At the Waldhorn restaurant in Pineville dining out is an international experience steeped in family tradition.Waldhorn, pronounced “Vahldhorn,” means hunter’s horn. It is owned and operated by husband and wife team Gitta and Thomas Maier of Fort Mill.Both are trained chefs: Gitta, 46, grew up in Germany and studied at the Culinary Institute near Stuttgart. Also, she lived upstairs from her family’s restaurant as a child, and was helping out in the kitchen and waiting tables by age 12. Gitta has two older sisters and one younger brother, but was the only sibling to follow her family’s tradition to become a professional chef.Thomas, 43, was born in New York and grew up on Long Island helping his German-born father in the family bakery, which specialized in baking pretzel rolls, cakes and bread. Thomas graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, New York, and moved to Stuttgart where he and Gitta met while working as chefs at a four-star restaurant.They were married in Gitta’s hometown of Walkersbach in October 1994 and moved to Charlotte in February, 1995. They wanted to start a restaurant and chose Charlotte because it was a growing city with opportunity and a great climate. They decided it would be a German restaurant because they wanted to share their love of traditional German food and saw that there was a niche for it.Shortly after making the move to Charlotte, they were joined by Thomas’ sister from Seattle and his parents from New York. With the help of his father’s investment, they opened Waldhorn, June 1999. To continue a family tradition, they named the restaurant after Gitta’s family restaurant in Germany. The Waldhorn menu features a large variety of traditional German entrees such as Wiener schnitzel (breaded veal cutlets), bratwurst, knockwurst and Bauernbratwurst served with sauerkraut and home fries and side dishes such as homemade Spätzle, potato pancakes and red cabbage. Desserts such as warm apple strudel with whipped cream, black forest cake and bread pudding are all prepared in their in-house bakery. To celebrate their 14-year anniversary they are featuring entrees with white asparagus, a seasonal German delicacy.Gitta said that in 14 years some things have changed, Thomas’ father has retired and his sister has moved to Germany but the joy in sharing family traditions and creating an atmosphere for their customers dining pleasure remains the same.
Friday, Jul. 19, 2013
Charlotte culinary couple continues family tradition
Want to go? Waldhorn restaurant, 12101 Lancaster Hwy, Pineville; closed Mondays. Lunch hours: 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesday - Friday; 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Sunday brunch buffet with 23 food options and 10 baked desserts. Dinner hours: 5 - 10 p.m. Tuesday - Friday; 4 - 10 p.m. Saturday; 3 - 9 p.m. Sunday; www.waldhorn.us; 704-540-7047.
Shirley Rhodes is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Shirley? Email her at email@example.com.
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