Fit for a King

A Pearland biergarten serves up tasty Austrian-German food and lots of fun.


Check out pictures of the colorful interior of King's Biergarten in our slideshow.

From a distance, the polka music galumphing out into the night air from the open-air patio at King's Biergarten could easily be confused with banda, conjunto or norteño music — all styles of Mexican music deeply influenced by late 19th-century German settlers in Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Nuevo León. Interestingly enough, the turreted and stucco'd building that houses King's Biergarten clearly used to be a Mexican restaurant in its former life. The quaintly odd tableau also features an attached car wash that doubles as extra parking at night and a sprawling, mostly covered biergarten that overlooks a small bayou out back.

The kitchen trots out endless sausage platters during Oktoberfest.
Troy Fields
The kitchen trots out endless sausage platters during Oktoberfest.

Location Info


King's Biergarten

1329 E. Broadway
Pearland, TX 77581

Category: Restaurant > Austrian

Region: Pearland

Rudi Lechner's Restaurant and Bar

2503 S. Gessner Road
Houston, TX 77063

Category: Music Venues

Region: Outer Loop - SW

Charivari Restaurant

2521 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Restaurant > European

Region: Montrose


Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Thursdays through Sundays.
Liptauer spread: $5.95
One sausage with one side: $6.95
Lumberjack bread: $8.95
Wiener schnitzel: $14.95
Zwiebelrostbraten: $17.95
Oktoberfest Sampler: $25.90

SLIDESHOW: Celebrate Oktoberfest with King's Biergarten
BLOG POST: Celebrate Oktoberfest Like the Germans Do at King's Biergarten -- With Beer

Johann Sitter, an Austrian who emigrated to Texas in 1994, owns that car wash next door — also named King's. Over the course of a few years, Sitter took the old Mexican joint and reverse-engineered it into a German-Austrian restaurant worthy of his homeland.

It's no secret that Texas cuisine and culture has been strongly molded over the centuries by both Mexicans and Germans. Yet while Mexican food (or at least Tex-Mex) is omnipresent in Houston, authentic German food is far more difficult to find. Sure, you can get a gravy-covered chicken-fried steak with its roots in Austrian schnitzel, or grill some brats outside during Texans game days. But outside of a couple of places — Rudi Lechner's on the far west side or Charivari in Midtown — getting a good zwiebelrostbraten or some homemade spaetzle is nearly impossible.

Thankfully, there's King's Biergarten. And unlike the more demure Rudi Lechner's or the white-tablecloth Charivari, King's Biergarten is all about fun. It's impossible not to have a good time there, whether over a liter of Spaten Oktoberfest — beers are sold, in true Germanic style, in liters or half-liters — and some sausages while watching the weekend polka bands, or simply enjoying a well-battered piece of Wiener schnitzel with a side of lush red cabbage.

King's Biergarten is not Johann Sitter's first run at the restaurant business. He owned the popular Schmatz down in League City back in the late 1990s, a restaurant that specialized in German tapas. The word "schmatz" means something like a loud kiss, or an appreciative smack of the lips in Sitter's Austrian dialect. And these little lip-smacking bites were an interesting twist on the typically heavy-portioned food, even if the restaurant itself didn't last.

You'll find evidence of those schmatzes in Sitter's new menu at King's Biergarten, where an appetizer of Lumberjack Bread makes for the perfect bite-size accompaniment to a few liters of beer and some friends. Small rectangles of rye bread are topped with thick slices of smoked pork loin, slivers of cornichons, whole-grain mustard and a dab of mayonnaise. A ramekin of fresh, hot horseradish comes in the middle of the spread, and its usage is highly recommended. You can always cool the burn with some Warsteiner.

Equally appealing is the housemade Liptauer spread, the kissing cousin to those addictive cheese balls your favorite aunt brings to Christmas each year. Liptauer is actually Hungarian, in keeping with Austria's heady lean toward the more Eastern end of European cuisine (rather than the more Germanic or Western), but is equally popular in Austrian wine bars as it is in its native Hungary. Cream cheese is sharpened up with plenty of Hungarian paprika, grainy mustard, capers, cornichons and sour cream, the paprika turning the entire creation a soft, cheerful orange color. While the Liptauer spread is good on the slices of baguette that accompany a dish of it, I recommend ordering the huge, hot German pretzel instead and having what could possibly be the best bar snack of your life.

In fact, King's Biergarten functions as much as a bar as it does a restaurant. But unlike other combo packages that lean too heavily toward one or the other, King's straddles that line nicely. If you just want to have a flight of difficult-to-find German beers, take in some college football and eat a pretzel, you can do that. If you want to have a nice meal out with friends and family, King's can do that for you, too.

For those occasions, you'll want to explore the "Plates" and "Vienna Specialties" side of the menu. That's where you'll find dishes that truly make King's Biergarten worth the drive to Pearland, regardless of where you reside in the greater Houston area. And that's where you'll find dishes like the zwiebelrostbraten, a comfort food staple in Austria.

From the moment that the zwiebelrostbraten hit the table on my first visit, the thick scent of fried onions and well-seared beef was all-consuming. It smelled of childhood and happiness, even though my own childhood was devoid of any sirloins topped with fried onions in this particular style. Yet it's familiar because of its basic ingredients: a thick cut of steak, gravy made from drippings and butter, caramelized and crispy onions, a side of simply roasted potatoes. These things are easy for a Texan palate to appreciate, in the same way that a plate of schnitzel is somehow recognizable even if you've never had one before.

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My Voice Nation Help

The food is really good and authentic (according to my German mother in law).  Gotta love the the great beer and the live music on weekend evenings.  Great place for the family to eat.  I know for my birthday in a couple of months we are going to King's Biergarden...I will get the 4 sausage platter, red cabbage, and potato dumpling and wash it down with a great Octoberfest beer.   I can hardly wait........maybe we should go before then. 


@HoustonPress I went to King's iy was amazing!

Deepati Marin
Deepati Marin

Im proud to be german! but I just drink beer:(

Gloria Beck
Gloria Beck

Looks good. too bad it's way out in Pearland, for me anyway.


@Trinamazing Do you like leaving food reviews? King's needs 1 on @voiceplaces after that great @houstonpress article!