Uli Brandl captivates guests at “‘s handwerk” with sustainable cuisine that strikes a perfect balance between tradition and food trends. An excellent reason to take a trip to Sonthofen in the Allgäu
" 's handwerk" by Uli Brandl
Heads turn towards the kitchen, from which a waiter emerges carrying steaming food into the dining room. Curious faces gaze at the artfully arranged dishes: “Knödeldreier” dumplings with mushrooms, a craft-beer schnitzel and a Kaiserschmarrn with “Gunzesrieder Nagelfluheis”.
You will see what the fuss is about when you tuck in. “We have many home-style dishes, but we interpret them in a completely new way”, explains Uli Brandl, the founder of the ‘s handwerk restaurant in Sonthofen.
The name is the concept. For Uli Brandl, cooking is a craft – or more precisely, a handicraft. The guest room is reminiscent of a workshop flooded with light: the floor is made of 200-year-old wooden planks, as are the simple tables.
On the menu, guests will find unusual and creative dishes, such as an ostrich burger, bread with beer seasoning and a kind of vegetable lasagne called “Hochbeet”.
The producer network: regional, sustainable, animal-friendly
It’s not just the exceptional menu that guests love about this restaurant. Many come because of Uli Brandl’s producer concept. His suppliers produce their food according to strict criteria, and feed and keep their animals in an organic system with high welfare standards. Meat, fish, vegetables, bakery goods, honey, cheese and even the ice all come from small businesses around Sonthofen.
Uli Brandl is personally involved in checking production conditions at these businesses. He is particularly proud of the “red pearl”, his own house beer. “You can only get it from us and only from the barrel. The name refers to the colour of the beer and the hop variety used.” This is all documented in the producer brochures – transparent and authentic.
Regional cuisine refined with knowledge, love and a little beer
"With us, everything is extraordinary. Despite this, we are down-to-earth"
"People are increasingly interested in where their food comes from and who the people behind it are”, says Brandl. At ‘s handwerk, guests and producers sometimes even meet in person: Brandl regularly hosts craft beer evenings. Guests meet brewers from special breweries and try out their beers.
The innkeeper serves a dish that is refined with these beers. “For example, there is roast pork pickled in beer and there is beer in the sauce too”, explains Brandl.
The concept is popular with guests. Many city dwellers wish there was something comparable with them in Frankfurt, Berlin or Cologne, reports Brandl. The owner is not surprised: “With us, everything from the architecture to the producer principle to the arrangement of plates is extraordinary.
Despite this, we are down-to-earth and not a gourmet restaurant.” More and more guests are finding their way to Sonthofen and are spending a special evening at ‘s handwerk. For Brandl, this is the proof that he has found the perfect balance between tradition and trend.
More about Uli's restaurant: shandwerk.de (only in German)
... from Uli
Mountain Hiking to the Hinanger Waterfalls
The mountains on our doorstep are our most important asset; they are the reason the guests come. Mountain railways and accessible hiking trails have been created in the past 20 years. So everyone can experience nature with us. My tip is the “Hinanger Waterfalls”. There I enjoy the calm and listen to the roaring water.
Hinanger Wasserfälle (only in German)
Viehscheid - Cattle drive
A special attraction is the Viehscheid in September. Many communities put up tents and celebrate the day that shepherds drive the cattle from the mountain pasture into the valley. It’s very impressive.
The Klausentreiben in the run-up to Christmas is a great tradition. The locals dress up in animal skins to drive away the ghosts. This tradition is firmly anchored in the Allgäu.