Tonight we decided to try the new Bavarian Brathaus in Cary. The resto is located in the shopping center at the corner of Tryon and Cary Parkway - I don't know the name of the strip mall, but it's the development where Mythos is located. (Slightly off topic, we hadn't been that way in a while and noticed that London Fish & Chips is now gone.)
We came into the resto and were surprised to be told that at 6 p.m. on Friday night, we'd have to wait 15 - 20 minutes because we didn't have a reservation. We took that as a good sign, assuming that they were busy, and took the host's suggestion to visit the bar area for a drink. We did, and while we enjoyed the drinks, I didn't appreciate the misdirection; we were seated in 10 minutes and walked through a half-full restaurant with plenty of empty seats to get to our table. A small snafu occurred when the host came to get us for our table; he told us that we'd have to cash out at the bar before being seated since "we don't have a computer yet." We stood there waiting to pay, and when we finally caught the attention of someone behind the bar, we told him we needed to pay since we were headed to our seats. "Who told you that you had to pay first? I'm the owner and it doesn't work that way." So, off we went to our table, drinks and bar tab in hand.
The restaurant itself is well-decorated; they've done a good job of making the place feel very homey with a lodge-type feel; there's a huge two-sided fireplace and dark wood paneling, etc. We were seated at a small table near the fireplace in a back room. We were the only patrons in the room, though the host pointed out the large table set for about a dozen places next to us and said that since it would be at least an hour before that party arrived, we'd have good service. Our server arrived shortly after the host seated us, and made some good recommendations from the menu.
We decided to have potato pancakes for an appetizer; they come in orders of 3 or 6, and we selected the smaller portion. They arrived quickly and were hot and fresh, with small cups of sour cream and applesauce on the platter. Crispy outside and soft inside, just as potato pancakes should be; nothing to write home about, but pretty good. Bread came shortly thereafter; two standard white rolls, one slightly stale-tasting brown bread roll, and some really good whipped honey butter. The bread basket was not refilled during our meal. Next came a salad of slivered tomatoes in a tangy and not unpleasantly vinegary dressing; the table bread was a good accompaniment to the strong flavor of the dressing.
The menu features several traditional German dishes, including at least eight different types of schnitzel. I decided on beef rouladen and my husband ordered the Jaegermeister schnitzel (yep, you read that right - schnitzel served with mushrooms and gravy made with Jaegermeister in the mix!). A nice surprise came when we asked for a side of German potato salad; the server offered to substitute the potato salad for the spaetzle that came with dinner, despite the menu clearly stating no substitutions.
Dinner was very good. The rouladen had a rich gravy with a strong red wine flavor (which I like), and the beef was fork-tender. The schnitzel was also very good. Dinner came with the aforementioned potato salad and a side bowl of pickled beets. The beets were much too sweet to eat on their own, but were very good when eaten with the beef. The potato salad, however, left a little to be desired in my opinion. The strongest flavor was pork; I love pig as much as the next person, but I felt a little like I was eating a warm bacon and ham salad with a few potatoes mixed in. I'm a huge potato salad fan but left most of that on the plate. I thought that the portions were okay, not outlandish, but not tiny either.
While we ate, we kept hearing the host ask our server if she could pick up "just one more table." She must've picked up four extra tables while we were eating, in addition to serving the room we were in, which included the now-full table of 12. Needless to say, service suffered greatly. We sat for at least fifteen minutes staring at dirty dinner plates and the empty bread basket before our server even came by to check on us.
We decided to get a cup of coffee and split an order of apple schnitzel for dessert, which arrived remarkably quickly. The strudel looked beautiful, with a flaky pastry, lots of cinnamon, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside. (The other desserts offered were peach strudel, Black Forest cake, and cheesecake.) Our server said that she had just put on a fresh pot of coffee and would bring our cups shortly. The strudel was slightly warm, just above room temp but not hot enough to melt the ice cream. It was nicely cooked, with the apples still a little firm and rich with plenty of spices, and not overly sweet. We finished the strudel and sat again for a few minutes before our server came back; upon seeing our empty plate, she asked if we still wanted the coffee, and at that point we said no, we'd prefer to have had it with dessert. She said she'd be back with the check, and about ten minutes later brought it to our table.
Overall, I'd give the ambiance an A, the food a B+, the service a C, and the price a D. We had one mixed drink, one beer, one app, two entrees, and one dessert, and dinner with tip was just north of $100. They hadn't deducted the coffees that we'd never received from our bill, but rather than sit another 20 minutes waiting on a new bill, we didn't say anything about it.
I'd consider going back, but at those prices, it won't be a regular stop. I meant to see if I could find a lunch menu, but forgot to do so on my way out; if the prices are lower then (which I assume they would be), that might be a better time to visit.
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