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Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg AG

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Leyergasse 6 69117 Heidelberg

When it comes to beer, Heidelberg has a handful of options.  Found in numerous restaurants, bars, and cafés on tap, Heidelberger beer is probably the most recognizable as the local Heidelberger Brauerei bottles it for distribution worldwide (particularly the Heidelberger 1603 Pilsener).  But there are also individual brewhouses around town that feature their own unique brew.  In addition to Brauhaus Vetter, there is a brewery east of the Old Bridge called Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg AG.

 

With its long history, Kulturbrauerei (translated: cultural brewery) is a cultural experience in itself.  The establishment is gigantic.  Not only is it grounds for a brewhouse, but it’s also a hotel and restaurant.  There are multiple options for seating here – inside, at the massive dining hall, next door in a cozy, quaint dining room, upstairs in the gallery overlooking the brewhouse, or outside under the warm sun at the beer garden.  Each offers a different dining experience.  Inside the rustic dining room, located adjacent to the large hall, guests will find old wooden tables with small, cozy chairs.  The décor in here makes reference to historic times – black and white framed photographs of the old city buildings conjure up memories of days gone by.

 

 

The menu will not bombard you with a large selection of dishes, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing.  Diners will find a decent number of regional as well as national German dishes on the paper menu, including Leberkäse and Pfälzer Bratwürste, as well as Schweinebraten and Sauerbraten.  Vegetarians will only find one main dish on the menu – Schafskäse – but there are also salads and soups.

Highlighting the list of drinks is, of course, the house brewed beer.  Three different types of the beer, named Scheffel’s, are available: Kräusen naturtrüb (naturally cloudy), Hefeweizen, and Bier der Jahreszeit (seasonal beer).  A large glass (0,5 liters) will set you back 3,60 €; a small (0,3 liters) 2,70 € (Kräusen costs 2,50 €).  Also on the list are a few red and white wines, along with a small number of hot drinks and alcohol free beverages.  The listings aren’t extensive, but why order anything else besides beer at a brewhouse?

One of the hearty entrées out of the oven is Großmutters Schweinebraten mit Rotkraut und Semmelknödel (Grandma’s German pork roast with red cabbage and bread dumplings).  In this dish, two slices of roasted pork are served in a thick brown gravy with two Knödel dumpling balls.  Red cabbage is also served on the side.  The pork and the accompanying gravy sauce are merely okay.  However, the red cabbage is overwhelmingly tart.  Instead of a balance of sweet and sour, the cabbage dominates the saltiness of the pork and the neutral flavor of the dumpling.

Though red cabbage and dumplings are traditionally paired with German pork roast, the flavor combination here just doesn’t seem to work.  Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but the cabbage hampers any development of flavor as you progress through the meal.  Moreover, the quality of the protein just isn’t up to par.  The pork roast lacks the ideal level of tenderness.  Quality isn’t consistent throughout in the meat.  Although the Knödel includes pieces of bacon, it still maintains a dull, neutral taste.  Even when soaking up the gravy sauce, it just doesn’t do much aside from providing a slight bread-like texture and taste.  Grandmother can’t be pleased with the way her pork roast meal is turning out…

 

Unfortunately, guests looking for something sweet will only have two options here – chocolate mousse or apple strudel.  Each dessert is unreasonably priced at 6,80 €.  Apfelstrudel is a snore.  The dessert is uncreative, unappetizing, and uninspiring.  The apple filling appears dry; the pastry jacket humdrum.  While the apple strudel is warm, it doesn’t taste fresh.  That is, it’s easy to tell that it hadn’t been baked the same day.  Although the vanilla cream sauce and the scoop of vanilla ice cream, as well as the dusted powder sugar on top, try to inject life into the dish, the flavors simply don’t justify the extravagant price tag.  Such a disheartening finisher.

The service at Kulturbrauerei is a little bit shaky.  Despite having multiple workers on staff, getting a server’s attention may take some effort.  Keep in mind the various seating areas, so the staff will be all over the place.  Food out of the kitchen also requires a moderate waiting time.

