With my family living in different parts of town, and six kids between me and my brother’s family, we are always in need of a family-friendly restaurant that is casual, spacious, not too quiet (my family is loud even without the kids!), and conveniently located between all of us. With four locations – Northeast Portland, Tigard, Clackamas, and Vancouver, WA – Gustav’s Pub & Grill has been a great meeting place for my family. It’s a fabulous place for large groups in general, and in fact, I just ate here yesterday with my moms’ lunch group!
Gustav’s is the sister restaurant to Der Rheinlander, which has been serving classic and reinvented German food and drink to Portlanders since 1963. I was excited to have the opportunity to try their current Winter Specials Menu, inspired by the executive chef’s most recent trip back to Germany.
Gustav’s offers at least 18 imported German beers on tap at each location. If you are not very familiar with German beers, the beer sampler is a great place to start. You can choose any four beers on tap. The sampler pictured below includes: Hofbräu Original Helles, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Hofbräu Hefeweisen, and Spaten Optimator.
Gustav’s also offers a variety of cocktails and has a small but solid wine list.
If you’re looking for a warm cocktail for cold nights, try the Glüwein (pictured below): Merlot steeped in sweet spices, honey, and orange and lemon zests.
One favorite starter standby (and for good reason) is the Bavarian Pretzel. Bigger than my head, these classic pretzels are nicely toasted on the outside and slightly sweet and doughy on the inside, served with whole grain mustard.
The fondue at Gustav’s is also a reliable starter, and instead of just one or two fondue options, you have several here. My fellow diners yesterday really enjoyed the Pesto & Sausage Fondue.
Gustav’s regular menu has a variety of bratwursts, sandwiches, and salads from which to choose. You can also get larger entrees such as fish and chips or peppercorn steak. Your kids can choose from chicken strips, spätzle and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, or cheddar bratwurst.
German food isn’t generally known for being dainty and demure, and the massive 16-ounce brined & roasted ham hock on the current Winter Specials Menu, nails the expectation of a hearty classic German meal. Known as Schweinshaxe, the dish is served with creamy mashed potatoes, beer jus (because: more beer), and fresh grated horseradish. The skin is absolutely cooked to perfection: it’s every bit as crispy and juicy as you want it to be.
Gegrillte Hähnchenbrust Mit Gebratenen Pilzen is grilled chicken breast served with a pepper cream sauce and housemade spätzle. The mushrooms help give this entree a nice earthy flavor.
Hausgemachte Kalbfleischpflanzerl is, I am pretty sure, a string of a couple of made-up words for absolutely delicious. I only had a couple of bites to taste this, but it was my favorite. Housemade veal and pork meatballs are pan-seared and served with a pepper cream sauce, Bavarian potato salad, and fresh greens.
Then, of course, you must conclude with dessert. I can’t have dairy, so I only had one bite, but that bite was enough. I’d suggest ordering this for dessert on your next visit to Gustav’s. Judging by how quickly these beautiful glasses of chocolate mouse turned into empty glasses, I’d say my fellow diners would agree.
The service has always been excellent at any Gustav’s I have ever been to. They have a solid happy hour with a good selection of sides and small plates ranging in price from $4-7 each. It is a fun place to go with the family, for Girls Night Out, or with large groups.
Gustav’s Bier Stube/Gustav’s Pub & Grill
Sunday – Thursday ~ 11am TO 10pm
Friday & Saturday~ 11am TO 11pm
Monday – Saturday 2-6pm in the bar
All Day Sunday in the whole restaurant
Late night, 9pm – close, in the whole restaurant
Are you a fan of German food? If so, what’s your favorite German food and/or German beer?
Many thanks to Gustav’s and Koopman Ostbo for inviting me to this blogger dinner. I was not compensated for this post, and there was no requirement or expectation for coverage. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.