You won’t find many German restaurants in Idaho with a Google search. But at the top of the list, you’ll find Eagle’s Schnitzel Garten, which serves up authentic—and memorable—German recipes.
It’s the first and only authentic German restaurant in the Treasure Valley. Partners Courtland Hugues and Elena Filenova—and half of their staff—are native Germans who offer the best of their native home cooking.
There are no shortcuts to bringing that cooking to the table, from buying local whenever possible to following time-treasured recipes, to mom and daughter Georgine and Stephanie Jeffries serving your dishes in traditional Bavarian dresses known as dirndl.
“You have to grow up with this food,” Hugues said. “The key to success is that people have an affinity for this food and, for them, this is paradise.”
Paradise comes in many forms, such as the Jager Schnitzel, comprised of a large, thin veal cutlet, gently breaded and fried and topped with a subtle yet flavorful sauce featuring fresh mushrooms. It’s served with Gurkensalat, or cucumber salad, prepared in a sour cream and dill sauce.
Schnitzel also comes in chicken and pork.
More favorites include sauerbraten, rouladen (braised beef rolls with bacon, onion and pickle), leberkase (similar to a baloney sausage) and variations on goulash.
Try bratwurst with sauerkraut and German mashed potatoes. All of Schnitzel Garten’s wursts and sausages are made in-house. Other German specialties include seasonal dishes, and there’s plenty of partying at Oktoberfest, with specialty beers, live music and authentic food served on the dates that coincide with the festival in Munich.
Their Oktoberfest chicken is a rooster served with sides such as warm potato salad or fries with curry ketchup. Hugues said the after-club crowds often stop for currywurst and fries, among other “typical German street food.”
Schnitzel Garten also offers a wide selection of beer and wine. You’ll find Andech’s beer here, “a well-rounded, subtle, unique” brew that’s been around for about 500 years, Hugues said. The Benedictine monks of St. Boniface in Munich and Andechs brew the beer.
Hugues said he had “a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant” in his native Germany. When he moved here he discovered there was no German restaurant in the Treasure Valley, and decided with Elena to make Schnitzel Garten happen.
“There are so many Germans in the valley, you have no idea. I thought it would be good for the community, good for the Germans, good for business to have a German restaurant here,” he said.
“I love this building and the beer garden,” he said. “The restaurant here is more of a destination, and they all come here, and they all come back. I have a great responsibility: I make people happy.”