Long before there was Smoking Goose there was Claus and before that Klemms. The latter two are the same family owned enterprise that has been in Indy for 100 years. Here is a link to their website. http://www.clausgermansausageandmeats.com/.
Claus’, as Klemm’s before has had a big impact on the local population;especially the sizable German immigrants. It has only been in the last few years local restaurants and bars have started taking advantage of the name and price point that Claus offers. When anyone talks of doing some serious grilling they head to Claus’. They also make various luncheon meats. Their braunschweiger ( both soft and coarse with bacon) and liverwurst (fresh or smoked) are my default proteins for a snack. A few slices with crackers,cheese and a beverage is a wonder way to spend an afternoon with friends or by yourself.
Saturday morning I awoke with a craving for said treats and headed to Claus’
That long golden thing is a 1 and 1/2 pound roll of soft Brauschweiger. The loop is a pound of fresh liverwurst. The bunch of sausages are called sizzlers. This is one pound worth,about a dozen. I have no idea why they are called sizzlers. I do know they are a great replacement for jerky.
This is what the soft Braunschweiger looks like on the inside. This delightful mixture is easily spread on toast and practically melts in your mouth.
Now this is what I had in mind when I went to Claus’. The Braunschweiger with slices of CoJack cheese and the Liverwurst with Ritz crackers. I strongly recommend their Bacon crackers. Now this is how I spent part of my afternoon. The only thing I didn’t show was the beverage. In this case it was a pint of Bitburger beer. Oh and yes that is a paper plate.
It does have a bit of a Bavarian feel to it, doesn’t it. Originally it was built as a Steak and Ale. That was a local chain of joints that tried for an English Manor house effect, as you can tell from the name. This particular incarnation opened a few months ago. Since then it has been savaged by some of the reviewers. As a general rule I ignore the most complementary post as well as the meanest one. In this case I noticed that some reviews were awfully hostile, just because their steak was tough. Some almost seemed personal. You always have to realize that some folks will trash a place for reasons other than food and service. Just like some friends of the owner will try to help by heaping on the praise. Frankly I think the former is worse than the latter. If you get canned from the joint,deal with it. It makes no sense to trash a restaurant simply because you couldn’t handle the job. Move on already. And as for the friends of the owner you aren’t really helping the place out. Eventually every place stands or falls on what they do. Not what others say.
So one thing the new owners kept was the Salad Bar. A foundation of the 70’s and 80’s it is not seen much anymore.
I know I took an awful lot of pictures of the salad bar, but as I said people don’t seem to have them around much;except for buffets that is.
They started out with dinner only and then opened up for lunch after they were under way. They have a nice website which features both menus so I didn’t add that to my post. I did get a scan of the beer menu,which I am adding at the end.
For lunch they offer a few lunch portions of their dinners as well as sandwiches. With the plates you get a side and a trip to the salad bar. Pat decided on Schweinbraten, slow cooked pork shoulder.
What you see here is a Frikadellen. Germany’s burger! Fresh ground pork and beef, herbs, and spices come together in this awesome sandwich. Char-grilled with caramelized onions and served on a pretzel bun. 8. I have seen these at Claus’ before. Claus is where they buy their sausages. I asked our server if that is where they got theirs. Oh no they make their own. Sold me.
The sandwich was nicely built on a pretzel bun with lettuce and tomato and topped with carmelized onion and a white cheese. The cheese offered a nice creaminess and the lettuce had a wonderful crunch. The bun was able to stand up to the patty which had a great mouth feel to it and a nice crispy exterior. The bite was reminiscent of a sausage, tight but still moist. It was really a great sandwich. I opted for German Potato salad for my side. It was cubed red potatoes and the vinegar flavor wasn’t as pronounced as I have had before. I enjoyed it and I thought the potatoes were done perfectly. Not soft as in some cases just properly done with a slight bite to them.
So needless to say Pat and I both enjoyed this place. All I can say is if your want a taste of German food try this place out. I don’t think you will be disappointed. And if people are indeed trashing this place simply because they have an ax to grind all I can say is stop it. Let these folks get on with running a business. Let the customers be the true arbiters.
Here is the beer menu.
Well as the title suggests I just love sausage. The Heidelberg Haus Café has been on Pendleton Pike since 1968. It has been primarily known as the place to go for wonderful German cakes and cookies. As a matter of fact, Pat and I stopped in there a few months back for some cookies; after a less than mediocre lunch at Papa’s, across the street. A lesser-known fact is, they also offer lunch. Sausage lunch. Their small menu offers nothing but various types of sausage. They buy their sausage from Claus’, formally known as Klemm’s. which is THE place to go for authentic German-made sausages. Their plates are pretty straightforward. One or two sausages; depending on the type you order, with a portion of the German potato salad and a piece of rye bread and butter. Pat chose frankfurters. Two long pieces slightly smoked pork sausage, that were boiled, prior to serving. He and I have both had sausages from Claus before, so we knew what to expect and we were not disappointed. However, we made the same mistake we’ve made too times before. We started eating and then remembered pictures. So are pictures are not the best we have published.
My eyes were bigger than my stomach, so I ordered two bratwurst. These beauties were slightly fried so there was a slight touch of fat on the outside. The slight resistance of the casing and the smoothness of the sausage inside maked for a delicious pairing. The German style potato salad also made for a great accompaniment. Creamy, with a slight hint of vinegar, it didn’t try to compete with the meat to fill you up. I only ate one sausage, deciding to take the other home in order save room for dessert.
When we first walked in, we were told that Thursday was national Black Forest day. So to honor the celebration. They were selling slices of black forest cake at 1968 prices. One dollar. So in honor of Black Forest day we had to try a piece. And it was multiple layers of rich chocolate cake and real whipped cream. I had to stop and brush away a tear, just thinking about the last bite.
So,there’s not much more I can add. If you like good German sausage served to you, at a good price.( Both plates of sausage totaled less than $18. ) then the Heidelberg Haus Café is the place to go. Even if you can take or leave sausages but if you have a hankering for THE BEST German confections in Indianapolis, then get out to Pendleton Pike.You won’t be disappointed