Restaurant Review

If you’ve never been to the Hess German Bakery ( ) in Lakewood (6108 Mt. Tacoma Drive SW, Lakewood, WA 98499), you are missing out.  Their pretzels alone are worth the trip.  The bakery  is housed in what I would consider a classic ethnic food store – all the foods folks loved from home but just can’t find at an American supermarket. They have all sorts of beverages and some kitchen staples, though I pretty much only buy their bread, chocolates and other German candies.  The bakery makes some great traditional German breads.  As I mentioned, the pretzels are lovely – very much what you’d expect from a Southern German bakery.  And they have proper loaves of bread - I really like their Bauernbrot (a sourdough rye), but I’m equally happy with their Mischbrot, pumpernickel and a variety of whole grain breads they crank out.  While a grocery store and bakery don’t a restaurant make, they do have a deli in the back.  Their sandwiches are very German – fresh bread, some butter, deli meat of some sort (they have dozens and dozens of options), and cheese (again, lots of varieties).  There’s no lettuce or tomatoes or onions or mint mustard sauces.  The point is to enjoy the taste of the bread and the meat.  And enjoyable they are.  This grocery/bakery/deli shares a building with a few other tenants, including a combination German restaurant and pastry shop (called the German Pastry Shop, I think).  They have basic sandwiches, lovely scratch-made soups, and very good pastries, cookies and cakes.  It is a very simple place – and most of the clientele are Germans.  I have lunch there a few times a year (more often when my Grandmothers were alive as this was their sort of place – straightforward soup and sandwich with a delectable dessert on the horizon).  Service is slow – it is more a hangout for regulars than a destination eatery.  They have their pastries and cakes and such in display cases in front next to the cash register.  These days I usually just pop in and get some pastries to take home.  If I walk in my front door with pretzels from the Hess German Bakery, a loaf of Bauernbrot, and a bunch of puff pastry treats from the German Pastery Shop, I’ll be treated like the returning hero I always think I am.

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