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Gunther's Edelweiss (Closed)

11055 Gateway West
El Paso, TX

Gunther's Edelweiss

For many years Fort Bliss has had a training facility for the German Air Force, and as a result there has been a large enough German population to support some very good German restaurants. Several of the other German restaurants have now closed, but Gunther's Edelweiss Restaurant, the oldest and largest, is still operating. Many have long considered Gunther's to be the best example of German cuisine in the city, and have appreciated its Biergarten as much as the restaurant. Live German music is sometimes played, and Gunther's is a comfortable place to converse and enjoy a beer. It is usually the food, though, that brings people in the door.

As of early 2008 the owner of Gunther's has announced that the restaurant will be closing at some point unless someone can take over. The hours have been cut back so that it is open only on weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), but it serves both lunch and dinner. Some customers may drive by during the week and think that it has already closed, but this is not the case.

I used to enjoy the smaller lunch portions, which are no longer served. The dinner menu, though, has not changed, and the quantity served is not excessive compared to other restaurants.

Lentil Soup
Lentil soup served with bread from Marina's Bakery

Like most good German restaurants, the food here tastes fresh, with very simple ingredients providing the flavors. Dinners start out with bread and soup, and if you go on a day when Lentil Soup is being served you are in for a real taste treat--this soup is as good or better than any of the "lent special" soups served in Mexican restaurants, mainly due to the fresh ingredients used. It tastes as if it is made from scratch, and I am sure this is the case.

I have found from experience, though, that the soup is almost always one of the high points of the meal, regardless of the type of soup served. The chef changes the soup from time to time, but it is always made from scratch. In this regard, Gunther's is one of the most authentic German restaurants I have found.

The bread is excellent as well, but I learned a tip several years ago--you can buy the bread at Marina's German Bakery on Trawood. Gunther's serves several types of bread, and it always tastes as if it had been baked the same day.

German salad
German salad is actually several different salads and appetizers

Gunther's Edelweiss is well known for its German Salad--a mixture of several simple but flavorful greens. Like the soup and bread, this is one of the best parts of the meal. I do not know the process the restaurant uses to make the salads, but its freshness and flavor makes it stand out from most others.

Wienerschnitzel is the specialty of Gunther's

Schnitzels are one of the specialties of the restaurant, and several types are available. Several are made with pork, including the breaded Wienerschnitzel. Gunther's used to serve one cutlet for lunch and two for dinner, but now it serves a single cutlet on all dinners. I do not know how anyone could complain, though, that this is not substantial enough for a meal (especially with the side dishes and appetizers that are served). Of the several main dishes I have tried, I thought the Wienerschnitzel was one of the best. A friend who used to live in Germany pointed out that Gunther's stands in relatively small company by adequately pounding the meat until it is as tender as it should be to be served in a Schnitzel.

The Chicken Schnitzel, though, has been equally good. I suspect the kitchen takes equal care in preparing the chicken as the other meats, because I have also found it to be quite tender. The flavor, though, is something I especially enjoy.

Jäger Schnitzel
Jäger Schnitzel

Jäger Schnitzel has a mushroom sauce instead of the breading, and is another traditional German dish served at Gunther's. Although I thought the meat was excellent, I did not enjoy the sauce as much as the breading on the traditional Wienerschnitzel. I enjoy mushrooms, but the Jäger Schnitzel was covered by so many it was hard to taste the meat.


Sauerbraten had a good sauce and good quality meat, but as with other dishes I thought the meat was more outstanding than the sauce.

I am not a big sausage eater, but I believe this is one of the other specialties of the restaurant.

Fish is available (which I recall was pretty good), and I have enjoyed other things I have tried. I think that everything at the restaurant is prepared the way it should be, but it is a matter of taste as to which ones each person will like.

A friend of mine really liked the rouladen, but I do not remember enough about it to recommend it as one of the best dishes.

For side dishes I have always enjoyed the German fried potatoes and the red cabbage, among others.

Black forest
Black forest

To me the Black Forest cake was good, but not to the same quality as the main meal. Desserts here, though, as less expensive than at many other restaurants, so they may be worth a try.

Gunther's Edelweiss represents a cuisine that was once very popular in El Paso and throughout the country, but which seems to be seldom patronized these days. I can tell you, though, that a lot of people are missing out if they do not take advantage of this restaurant that has really become an institution in the city. The total experience of the bread, soup, appetizers, and meal (and the beer, if you are so inclined) is one of the most enjoyable I have had in El Paso.



Cuisine: German
Cost: $$$
Hours: Lunch and Dinner Fri.-Sun.
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer

Most Recent Visit
Jan. 23, 2010

Number of Visits: 10+

Best Items
Wienerschnitzel, Chicken Schnitzel, Lentil Soup, Salad, Bread

Special Ratings
Chicken Schnitzel:
Jäger Schnitzel:
Lentil Soup:
German Salad:
Black Forest: