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Review: New Sommerfest Menu Items at Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

Welcome back new Disney Food Blog author Wendy with a review of the new menu at Epcot’s Sommerfest!

If it’s been a while since you’ve visited Sommerfest in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion, you may want to remedy that as soon as possible.

There are some recent additions to the menu that are well worth the trip while in Walt Disney World!

Atmosphere

Old World with limited seating sums up the atmosphere at Sommerfest. Still, there’s always a line here!

Sign at Sommerfest.

You’ll find this location at the back of the Germany pavilion in Epcot, right next to the waiting area for the larger, table-service restaurant, Biergarten.

The location is entirely open air, though you will be under cover when ordering.

Cast Members at Sommerfest.

Seating is minimal here, and many guests find themselves sitting on the pavement or on a nearby fountain ledge to dine! Be prepared if you’re visiting during the sweltering heat of…well…about nine months out of the year in Orlando. ;-)

Seating at Sommerfest.

Eats

If you are a fan of the Bratwurst and Frankfurters that are Sommerfest staples, fret not. They’re still at the top of the menu!

But I’m happy to say that the new Curry Wurst, Leberkäse (German Meatloaf) Reuben, and Nudel Gratin bring some fantastic variety along with both traditional and unexpected flavors to this beloved snack and counter service spot.

Sommerfest Trio.

Menu at Sommerfest.

Let’s start with the Curry Wurst! A pan-seared Bratwurst served with curry ketchup and curry seasoning, paired with a side of house-made Paprika Chips.

Curry Wurst.

I was surprised by this menu offering, but have learned that Curry Wurst is a popular street food auf Deutschland (that’s all of what’s left of two semesters of college German working for you). Now I understand why it’s a beloved dish.

The slices of wurst (no bun to be found) are full of all of their regular sausage-y goodness. Add the sauce and… Wow!

Curry Wurst with Sauce.

Neither the ketchup nor the curry overpowered the other -– the tangy combination was delicious and flavorful. What’s more, I don’t think you have to be a huge curry fan to enjoy this dish. I enjoy curry, but for a spice that can be overwhelming, I didn’t find it to be the least bit so here. If you’re interested in giving it a try, but aren’t sure how much sauce you would enjoy, you can request it on the side.

Paprika, on the other hand, is not a spice I’m typically fond of. But those house-made Paprika Chips? They are amazing! The presence of paprika and curry adds just enough kick, and the crunchiness is a perfect complement to the texture of the wurst. You can also purchase them as a stand-alone side!

Paprika Chips.

The Paprika Chips are also served along with the new Leberkäse Reuben sandwich.

Leberkase Reuben.

Leberkäse is a German meatloaf, but rather than the ground beef that we typically associate with American meatloaf, this is a blend of meat and spices that resembles something closer to bologna. One of the fantastic Sommerfest Cast Members (who was understandably proud of the new offerings) shared that the loaf is prepared by a traditional German butcher near Tampa, FL, then cooked and sliced for serving at Sommerfest.

The meatloaf is topped with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut (YUM!), and mustard, and the sandwich was grilled perfectly. The toasted artisan bread offered a lovely soft crunch.

I couldn’t get over the portion size, either! With three pieces of meatloaf and ENORMOUS slices of bread, this one can easily be shared.

Meatloaf.

I was really pleased with the flavor of this sandwich. Of the three new items, the Leberkäse Reuben features the most traditional and familiar German flavors. But I have to say I had a harder time getting past the texture and density of the meatloaf. For that reason, it’s a “one-time only” for my tastes, but I’m still glad I tried it. It tasted exactly like what one would expect to eat in surroundings like this:

As much as I enjoyed sampling the items above, it’s now my pleasure to introduce you to the real showstopper. Ladies and gentlemen, behold… NUDEL GRATIN.

Nudel Gratin.

Nudel Gratin appears on the menu as “Baked Macaroni with Cheese Custard.” But don’t let the simple description fool you, because I’m pretty sure that Nudel Gratin is a game changer for the Germany Pavilion.

The components are pretty straightforward: noodles, cream, white cheddar, mozzarella, and… hmmm. Let me think, now… what was that other ingredient? Oh, yeah… I’m pretty sure it was PURE! JOY!

Just look at how it all comes together!

Pile o’ Cheese!

Stringy Cheese.

To some, this may not look like much. But for Mac & Cheese lovers, this is truly a thing of beauty. Please believe me when I say that I do not type these next words lightly: I think Nudel Gratin is a serious contender for best Macaroni & Cheese on Disney World property.

By the way, did you catch the price on the menu? You may want to take another look:

Close-up of Menu Entrees.

Nudel Gratin is listed as an Entrée, and it’s so rich and creamy that it really does stand as a meal on its own. And it’s $3.49!!! Deal alert!

