After a close to disastrous start with a propane tank explosion the German Christmas Market is up and running (and with some around the clock cleaning up and rebuilding all the stalls appear to be open for business).
I stopped in tonight (Monday) to get an early peek at what they have to offer. They're open every day from now until Dec. 24, 11:00 am - 9:00 pm on the plaza of the Queen E. Theater.
So, the short take:
$5 admission to get in (7-12/$3. 0 - 6 free).
As soon as you enter go and get a wrist band (just to the left) if you want to consume alcohol (the bands are just to control quantity as there is a 3 drink maximum)
Drinks-German beer, Glugwein and spiced applewine, no German wine unfortunately, lots of non alcoholic options.
Prices are typical for this kind of venue: $6.00 for a pint of beer, the spiced alcoholic beverages are $6. for a small mug (plus the $4. refundable deposit)
Food- lots of things on buns from different vendors like spit roasted pork, raclette, schnitzel- all in the $8.00 range. Stuffed baked potatoes as well, crepes from La Crepe Bretagne, Baked stuffed apples etc.
Artisan Bakery from N. Van and a vendor of high end imported German sweets are there as well.
In addition there are a number of gift vendors both German and some other ethnic backgrounds, prices look to be on the high side from a quick look.
This is one of those venues that will appeal to some and be of little interest to others. You don't get the market bazaar feel of the Richmond Night Market but if you are of European descent or love that style of nostalgic old world Christmas then by all means go and check it out.
The things that I liked:
The hot Glugwein was just the thing on a rainy Monday night along with a plate of Raclette with Bunderfleisch (air cured meat) - I tried the hot spiced Applewein and it was way too heavy on the spices for my taste.
Artisan Bakery has a great selection of freshly made Stollens in different sizes and two varieties (rum and Marzipan) lots of samples. Bought one of each but haven't tried them yet.
Alpen Club will be doing spit roasted pig on site for part of each day (although the meat will be available for sandwiches continuously), they also do German Cheesecake and Thomas Haas hot chocolate.
The place looks to be set up for serious crowds with lots of staff and porta pottys in evidence and with some vendors paying up to $15,000 to be there (based on the success of similar markets in cities like Chicago) they are counting on doing a killer business.