Danke Schön

We can only say thank you to Brenner's (10911 Katy Freeway, 713-465-2901) for offering an alternative to the national meat of Texas -- chicken-fried steak. Like its dining room, a relaxing setting with wood paneling, a cozy fireplace and an elderly waitstaff, the steak house's wiener schnitzel ($21.95) exudes a certain German comfort, maybe even a retro wholesomeness. The tender baby veal is pounded to perfection and battered in a crunchy/crumbly breading before being lightly sautéed. No knife is required for this melt-in-your-mouth meat, which is paired with the same German potatoes Brenner's has been serving since the 1930s. Just don't expect the cream gravy that Texans so love with their chicken-fried steaks. Of course, if you say bitte, the chef can offer a pretty good imitation.

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Melanie Knight