Kulturbrauerei is one of the few breweries located in Heidelberg.  It’s not a bad place to go to relax and enjoy a taste of local brew and enjoy the pleasant weather outside.  Tourists and locals alike can be seen at this establishment, particularly for said house brewed beer.  But the food remains stuck in the beer’s shadows.  Even with its limited menu selection, the dishes at Kulturbrauerei aren’t executed as well as one would expect.  The flavors don’t shine, the portion sizes and prices don’t match, and the quality just isn’t there.

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Summary:

Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg is a German restaurant, hotel, and brewhouse located on a narrow street off of the Heidelberg Hauptstraße, featuring its own Scheffel’s house brewed beer.   Limited selection of food items on the menu.  Spacious and open dining area.  Plenty of seating options.  Beer garden available outdoors.  House brewed beer available for purchase in 1 or 2 Liter containers.  Prices moderate.  Credit cards not accepted.

Hours: Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
            Friday, Saturday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 AM

 

Overall – 2.5 stars

  • Großmutters Schweinebraten mit Rotkraut und Semmelknödel – 3/5
  • Warmer Apfelstrudel mit Vanille Eis – 1.5/5
  • Service – 4/5

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http://www.heidelberger-kulturbrauerei.de/

Written by geschmack

June 11th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Enchilada

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S 4, 17 – 22 68161 Mannheim

Mexican cuisine has a poor reputation in Germany.  You won’t find any popular Mexican style fast food joints.   There aren’t any Taco Bells (except on selected army bases), Del Tacos, or Chipotle Mexican Grills.  Surprisingly, though, there is one franchise chain of Mexican restaurants, located throughout Germany, called Enchilada.  Considering that it has 25 locations in several major German cities, the food there has to be great, right?

Enchilada’s dining area has sort of an old, pueblo style / southwestern type of architecture that fits the Mexican theme.  With wooden tables and chairs, the seating isn’t overly spectacular.  The overall mood here is casual and relaxed, suitable for such an establishment.  A few plants add color and life to the place.  There are a few Aztec style objects decorating the spacious room.  Plenty of seating is available inside.  Beats from Spanish canciones play throughout the dining area and brings that rhythmic excitement.

 

As Enchilada is not only a restaurant, but also a bar, there are a good number of drinks to be found.  A separate drinks menu features an extraordinary list of cocktails and beverages.  A variety of margaritas, coladas, caipi drinks, rum drinks, tequilas, vodkas, and jumbos can all be found.  Popular here is the special Happy Hour every evening from 6 to 8 PM when all cocktails are half off.   Unique beers can also be ordered, including Mexico’s top selling beer – Corona.  There is also a homemade beer as well as a Spanish imported beer, aside from the usual Pils.

The menu is quintessential Tex-Mex.  On the list of appetizers are chips and dip, nachos, potato skins, breads, and taquitos.  There are chimichangas, chili con carne, steaks, Buffalo wings, baked potatoes, and fajitas.  Naturally, enchiladas are listed.  Quesadillas, tacos, and burritos are also featured.  After all, what’s a Mexican restaurant without tacos and burritos?

 

The variety of fajitas is rather striking.  You can order fajitas with prawns, beef strips, strips of chicken breast, turkey, or even lamb medallions.  Additionally, there is a vegetarian fajita featuring seasonal vegetables.  Each grilled specialty comes with a stack of 5 flour tortillas and a condiment platter consisting of coleslaw, shredded cheese, jalapeños, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole in small containers, and diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and green lettuce.

The Fajita Parilla includes strips of South American beef in a medley of green, yellow, and red bell peppers and onions.  Served sizzling on a thin cast iron skillet pan, it is sure to turn heads from other curious diners.  The fajitas have excellent flavor and aroma; they’re well seasoned, the peppers are sweet and crunchy, and the beef is juicy and tender and isn’t chewy.  The only negative is the abysmal portion size.  The star of the meal fails to make its presence known.

