Since 1734, the Newportville Inn has been a Bucks County hub for beer and authentic German food. It is situated in a former grist-mill along the Neshaminy Creek on Lower Road in its namesake town of Newportville, PA. Voted the best German restaurant in the county for three years in a row, it is locally known as the “American tavern with a German accent” and features 18 beers on tap.
Having survived many changes since its inception, the building resembles part roadhouse, part Swiss chalet with its shuttered windows and hillside setting. A winding paved path leads down to the inn, where you enter first a long hallway that serves as a waiting area when needed, complete with benches and a popcorn machine; and then their bar – a throw back in time with brass railings and dark wood.
A quick passing rain storm blew through the area shortly before we arrived which sent al fresco diners scurrying to find shelter inside. But the storm also blew out much of the oppressive humidity that blanketed the area all day. This was a plus for us along with dining buddies Barb and Brad, for we were all too happy to sit on the now deserted brick patio. The hostess asked which of the many tables we preferred and had the staff wipe everything down for us. Perfekt!
The patio was nearly deserted due to an earlier shower. As we waited for our tables to be wiped down, we noticed one young couple sitting on the knee-wall, but they vacated the premises shortly thereafter.
Barb and I wondered what was taking our men so long to follow us outside, and then they appeared each with a small tray of the aforementioned popcorn.
Instead of the usual bread basket, they served a bowl of pretzel bits with a side of their famous homemade stone ground mustard. It was so good, the bus boy brought around another batch when he saw we made quick work of the first round. The only negative to slightly dampen our outdoor enthusiasm was the occasional drop of leftover rain falling from the vine on the overhead trellis.
What’s to eat? If you are a meat lover, their menu lists every type of braten and wurst there is: knockwurst, bockwurst, bratwurst and sauerbraten, to name a few. There is always a “schnitzel of the day” and entrees that feature all the classic accompaniments to German sausage, including German spaetzle, sauerkraut, braised red cabbage, and potato pancakes.
To be perfectly honest as far as ethnic food goes, German fare is not my first preference; nor is beer my beverage of choice. Not that I despise either mind you—but for those of us who are otherwise inclined, they offer alternatives including a veggie burger for vegetarians, and wines and mixed drinks.
Speaking of libations, when Jimmy our waiter inquired about our drink choices, I asked what types of red wine were available by the glass. His list started with Pinot Grigio, White Zinfandel, Merlot… causing our eyebrows to rise in unison. Clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to knowing his wines, he at least was knowledgeable about the beer selection.
The yummy Sauerkraut Bite appetizer.
Wanting to try something different in the appetizer arena, Russ talked me into sharing the Sauerkraut Bites—homemade sauerkraut and corned beef, breaded and deep-fried to perfection and served with a side of Opa’s mustard sauce. Not a usual consumer of deep-fried food, I have to admit, they were really good!
Brad and I both broke from tradition and ordered non-German entrees, much to Barb’s chagrin. Oh well, she and Russ did the authentic thing and went with real German food. Russ chose the Kassler Rippchen with smoked and pan-fried center cut pork chops, served with German potato salad and sauerkraut. There wasn’t a speck of pork left on his plate!
Russ’s entree, Kassler Rippchen, featured two large smoked pork chops (one already mostly consumed!)
An interesting array of sausages adorned Barb’s small plate order.
Barb opted for a “Small Plate” offering of Mixed Wurst Sampler that showcased a sampling of sliced weiss, knock and bratwurst accompanied by sautéed onions and apples and served with a side of potato pancakes. The offering allows one to try numerous sausages with out being overwhelmed.
Lynn’s crab cake, even though fried, was filled with lots of lump crab and little else.
I liked the idea of a Small Plate because I usually end up taking half of my entree home anyway. Luckily the crab cake entree, which I was contemplating, also came as a Small Plate option, so I got the Single Crab Cake Platter with one homemade crab cake fried golden and served with fries and coleslaw. Alas, I still had some leftovers, but it made for a good little snack the next day.
Brad is our burger man, and he didn’t disappoint when he ordered their Alpine Burger which was topped with Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms surrounded with a pickle and hand-cut fries served with curry ketchup—a condiment he really enjoyed.
The Alpine Burger was Brad’s dinner selection.
Dessert must be listed on a separate menu, because it wasn’t on the main one. All too full, none of us were interested anyway. But for those of you with a sweet tooth, I understand the German chocolate cake and the hot apple strudel are both winners and are made on the premises. Just sayin’…