Food & Drink

Oktoberfest-ready barmaids in a South St schnitzel hall

Learning a business from the ground up is a blueprint for success -- as a Digital Underground backup dancer, Tupac schooled himself on the ins and outs of hip hop, while a bat boy stint with the '80-'81 Oakland A's taught MC Hammer how to run a successful empire into the ground. Putting ground-up German lessons to good use, Brauhaus Schmitz

After years of toiling as dishwashers, servers, and bartenders at biergartens in their motherland (and Center City's now defunct Ludwig's), Kelly Schmitz and Doug Hager have created a bi-level, 100-seat beer hall featuring a 15-seat maple-topped bar, church pew seating at tables of reclaimed hemlock, a 10-seat, black walnut stammtisch (regular's table), and an oversized, backlit rendering of the Reinheitsgebot, the German beer purity law that shunned any brew impregnated before marriage. The globe-spanning, 100 bottle suds list actually goes beyond Germany with the likes of Efes (Turkey), Baltika (Russia), Sinebrychoff (Finland), Gosser (Austria), and Belzebuth (France); but 16 of the 20 rotating taps are Deutschland-dedicated (Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Weisse, Reissdorf Kölsch, Uerige Sticke Altbier...), and the four non-Germans include the Stoudt's custom-named Brauhaus Hausbrau -- also the name of the Berlin toymaker behind G.I. Jörg. The fatteningly authentic menu includes appetizers (potato pancakes w/ sour cream & applesauce; pickled herring fillet stuffed w/ onions & pickles) and sandwiches (grilled Black Forest ham & cheese; roast pork au jus; Schnitzel sandwich), as well as house-made brats by the meter, four takes on Schnitzel, and entrées like Sauerbraten, Strudel Stroganoff, and a meat-heavy monster for two called Schlachtplatte, onomatopoeic for your stomach's rumblings when you make it a monster for one

Future plans include rotating the drafts and bottles based upon seasonal considerations, and implementing a beer passport system, wherein sampling from each of the 25-30 countries repped in Schmitz's selection garners a prize, proof positive that you were 2 Legit 2 Quit.