WICHITA — Prost, a German-themed restaurant, is ready to celebrate Oktoberfest.
With plenty of imported German beers on tap, authentic steins on the shelf and lots of made-from-scratch schnitzel, the restaurant, which calls itself a German beer garden, wants to present Kansans with a German tradition.
Manu English, who is German, cooks up potato pancakes, or kartoffelpuffer, and fleischkases at her restaurant in Wichita. After immigrating to the U.S. from Rheinland-Pfalz in southwestern Germany, her dream was to open a restaurant. First she started with a food truck. That did so well that she moved on to brick and mortar, creating Prost.
That’s when Manu’s husband, Austin, retired U.S. Air Force, became involved. Now, along with the restaurant, the two run a German market, Ze German Markt, next door. Aside from German-style sourdough bread from a Newton bakery and cheese from Grazing Plains Farm in Newton, the foods and merchandise are imported from Manu’s homeland.
"People wanted German products," Austin said. "That’s why we opened the grocery store."
Naming the restaurant Prost, which translates to "cheers," helped the couple establish their market and their following.
"We get people from Texas to Kansas City," Austin said. "They want German food."
For the next four weeks, to celebrate Oktoberfest, Prost is giving away (for a fee) specialty steins with the purchase of German beers. This week, the first 200 customers can purchase a large glass boot in which to hold their brew.
Regular customers can take out their key and use their own imported stein, which the restaurant keeps on a shelf, as they sit at imported Hofbrauhaus tables, both inside and on the upper deck.
Manu loves cooking her mother’s favorite dish, Ella’s Toast Hawaii, which features Black Forest ham, pineapple and Swiss cheese. Growing up in a family of 10, Manu learned to cook at an early age. In the kitchen at Prost, she makes the recipes from scratch, from Frikadellen to jagerschnitzel to bratwurst.
"I love to cook and enjoy being in the kitchen," Manu said. "That’s my favorite spot."
Prost: 2721 E. Central Ave., Wichita