The Tyrolean Inn gives guests the experience of traveling 90 years back in time and halfway across the world. Since 1975, the mom-and-pop restaurant has served traditional German and Bavarian cuisine in an Alps-like setting in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Betti Phillips was hired three years ago and recently became GM. The Tyrolean Inn is open for indoor/outdoor dining and take-out Thursday 5-9pm, Friday and Saturday 5-10pm and Sunday noon-9pm. Phillips spoke with GT about Tyrolean’s old-school menu, its traditional décor and the authentic uniforms that transport diners to another era.
How does the Tyrolean Inn embody German/Bavarian customs and culture?
BETTI PHILLIPS: Through its music, atmosphere, employees and setting. The atmosphere features original wrought iron fireplaces, kitchen utensils, drinking ware and decorations from the Austrian Alps of the 1930s. The music we always play is Polka Oktoberfest, also from the same period. The employees embody the spirit of the restaurant as well; the women wear dirndls and the men wear lederhosen, traditional 1930s German garb.
What are some flagship dishes (and can you please help with the spelling)?
The most traditional item we serve is the gulasch, a thick Hungarian beef stew served with spӓtzle (twice baked German noodles) and traditional red cabbage boiled in red wine vinegar. Our most popular dish is the Wienerschnitzel, a breaded pork cutlet deep-fried and served with French fries tossed in our house seasoning. My personal favorite when dining with a companion is the Bayrische schlachtplatte. The Bavarian plate for two comes with two slices of smoked pork loin, two nürnbergers—German white sausage—a Polish and a Bockwurst sausage, sauerkraut, red cabbage, bread dumplings and mashed potatoes. Our most exotic dish, and one that you almost don’t find anywhere else, is the Schweinshaxen. The slow-roasted pork shank is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, so you get the best of both worlds, texturally. Our signature dessert is our apfelstrudel; the traditional Bavarian dessert is made in-house with green apples, cinnamon, puff pastry and almonds. It is served warm or cold and bastes up into a flaky buttery crust with a juicy and spicy apple filling.
9600 Highway 9, Ben Lomond, 831-709-0001; tyroleaninn.com.