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The Cellar at Castle Falls

820 N. MacArthur Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 942-6133

Entrance to 'The Cellar at Castle Falls'

The original Keller in Kastle German Restaurant closed in 2004, and it looked as if Oklahoma would lose one of its best ethnic restaurants. For a while plans were being discussed to turn this Eurpoean castle style building into another use, but it reopened as Jutta's Keller at Castle Falls, serving the same food as before. Many of the former cooks and employees returned, continuing the same restaurant with a new name.

At the time of my latest visit in 2009, the name had been changed to Castle Falls. Castle Falls is actually a business devoted primarily to wedding receptions and parties, and several large buildings on the grounds can take care of these events. The restaurant, called the Cellar at Castle Falls, occupies the ground floor in the building known as "The Castle," with probably less than a dozen tables available for patrons. Food is served Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, but it is required that parties call ahead for reservations. It operates just as the restaurant did before, except that they have to know you are coming and schedule a time for you. I am told the reason for this is that the kitchen is so small they really cannot handle a large number of unexpected customers. I think if necessary they can place people in some of the other dining rooms upstairs, but the main constraint is the kitchen rather than the fact that the "cellar" only holds about a dozen tables.

One advantage to having a small kitchen is that the restaurant maintains high food quality. I do not make the case that this would be the best German food you could ever try, or that all of the food prepared is perfect. I do think, though, that this is pretty close to German "home cooking."

The bar at Castle Falls
Castle Falls' bar greets visitors upon entering

Upon entering the building customers pass a full bar that seems to be stocked with just about anything a person would want. Personally I think the selection of beers is pretty impressive, with light and dark beers available from the U.S., Germany, the Czech Republic, and other European countries. I am a virtual non-drinker of domestic beer, but the quality of the German beer here contributes significantly to the overall enjoyment of the meal. One of the waiters made what I thought was an excellent suggestion for a brand I had not previously tried. He suggested that some of the Austrian and Czech beers were even better, and although I would seldom give myself over to the heresy of drinking a non-German beer with German food, I think this particular waiter has established enough credibility with me that I would follow his suggestions in the future.

I have experienced a lot of very good fresh bread at German restaurants throughout the country (I like to say that I have eaten German food from Washington, D.C. to Washington state). The bread served at Castle Falls was some of the best.

24 ingredient salad
24 ingredient salad, and all of them are good

A 24 Ingredient Salad was served at the Keller, and I do not know if it is still available at Castle Falls. However, it was so noteworthy it is worth mentioning in case it can still be ordered or made by special request. The salad was unusual partly because it was served on the plate as three items (green salad, carrot salad, and green beans). The creamy salad dressing was made from the chef's secret recipe, so I do not feel quite as bad for not being able to discern its ingredients. I just know that this salad plate was one of the high poinst of the meal.

At the original Keller in Kastle I noted that the meats were the best items, and some of the side dishes were disappointing. At Castle Falls, though, I count both main items and side dishes among my "favorites." While there does not seem to have been much change in the recipes between the original restaurant and the current one, I do believe the current policy of only accepting customers by reservation has resulted in a more consistent quality of preparation.

Spiessbraten
Pork loin roast with green beans and hot potato salad

When I tried the Spiessbraten (or pork loin roast) at the second of the three restaurants (Jutta's), it was clearly off. This dish was a pork roast with spices in the middle that would have been delicious except portions of it were quite tough. The first couple of bites I sampled tasted good, but I had difficulty getting further samples because the pieces were almost too tough to cut off. I am not relating this story to discourage people from coming, but to say that at Castle Falls they are clearly attempting to correct some of the problems that were experienced in the past. I am unhappy that some items seem to have been dropped from the menu (such as the 24 ingredient salad that was no longer listed). I think, though, that there will no longer be a problem with tough or improperly cooked meat as there was at times in the past.

Chicken Schnitzel
Haehnchen Schnitzel with Potato Salad and Sauerkraut

The entrée I have tried was the Chicken Schnitzel made with breaded chicken and mushroom sauce. To me there are quite a few ways for a mushroom sauce to be disappointing, but the one here was quite good. This was not an elaborate dish, just a well executed one. I ordered this both at Jutta's and at Castle Falls, and it was excellent both times.

Paprika Chicken is the only other chicken entrée on the menu. The sample I tried was fairly spicy and surprising to me that it would be a German dish. This dish was not anything I would have ordered since I do not usually find paprika to be very appealing. The quality was good though.

Red Cabbage had a fruity flavor that I thought raised it to a level above the versions found in most restaurants. I was told that it was cooked with bacon--something not surprising for a German restaurant.

Sauerkraut was quite good and quite different from any canned variety and most restaurant ones. It was not quite as "sour" as I expected, and tasted freshly made.

Hot Potato Salad was excellent with a tart flavor and the kind of "extra touch" that seemed to put Castle Falls in a higher category than the average German restaurant (although I tend to think that all of the ones in Oklahoma are above average compared to others I have tried around the country).

Desserts are available but I was too full to try any. To be honest, the bread was so good I enjoyed filling up on it instead.

For some reason German food seems to be less popular around the United States than it was a few years ago. Castle Falls provides ample reason to give it another try if you have been missing out.

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Castle Falls


RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 24

Cuisine: German
Cost: $$$
Hours: Open Thu.-Sat. evening by reservation only
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Full Bar

Most Recent Visit
Feb. 20, 2009

Number of Visits: 3

Best Items
Chicken Schnitzel, Potato Salad, Sauerkraut, Red Cabbage, 24 Ingredient Salad, Bread

Special Ratings
Chicken Schnitzel:
Paprika Chicken:
Pork Loin Roast:
Salad:
Potato Salad:
Red Cabbage:
Sauerkraut:



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