Overall

Sommerfest has really kicked it up a notch with this new menu, and offers some terrific reasons to spend some more time in Epcot’s Germany.

Wilkommen.

Remember… you are welcome here!

Which new dish at Germany’s counter-service location is on your list to try? Let us know in the comments below!

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35 Comments

  1. Janet says:

    Another great review. Compared to that easy wdw website yours is a breath of fresh air. Can’t wait to sample these.

  2. Kristi says:

    The Nudel Gratin just climbed to a top spot on my must try list for my trip on Thursday! It truly looks awesome. In order to prove that there is no such thing as too much “mac n cheese” I believe this will be my dinner on the same day I’m eating the Macaroni de Gratin at Les Chefs de France (only spot that isn’t booked with all the other yummy Epcot food lol).

  3. Timothy says:

    About a month ago I posted a comment after your last review Germany quick service restaurant wishing they add more traditional German Street food / quick food and granted that is just what they did.

    Curry wurst is super popular and delicious. Paprika chips are as popular there as sour cream and onion or Bbq here. Another popular potato chip flavor in Germany is Ketchup flavor. Super excited to try the curry wurst and chips.

    w00t, very happy

  4. Sandy says:

    Mmmmmmm! Holy cheese! And it looks like there’s no bacon in there, which is exciting for a vegetarian like myself because my joy of eating most Mac and cheeses these days gets ruined with some kind of hidden meat. I cannot wait to sample this delicious monstrosity of cheese and noodles! Thanks for a great report. My guy will love the curry wurst!

  5. SharonCW says:

    Sommerfest was the “A-Ha!” moment for my then boyfriend (now husband) during our first trip to WDW together. He went just to make me happy. But after having an authentic German beer, he was hooked. I am eternally grateful!

  6. Yay! I’m so happy to see that the Nudel Gratin doesn’t have meat in it (I was worried they’d slip some ham in there, lol). The new potato salad is meatless too – very happy to finally see some veggie items at Sommerfest, I’m going to go here asap!

  7. Alan says:

    I love any sort of wurst or sausage but my wife never wants to stop at that counter as she will not eat those items and cannot stand the aroma of sauerkraut. But I think that the nudel gratin may just be the hook that will reel her in on our next visit. Cheese, noodles and soft pretzels are at the top of her food triangle.

  8. Cheryl D says:

    Mmmmmmmm! I wish I’d noticed those new items if they were on the menu when we were there the last week of August. A definate must try for next time. I wish they would bring back the musicians to the courtyard for shows. The yodeling and slap-dancing contests were so much fun.

  9. Jay says:

    German foods are some of my very favorite and Sommerfest was always my must-do back in the day when they offered Goulash. When they took that off the menu I quit stopping by. Now I’ll be back daily for the currywurst starting next month!

  10. Wendy says:

    Janet – I hope you enjoy your sampling!

    Kristi –That pretty much sounds like the best day EVER :).

    Timothy – I spent a few months in Germany several years ago, but mostly in smaller villages/towns, so I didn’t get to sample too much of the street fare (though I did get to try my first “Hot Wine” in Hamburg), so it’s really good to hear your point of view. The Cast Members seemed excited to have a few more tastes of home available, too.

    Sandy and Jasmine – I hadn’t thought of that aspect of it, but I’m so glad you brought it up! This really is a great super-yummy option for vegetarians. Enjoy!!

    Sharon – Ha! Cheers :)!

    Alan – I would love to hear what she thinks. I’ve enjoyed Sommerfest in the past, but it’s never been a “must-stop” for me. Now, I’m going to be a repeat guest thanks to the Nudel Gratin.

    Cheryl – You didn’t miss it, so no regrets :). They were just added September 1. Hopefully next trip!

    Jay – A daily stop! That is AWESOME!

  11. Mike L. says:

    CAN…NOT…WAIT to try these new dishes during my visit in October. Even though F&W will be going on, I will defintely be trying the Currywurst and Nudel Gratin. Exciting news!

  12. Sabrina says:

    Hi, as a German, I have to weigh in here ;) Curry Wurst is actually a popular German streetfood, yet serving it with chips is really weird to me…the normal sidedish would be fries ;) And Leberkäse is terrific, yet me mostly eat it by itself or on a bun with sweet mustard on top. Yet I have never seen it as a Reuben. I’m not saying that those items aren’t delicious, maybe it’s just the Disney cooks being creative, it’s just not very…traditional ;) I would also love for you guys to be able to try some really good Bavarian beer at Oktoberfest restaurant, like Augustiner, someday!

