SIERRA VISTA, AZ (ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV) -- Travel an hour south of Tucson and you might think you've landed in the far reaches of Germany.

Annetta Engols owns The German Cafe, one of a handful of German restaurants in Sierra Vista. The restaurant serves up some of the finest cuisine to a surprisingly large german population.

[WATCH: The taste of German in southern Arizona]

"I heard there's about 2,000 Germans here in this area, so it's definitely demand for German food," Engols said.

With many of her recipes calling for red cabbage and beef, staples of the German tradition, Engols says meals here will be tasty and satisfying.

"I call it simple," she said. "It's hearty. It fills you up -- the whole atmosphere, how we eat it in Germany with lots of company and you have the good beer and the wine. The Germans are usually ... the most critical people we have here. But this is OK; everybody loves their mom's cooking. But [the] majority of the people, I would say they like it a lot. They say, 'OK, this is authentic.'"

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Engols spent years cooking other styles of food but embraced her German roots in 2009 when she took over The German Cafe.

"My friends started saying, 'Do you even know how to cook German still?'" she recalled. "I think you grow up and it's in you. You like to cook and, I mean, that's my passion, I like what I'm doing."

That includes introducing her delectable legacy to distant travelers and newcomers.

Engols said she gets visitors from all over Arizona.

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"They call from Flagstaff and say, 'OK, we're coming in summer, and we're ready, and we wanna try it.'"

For those who do, Engols has two words.

"Guten appetite."


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