One of the first things Jürgen did when we got to Savannah was type “German Restaurant” into Google. The nearest authentic place we could find bore the tongue-twisty name of Schnitzel Shack, and was a half-hour away in a town called Rincon (rhymes with Lincoln).
So far away, we eventually forgot about it. But on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, I came home to find Jürgen dressed in his lederhosen, playing the accordion and wailing “Deustchland, deutschland über alles” with tears rolling down his cheeks. The homesickness was terminal. Nurse! I’m going to need an injection of sauerkraut STAT! Let’s roll, destination: Schnitzel Schnack! I mean Shack!
Minutes later we were seated at our table in the tiny restaurant just on the Savannah side of Rincon. Color flushed back into Jürgen’s pale face as he read the menu with growing delight. “Jägerschnitzel? Goulash?! SPÄTZLE?! Ja Ja Ja! Wunderbar!” The restaurant actually offers a selection of both German and Thai dishes, an odd combination which owes itself to the homelands of the Shack’s owners — Pao is from Thailand, and Joe is from Germany.
We soon discovered that Joe’s not just from Germany, but actually from Jürgen’s home town of Darmstadt: a small city south of Frankfurt. Once that unbelievable factoid was unearthed, the night really got going. Joe came over and swapped stories from the Heimatland. Jürgen’s mom even worked at the same company as Joe! We stayed late after eating, and talked with him and Pao while trying out some of their beers. They’re a great, super-nice couple; Joe still works a day job, and comes into the restaurant at night. The Shack is pretty popular; the tables were all full and it seems to attract a crowd of regulars.
And the food! I almost forgot. Joe told us that when a couple comes in, the man typically orders hearty German food while the woman chooses a dish from the Thai section of the menu. Well, Juergen and I are both guys, so we went with Jägerschnitzel, Cordon Bleu, Spätzle and Sauerkraut (okay, fine: and a Thai Dumpling appetizer). Gott im Himmel, was it delicious. The Shack also offers fusion dishes, such as Ginger Cashew Schnitzel and Sweet & Sour Schnitzel.
So, yeah. Somehow, there’s great German-Thai cuisine in Rincon, Georgia, served by a cool guy from Juergen’s home town. It’s unbelievable how many crazy treasures are hidden right in plain sight. If we hadn’t researched the Schnitzel Shack in advance, we’d have driven right by without ever noticing it. But now you know: there’s no excuse to miss this great little restaurant in Rincon. Make sure to say hi to Joe and Pao from us.
January 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm Comments (11)