  13. Sabrina says:

    *we not me

  14. Wendy says:

    Hi, Sabrina! Thanks so much for your insights! I adored the time I spent in Germany, so it’s especially nice to make a new German friend here :). I wish you could sample the Leberkäse at Sommerfest — with or without the Reuben accompaniments ;). I would love to hear what you think!

  15. Matt says:

    I fell in love (if one can fall in love with food) with currywurst when I was in Berlin in 2011. I swear, I couldn’t get enough of it! I am not a fan of curry. At.All. I sampled it all over the city and never really tasted the curry in it. I highly recommend you all to sample it. I’m super excited that it’s now at Epcot, and can’t wait to try it when I’m there next spring!

  16. LLorton says:

    I’m curious whether they serve nudel gratin in the Biergarten Restaurant?? We have dinner resevations there next week. It looks amazing, and I will have to get some either way!

  17. Leah Anderson says:

    Germany is where we go EVERY time we go to Epcot. We always make reservations at the Biergarten, but if we cannot, or we just want a snack as we are passing through, this is a definite stop. And of course, my husband ALWAYS has to have his BEER! :) YUM!!!

  18. Wendy says:

    Mike — ENJOY :)!!

    Matt — I think we’re all in love with food here, so you’re in good company ;). Ha! I’m really glad you said that you aren’t a fan of curry and still love curry wurst. I like curry, and I felt okay recommending it to non-curry fans, but your post helps me to feel more certain that it’s for everyone, so I appreciate it. Thanks!!

  19. Sabrina says:

    Well I will be in WDW starting Sep 18 until Oct 3 (with a 3-night Cruise on the Dream inbetween) so I do have the chance to try it soon…I’m not really sure if I’ll be in the mood for it (we usually skip food at the German pavillion being German and all ;)) but if I try it I’ll be sure to get back to you! I’ll be glad to provide some insights! :D
    I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Germany, I hope you got to visit my beautiful hometown Munich!

  20. Essie says:

    OMG, that mac and cheese looks wonderful! And, no, I don’t want to know the calorie count. I hope they still have the soft pretzels. Has anyone ever reviewed them? A true soft pretzel should be darkish brown and rather firm on the outside with a soft inside, and it should have a proper amount of salt on it (no checking for high blood pressure on this snack, please). I’m hoping to try an authentic German soft pretzel on my next trip. I want to see how they compare to the city where they all started. BTW, AJ, you’re doing better than me. I had 4 years of German and I only remember how to say, “The floor is dirty.” and “A piece of cake, please.” I, of course, consider the ‘cake’ phrase to be the far more important of the two!

  21. AJ says:

    LLorton — Yes, you should find the nudel gratin on the Biergarten menu too!

  22. Carly says:

    Was there this sat, Germany now became my fav food stop in the countries. My family always eats around the world and I just could not stop at a small portion of the leberkäse, chips, and nudel gratin (after already eating through the first half of the countries, UK side). Delicious!

  23. timothy says:

    Yes, the pairings with the new dishes or slightly different.

    Currywurst in germany comes with pommes frites (fries) or brotchen (german hard roll). I also never seen it serve with potato chips. Hopefully the chips will be popular though (I’m not that big of a fan of paprika chips) but hopefully they’ll bring over like Pom pom bear chips, love those. Super airy potato crisp chips?

    And in the 16 years I lived in Germany, I don’t ever recall seeing a rueben anywhere. I’m also glad they’re calling it Nudel Gratin instead of “SPATZ-SEL”. The last time I went to the food and wine festival (3 years ago?), they were serving a dish very similar as that and calling it spaetzle. Might have been made with spaetzle but I never had a baked, mac-n-cheese spaetzle in my life. Always with gravy.

    Still quite content with the changes, it introduces “non-sterotypical” German food to Americans with I guess with what they’re seeing as American adaptations/sides.

  24. Nicole says:

    Yay for vegetarian options in Germany! 18 days!

  25. Wendy says:

    Sabrina – Ha! That’s a fair point… I rarely eat at Liberty Inn at The American Adventure for the same reason :). What are some of your favorite items to eat at EPCOT? Sounds like you have an awesome trip lined up!!

    Essie – “A piece of cake, please” is a good phrase to hold onto ;)!

    Nicole — Have a great trip!

  26. Christopher J says:

    Wendy and Sabrina

    Being from the UK, I never feel the need to eat at the UK pavilion. Ever. Yet I’m told the items are very good there. I just can’t do it when there is soooooo much good stuff around World Showcase (in particular Morocco and Japan).

    My partner is part-German and his family all live over in Frankfurt. I enjoy eating traditional German food whilst visiting, so am keen to try the new offerings. Again, rarely get to eat in the Germany pavilion for the same reason as above! Unless it’s at Karamel-Küche of course (I mean, who can seriously resist that?)

