Friday, 28 March 2014

Rathskeller Schnitzel House - it's Oktoberfest every day!

You've driven by, probably a million times.

You may have even eaten there…. YEARS ago.

It's still the same - a traditional German restaurant in food, decor and hospitality - which they've been doing for over 40 years at the corner of Quadra & View.

And if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This is a place you'd call "classic"...

They're not trying to reinvent themselves every year. I don't come here for the fresh sheet of the month. I like coming here because I enjoy traditional German food (probably why I love anytime I get to spend in that country). Sometimes there's nothing more satisfying than digging into a side of spatzle with gravy.

Corner table @ the Rathskeller
So we stuck with the classic theme - our table of four ordered up some German beers (available in a varying array of sizes…including 2-3 different glass boots) and German wine from our waitress attired, appropriately, in a traditional dirndl.

The Rathskeller menu is quite wide - with schnitzel, bratwurst (homemade), Frickadellen, goulash, cabbage rolls, pork hocks, steaks, stroganoff and more. And it's not just plain schnitzel….they have six different types of schnitzel available (including the Holstein: topped with lox, caviar, anchovies & a fried egg; and the Cordon Bleu: stuffed with ham/cheese & rolled). I guess that's why they call themselves a schnitzel haus.

There are appetizers available as well, including three soups (liver-dumpling, goulash and lentil), rollmops, large pretzels, grilled camembert cheese and appetizer versions of dinner items (bratwurst & cabbage rolls). Already having a good idea of the portion sizes and wanting to have dessert, we went straight for the entrees.

Three of us ordered schnitzels - two of the Rahm (with sour cream sauce) and one of the Gypsy (with a red pepper and pimento sauce).

Rahm schnitzel with cabbage & potato pancakes

Gypsy schnitzel with spatzle

The Rahm Schnitzel (half order, with only a single cutlet) was great - the creamy sour cream sauce added a tart zing, as did the pickled red cabbage. The dish was rounded out with potato pancakes with apple sauce. The Gypsy Schnitzel (regular order with two cutlets) had a nice red pepper sauce - giving each bite a flavourful lift. Served with the ever-popular spatzle (which came with gravy as well…mmm).

And one of us went for the pork hock. Someone had to.

Available in three sizes (medium, large and extra-large) - this was the large one. The pork hock is boiled and then broiled - and you're asked whether you like it softer (more boil, less broil) or crispier (less boil, more broil). This is the crispier option...

Pork hock (large) with spatzle & cabbage

Most of the tasty pork fell right off the bone. And yes, those crunchy fat bits were tasty.

With our stomachs almost to capacity, we decided to split one dessert four ways. An order of the apple strudel with whip cream.

Apple Strudel

Flaky and delicious with great apple and cinnamon flavour.

As an added bonus, if you're dining at the Rathskeller on a Friday or Saturday - there's live accordion music.

Accordion music on Fri/Sat nights

The musician was great and added to the whole experience. Close your eyes and you're in Germany.

If you're looking for somewhere for a group function - these guys know how to please. There's a fabulous group menu that's essentially an all-you-can-eat buffet without having to leave your seat. Recently forty of us dined here and passed around platter after platter of bratwurst (delicious!), several different schnitzels, spatzle, potato pancakes, red cabbage and sauerkraut. Everyone had a fabulous time and is eagerly awaiting a return visit.

So whether you have four or forty - the Rathskeller is fun restaurant to visit.

It's probably been years since you've been here - so take a little trip to Germany, no lederhosen necessary….unless you down a few of the big boots.


The Rathskeller Restaurant/Schnitzel House
1205 Quadra Street (at View St.)
from 3pm everyday Sun-Thu until 9pm, Fri/Sat until 10pm


The Rathskeller Schnitzel House on Urbanspoon

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