Restaurant Pfefferstube – Traditional Franconian Cuisine in Nuremberg, Germany

Just beyond the former town gate, in a tiny medieval city, inside an inn dating back to 1646, is Restaurant Pfefferstube.  The relaxed tavern resides in Gasthaus Pillhoffer and is open to guests as well as diners who truly enjoy the rustic restaurant because of their authentic, Franconian cuisine. The traditionally dressed staff in dirndl and lederhosen, and the dark wood interior of the dining room takes you back in time. The selections on the menu are made from recipes handed down for hundreds of years, and the pride of the establishment is evident as they serve you delicious, authentic dishes that are popular among locals and visitors to Nuremberg.

Location: Restaurant Pfefferstube is located in the Gasthaus Pillhofer Inn, 78 Konigstrasse, Nuremberg, Germany.

Menu: The menu showcases traditional dishes whose recipes have been handed down over the centuries. For example, the hearty “Brewer’s Drayman” Goulash soup has been prepared the same way since 1880. Starters also include a traditional pretzel as well as salads and various snack-sized portions of sausages and bratwursts, served on homemade bread from the stone hearth. Main dishes include veal schnitzel as well as pork shoulder with marjoram and Kellerbier sauce with a homemade potato dumpling and melted butter crumbs.

For non-meat lovers, the kitchen offers a cheese spaetzle with butter onions and a side salad.

Thoughts: The warmth of the tavern was evident as soon as I stepped into the dining room. The wood paneling and festive greens hanging from the chandeliers and windows gave me the feeling of charm and a throwback to times of old. The staff was delightful and spoke fluent English. They presented our party with menus and supported us as we attempted to practice our German when ordering the local Paulaner beer.

We were starving and started with an enormous pretzel. We enjoyed looking over the offerings while nibbling on the crusty, salty appetizer. As a party of four, we wanted to try a few items from the menu but also ordered a platter of Nuremberg sausages to share. We heard that the sausages were legendary and a tradition in Bavaria. We ordered a plate of six and settled in for an authentic experience.

Nuremberg was a trading city back in the Middle Ages. It was a spice and trade route, so it became a vibrant and vital medieval city. A specific type of wurst called Nuremberger developed in the town. Using some of the spices that originated from the trading route, the prepared sausages follow particular regulations. The regulations are strict and have been in place for over 700 years. The links can be no longer than 9 cm and can only weigh around 25 grams. The recipe includes coarsely ground lean pork seasoned with marjoram, salt, pepper, ginger cardamom, and lemon powder. You can order three on a bun with spicy mustard or placed on a pewter plate in 6, 8, 10 or 12 links with mustard and sauerkraut. You never put ketchup on a Nuremberg sausage.

We started with the goulash, and it was truly incredible. The soup, studded with cubes of beef and chunks of vegetables, swam in a reddish, paprika broth. We dipped our bread in the remains as we thought it that delicious.

Next, we dug into our platter of Nuremberg sausages. They were crisp, and the flavor was spicy and well seasoned. The accompanying mustard enhanced the heat and flavor level. The crunchy bacon and wine sauerkraut tasted sour and vibrant. I had never eaten pickled cabbage this fresh.

Finally, to finish our tour of the menu, we all shared the pork with potato dumpling and red cabbage. The meat, doused in a- jus gravy, was so tender it fell apart. The potato ball was dense and made the perfect dipper for the juices. The cabbage added a tasty brightness to the overall dish as the acid cut through the fattiness of the dish. We ate every bit of our Franconian food, and we enjoyed the festive atmosphere and the local Bavarian beers as well. The dedication of the staff from the kitchen to the servers made our evening in Nuremberg a memorable one.

Price: The prices at Pfefferstube were reasonable. Starters ranged from the pretzel at €1,50 to the soups and salads at around €7,00. Entrees range from €12,50 -17,80. Desserts are created daily and are priced accordingly.

Jeanine Consoli
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