v. Food” have all come to the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes to enjoy the food.
One of the many foodie destinations we tried on our long weekend trip was Schmidt’s Sausage Haus and Restaurant. Located in the heart of Columbus’s German Village neighborhood, Schmidt’s has been serving up German cuisine like sausages and spaetzel since 1886. The restaurant is located on the end of a cobblestone street. Diners wait outside for their names to be called. Small shops like a delicious fudge store and eclectic jewelry stores are within a stone’s throw.
Schmidt’s is known for their handmade sausages, huge sandwiches and delightful desserts like the jumbo cream puff. I’m a hard sell when it comes to sausages so I was very excited to try theirs. The restaurant has a large menu but most people seem to opt for the “German Autobahn Buffet.”
A glass case of sausages welcomes you as you enter the old building – it was once an old stable house. Schmidt’s is known for the “Bahama Mama,” a spicy blend of pork and beef in a natural casing. There’s also a milder version. However, I didn’t find the Bahama Mama or any of Schmidt’s sausages to be too spicy and overwhelming. I think Milwaukee’s Usinger’s still has the one-up on Columbus’s sausages. Maybe something for Travel Channel’s Food Wars…? There’s also knockwurst and bratwurst. If you can’t decide, you can try the sausage sampler platter ($11.25) or the buffet to get a taste for them all.
In the true German tradition, I went to try the Haus Sauerbraten and Gravy ($12.50). Braised beef covers spaetzel noodles (think: little dumplings) and a gingersnap gravy. It was quite yummy and very filling. With the traditional German dinners you get two side dishes. The potato pancakes with applesauce and the green beans with spaetzel were excellent choices.
If you still have room at the end of this filling meal (we didn’t), Schmidt’s serves delectable desserts like their huge cream puffs.
They also have various cream pies, apple strudel, German chocolate cake and tarts ranging in prices from $3 to $6. If you enjoy the Autobahn buffet, you can purchase a cream puff for $1 off.
Learn more about Schmidt’s Sausage Haus online at www.schmidthaus.com.