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Josie's German Cakes & Market

5238 E. Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg, PA -
Posted By Cliff Strutz on 7/9/2012 6:28:00 PM
Central Pennsylvania doesn't have much in the way of good Roadfood options. But we found a real gem in Josie's German Cakes & Market in Mechanicsburg. Located in a quiet, mostly residential neighborhood, Josie's has fully stocked shelves full of German groceries, but we were most impressed by their hot lunches.

We started with a sausage plate, which comes with a bratwurst, a knockwurst, and a weisswurst, plus generous portions of German potato salad and sauerkraut on the side. The plump knockwurst, which is a beef and pork mixture, is wonderfully garlicky. The mild weisswurst, made with pork and veal, stands out on the plate for its pale color. The brat, my vote for best on the plate, is grilled until its skin is dark and crispy and spurts juice when pressured by knife or fork.

The potato salad, not overly sweet or vinegary, has plenty of small bits of crunchy bacon. The sauerkraut, served warm, with a hint of sweetness, was simply the best I have ever had.

Two different employees of Josie's recommended the jaegerschnitzel. The pork cutlet, breaded and then pan-fried, is incredibly moist and flavorful. Even better is the rich mushroom sauce, made with cream and white wine. On the side are dense little spaetzle dumplings. The Hungarian goulasch, with tender chunks of beef and onions over top of spaetzles, is another hit. The one misstep: I think the gravy with the sauerbraten is too watery thin.

As if this isn't enough, they also offer some tempting desserts. The thick apple streudel is sugary and soft, with a tall stack of fruit inside. The plum cake is hard-topped, with lots of sweet plums baked right into it. Both of these were big hits with the group.

If you are a fan of unpretentious family-owned restaurants that put out high quality homemade meals, or German food in particular, you won't be disappointed by a stop at Josie's.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Jaegerschnitzel
Apple Streudel
Sausage Plate
Plum Cake
Sauerkraut
German Potato Salad
Hungarian Goulasch
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

When both the waitress and the young man working the register told us to get the jaegerschnitzel, we decided to pay attention. And we are so glad we did!
"When both the waitress and the young man working the register told us to get the jaegerschnitzel, we decided to pay attention. And we are so glad we did!"
Cliff Strutz





The sausage plate is actually listed on the menu as an entree, but made the perfect appetizer for three hungry diners.
"The sausage plate is actually listed on the menu as an entree, but made the perfect appetizer for three hungry diners."
Cliff Strutz


There must be a dozen variations on the spelling of the word goulash. Here, the menu adds an extra 'c' to it.
"There must be a dozen variations on the spelling of the word goulash. Here, the menu adds an extra 'c' to it."
Cliff Strutz


Most German potato salads are either sweet or vinegary. This is neither. It makes up for that by being extra bacony.
"Most German potato salads are either sweet or vinegary. This is neither. It makes up for that by being extra bacony."
Cliff Strutz


As soon as we saw the big tray of apple streudel sitting on the counter, we knew we had to save room for dessert.
"As soon as we saw the big tray of apple streudel sitting on the counter, we knew we had to save room for dessert."
Cliff Strutz


Even though I grew up in a German household, I had never seen plum cake before.
"Even though I grew up in a German household, I had never seen plum cake before."
Cliff Strutz


This to-go sign makes me wish I lived much closer to Mechanicsburg!
"This to-go sign makes me wish I lived much closer to Mechanicsburg!"
Cliff Strutz


Josie's is located in a house in a residential neighborhood. Note the German flag hanging out front.
"Josie's is located in a house in a residential neighborhood. Note the German flag hanging out front."
Cliff Strutz


The entire dining room at Josie's consists of three tables.
"The entire dining room at Josie's consists of three tables."
Cliff Strutz


Josie's has fully stocked shelves of German crackers, candy, cookies, and other snacks.
"Josie's has fully stocked shelves of German crackers, candy, cookies, and other snacks."
Cliff Strutz


Unfortunately, Josie passed away a few years ago, so the market/restaurant is in the capable hands of her son.  Sorry we did not catch his name.
"Unfortunately, Josie passed away a few years ago, so the market/restaurant is in the capable hands of her son. Sorry we did not catch his name."
Cliff Strutz



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