My wife and I were both born in Germany and had recently returned from a month long vacation there. We were feeling a little homesick so we decided to pay Elmars In The Valley a visit.
It was a Friday evening ~6.45 and we were a little surprised that the restaurant was almost empty despite the time and day. We were even more surprised when the waitress told us in no uncertain terms that we had to order NOW as the kitchen closed at 7pm. A kitchen closing at 7pm on a Friday! How unusual.
Our appetites were not that great so we decided to share an Elmar’s Tasting Plate (Elmar’s Probierplatte) $36.90 for 2 and their speciality, the Pork Shank (Schweinehaxe) $42.90. To round off our order some liquid refreshments were decided upon and 2 large Ein Stein Pilsener’s $20.00 were requested.
The first disappointment was the beer. Despite Elmar’s reputation as being a fine brewer of German style Ale’s our 2 glasses had a distinctly sour aftertaste, almost as if the beer hadn’t been fined properly.
The second disappointment was the Tasting Plate. For $36.90 I expected more than some cubed local cheese, some corn chips (I believe these are Mexican/South American and not German), some very well cooked (over-cooked) Chorizo (Spanish), lettuce and some generic Ciabatta style bread. So sad really. When one considers the various styles of German sausage, sauerkraut or German Ganseleber Pate we could have been offered this plate was really sub-standard.
We had our fingers crossed that the Schweinehaxe would be better and whilst we weren’t disappointed (the crackling was lovely) the flavour was a little bland. Traditional Schweinehaxe is usually partially pickled in brine and juniper berries to give the meat a little tang and kick. But in this case it was pretty bland.
So there we sat, my wife and I. $99.80 in the red after a tasting plate that should really have offered more GERMAN produce, a Schweinehaxe that had not been prepared with the love and attention it deserved and 2 beers which tasted more like homebrew than Hochbrauhaus. Furthermore, after checking the websites of some of the restaurants we visited in Germany, I found that a meal in a similar vein would not have costed me more than 50 Euro’s (AU$55 – 60).
Sorry Elmar’s but I will not be back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.