Restaurant Review: Jägerhaus Gastropub and Biergarten, Whitestone, New York

By Paul Riegler on 7 July 2017
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Despite the fact that German-Americans are the country’s largest single ethnic group by country of origin, until recently, a good Biergarten, or beer garden, was hard to find in the New York area. Today, there are dozens.

The sleepy, waterfront neighborhood of Whitestone, more like Starnberg than downtown Munich, is home to the Jägerhaus Gastropub and Biergarten, a reasonably authentic place to spend a hot afternoon with ein Maß Bier.

Walking into the Jägerhaus solidifies the feeling of authenticity. It isn’t at all kitschy (a German word, incidentally, from “kitsch”) like the German restaurants of the late twentieth century in Manhattan; in fact, aside from the large bar at the entrance, which isn’t typically German, it could be just about anywhere in Bavaria.

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By my third visit, I knew to order the giant pretzel as soon as my dining companion and I sat down. It comes out freshly baked and is served with several different dips including what the restaurant calls “beer-cheese” and an excellent mustard.

When the pretzel arrived it was clear which patrons were new to the establishment as their eyes followed the delivery of the giant pretzel, wondering perhaps why they did not get one. As always, the giant pretzel lived up to its name and was extremely satisfying.

The Jägerhaus has an excellent beer menu: names like Franziskaner, Spaten, Hofbräu, and Radeberger abound, making the choice of which variant of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage somewhat difficult. Given the temperature on this sunny June day (87° F or 31° C), I opted for my hot weather standby, a Franziskaner Weißbier, a type often referred to as a Weizen outside of Bavaria, and was pleased by my choice. (Franziskaner, incidentally, was founded in 1363.) My dining companion had the Spaten Oktoberfest, a robust Märzen available, despite its name, year-round.

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