BEST GERMAN RESTAURANT (1999)
Every year it's a question that bites to the center of our souls: Do we prefer fun and comfort--or sophistication and long car rides? That's the basic Black Forest versus Schumacher's debate: One has piquant sauerbraten and architectural Austrian desserts but is separated from city life by a long and dullish car ride. The other has the loveliest beer garden under the stars, but is separated from our hearts by dullish cuisine. Pick Schumacher's, and you feel the virtue of having taken your vitamins. Pick the Black Forest, and it's the sheepish pleasure of sweeping the dust pile under the rug. Ack! This year we say Black Forest, by a nose, and only because the menu has been updated, and it's a step in the right direction, so keep going! Keep training! Keep straining! Go, go, go!