Many race to grab a schnitzel at the Grill

Published: Monday, October 12, 2009 2:29 PM CDT

Plano German dive voted best in U.S.

By Stephanie Flemmons,

Plano’s very own Bavarian Grill gained national attention for its good food, good service and down right good attitude.

It may be the bier steins hanging from wall to wall, the authentic German food or the waitresses running around in traditional Bavarian dresses, but whatever the case may be, the restaurant was ranked the best German restaurant in America by German Deli.

Inga Bowyer, German Deli president, said the two-month search involved more than 400 restaurants across the nation.

“They (Bavarian Grill) really deserve it,” Bowyer said. “If you go there you will always look forward to your next visit. Guests feel like they are part of something special.”

Bowyer said Bavarian Grill’s classic German entrees like schnitzel, sauerbraten, bratwurst and roasted ham hock are complemented by a selection of more than 50 imported beers.

“They top it all off with nightly live music with a distinctly Bavarian vibe,” she said. “We like their sense of fun, which is not only visible during this Oktoberfest time, but all year long.”

Juergen Mahneke, Bavarian Grill owner, said he has maintained the same authentic feel since the restaurant’s inception in 1993.

“Being voted the best German restaurant in America is great,” Mahneke said. “It feels very good. From the beginning we wanted authentic German food and we will not compromise.”

Bavarian Grill received 8,000 votes from guests that have tasted their food and enjoyed the atmosphere they offer. Bowyer said the restaurant received one-third of all the validated votes cast during the two-month online voting period.

“I’ve definitely seen them improve over the years,” Bowyer said. “They have seemed to have really figured out how to master the classic German dishes. It’s a wonderful atmosphere and everyone has a wonderful attitude.”

Bavarian Grill also received the majority of positive judging forms from “undercover judges”, and they scored well with teams of expert judges who dined incognito at the highest scoring German restaurants.

“The goal of the annual competition is to recognize German restaurants that serve up a truly ethnic experience,” Bowyer said. “Millions of U.S. citizens trace their ancestry back to Germany. It’s only fitting that we celebrate restaurants that connect us with that heritage.”

Mahneke, who was born in Braunschwieg, Germany, said the majority of his guests have some type of German ancestry or have visited Germany. His bartenders maintain the authenticity of Germany by serving beer in steins and wearing Drind’l dresses, the authentic Bavarian dress worn to express culture.

“I love what I do,” Mahneke said. “I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

The restaurant’s menu includes food descriptions written in both German and English.

“Having the words in German brings back a lot of memories,” he said. “The English is a helping hand.”

Mahneke said the public is invited to join the restaurant’s celebration of Oktoberfest on Oct. 19. He said proceeds will benefit Children’s Hospital at Legacy.

Food stations will include roasted hams, beef cut onto pretzel roll, Bavarian Vanilla ice cream and beer.