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Essen Haus

In a word: Eins, halb zwei...can't quite give it g'suffa.

The specs: #0161
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; Ultimate Madison Bar Tour review; PubCrawler reviews; Beer Advocate reviews; Yelp reviews; official web site; Essen Haus on Urbanspoon

Latest Essen Haus news and reviews

JM ate the Huhner Schnitzel with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the Rinder Rouladen with a Kostritzer Schwarz.
The bill was $24, or $12/person, plus tip, with coupon (thanks, WPR!).
JM gave Essen Haus a B; Nichole gave Essen Haus a C- (see our grading rubric).

Essen Haus from John Nolen Dr.

The Essen Haus is a little on the depressing side. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Essen Haus from the parking lot

Nichole's rouladen - ground meat, pickle, and onion rolled in beef - were dry and tough, almost like they'd been frozen. The gravy didn't really fit with the entree, whose only redeeming feature was the solitary dumpling.

The beer, on the other hand, was good, but come to think of it there was a fruit fly buzzing around. Martha would not approve. We wonder what she would make of the bras hanging off the trophy moose.

Essen Haus rouladen

JM's chicken lacked certain things that he would have preferred such as flavor.  He did find both the potatoes and the limo good, but averred that the sauerkraut was just plain weird. "Overall I'd like it more if I drank, methinks."

Essen Haus schnitzel


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I completely concur with the C-. I actually prefer it's sister-bar, the Come Back Inn. Either way, they're not all they're cracked up to be considering their place in Madison food history.

I'd also give Essen Haus a C or maybe B- for the food. I am amazed at the lack of really good German cuisine in Madison. Is there a decent German restaurant in this area?

Depends how big the radius is. I think you'd have to go as far as New Glarus for Deininger's or Roxbury for Dorf Haus. Clasen's has the bread and World Market has the Haribo, but now I'm stretching...

Yeah, I don't get why there's so little German food here.

Oh right, Deininger's! Thanks for the reminder. I remembered Dorf Haus -- really, who could forget that name? -- but forgot about Deininger's. Yeah, one of these days I'll have to saddle up and make the trek out there.

I just find it weird that I had more good German food when I lived in California than I do here in the heart of Lutheran country!

I have spent several years in Germany and I have to honestly say...the Jaegerschnitzel at Essenhaus is so far from authentic it isn't funny. Shoddy seating arragements and horrible food have tainted my palate forever. It is a good thing I know how to properly prepare authentic German cuisine. Unless they change their ways, I can never recommend them to anyone.

who cares about it being authentic, it is dirty. and i mean dirty in there. even the mugs and boots, just hope the alcohol kills the germs. if you ever find the health code grade tell me i don't believe it's posted.

I recently worked at the Essen Haus and it was for one reason only- I needed the money. This is the only server job I've held in which I have not been proud of what I'm serving. I have tried very very little of the menu and I usually had to tell people what was popular when they asked what was good. Limp saurkraut and food that smells like b.o. do not appeal to me. The presentation of the food is usually poor and is waaay overpriced. The place is embarrassing in the way it was run. I will not eat there because of the poor hygiene and the health code violations I witnessed on a daily basis. Everything was based on how much it cost, so if a pretzel was dropped it was picked up and served. Waste not want not. The chef himself is not the problem; he's actually raise standards in the kitchen since he started, but he is not responsible for the overall gross habits of the manager. The manager eats mostly Taco Bell -enough said. It's a great place to drink though, and the standard triple sink ensures some degree of cleanliness of the glasswear. Cross your fingers with the boots, though. The are only rinsed with hot water. No scrubbing, no detergent.

I went to a wedding here last weekend(10-24-09)and the food was actually very good. Beef tips, spaetzel, fried potatos, sweet and sour red cabbage, saurkraut with sausage. Served sit down family style. The service was good too.

Anonymous, thanks for the scary info. I ate there once. Got a sauerbraten sandwich. Dry as the Sahara. I'd bet JM couldn't get it down with three lemonades it was that dry. Spaetzle weren't bad, but they're not as tricky to make as sauerbraten.

Went there Friday 7/23, possibly the worst restaurant meal I've ever had. Sauerbraten dry like cardboard, dumpling like glue, sauerkraut slimy. Waitress was nice, that's the only positive, well that and the beer. It was so bad I saw no point in complaining. Should have seen the hint that on Friday night at 6:30 there were plenty of tables available. Dirty environment, weird smells, bugs flying around. I've had great meals at the Essen Haus going back to the early 1980s; it's a shame this is what they've come to. Never going back unless I see an "under new management" sign.

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