SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - September 3, 2013 --Philadelphia is the first place Germans settled in North America, arriving more than 330 years ago.
Their influence remains profound, but their traditional foods have given way to those from other cultures, notably Italian. But you can still enjoy painstakingly authentic German food at some Philly hot spots.Jeremy Nolen owns two. His Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street features house-made sausages served in a beer bar atmosphere. Call that an obvious marriage. But this year, Nolen took his essentials uptown to Reading Terminal Market, opening Wursthause Schmitz. There's no beer bar. Many of the sausages are the same. You can get something to eat at the market's open tables nearby, or buy some to cook at home. The menu includes other Germanic favorites like schnitzel, pork or chicken cutlers, no veal. There's a more diverse selection of sandwiches that come wrapped to go. And you'll find an entire wall of German groceries you'll want to export to your pantry at home...mixes for dumplings and noodles, preserved cabbages and sauerkraut, and lots of chocolate worthy of the Old World. Nolen would love to have German breads, but no bakery in the region meets his specifications. Surprisingly, a Vietnamese bakery in South Philadelphia comes very close, so he buys from them. He also gets dense German-style breads from a bakery in Canada. His sauerkraut isn't completely house -made because he sells so much of it. But he elevates the basic shredded, pickled cabbage by cooking it with beer and bacon. The result is nothing like the vinegary stuff you're used to buying in bags and cans. It's mellow and rich. It comes on a grilled bratwurst that's his single biggest seller at the market. A close second is the Lyoner, grilled bologna with cheese and topped with horseradish sauce and a generous helping of onions. The stand, located on the 11th Street side of Reading Terminal Market near the teaching kitchen La Cucina, is open seven days at 10:00am. Closing time is the same as the market at large. For information, visit Brauhaus Schmitz or phone 215-922-4287. You might find it easier remember 215-922-HAUS.