    We’re not hitting The World again now until September 2014, though we just secured a free regular Dining Plan so let the planning commence. We’re headed to Marrakech (the real one) in a month from now, so cannot wait to compare the authenticity of the offerings of Restaurant Marrakech!

  27. Sabrina says:

    Wendy – Good question, I have only been introduced to all the things I apparently missed before through DFB over the last year (I now read everything on here and the Disney Parks Blog lol) and so it’s hard to pick things, but I loved the Margaritas at La Hacienda last time, and the Gelato in Italy…in WDW in general I love all cupcakes and I’m addicted to Dole Whip now lol. I also loved dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, breakfast at Whispering Canyon, getting Mickey Ice Cream sandwiches, buttery popcorn, caramel apples….a lot :) But now there is sooooo much to try on my list!

    Christopher – Well you seem to know how it is ;) And lol we also booked for Sep 2014 with free dining, I feel we got the same amazing deal through the WDW Europe site^^ Oh wow have fun in Marrakech!

  28. Sabrina says:

    Wendy – Oh I forgot, are you gonna be at the Snack Attack in October, by any chance?

  29. Lynne S says:

    This sounds similiar to the noodle dish that we had last year at food & wine. That one had ham in it and my cousin felt it was the best thing she ate that year. So I am happy to know that we can get something like it on non food & wine visit.

    When I went to disneyland Paris we got the “American” lunch, which was a hotdog and a donut, so i understand how the Germans feel.

  30. Chris C says:

    Thanks to this review my wife and I made a trip to Epcot last night to try the Currywurst and Nudel Gratin (and enjoy an empty park). The Currywurst was quite good and I’d certainly get it again… but wow that Nudel Gratin is AMAZING. If I wasn’t so full I may have ordered another, it was that good. In one visit that has become an Epcot staple for us. Game changer indeed!

  31. Christopher J says:

    Sabrina – it’s a great deal isn’t it? Last year we booked at Port Orleans Riverside and got a free Quick Service Dining Plan, which we paid to upgrade (so glad we did) but this year we’ve decided to stay Wilderness Lodge so get the full plan as standard. I’m already so excited.

    There are a couple of things you absolutely must add to your ‘must-try’ list…

    1) School Bread from La Kringla in Norway. This was one of the best things I ate in the whole trip.

    2) Beignets from Port Orleans French Quarter. All I can say is sugar overload.

    3) Kefta pockets from the Morocco booth at Food & Wine (which I believe you will be there for?)

    4) Carrot cake cookie from Writers Stop at Hollywood Studios.

    5) Corn Dog Nuggets at Caseys in Magic Kingdom.

    One thing I desperately want now is the Guava Pocket from Fountain View.

    SEPTEMBER 14 IS TOO FAR AWAY!!!

  32. Wendy says:

    Carly — so glad to hear you loved it, too!

    Christopher J — WOW!! I really like Restaurant Marrakesh a lot, but I can’t help but envy your travels!! I hope your trip is fantastic (and I totally agree about Karamel-Küche! ). Also, thanks for the heads-up on the Kefta Pockets — I didn’t get to try those last year.

    Sabrina — Unfortunately I won’t be at Snack Attack, but I take it from your note that you will be :)? If so, you’ll get to try at least two of the must-trys that Christopher mentioned (School Bread and Carrot Cake Cookie)! I know you’ll have a great time and find plenty of new favorites!

    Lynne — that’s interesting to know what the American items are in Disneyland Paris! I’m curious to learn more about that.

    Chris C – That’s awesome!! Thank you so much for posting – I’ll probably be in line right behind you sometime for more Nudel Gratin!

  33. Christopher J says:

    Wendy – thanks for replying! The Kefta pockets are simply delicious. I’ve just noticed on the site that there is orange dole whip with cherry at this years festival! Jealous! As for my travels, I’m a long-haul flight attendant based in London so I do get to try my fair share of cuisines which I love! Especially since British food is so boring!!

    Just got to say, love this site so much, a cool place where everyone is friendly and we all have a shared interest. I literally cannot wait until I can get back to WDW next year!!

  34. Wendy says:

    Oh, wow–that’s quite a job! What an amazing opportunity to see the world and sample cuisines! I totally understand why you pass up the UK Pavilion food in your WDW travels :), but I have to hand it to the Yorkshire County Fish Shop for fish & chips there–LOVE IT! I spent a little time in London several years ago (only 1 week–I would have loved to stay much longer), and I grabbed fish & chips every chance I got :)!

    I think that people who truly have a passion for food are often happy types! You’re right–it’s a great thing to share :).

  35. Todd Miller says:

    Wow! Those looks amazing! Great review, Wendy, and fun to read! It’s got to be the this I’ve ever read. Ha, ha, ha! No seriously, you make the food look fantastic. Keep it up!

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