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Category: German

Prost Haus

 

Downtown Vancouver has a new new Bavarian beer and food hall. And in this post I was invited down for the grand opening, to check out all the fun. Located on the covered roof top of “Dublin Calling”, they have found themselves a permanent home; where as “Roof Top”, the reincarnation before, was only temporary. “Prost Haus” has their own entry way on Granville Street, and tonight you couldn’t miss them and their blue and white checkered motif. Past the podium, you walk up the stairs; towards their faux window, overlooking an Austrian castle. From here, you enter via their lounge area. High tops and wooden booths given some mystique with the tinge from red bulbs.

There are many more seats in the dining hall. Lengthy share style benches under the skylight; or more intimate seating by individual tables, towards the secondary bar at the back. Each table clothed in blue and white gingham. With matching blue and white pennants and flags hanging over head.

The German theme is furthered by a collections of beer steins on display behind lock and key, the largest gathering of mustard variations I have ever seen, and all the employees in their brown lederhosen uniforms. I am not sure if the dress code was solely for today’s grand opening festivities; but I hope not, as it really added to the fulsome theme and got me in a more celebratory mood.

Even the bathroom doors were marked with cartoon characters in German traditional ware.

There was plenty to drink tonight with a curated selection of beers on tap. We drank our fill and snacked on roving appetizers.

German pretzel balls with a beer cheese dip. Hard dough balls, only slightly moisten by the thick cream dip you poured over it. Clever presentation, but a messy one.

German pretzel balls with grainy mustard. Same pretzels as above, but with a zesty condiment.

Pork belly and red cabbage over crostini. By favourite bite of the night, wish I got more of it as a plate.

Spicy sausage and grainy mustard over sauerkraut. A great accompaniment to our collection of beer, but a slice is not enough.

Chicken schnitzel. A little dry, even with the cream drizzle. Could have used a little more seasoning as well.

There were also several help yourself fondue stations with vats of warm beer cheese and cubes of bread that you dip into with skewers. Would have liked more options to dip with and fo the cheese sauce to be punchier with sharper cheeses.

But it was lively polka music and their 10 person ski shot that really helped to jump start the party. The latter is a lengthy wooden stick the width of the room. It hangs on the wall when not in use, and requires two individuals to gingerly remove it from display. It is set up with 10 shot glasses and 10 guests wanting to partake in a shot front it. With glasses filled and on a count of 3, it is bottoms up as all 10 participants are forced to drink as one. Unison drinking as the stick moves from table to mouths.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
All the snacks were tasty enough, and even more so after the amount of beer that proceeded it. But as a whole there wasn’t enough of each for me to be able to paint you an accurate picture of their cuisine. But in terms of libation and ambiance, this was definitely the place to be. It is great to have a new themed bar downtown, one that is bright and happy, with that summer time vibe. With plenty of space, beer, and the salty snacks to pair with it; all you need is the right company. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

PROST HAUS
900 Granville Street, Vancouver BC, V6Z 1L2
prosthaus.com

Bauhaus Restaurant

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The fourth stop on this Gastown cocktail tour with “Drunken Noms”, and “Picky Diner” was “Bauhaus”. This was a wild card, our visit was less about the cocktails, and more about “Drunken Noms” loving the place. She insisted on stopping, after the shock she earned; hearing that “Picky Diner” and myself have yet to try it for ourselves. We made this our detour, but still found some cocktails to satisfy our crawling criteria within.

A little background, “Drunken Noms” is one of the most well informed food bloggers that I know. She takes the time to stay abreast of current dining trends. What are the up and coming restaurants, what restaurants have earned what achievements, what is worth ordering from where, and even which well known chef is working in the kitchen. She is so well versed because she hates visiting a place, only to have a bad experience. So she takes the time to do the research, and ensures she is well informed; in order to only have the best. I on the other hand, eat for novelty, and eat to say that I have. I am less concerned about trying the best, and more about trying what others won’t. So today, following her lead, has allowed me to enjoy more than I thought I would. In fact I felt like quite the trendy eater being by her side. So when she told us that this is one of the only restaurants in Vancouver, with a chef that has a Michelin Star, from his previous venture: I was impressed. I was impressed by him, this restaurant; and of her, for knowing. A “Michelin Star” is one of the highest honours bestowed on to a restaurant and/or its chef by the Michelin travel guide. It is to reward a higher quality of cooking. Multiple stars can be given and stars can also be taken away.

So after that bit of education, I went in with higher expectations, and “Bauhaus” did not disappoint. We got the service I had hoped for, paired with the little touches that surprised and delighted. Small talk was achieved well before we were asked to look at our menus. Napkins were unfolded and asked to be laid across our laps. We were even offered an amuse-bouche to start. This was despite only having cocktails and ordering one appetizer to share.

