March 18, 2012

Dine Out Maine: Cozy spot brings big German flavors to Portland

By NANCY HEISER

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20120308_DineOutME
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Annika Black of Bridgton, left, and her mother, Marlies Reppenhagen of Portland, dine on Schulte & Herr’s homestyle German food outside on a mild March day. The restaurant recently added dinner to its brunch and lunch offerings.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

DINING REVIEW

SCHULTE & HERR, 349 Cumberland Ave., Portland 773-1997; schulteundherr.wordpress.com

****

HOURS: Dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; brunch 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

CREDIT CARDS: Visa, Mastercard and Discover

PRICE RANGE: Appetizers, $4 to $9; entrees, $15 to $18

VEGETARIAN: Yes

GLUTEN-FREE: Yes

KIDS: Welcome. No separate menu.

RESERVATIONS: Accepted

BAR: No liquor license. BYOB.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: No. Two steps to enter.

BOTTOM LINE: Delicious, high-quality, homestyle German food, most of it made in-house, served in a storefront restaurant in downtown Portland. The proprietors bring skill, personal attention and passion to their small eatery, which fills an ethnic gap in Portland's celebrated culinary scene and offers a very good value to boot.

Ratings follow this scale and take into consideration food, atmosphere, service and value:

• Poor  ** Fair  *** Good   **** Excellent ***** Extraordinary. 

The Maine Sunday Telegram visits an establishment twice if the first dining experience was unsatisfactory. The reviewer dines anonymously.

The restaurant's ravioli-like "swabian pasta," a preparation common to the southwest region of Germany known as Swabia, was millimeter-thin and wrapped around a filling of densely packed spinach with a touch of ricotta ($15).

Those who nibble at salads won't find a lot of options, although the salmon appetizer could easily stand in as a meal for lighter appetites. The gemischter salatteller -- a colorful appetizer plate of pickled marinated green beans, cucumbers in sour cream, radishes and a dip of pureed squash ($7) -- is one of just a few vegetarian options.

For dessert, an inch of dense and crumbly cake held large, tart sections of plum, the slice served with a mound of whipped cream -- a simple, not-too-sweet pastry you'd likely have sitting in a kitchen over coffee ($3.50).

Co-owners Steffi Davin, a German native, and her husband, Brian, a New England Culinary Institute graduate, lived in Berlin for nine years, where they found inspiration for the dishes at Schulte & Herr. They tend their restaurant with care and aplomb, bringing friendly and personal service as well as singular food to their cozy eatery.

Nancy Heiser is a freelance writer. She can be reached at:

nancyheiser.com

 

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