Even if you can’t pronounce gemutlichkeit (German for comfortable friendliness), you can most likely say “Gasthaus,” which is essentially the same thing. Since 1993 this authentic eatery has proven the saving grace of a surprisingly barren German restaurant scene in Louisville, considering the Bluegrass State’s relatively large German-American population. Decorated haphazardly with knickknacks from the owners’ home in Bochum, Gasthaus radiates with a charm distinctive to family-run operations. A friendly waitstaff dressed in traditional folk costumes adds to the atmosphere as customers are guided through the menu of traditional German cuisine. Chicken, veal, beef and pork dominate the menu in the expected schnitzels, spatzles and stroganoffs, and there are a few vegetarian entrées, as well. Meatless or no, main courses disprove the bland-and-heavy stereotype often attributed to German fare, owing in part to a hint of French influence. The house-made desserts alone could keep Gasthaus in business, as locals often stop in for a cup of coffee and a slice of apple strudel, fallen chocolate soufflé or one of the ever-changing (and ever-delicious) assortment of rich cake rolls and tortes.