A tenderloin, jacket potato and salad with house dressing at Edelweiss. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com
A tenderloin, jacket potato and salad with house dressing at Edelweiss. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

Eats Beat

A surprise steak find in Fort Worth — at the home of the Chicken Dance

By Bud Kennedy


August 31, 2017 08:40 AM


Cowtown’s Edelweiss German Restaurant is turning 50, but it seems young again.

Just when Fort Worth seemed to have forgotten the campy German festhalle of polkas past, it’s serving a tenderloin good enough to put it back on the Cowtown steak map.

Edelweiss always had a reputation as a German-Texan steakhouse with an oompah band. Newbies order the schnitzel or goulash, but regulars came for steaks and back then the city’s only imported or dark beers.

Two generations of Texas children came for dinner and the “Chicken Dance.”

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On the brink of its 50th Oktoberfest, Edelweiss is still dancing.

On a recent weeknight, accordionist Mike Borelli played everything from polkas to the “Orange Blossom Special” and “Stairway to Heaven” as families circled the dance floor.

The surprise was that Edelweiss’ steak dinner upheld the tradition of retired founder Bernd Schnerzinger and fourth-year owner Kenny Zeqiri, who brought along photos and a few recipes from his old restaurant nearby, Italian Inn Ridglea.

The 10-ounce tenderloin ($33) is the most expensive item on the menu. But one night recently it was so silky soft, it could have been cut with a plastic knife or fork.

You can count on one hand the Fort Worth steaks that are as tender.

Edelweiss has stayed true to the original recipe, Zeqiri said. Before they’re cooked, the steaks are spread lightly with German Düsseldorf mustard (or dijon). Then they’re seared with the flavor from that old Edelweiss grill.

A large, salted jacket potato was oven-baked and steakhouse-quality, particularly with Edelweiss’ herb butter. If the kitchen has run out, ask for German potatoes.

The platter also came with a simple green salad topped with a sweet German vinaigrette.

Besides sausages, schitzels and sauerbraten, Edelweiss’ other entrees ($14-$21) include steaks and salmon, an excellent sauteed chicken breast, a chicken alla panna in white-wine sauce, spaghetti or lobster ravioli.

Side dishes include the restaurant’s familar red cabbage or spaetzle.

For an appetizer, Edelweiss serves up a Texas-sized portion of potato pancakes ($7), pretzels, bratwurst or homemade potato-sausage soup.

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Desserts include homemade apple strudel or bake-shop Black Forest or German chocolate cake. (German chocolate cake isn’t German, but it’s a local favorite that originated in Dallas.)

Borelli plays the accordion four nights a week, with familiar Edelweiss entertainer Helga Beckman joining him weekends. On Sunday nights, former Italian Inn pianist Richard Gwozdz plays.

Edelweiss is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday and for lunch and dinner Sundays; 3801 Southwest Blvd. (on the Benbrook Traffic Circle), 817-738-5934, edelweissgermanrestaurant.com.

Follow those tacos

The new Salsa Limón looks a lot like the old Salsa Limón.

That’s because the familar chrome diner that has stood since 1947 on University Drive is now in place at Salsa’s new home, 5012 White Settlement Road.

The classic postwar Streamline Moderne diner was built for Topsy’s Cafe, a breakfast and hamburger diner that served the Cultural District and late-night show crowds.

Later, it became the first home of J&J Oyster Bar, now a couple of blocks north on University.

Salsa Limón owner “Milo” Ramirez had crews load the diner aboard a flatbed trailer and move it to a vacant lot in the new River District development.

It’s no longer on a street corner. But instead of asphalt, the long window now faces a patio and grassy yard.

After opening with limited hours, the new location is now serving tacos, burritos and bowls at breakfast, lunch and dinner; salsalimon.com.

Mercury Chop special

Mercury Chop House had so much fun doing Restaurant Week, the downtown prime steakhouse will extend the special through Labor Day.

Mercury’s $39 three-course dinner menu features a choice of a New York strip with shrimp, a grilled pork chop, salmon “dynamite” or chicken cordon bleu.

That includes a choice of salad and dessert: either strawberry shortcake, a chocolate roulade or peach cobbler.

There’s also an optional fourth course: split pea soup, a salmon cake with hollandaise or a mole beef enchilada.

Mercury is also offering a $20 two-course lunch featuring a prime burger, beef stroganoff or chicken-fried steak or chicken.

Mercury’s downtown location is 525 Taylor St.; 817-336-4129, mercuryfw.com.

Look for the newest Mercury by the winter holidays atop the Brookhollow Two office building at 2221 E. Lamar Blvd., Arlington.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, @EatsBeat.