My husband and I had the opportunity to have a nice relaxing lunch at Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe today. This was our first visit to the German themed restaurant and upon walking up to the outdoor hostess stand we were immediately greeted and offered a table inside or a table outside to enjoy the picture perfect spring day. We opted for the outside seating.
The restaurant and outside area were surprisingly busy for 11:30 am. The inside of the restaurant is done in an Old style German theme, it was clean and although crowded there did not appear to be any issues with the noise level. The outside area is completely covered with ceiling fans to help cool the diners on hot Florida days. We were seated along the sidewalk where umbrellas cover the tables and you can see the foot traffic. We were greeted by Randi, our server, she was very friendly and knowledgeable about the different types of beers on tap, how different items were prepared and also suggested her favorite items.
We decided to split an appetizer and I am very glad we did, we chose the Riesen Brezen for $10.79 which is a 10oz Giant Pretzel. The pretzel was served with a sweet Bavarian mustard and Obatzer Käse, which is a savory cheese sauce. I really would not classify the Obatzer Käse as a sauce but more of a creamy butter like spread. The flavors of the cheese paired with the saltiness of the pretzel were amazing and honestly I could have eaten the Riesen Brezen as a meal.
For our entree my husband decided to go with The Reubenstein $7.99, which is a classic version of corned beef, swiss, sauerkraut, 1000 island on grilled marble rye. It is normally served with potato chips with a homemade Ranch Dressing. For $1.50 you can substitute a variety of different side dishes. My husband opted to substitute his chips with warm German potato salad. The sandwich was brought to the table with the potato salad and the chips. Randi said it was an error on the kitchens part but they left them on for him to enjoy. It turned out to be a nice error because my husband really enjoyed the Ranch Dressing. The quality of the meat in the sandwich was superb, this is definitely a sandwich worth ordering. To finish off the German experience my husband decided on a half pint of Krombacher Dark Beer for $5.98. They offer over 50 different German Beers and wines.
I decided to have the pork Schnitzel Sandwich for $9.89. This is a small pork schnitzel on grilled sourdough bread with cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato served with potato salad. I explained to my server that I would like to try a different side since my husband was getting the potato salad. She showed me all of the side options which I chose the Rahm Spaetzle, which is a German egg noodle in a cream sauce. The meat was very tender, cooked perfectly and the bread was toasted to a beautiful golden brown.
Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe has a full menu, their hours are 11 am to 9pm Sunday to Thursday and 11am to 10pm on Friday and Saturday. Please note dinner starts at 4pm daily.
Unfortunately we were so full that we were unable to try any of the desserts that they offered.
We really enjoyed the mustard that was served with the Riesen Brezen so we asked our server if purchasing was an option. She stated they did not sell it at the restaurant but they sold it at the deli around the corner. The "deli" Magnolia Street Market is a full service German Deli. They offer many German items including all different sausages, brats and wieners. They also offer a daily $5.00 Brat. We made the short walk around the corner to the deli and was pleasantly surprised by what we found. We ended up purchasing the mustard that we fell in love with, were given a truffle to try and had a great conversation with the clerks.
If you haven't tried Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe, we suggest you head down to historic Downtown Sanford and experience the flavors of Germany. Look for their website here, the beer and wine selection here, the dinner menu here and the daily lunch specials here. Enjoy!