I visited two standout dining establishments while in Frankfurt. The first occurred when my partner-in-dine took me straight from the train station to the Sachsenhausen area of town, known for its apple wine taverns. (The signature drink of Frankfurt is “Apfelwein,” a light alcoholic apple cider that is produced in the nearby region.)
We went to Adolf Wagner (better known as just Wagner) – a favorite of locals and tourists.
It was bustling, loud and boisterous with big communal tables throughout the huge restaurant. It was a great introduction to the city.
Check in with the host/hostess and there may be a waiting list. But because we were just two people we got seats in the enclosed garden right away.
My goal for the weekend was to eat anything and everything traditionally Frankfurt-y/German. As expected, the portions were large and dishes rich. Though I appreciated the use of acid to try and balance the richness. I was pleasantly surprised at the use of fresh herbs in several traditional dishes. (They have an English-translated menu, but you have to ask for it.)
Apfelwein – tasty and not much alcohol. Locals usually cut it with some sparkling water. Pitcher was only 9€, but the bottle of water was 4€!
Handkäse mit Musik (“cheese with music”) regional cheese that is almost nonfat (Germans call it hard cheese) with oil, vinegar and chopped onions, and bread and butter. The cheese is marinated in the oil-and-vinegar-based sauce to soften the cheese. You cut slices to top your bread. (2.90€) Next was frischkäse (4.50€), which was super tasty and had unexpected freshness. Frischkäse is a cream cheese texture – with fresh herbs and spring leeks mixed in. Also eaten with bread.
And for our entrees, giant portions of schnitzel (you can’t tell, but in the photo below there are two meat filets on each plate)! But with a true Frankfurt specialty simply called “green sauce,” made with seven different herbs (it was yogurt/sour cream-based, and reminded me of tzatziki but with more herbal punch). There’s definitely chives and plenty of parsley. Here’s a recipe for it I found online.
I’ve never had schnitzel (thin, breaded and fried meat) before, so learned you’re supposed to generously squeeze the lemon slice all over the schnitzel. But what made this dish special was the green sauce that you can douse the schnitzel and roasted potatoes in. Sooo good.
If you order the Frankfurt schnitzel (11.90€), I’d suggest splitting an order since it’s huge!
We didn’t get any sausages or sauerkraut, but I saw plenty of those orders leaving the kitchen. They also offer a “Frankfurt platter” that includes several specialties, but you need a minimum of four people to share. (If our schnitzel plates were supposed to be for one person, I can’t begin to imagine how insanely large the platter must be!!)
Definitely stick-to-your-bones food to ward off German winters and a great entry to Frankfurt/German cuisine!
Adolf Wagner, Schweizer Straße 71, D-60594 Frankfurt am Main, +49 (0)69 / 61 25 65