Let’s be honest, sometimes you just need to escape the city. Zeppelin Hall, just a quick ride on the PATH train in Jersey City, is a European-style Biergarten, restaurant and bar with spacious indoor and outdoor areas to eat, drink and socialize. You won’t find this amount of luxurious open space in the city. You can even gaze up at the stars while you indulge in authentic German cuisine and sip on an ice cold beer with your friends. Here are five reasons why you should add Zeppelin Hall to your summer bucket list.
This year Sausage Fest is taking place from April 30th through May 10th. If you love sausage and you would classify yourself as an adventurous eater with an appetite, this annual festival is right up your alley. Executive chef Franco Robazetti is proudly serving up his notorious “The Wild Bunch” Sausage Plate, only prepared once a year, with an exotic combination of artisanal sausages to sample—Lamb Merguez, Wild Boar, Venison & Cherry, Duck & Armagnac and Rabbit & Ginger, served with sautéed mushrooms and spicy cabbage. Other Sausage Fest creations include his noteworthy Kielbasa, Andouille, Cheese Bratwurst, Bratwurst Reuben Sandwich and Berliner Currywurst (grilled bratwurst sausage with red curry sauce). For those who want to experience sausage fest without eating wild game, they have a juicy Chicken Brat which is a light and flavorful chicken sausage served with sauerkraut, rye bread and fries. “The Wild Bunch” plate is a must-order and you won’t find this combination of meat on one plate anywhere else, so get it while you can! Throughout the year they go all out for their meat festivals with a Pig Roast, a Bacon Festival and Oktoberfest celebrations.
144 Beers on Tap
This is the place to be if you’re passionate about European beer and American craft brews. With 144 beers on tap and three bars, you’ll be able to find pretty much anything you’re in the mood for, whether it’s a Blue Moon, Weihenstephaner Vitus (light-colored, spicy single-bock wheat beer from Germany) Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, Pilsner Urquell, Schofferhoffer Grapefruit, Killians Irish Red, or even Woodchuck Pear Cider. For a perfect pairing try the Woodchuck Pear Cider with “The Wild Bunch” plate. The fruity notes from the pear bring out the sweet flavor from the cherry and venison sausage.
Spacious Food Hall-Style Dining
Similar to a European Biergarten, there are no seating assignments here. You can sit wherever you want, either indoors or outdoors. With dozens of long communal-style wooden tables you just simply order your food at the counter and bring it to your table. There are no servers at Zeppelin Hall, it’s an easy, no frills, dining atmosphere. Either come by with a big crew of friends and check out happy hour at the bar, park yourselves at a few tables and chill with your food for a couple of hours or even just stop by for a quick bite.
Chef Franco Robazetti
The Executive Chef at Zeppelin Hall, Franco Robazetti, grew up in a household surrounded by Venezuelan and Italian parents and he became inspired by his European culinary roots and family traditions. His interest in cooking with meats grew and he became fascinated with “old school meat fabrication.” His passion for cooking with meat shines through in every aspect of his German inspired menu. While Zeppelin Hall has a casual and fast dining vibe, Chef Robazetti realizes the importance of high quality meats from his steakhouse background. He uses meats from top NYC purveyors like Pat LaFrieda and Schaller Weber, while still managing to keep the prices modest.
German Food Worth Crossing the Hudson For
If you can’t make it to Zeppelin Hall before Sausage Fest ends, the menu throughout the rest of the year is also chock-full of German inspired snacks. The classic Pretzel with Extra Obatzda Cheese Dip, Homemade Potato Chips, Spaetzle (German “pasta” sautéed with butter and onions) and Spicy Sabbage Salad are great for appetizers. For your entrée give Chef Robazetti’s Weiner Schnitzel, Sauerbraten Meatballs, Corona Beer Battered Fish & Chips or Cheese Spaetzle, a try. If you’re feeling extra brave try “The Hindenburger” –juicy half pound burger, topped with a quarter pound bratwurst smothered with sautéed onions, thick cut bacon & your choice of cheese. If you come by on Wednesday night you can order a 1 LB Rib eye, NY Strip or Skirt Steak with a choice of sauce (Gorgonzola, Haus Steak Sauce, Béarnaise or Argentinean Chimichurri) and a side dish of jumbo asparagus, wild mushrooms, white truffle mac & cheese or scalloped potatoes, for $21.
Zeppelin Hall is located at 88 Liberty View Drive, Jersey City