Royal Bavaria Restaurant and Brewery
I recently posted about how I wish I could find a decent wiener schnitzel in this town and then it dawned on me that I had been told to visit Royal Bavarian Restaurant and Brewery in Moore. I loaded up the wife, the kids, and a friend from Switzerland (to help interpret if need be) and took the long drive to Moore. Actually, if you live in the heart of Oklahoma City, I guess a drive to Moore is only 10 minutes or so.
What we found when we arrived was a neat, old world structure, with brew kettles that could be seen from the road. Really a pretty cool building. Inside it is a European cabin-style layout with bench seats, large wood tables, and a hint of hops and yeast in the air. The walls were decorated with cuckoo clocks, antique steins, and various German trinkets and signs. The first thing you notice on the menu are the fairly high prices. What was strange is that the clientèle didn’t match the dollar. When you are spending upwards of $20 per person you might expect to see people that are put together in business casual attire with a sophisticated demeanor. What I saw at Royal Bavaria were guys in OU hoodies, backwards caps and flip flops. I’m guessing they were there for the home brews which were flowing quite freely.
Now for the food. The menu is written in both German and English, and has quite a few offerings. Probably the most disappointing thing is that the bread is not complimentary, you pay $2.50 for a basket of three pieces of bread that includes a hard roll, a pretzel stick, and a pretzel. It was served with a slice of what appeared to be homemade butter. It was all very good, but to feed 5 people you need a couple baskets which adds up pretty quickly. We tried several things: schnitzels of a couple varieties, oven roasted chicken, frankfurters, spatzle, and salads. They also offer several varieties of sausages, a few cuts of steak, roast beef, veal schnitzel cordon bleu (which I wish I had ordered), several varieties of potato, and pork chops showcased in a handful of different ways.
If you have never had a wiener schnitzel that is quite unfortunate. It is an Austrian / German dish consisting of a tender cut of pork or veal pounded thin, dredged in bread crumbs, and sauteed until golden brown and delicious in a generous amount of clarified butter. I felt their schnitzels were done pretty well. They were crispy, golden, and tender on the inside.
The jager schnitzel pairs this butter-fried goodness with a creamy mushroom gravy for a real rustic feel, then serves it with a generous portion of spatzle noodles. The spatzle was a little overcooked for my taste, but they were homemade noodles which I definitely appreciate. I thought the jager schnitzel was pretty good, but my wife did not like it at all. Part of the problem with her is that my father-in-law makes the best wiener schnitzel on the planet and she grew up eating that her whole life so her expectations are impossibly high. The other thing is they have bacon in their gravy which she was quite angry about. It wasn’t the best gravy I’ve ever had, but I thought it was pretty good.
The frankfurters are an imported German-style sausage that I’m 90% sure are the same ones you can buy for yourself and take home from Oma’s Pantry. They feature a little tougher casing than we Americans are accustomed to (thanks to Oscar Mayer) but they have a great flavor. My Swiss friend was not impressed with the rotisserie chicken and fries he ordered. He said it was OK, but felt it was under-seasoned and dry.
Overall, I thought the food was good but overpriced. My $90 bill was a bit of a punch to the gut, and the food wasn’t worth the price, or the drive. If it were in the middle of town I would go back several times and try different offerings, but I probably won’t make the half hour drive again when I can make a schnitzel at home that is better. Although you can’t find decent veal in Oklahoma City’s pathetic excuses for grocery stores. My guess is the college frat boys that followed us in were there for sausage and beer. If that is your hankering, I don’t know of another place in town.