When traveling or exploring further into my town of residence I am dependent first and foremost upon the internet, and as a result I do my best to give businesses the opportunity to earn the review I post. I know how online reviews can hold weight. Based upon the experience we had at this restaurant, the proprietor has earned every lacking star.
My husband would be leaving the next morning for a training mission. After months of pining for German cuisine, we finally made our way to Taste of Europe so that he could have a departing treat. We arrived to a sign on the door reading "Be back at 5:00." The time was 5:07PM, but the waitress seated on the bench outside assured us and our fellow potential patrons that "she would be here shortly." What were minutes after a few months?
A blonde woman arrived and hurriedly entered the restaurant about ten minutes later, and everyone trickled in behind. We were told to sit where we desire and a booth was selected. Quick inspection revealed a perfectly campy collection of steins and Schwarzwald wood carvings. The ambiance alluded to a perfect spot that would typically go unnoticed due to its lack of flare, but most certainly could deliver.
The beer selection was delightfully authentic (Weihenstephaner hefe is a perpetual favorite) and the menu seemed to truly be German with some nods to American preferences. Both being of German origin (his grandparents, my father), we happily sipped our beverages and eagerly anticipated our orders.
We did not expect five star cuisine, but we were both beyond disappointed with the quality. The bread was clearly not from an in house bakery, but passable. The iceberg greens for the salad were limp and drenched in dressing. His jägerschnitzel tasted of frying oil and the sour black cherries typical for schwarzwälder huhnerbrutsche were cocktail maraschino cherries. The most tragic of all was the spätzle. There was little flavor. We would have been better off with the package at home.
Okay, let's be clear. We are not people who enjoy sending food back. In fact, I dislike it greatly. We gently and politely told the waitress of our disinterest in the food, and she offered to tell the owner because "they would have to settle" the matter. There was no issue with that on our part, and I said that we had no desire to cause a ruckus. We waited what seemed to be a reasonable time (both waitresses came to our table twice to see if the owner had spoken with us) and then walked to the register. We were ready to pay full price if it meant we could leave and continue our night elsewhere.
We stood there waiting whilst the blonde ferried salads to another table. She returned and quickly became verbally aggressive. She accused us of being children, upsetting her other patrons (but no scene had been created), not knowing fresh cuisine when it was made from scratch, and not being familiar with German food. So I responded in German "Wir sind deutsch" meaning "We are German." In my best calming voice I tried to explain that we were just unhappy with the food and wanted to pay for the beers. She continued. Across the wood encasing the register she got in my face and told me of the years of schooling, her years of experience, and the many restaurants she has owned. Not once did we raise our voices. The scene was entirely hers to stage, and what a production!
In summation, she stormed off to the kitchen and we left $10 at the register. I walked over to the kind and understanding waitress, handed her the tip, and told her she deserved to work in a better place. I hope that we see her soon at any other local restaurant.