Hidden within the clamor of traffic and pedestrians along Hempstead Turnpike is an oasis of food and drink—a German beer hall seemingly immune to changing tastes and times.
Plattduetsche Park Restaurant, Catering & Biergarten has been bringing German tradition to Long Island since the early 1900s. The biergarten—or beer garden—is open year round and during the warm summer nights, the outdoor, open-air venue is perfect for large gatherings of friends and strangers over beer steins and German fare.
There’s an indoor option as well, with Plattduetsche’s two-level indoor seating space boasting two bars, a performance stage and plenty of dining space. The newly expanded menu includes choices that one might find in a Munich Biergarten, along with traditional German favorites and some continental choices to accommodate the taste buds of all eaters. Standout menu items include many different types of wurst, homemade German potato salad and potato pancakes, giant hot pretzels, Little Bavarians (pretzel slider rolls with bratwurst, bacon and Swiss cheese) and apple strudel. Executive Chef Herbert Aigner also features daily specials and a kids menu is available.
Plattduetsche has a special beer menu, with many decidedly German offerings. See below for a small sampling of the restaurant’s brews.
For a taste of the German countryside, a wise order is the Bavarian wurst sampler platter. This plate is loaded with the pork and nutmeg-laced bratwurst, the pork and veal knackwurst, beef and pork krainerwurst and the mildly spiced pork and veal bockwurst all served with sauerkraut and homemade German potato salad. The four wursts offer varied textures and spice levels, with knackwurst providing the snap and krainerwurst delivering a mouthwatering smoky flavor.
Another beer hall menu item that sets Plattduetsche apart is the giant pretzel. Imported from Munich and measuring 10-inches across, the salty, hot and soft pretzel is served with sweet and hot mustard for dipping. Plattduetsche also uses pretzel as the vehicle for its Little Bavarians—eight mini-pretzel slider rolls filed with sliced brats, Swiss cheese and bacon.
Other smart orders include the fried brie and lingonberries, the fresh off the griddle potato pancakes and the creamy smoked Gouda macaroni and cheese bites.
Plattduetsche’s burger menu is also worth a view, especially the Mad Bavarian, which is a burger with two potato pancakes, fried pickles and Munster cheese. Meanwhile, the chef specialties menu boasts classic German fare, including Sauerbraten with braised beef in a sweet and tangy gravy; Wiener schnitzel with fried veal cutlet; Jaeger schnitzel with pan-seared veal in a demi glace with sliced mushrooms; and the Champignon rahmschnitzel with breaded, fried veal cutlet topped with a white mushroom cream sauce.
Desserts are also available, with the Apfelstrudel standing out. This famous dessert features flaky pastry layers with apples, cinnamon, butter and sugar.
Plattduetsche Park Restaurant & Biergarten, 1132 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square; 516-354-3131; www.parkrestaurant.com.