Christina Hester was born in Germany, grew up cooking and wants to keep German food traditions alive.
A Fort Hood employee, Hester was encouraged during recent government furloughs to sell her culinary masterpieces
“When the furlough happened, everyone kept telling me to sell my cheesecakes and schnitzel, and that’s how this restaurant started,” Hester said.
Hester, a nurse, opened Christina’s German Food and More Express in Harker Heights on Aug. 26. Her daughter-in-law, Kimberly Sunderman, manages the restaurant. She said they’ve had a lot of business since they opened.
“We open at 11 a.m. and it stays busy until 2 p.m. with people wanting our handmade schnitzel,” said Sunderman, a Central Texas native who learned to cook German food when she joined Hester’s family.
“Christina taught me how to cook authentic German food her way, and from what our customers say, I’m getting pretty good at it.”
Sunderman is now starting to put her own creative touches on Hester’s original recipes, which is OK with her mother-in-law.
“I’m fine with that,” Hester said.
Hester’s Old World German classic fare paired with Sunderman’s creativity is impressing even hard-to-please patrons.
“We have the old German ladies compliment the schnitzel and you know they will tell us if it’s not good,” Hester said.
The restaurant menu features schnitzel, bratwurst, frikadelle (a German beef patty), a variety of salads, cheesecake, pecan cake, chocolate cake and a slew of side dishes.
Everything is handmade, which means patrons might have to wait a few minutes to get their food. “But that gives everyone a chance to talk and meet each other. It’s like family in here at lunch time,” Sunderman said.
Herald/ Kathryn Leisinger