Friday, January 09, 2009

Schmidt's Sausage House - Columbus, Ohio

I am starting the new year with a new discovery. I first learned about this restaurant on the Travel Channel and when I heard them say "Sausage Buffet" my ears perked up and I quickly took note of the location. Now, as I always do, when I have not personally been to a buffet, I let you know right up front. This one I have seen through the magic of cable television and I have researched what I have been able to find about it. I cannot say that I have tasted the food, but I have heard that the food was excellent.

I am always looking for new buffets and I am especially on the look out for buffets that are serving foods and cuisines that are different from the usual chain , "international", or Asian buffets. Sausage! This restaurant has a SAUSAGE BUFFET!

Schmidt's Sausage House in Columbus, Ohio is in the middle of the German area of the city - an area referred to as "German Village", which it turns out is the largest, privately funded restoration project in the United States. The restaurant is an off-shoot of the company's meat business that specializes in German sausages. Schmidt's Packing Company has been in business since 1886 - yes, that is 1886 making sausage. The restaurant is not only a buffet but a buffet is featured as part of the regular the menu that features both German dishes and sausages. The buffet is called "The Autobahn". If you don't know, the Autobahn in Germany is a road with no speed limits - and like the road, the buffet has no limits as well. Items on the buffet have been served here for over 120 years.

From what I could see of the buffet it is served in hot chafing dishes set up in the restaurant. The buffet offers a variety of German sausages made by Schmidt's including bratwurst, knockwurst, and a special sausage only made by Schmidt's called Bahama Mama. The Bahama Mama is a combination of beef and pork and is spiced with a secret blend of spices which are both tasty and quite spicey. There is also a "mild" Bahama Mama offered. Bratwurst is a pork sausage - much like what you would expect a sausage to be. Knockwurst is a beef sausauge and in my experience has been much like a very large and thick frankfurter. The sausages are served on the buffet cut up into chunks. These sausages have won many local awards.

According to their website, other German dishes are served on the buffet as well along with a variety of side dishes. Dessert is not included on the buffet but those ordering the buffet are given a discounted price on desserts from the menu including the restauant's special feature desert - a half pound cream puff. This cream puff is huge and bursting with cream! You can also get the cream puff with chocolate.

I do not know the price of the buffet. The menu lists prices for entrees from between $10 and $15. They do not list the price of the buffet, nor do they list the price of the cream puffs. Just about everything else on their web menu has a price. In addition to soft drinks, alcohol and micro brews are served. What would German sausage be without a mug of beer?

According to their website there is entertainment at Schmidts too. There is German and American music on select nights and the acts change frequently. They advise calling or checking the website to see who will be playing and when.

The building is historic and the restaurant is located in a restored livery stable. As I said, this is all in the heart of an historic restoration. The restaurant is located at German Village, 240 East Kossuth Street, Columbus, Ohio 43216. Their telephone number is 614-444-6808. There is a website and it is listed at the side of this page.

I am trying to figure out how I can make one of my trips go detour through Columbus, Ohio so that I can try this buffet. It sounds that good! If you have ever been to Schmidts and had the Autobahn Buffet, please leave a comment with this article and let us all know what you think.


Columbus Foodie said...

My husband and I love the buffet at Schmidt's. I don't remember the exact price but it is quite reasonable for what you get. My favorites are the garlic knockwurst and their hot potato salad.

After seeing it featured on Man Vs. Food a few weeks ago, we're dying to go back (it's been a while). If you're ever in Columbus, it's definitely worth the trip, along with the Sunday brunch buffets at both Anna's (a local Greek restaurant) and Smackie's (a BBQ joint).

Anonymous said...

My wife is a big fan of this buffet. First, the physical dimensions of this buffet is small. I'd say the food is laid out in an area about 10 by 10 feet. The rest of the place is a variety of seating, along with a big counter at the door, containing a variety of items that can be purchased for carry out. The buffet consists of a large lettuce salad with some toppings, one or two soups (it's been 6 months or more since I was last there and my memory is a big hazy), then 4 or 5 different types of sausage, a mac & cheese, a cooked cabbage, green beans, kraut, and something else that I'm forgetting.

The sausages are knockwurst, bratwurst, Bahama Mama, and one other that I'm forgetting.

It is quite tasty.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine that no one has mentioned the sausage stew. It is delicious. The cream puffs are unbelieveable. Of course several cabbage based dishes are offered and delicious. It is always a stop on any trip to Columbus for us. We've been going for around 15years. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

If I recall right, the buffet is under $15. As for the cream puffs, which are beyond amazing, they are $5.95. They also have a smaller version of the cream puff for about $3. The buffet's side dishes include German Potato Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, The aforementioned sausage stew, a rice and chicken dish, the "haus" salad, and German staple- sauerkraut. Also, the sausages you mentioned.

Just another note, they cater out for events. And, if you go to Columbus, and want amazing pizza, check out Hounddog's Pizza on N. HIgh Street. THe best.