Saturday, December 4, 2010

Otto & Anita's Schnitzel Haus

On the edge of Multnomah Village, a group of friends & I were at a gallery to meet up with an artist friend. Okay -- I'll admit the name of the gallery: it's The Geezer Gallery. Yes, that's correct. Anyway, after viewing all the lovely, cleverly creative, imaginative artworks, it was decided that we would dine at "the German restaurant across the street." I had an inkling of doubt, owing to my previous experience with German restaurant food here in town, but being the adventurous type, I hopped onto the caravan.
The lobby is a funky little area, with house-made pastries in prominent display. Though the few Christmas decorations were probably new, the feel of the lobby made it seem as though they were brought out for the occasion from last year.

We received wonderful service for our table of eight, and from the minute we sat down until the last bite of conversation, we all felt immediately comfortable. We had a merry time, and when the food was brought out, it was all a pleasant surprise. First was a sampling ‘round the table of a bowl of “The original Dill Pickle Soup” which someone had ordered. As most of us did, I really had some doubts about this one. But it was amazingly delicious and I promptly ordered my own bowl!

Next were the main courses, and all of them came with spinach with the butter already on it – a nice touch, I thought; I didn’t have to ask f0r butter! – and a serving of spaetzle, a kind of noodle that is short and bright yellow, resembling scrambled eggs. The spaetzle was tasty, but seemed rich, so a smaller amount on my plate might have worked better, at least for me. There was also a serving of carrots, sliced bias cut. They were cooked perfectly: not mushy but not a little too firm as so many places do. The best part was my halibut fillet, which was a house special just for me, because they were out of the two previous items I’d tried to order. It was lovely and tender, with a delicate Bearnaise sauce to complement it splendidly.

Those were the highlights. The prices were reasonable, the service attentive and on top of it, and the whole place had a homespun feel. One just had the sense that this little place advertising itself as “Bavarian/American Food and Pastries” had lots of regular customers. I don’t doubt that a bit.

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