OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — Alex and Chad Dawes drove from Parma to Olmsted Township — not just for German-style food, but for good food.
They made another trip to the Prost! at Lenau Park Friday (Jan. 8) to pick up their order and return home again.
“We’ve come here several times,” Chad said. “I would come here to Lenau Park all the time with my friend who loved it. I came to like it, too. The food here is great.”
The Donauschwaben German-American Cultural Center has reopened its kitchen. It is carryout only. The current hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Simply call 440-235-2646, extension 0, and place your order. Your food will be ready for pickup in about 25 to 30 minutes.
Marianne Beuchler, the center’s director of operations, said the center had offered lunch at its Lunch at Lenau bar/dining room. The COVID-19 shutdown gave the center a chance to make some changes.
“It was a dream to rebrand and now open again for takeout,” Marianne said. “We had our loyal lunch customers, and we felt badly we were closed. So we decided to offer takeout that has almost all of the regular food, with added specials.
“We invite our members and the community to go to our Facebook page and website to view the menu we update weekly.”
The menu is quite extensive. It offers daily homemade soup, salad, sides, appetizers, a light fare, entrees, desserts, various specials — and don’t forget drinks, especially German bier, er, beer.
Entrees include chicken paprikash, chicken schnitzel, paprika bratwurst, wiener schnitzel, Bavarian smoked pork chops, salmon, a German platter and others.
Sandwiches include corned beef, chicken schnitzel cordon bleu, buffalo schnitzel wrap, wurst, hamburger and others.
Wednesday is Frikadellen Night. Frikadellen is a German hamburger made with ground beef, onion, breadcrumbs, eggs and various spices.
Each Wednesday and Thursday, patrons receive a free appetizer with the purchase of any two items from the entrée and light fare sections. The choices are sauerkraut balls, potato pancake medallions or a small pretzel with bier cheese.
Each week, the center offers entrée specials. Last week was a choice of beef or pork gulasch. This week, starting Wednesday (Jan. 13), it is stuffed cabbage.
Marianne said Eric Maurer is the center’s new chef. He worked under the former one for four years.
“He’s wonderful. He continues the tradition to provide delicious meals from our kitchen,” Marianne said.
Marianne grew up at the center. Her parents, who are immigrants, brought her there to enjoy the German culture.
“I call this the big white elephant in the middle of Olmsted Falls that no one knows what we are about,” she said.
According to the center’s website, in 1722 Emperor Charles VI, of the Holy Roman empire and ruler of the Austrian Habsburg Monarch, invited German settlers to develop the land around the Danube and other nearby rivers. They continued to speak German and kept their traditions, becoming known as Danube Swabians.
Following World War I, the territories went to Romania, Hungary and Yugoslavia. After World War II, communism began annihilating anything German. About 250,000 of the Danube Swabians died in concentration camps. Many were deported to Russia, and others came to America.
The center has a special memorial area dedicated to these Danube Swabians on the exterior west side of its building.
Marianne volunteered at the center prior to becoming an employee in 2017, advancing to her current position in 2018.
“I love the German history and culture,” she said. “With the rebranding and reopening of our kitchen, we are hoping to provide a taste of our culture to our members and the entire community.”
The center takes extreme caution in maintaining sanitary procedures. Marianne said they have 10 employees, three of whom are part-time. She said the center is sanitary-conscious.
It has a separate entrance and exit door for picking up orders. The entryway to pick up an order is just west and around the corner of the main entrance. The reception desk to pay, either cash or credit, has shields. A staff member may hand you the food or place it on the counter, if you prefer.
“We err on the side of caution,” Marianne said. “We also offer curbside service. Just let us know when you arrive and we’ll bring it out to your car.”
The center’s Lenten fish fries are returning this year. They will be takeout only. Patrons come into the center and order. The line, which will travel into the main banquet hall, will allow for social distancing.
“The menu will be the same offered in the past, but we added potato and cheese pierogies with sautéed onions,”Marianne said.
Chad said the best way to encourage someone to try Prost! at Lenau Park is to just see the menu.
“I’d text them the menu and let them see for themselves. They’ll love it,” he said.
The center is at 7370 Columbia Road. While there, check out the cookbooks, T-shirts and gift certificates.
Christmas trees: This week, Jan. 11, is the final week to place your Christmas trees on the lawn for trash pickup. Be sure that all the tinsel, ornaments and lights are removed from them. Also, do not place the trees in a plastic bag. Simply place them on the tree lawn, au naturel.
Blood drive: The American Red Cross has a blood drive this Thursday (Jan. 14) and Jan. 27. Location is the Donauschwaben’s German-American Cultural Center, 7370 Columbia Road. Appointments are required and can be made at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 800-RED-CROSS. Safety precautions are taken at each blood drive.
St. Mary open house: St Mary of the Falls Catholic School has its enrollment now occurring for the 2021-22 academic school year. Due to COVID-19, there will not be the traditional open house, but families may sign up for tours and registration.
The times and dates are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 31 and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 2. The tours will include four families each for 30 minutes. To register, go to bit.ly/2LEhVO8.
Polaris virtual visits: Polaris offers a virtual open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 30 for Olmsted Falls High School sophomores. This event features three virtual programs you may visit at 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. that night.
Each of Polaris’ instructors has created a quick video. It introduces you to their programs. You may find the videos at bit.ly/3bsxAv4.
Once you select a program of interest, complete the Google form at bit.ly/38tMkHY. If you complete the specific Google form and attend the open house, you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a set of Apple AirPods. You also earn five bonus points toward enrollment.
For more details, call 440-891-7732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information, please: To include news, tidbits, honors or activities in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, contact Joanne DuMound at email@example.com. She also is on Twitter, @JoanneDuMound. The column’s online version at cleveland.com/olmsted has direct links for many news items.
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