The pseudo-Alpine facade of Schneithorst's has been a landmark at the corner of Lindbergh Boulevard and Clayton Road for almost 60 years. In recent times, the lot has been altered somewhat. Now the restaurant is part of The Village at Schneithorst’s, a development that includes several retail establishments that cluster outside the restaurant like a feudal village. While the building and the surroundings may have changed, the food at Schneithorst’s remains—in many ways—unchanged.
Schneithorst's is split between the Bierkeller (the bar area) and the main restaurant. The Bierkeller replicates a European cellar pub atmosphere, replete with stone walls and ceilings; while the restaurant, where we dined, was more like your grandmother's kitchen, bright with lots of light-colored wood and assorted knick-knacks adorning the walls.
The Appetizers--or Vorspeisen--were a curious mix of pub favorites like onion rings, Teutonic specialties such as the German Sausage and Cheese Platter, and seemingly out-of place entries like the Louisiana Blue Claw Crab Cakes. We ended up ordering the Bier Gruyere Fondue ($11). The creamy cheese itself was fine, but the odds and ends that came with it for dipping were, well, a bit odd--slices of green apples, a few gherkins, some small pickled onions and several hard slices of hazelnut bread. Not sure if these are traditional German fondue accompaniments, but they didn't add much flavor-wise to the dish as a whole, and the onions especially were hard to spear and dip.
From the Burgers & Sandwiches we opted for the Baron Special ($11), a charbroiled beef patty served open-faced and topped with cheese sauce and criss-crossed with two strips of bacon, along with two enormous onion rings and a handful of thick steak fries. Filling doesn't even begin to describe this hefty sandwich. The cheese sauce had a nice tang to it; and of course, bacon is the ultimate addition to any burger, regardless of style.
Looking for something more traditionally German to sample, the Weiner Schnitzel ($19) from the Dinner Entrees seemed the perfect fit. We got a veal patty that covered the entire plate, pounded paper-thin, breaded and served on a bed of spaetzel and a choice of veggie on the side (green beans for us). The veal was tender and the lemon caper sauce it came with lent a bit of bite. The breading wasn't overdone and provided just enough texture. While the spaetzel was tender, it was lacking in the spice department and could've used some tweaking.
Prices across the menu were reasonable, the portions (ours anyway, and those we saw delivered to surrounding tables) were more than generous. The food was simple and straightforward without pretense. These three things combined are a good indication of why Schneithort's remains a go-to destination for so many area diners.--Schneithorst's Restaurant & Bar, 1600 S. Lindbergh Blvd., 993-4100, schneithorst.com.