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Fit for a King

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

King's schnitzel isn't made with veal (and, strictly speaking, doesn't have to be). You can choose between chicken and pork, but the latter makes for a far more tender and flavorful dinner, the softly brined pork in its crispy batter parting easily under a knife. Although there's no cream gravy for this fried "steak," you'll want to squirt a few lemons across the top and let the citrus juices brighten up that crunchy batter before digging in. Or go whole hog and order it "hunter style," with a generous topping of Jaeger sauce, a white wine reduction thick with sautéed mushrooms and freshly ground black pepper. Sides of Austrian potato salad and spaetzle are recommended here so as not to overwhelm the schnitzel. Although the bacon-flecked potato salad has a slight vinegar bite to it, the softly crisped, pan-fried little egg noodles are tender and comforting.

The sausages, too, make for cozy food on a fall night. And just in time for Oktoberfest, too, where at King's Biergarten you can very nearly replicate the entire Munich experience — sans the airfare.
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The traditional sausage of Oktoberfest (of course there's a traditional sausage of Oktoberfest) is Weisswurst, a delicate sausage not often found in Houston. It's made of ground pork and veal, and — true to its name — is very nearly white in color. Seasoned with parsley, lemon, cardamom and ginger, the light, herbal flavor is miles away from what we traditionally associate German brats with: meaty, swaggering, primal things that taste of charred flesh and victory.

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

Location Info

Map

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

Details

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

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

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At King's, you can get your Weisswurst on its own or let it share a plate with some of its huskier companions: a Polish sausage with a smoky, spicy kick or a grilled bratwurst with a sharp-edged bite to it from the fresh onions and garlic that go into the ground pork mix. It's endless plates of sausages like these that you'll see in great quantity, trotting out on the Wurst Platters or the Oktoberfest Sampler plates, if you visit while Oktoberfest is still in full swing through October 30. On Monday nights, there's a strongman competition to see who can hold a liter of beer aloft for the longest amount of time, while weekend nights see live music outside in the rustic, rambling biergarten.

You can also indulge in enormous, celebratory specials like the schweinsstelze, a crispy pork shank that's large enough for two, served with pork dumplings, ham-studded sauerkraut, red cabbage and King's housemade apple horseradish sauce. It's a sight to behold, the nearly foot-high shank landing with a clatter on the wooden tables like the centerpiece in a Viking feast, and it's a wonder the waitresses can even lift the thing with one hand.

The things I've seen those waitresses carry would do a Munich Oktoberfest girl proud: King's has an incredibly adept and adroit staff of young women in somewhat skimpy dirndls who can haul beer with the best of them. Liters land swiftly and without a drop spilled, while huge plates are delivered quick and hot and always with a huge smile. And throughout every service, Sitter himself — along with wife Megan and son Phillip — is always watching the crowds to make sure his little slice of Austria is running smoothly. You'll notice him chatting with patrons and running food, always dressed in his signature lederhosen and smiling broadly. He looks happy here, as at home in Texas as generations of Austrian and German immigrants before him.

And on cool nights during Oktoberfest when the polka band is in full swing and the sausages are flying out of the kitchen with the swoosh of a dirndl skirt, you can find Sitter leading the customers in "Der Prosit," a traditional German drinking song that mimics the sounds of cuckoo clocks like the ones hanging in the entrance to King's Biergarten: "Zicke zacke zicke zacke hoi hoi hoi! Prost!"

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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7 comments
mickmc0121
mickmc0121

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. 

Trinamazing
Trinamazing

@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.

Erins_Voice
Erins_Voice

@Trinamazing Do you like leaving food reviews? King's needs 1 on @voiceplaces after that great @houstonpress article! http://t.co/hJLeW3aB

 
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