An interesting discussion, thanks.
I've mostly lived in areas with strong German heritage, so I can contribute a bit here.
I lived for a long time in Cincinnati, which supports a large German population. Unfortunately, there aren't too many German places left there...certainly not as many places as Milwaukee still has, for example. The best one I thought was Grammer's near downtown, but it closed as a full-service restaurant several years ago and now houses a bar with a limited German lunch-style menu. Black Forest Restaurant is still going, north of Cincinnati in Mason (a few miles due west of Kings Island amusement park), with a full German menu. I was last there to announce our engagement to our parents 20 years ago, so any review I post wouldn't be fair, but back then it was authentic and tasty. Cincinnati also has a Hoffbrau House just across the river in Newport, KY.
I can also back the earlier post about Indianapolis' Rathskeller. What a great building! A very realistic German beer hall. I don't remember the food too much, but the beer was good (or maybe I don't remember because the beer was good!) ;)
For the last three years, I've been in Hermann, MO, a touristy river town with an interesting German-flavored history. (Elementary school was taught in German here until the late 1930s.) Surprisingly, there is not as much German food here as I expected. Stone Hill's Vintage Restaurant, as Brad says in the quote below, has authentic German food that is delicious, and another winery in town (Hermannhof) has meats and cheeses etc to have your own casual meal.
I just stumbled into the middle of a conversation between my wife and her parents, and the in-laws were talking about an excellent German meal they ate at the restaurant at the Stone Hill/Stonehill Winery in Herman, MO. Comparisons were made to the reputedly excellent cooking of my wife's great-grandmother, who was born and raised in Austria.
There are also festivals like Wurstfest (late March), Maifest, BBQ & Brats Festival (late September), Kristkindel Markt in early December, and Octoberfest, when other German dishes can be found in town. Also (please excuse the plug ahead) I operate a pie-and-coffee shop here that offers bratwurst sandwiches from famous local provider, Swiss Meats, as part of our limited menu.
I would like to hear more about the German restaurants in the St. Louis area. Anyone?
<message edited by Time for Pie on Wed, 07/8/09 1:59 AM>