 

Tortillas, made from wheat flour, are served in a beautiful woven basket with lid, kept warm by a small heated plate turned upside down at the bottom of the basket.  Though not made fresh in the kitchens, the tortillas are soft and have great flavor.

Condiments accompanying the fajitas and tortillas are a huge letdown.  With its large array of colors, the platter certainly looks appealing.  It screams Mexico’s colors (red, white, and green – salsa, sour cream, and guacamole).

 

But aside from the tomatoes and cucumbers, the items on the plate appear far from fresh.  The green leaf lettuce is extremely dry and simply looks old.  The white shredded cheese is beginning to melt – a clear sign of improper storage.  Health inspector, anyone?  The coleslaw has way too much mayonnaise and is overly creamy.  It tastes more like German kraut than summertime slaw.  Simply adding carrots to the cabbage doesn’t qualify it as coleslaw.  Jalapeños are also dry and obviously come from a can.  The guacamole has seen better days – it was probably made at corporate kitchen headquarters and transported days ago.  Moreover, there aren’t any chunks of avocado inside; it’s only a smooth, pale green dip.  The sour cream is served in the same container as the salsa, making it runny.  The salsa, though, has a decent amount of heat.  Taken as a whole, the condiment platter is a disgrace to Mexican cuisine.

By the way, what kind of Mexican restaurant serves coleslaw with fajitas?  Rice and beans can be ordered separately, but with the steep price of the fajita plate – 14,70 € – you would have expected these classic Mexican staples to be served with the grilled meat.  The condiment platter, as is, invites diners to build their own mini burrito.  However, the miserable amount of meat makes it extremely difficult to fully enjoy the meal.  With the cheese melting a bit, though, it does make for a good quesadilla!

 

Desserts warrant applause.  Despite only offering 3 postres on the menu – churros, a sweet chimichanga with ice cream, and flautas plátanos – they are executed quite well.  The Flautas Plátano consists of a wheat flour tortilla, wrapped around a sweet banana, and lightly baked until crisp.  Served with delicate whipped cream, a scoop of smooth Mövenpick vanilla ice cream, a fruity strawberry ragout, topped with powdered sugar, and drizzled with chocolate sauce, the dish looks marvelous.  The tortilla tastes like a shortbread crust for pie; the heavenly combination of bananas and strawberries makes it even more dazzling.  This dessert is not only creative and luscious, but also makes you forget about the lackluster main dish.  At 4,30 €, it is also reasonably priced.

Enchilada deserves credit for becoming a reasonably successful franchise throughout Germany.  With its daily Happy Hour specials, a cozy and spacious dining room, and commendable service, Enchilada is a great place to go with friends and enjoy cocktails.  But, at the same time, the restaurant tries too hard to be truly Mexican.  Enchilada already has the blueprints for a thriving establishment – the menu is exciting, the drinks plenty, and the atmosphere admirable.  Only the food needs significant improvement.  Once Enchilada brings in a seasoned chef to change up the cooking techniques and freshen up the ingredients, it will continue serving up sub par Mexican cuisine to mostly unseasoned diners.

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Summary:

With more than 20 restaurants located all over Germany, Enchilada is a successful franchise chain of Mexican themed restaurants.  Although not truly authentic Mexican cuisine, Enchilada makes a reasonable attempt at cooking up Tex-Mex dishes that will adequately satiate your hungry for tacos, burritos, and fajitas.  Overall prices moderate.  Specials: Happy Hour every evening from 6 to 8 PM – all cocktails at half price.  Special Enchilada Hour beginning at 11 PM – all margaritas and jumbos at half price.

Hours: Daily: 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM

 

Overall – 3.5 stars

  • Fajitas Parilla – 3/5
    • Beef Fajitas with Onions & Bell Peppers – 4/5
    • Flour Tortillas – 4/5
    • Side Platter – 1/5
  • Flautas Plátano – 4.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.enchilada.de/

Written by geschmack

June 8th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Posted in Mannheim

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