Review: Teske’s Germania – A trip to Germany in San Jose

7:38 PM Kari R. 3 Comments

Omp Pa Pa or Omp Pa Flaw?

Note: My review may be a bit biased since I was accompanied by my sister who lived in Germany while studying abroad. Therefore, she was a harsh critic and knew exactly what we should be looking for when eating.

Contrary to popular belief, Oktoberfest is a sixteen day festival that takes place at the tail end of September. My sister studied abroad in Bonn, Germany two years ago, so naturally she wanted to ring in Oktoberfest by ordering some authentic German beer and enjoying some meat and potatoes.

We decided to venture to downtown San Jose and visit Germania, a restaurant that claims to have the best German food in San Jose. As we walked in, the wood paneling on the walls and customers walking around in authentic Lederhosen and Dirndl outfits made me feel like I had just entered a restaurant in Germany (or, left the somewhat sketch part of San Jose we were in).

We each began with a half pint of the house Oktoberfest beer. Absolutely refreshing – very hoppy and a medium beer.

My sister and I decided to order both an appetizer and split an entrée since everything coming out of the kitchen seemed enormous (yes, I think the group next to us had a whole turkey that the entire party shared).

We started with the German Potato Pancakes – served with a side of applesauce. They were basically grated potatoes formed to look like a pancake – imagine a hash brown patty. Some of these pancakes were good and others were overly burnt and too crunchy for my liking. In Germany, these pancakes are supposed to be lightly fried and actually look like pancake – golden brown. After scraping off the crisp these pancakes weren’t bad. And, the applesauce was a nice sweet side that I never thought would have went well.

For our entrée, we settled on the Oktoberfest sampler. Lots of meat, potato salad and sauerkraut. Bleh, writing this makes me revisit my chest pains because our plate (see picture) was topped with five hotdogs. Here’s how each panned out (from far left to the right):

  1. Too gross, I only ate one bite

  2. Similar to a calbasa sausage

  3. Basically a normal hotdog – pretty good with the hot mustard sauce

  4. Tasted like a warm slim Jim – actually not bad, but left me with a bad aftertaste all night

  5. Best one out of all of them since this one was similar to a Jimmy Dean sausage

The potato salad was served warm (authentic for German food) but was bland and also had a gross aftertaste (mixed with the other gross dog aftertaste left me a mess) – I only took a few bites.

The sauerkraut was surprisingly good. I typically hate sauerkraut since most people or places have serve it overly pickled making it taste sour. Instead, this sauerkraut had some great flavors as evident by the whole peppers and bay leaf still roaming around in it.

Overall – I’m not sure if we just ordered the wrong food, but it was sadly a huge disappointment. The atmosphere was awesome – but the food didn’t leave me wanting to visit Germany (or come back to Germania for that matter).

3 out of five bytes. If I do come back, it will only be to drink the beer and visit the outside beer gardens (that also have live music if you visit on a Friday or Saturday night).

Name: Teske’s Germania
Address: 255 N. First Street & Devine, San Jose, CA 95113
Pricing: Beer: 1/2-liter is $5, 1-liter is $9; Appetizers are $6-14; Entrees start at around $20 per dish (servings are huge, so most people split)
Byte Rating: 3 out of 5


  1. Ok... None of the Sausages are "hot dogs" Our Sausages come from Saags German Sausage Company in San Leandro. The Oktoberfest Platte consists of 1) Bavarian Bratwurst, 2) Knackwurst, 3) Smoked Bratwurst, 4) Kabinossa, and 5) German Frankfurter. All of these may be purchased by the public at 1) PW Markets, 2) Zanottos, 3) Cosentinoe's and all other upscale markets.

    Greg Baumann
    Teskes Germania Restaurant

  2. They may not be "hot dogs" - but a few still gave me a bad aftertaste:/ -- like I said though, maybe I just ordered the wrong dish for my liking.

  3. Saags is a great, high quality local, all-natural dog producer, who has employed thousands in the Ca. Bay Area, over untold decades. Saags puts out the best "suasages"/hotdogs (who cares?) & souse, I've ever had.
    Saags makes Nathan's, Hebrew National, Oscar Mayer, etc., taste like hot dog-food, instead of hotdogs.
    I know nothing about the restuarant you write of, but to besmurch on of the world's best hotdog companies, is an insult to everyone who loves the "snap" a natural casing-hotdog makes, when you bite into it. You just don't get that "Snap" from a non-Saags dog!