First bloggers dinner! I have to say, walking in I was quite anxious-- a big meet with new individuals, and also the youngest, I hoped that I'd be able to enjoy the night and get to know people. Honestly I was there more for the people than the food. The bloggers in attendance?
- Anita – La Petite Foodie
- Ann and Dee – Me Plus Food
- Ethan – Tastes Better with Friends
- Jenny – My Secret Eden
- Jessica – Yumorama
- Jonathan – Food and Tell
- Joyce – Vancouver Foodies
- Karl – The Friday Lunch
- Kim - I'm only here for the food!
- Sherman – Sherman’s Food Adventures
- Victoria – Victoria’s Food Secrets
(the above was copied off Kim's blog.. haha;; thanks Kim : P) I only really got to meet Kim, Sherman, Anita, Jenny, Jessica and Mark, and Joyce, as the table was really too long to have a conversation with everyone. But it was nice meeting everyone anyways!
The Alpen Club had a throwback family style feel to it. Nothing fancy, but rustic and warm.
Albeit a little warn down... Hello hole in the roof. Apparently there was a sighting of a ... rodent from the other side of the table as well, but I can't confirm this as I was on the other side.
We joked about the obscene amount of butter to bread ratio that was provided. The butter was set on the table before we sat down, but then even more came with the bread basket. I wonder how long the butter sits there on the table....
The bread was cold and soft. Standard piece of bread.
Lots of beer was involved on the other end of the table as well~ Although not so much on ours..
A number of the bloggers ordered schnitzel dishes as well. Unfortunately I have no idea how these were, so you'll have to see what they say. : )
The rest of us however shared a number of Festplattes (a huge order of various types of proteins, serves 4). ($80). Let's take a look at the components, shall we? (again. courtesy of Kim. Because I forgot what was what;; haha)
Mashed potatoes. Not much flavour, and could have been softer/creamier, but edible
Red cabbage - not too flavourful, but I actually liked this.
Potato Dumplings - hands down, the worst dish of the night. Tasted like oily luke-warm rubber. Potato? Don't make me laugh. The batter was probably overmixed, causing it to be far too glutinous.
Bratwurst - my favourite protein of the night. It had spices that differentiated it from the other meats (as opposed to rather dull other meats).
Leberkase - The German Spam.
Schnitzel - crispy, and I liked the shallots. But overall no wow to it. I know others have mentioned that they didn't find it dry... and while perhaps it wasn't, it wasn't flavourful either. As German food is supposed to be apparently?
Kassler - Honestly, after my initial try of this, I left it alone. I rather eat the bratwurst. Tastes like... pork. And that's it. Simple.
Ham Hock - this was huge. And rather unappetizing looking. As it was braised, the skin had a rather gelatinous and unappealing presentation (hair remaining on bumpy follicles and all). It was also very fatty, which, while is the nature of ham hock, did not quite appeal to me. Fortunately it was braised well, and as you went further into the hock, the meat became more enjoyably tender, carrying a beautiful pink hue. However, taste wise.. well. We couldn't say much more than "it tastes like ham hock". Again. There wasn't much more to it.
Mustard - apparently the only thing that is used to flavour German food.....
Underneath all the meats was also some sauerkraut, which, although was cooked well apparently from our German food blogger, was also not my cup of tea. No flavour.
For $20, I personally was not impressed. Yes, all the components were done as they were supposed to be done (as per our German blogger's expertise), however, just because something is done traditionally, does not automatically entitle it to be good and/or liked. I'm sure that others that are used to German cuisine may find this enjoyable, but I personally like 1. some balance in my meals (not just a load of pork) 2. some flavour in my meals (besides the taste of..pork).
Finally, we finished up with some desserts. On the left is apple strudel and while I really wanted to try this, we ended up sharing icecream crepes instead, as the other bloggers all got the apple strudel. I was disappointed personally. Even if the crepe was crispy, the premelted icecream ensured that it wouldnt' be a pleasant eat. Yes. the icecream was melted even before it got to the table.
In terms of service, I actually feel a little sorry for our waitress. From other bloggers, they felt the service was not too great. And while I can agree that drinks came slowly, the bill was sorted horribly, and the ordering system was handled pretty poorly, I can say that when it comes to a party this big, one waitress can feel very overwhelmed. If customers are discussing amongst themselves on what to get, the waitress may find it difficult to pick up when they're actually deciding, and when they're still discussing with each other. So the waitress has my sympathies. Service wasn't great, but perhaps they're not used to such parties. So I give them the benefit of the doubt, and am going to assume that their service is usually better. They at the very least kept my glass of water full, although I can't speak for everyone else.
Overall, the food disappointed me, and the waitress, while having my sympathies, also created a 20minutes line up at the cash register. You'd think a place that is meant for larger parties would be able to handle the cash handling a little better. Yet, I still had a great night meeting all the bloggers and talking. : ) So. Success? I guess?
Vancouver Alpen Club (Deutsches Haus)
- Tastes like.. German food (and apparently that equals horribly plain)
- horrible potato dumplings
- Dessert was a disappointed, despite how pretty it looked
- If you like pork though, in any form, this may be for you.
- Under these circumstances, was not served very well. But how many waitresses are used to this sort of situation?
- Handled the bill poorly
- At least kept my glass full (even if the glass took a while to actually get there. But again. With large parties, these type of things happen.)Atmosphere:
- Homey rustic.
- Located underneath the community centre building, so it may cause some initial confusion when trying to find out where to enter.