A Culinary CrossroadsOct 01, 2021 ● By Amy Richmond
On the corner of Main Street and the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco, two culinary worlds conveniently intersect at Hoff’s Steaks & Steins.
At its entrance, two curled heads of wheat on the restaurant’s sign nod to the unrivaled history of Texas steers while the arbor below simply states: Bier Garten. Inside, neon beer signs that hang on a wall of ivy are a tongue-in-cheek reference to the aforementioned bier garten. On the opposite side of the lobby, leather couches surround a coffee table that sports two western saddles. At first, we stopped to wonder how the two could coexist, but curiosity drew us in.
Honey-colored wood floors and tables are outlined by black wood trim. The only spots of color that drew our eyes to the bar were bright red shelves and a large American flag draped on the wall. In the main dining hall, black crocodile skin-embossed benches put a Texas twist on the community-style, six-seater tables that one might find at a bier garten in Germany. Both the main dining hall and the second-floor balcony have a clear view of the main feature: a Texas-sized television screen to keep everyone current on the day’s sports.
At that point, if a fellow had walked in wearing chaps and spurs, we would not have given it a second thought. Instead, some of the patrons at this joint were clad in jeans while others – strolling in from the heat on a late-summer evening – wore shorts.
After a quick glance at the menu, we started to see how German and Texas cuisine really can coexist. Appetizers included a pretzel, a Wurst Taste sampler of sausage, Snake Bites, Buffalo Quail and Oysters Hoff, among others. We opted for the pretzel.
Don’t let its simple moniker fool you. In fact, this pretzel made the trip worthwhile on its own. Roughly the size of a dinner plate, the pretzel arrived piping hot, brushed with butter, sprinkled with coarse salt and accompanied by a light Asagio cheese sauce for dipping. After one bite, we realized this was not an average pretzel. The dough was fresh and, frankly, addictive. When combined with the cheese sauce, we knew we were hopelessly hooked. Even if you only came to Hoff’s for pretzels and beer, you would not be disappointed.
But the rest of the menu beckoned, and its two sides competed for our attention. One side, labeled “Hill Country Steakhouse,” touted its strip, ribeye, filet and cowboy steaks, punctuated by the 32-ounce “The Hoff” steak. The other side was simply titled “Hall” and listed an assortment of entrees such as Candy Backs (slow-smoked pork ribs), Port “A” Platter (fish, shrimp and oysters), Schnitzel (chicken or pork topped with artichokes, mushrooms, lemon butter and bacon bits), Jaeger Schnitzel (chicken or pork topped with mushrooms and gravy), Stick Burner BBQ (available Fridays and Saturdays only) and Chicken Dance (grilled tequila lime chicken).
Hoff’s sides include Sauerkraut, German-style Potato Salad, Coleslaw, State Fair Fries, German Potato Pancakes and Haus Bread, among others. After much mulling, we opted to try what the restaurant’s name recommends: steaks and steins.
My husband chose the 14-ounce ribeye with German-style potato salad and steamed broccolini. Along with it, he took our server Cheyenne’s suggestion to pair it with a Dallas Blonde beer. Made by the Deep Ellum Brewing Company, this golden ale “combines citrusy and floral American hops with Pale, Vienna and Wheat malts.” At Hoff’s, a small beer is 16 ounces, a medium is 32 ounces and, if you’re really thirsty, they offer a 64-ounce branded growler to take home.
For my entrée, I selected the 7-ounce center-cut filet, State Fair Fries and steamed broccolini. Both the ribeye and the filet were cooked just as we had ordered. The smoky, seared edges sealed in the tender flavor beneath.
The German-style potato salad was an unexpected variation with its tangy vinegar and sprinkles of bacon – definitely not the potato salad we are used to in Texas, but a pleasant change from the norm. My State Fair Fries were a mountain of spiraled potatoes, sprinkled with seasoning and accompanied by a small cup of ketchup that went untouched. The slightly zesty broccolini was steamed soft. Both entrees included warm bread with herbed butter. It was quite the feast!
As usual, we managed to find room for dessert. Options included Black (Black Forest cake), Crème (crunchy caramel-topped Bavarian crème), Kasekuchen (tiramisu cheesecake), Streusel (Fredericksburg peach-and-sea salt caramel streusel), and Haagendazs & Barryz (ice cream served with raspberries, blueberries and whipped cream). Leaning toward our weaknesses of chocolate cake and cobbler, we selected the Black and the Streusel.
The cake, which arrived on a large plate, consisted of three thick layers of dark chocolate cake filled with black cherries, topped with buttercream and dusted with chocolate shavings. Those lovely bites of cake, buttercream and cherries proved to be a shamefully addictive combination. The Streusel is served in a petite black cauldron. But, as we all know, looks can be deceiving: Hidden beneath the crunchy topping and a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with caramel lay freshly cut peach slices swimming in a warm, delectable pool of sugar and spice. When it was over, the only remnant that remained was the satisfied smile on its consumer.
Brunch fans will be pleased to learn that Hoff’s Steaks & Steins also offers a Barron Brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, featuring entrees such as Steak and Eggs, German Potato Pancake Stack, Smoke Haus Hash and Eggs Hoff. Items on the lunch menu, served Monday through Friday, include Bavarian Dip, Schnitzel Sandwich, Beer Garden Salad, Wurst, Brisket Reuben and Way South Chicken. If you’re hankering for a happy hour, be sure to arrive between 3-6 p.m. weeknights for “Happy” steins, martinis and wine as well as wurst and fries.
Hoff’s Steaks & Steins’ blend of Texas and German cuisine succeeds in giving patrons a fun culinary experience. After opening in mid-August, the steady stream of customers confirms that it hasn’t taken long for word to spread. (Bring the youngsters too: You won’t find many places that have steak on the kids’ menu). If southern breezes tempt you to dine outside, you are in luck as outdoor seating is available and is blissfully shaded from the western sun. Take your pick from long benches or red Adirondack chairs, and let your cares of the day drift away into the sunset.
Frisco STYLE Magazine dining reviews are not scheduled with or paid for by the featured restaurant. All reviews are completed for the purpose of helping readers learn about and enjoy local dining options. Is there an area restaurant that you’d like us to review? Email us at [email protected]
Amy Richmond is a writer who relishes faith, family, intriguing conversations and inspiring words. She wishes time could be saved in a bottle, because one lifetime isn’t enough.