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An “amuse-bouche” is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. They are not offered on the menu, but are served and selected according to the chef’s prerogative. This sampling was smoked skate wing with a grilled mackerel consume. “Skates” are cartilaginous fish belonging to the ray family. This was this prettiest little bite I have ever been given. The gentle flaky fish sat gently in a clear broth. Together, is was light and fragrant, a subtle fishy taste beautifully constructed. This was a nice surprised and the perfect light start. It certainly spoke to the quality we would be enjoying ahead.

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The restaurant wasn’t an elaborate scene. An industrial meets modern setting: red brick walls reinforced by iron beams. The hardness both created, surrounded and protected the delicate nature of white marble table tops and white leather chairs. One each table, each place setting was set with the necessary accoutrement, and even a wooden trough for utensils to rest.

We were seated within spying distance of their semipermeable kitchen. All glass windows with metal storing shelves lining it. Two men worked in their grey smocks, their hands visible from the pass, with nothing to hide.

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What stood out the most was the piece of art labeled as such. There was no beating around the bush with this piece, you knew its intentions and what the artist hoped to achieve. A large slab signed in various inks and scripts, with bold letters “A-R-T” across it. It was simply propped up, in the centre of an otherwise empty concrete wall. It certainly attracted your attention.

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The same artist looked to played a role in the design of the washrooms. Given the dining area, the facilities weren’t as expected. It was an interesting juxtaposition. Formal dining meets the edginess of spray paint and graffiti. All white stalls dripping with lines of paint and a jumbled mass of scribbles inside and out. And on the adjacent wall, perhaps the artist’s signature stamped like a calling card with accompanying words of wisdom. “To create a work of art, is to create the world”. All this and the stalls were terribly narrow. The kind of narrow that forces you to go out of your way to enter and exit, if you hope to avoid touching the door and walls with your body.

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To drink I went with the “Buttermilch margarita” as I have yet to have much with buttermilk in it, outside of fried chicken and dough; so I was curious how it transitioned into an alcoholic beverage. It was prepared with reposado tequila, agave, buttermilk, lemon and quince jam. You certainly got the promise of buttermilk with its sour and tart taste. It’s an acquired flavour, like expired milk for those unfamiliar. The lemon and quince helped to balance the taste and sweeten the drink.

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The “Diner” went with another horseradish cocktail. The “Schmutz martini” is made using akvavit, horseradish, dry vermouth, and olive mist. You really got the olive essence from this. And with it and the intensity of the horseradish, it reminded you of an oyster, but in liquid form. This is definitely one of those drinks you have once just to try, and order a classic martini to wash it down afterwards.

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Less a creative drink, and more “Nom’s” favourite cocktail: was the “boulevardier”. This version altered the traditional recipe with the use of cinnamon on top of bourbon, sweet vermouth, and campari. She wasn’t sold on the added spice and the extra warmth it brought, but she isn’t one to waste a drop.

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When we asked his opinion on snacks, our friendly server recommend the “meatballs”. Prepared in a caper sauce, with mashed potatoes and green and white asparagus. It was as hearty as it read. When I hear “meatball” I think red sauce and Italian herbs. This was a dressed up meat and potatoes dish befitting of our locale. The balls had the texture of a crumbly and fluffy meat loaf. Though it was clear the sauce was the star of the dish. I would have liked more of it in a cup as is, or as a side with an open faced vegetable sandwich.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Having not tried enough, but enjoying the setting and full heartedly embracing the recommendation; I would like to return to get a better feel of the place. Maybe to enjoy more of their cuisine through the chef’s tasting menu? There also aren’t too many restaurants focused on German cuisine. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

BAUHAUS
1 West Cordova Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 2J2
604-974-1147
bauhaus-restaurant.com
Bauhaus Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bestie

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The name is catchy, though I am not sure how it ties in with the restaurant. Located between Chinatown and Gastown this little sausage shop is certainly a hidden gem. My guest had heard good things about it, so now given the chance we made this our after drinking stop.

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The blue glow of their sausage shaped light drew me in like a mosquito to a flame. And the row of seats under their restaurant’s logo made me stay with its photo op. With a line at 10pm these chairs available outside gave those waiting a chance to rest. Though as a snack stop the turn around was fairly quick. 15 minutes top was our estimated wait and we were seated within 5.

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Inside it was a simple setting. White furniture in a white walled room. Framed art here, a wooden cuckoo clocked there. A row of booths set against the wall and a row of stools by the counter. The kitchen was completely open, with front row seats and clear visibility from the bar. The kitchen was tiled in white and fitted with stainless steel equipment. Off the walls hung steins for beers, pots for boiling, colanders for straining, and all the utensils needed to prepare the perfect sausage.

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We were given the best seats in the house. An elevated and secluded booth by the window. It required a step up and some wiggling to get centred on these colourful foam-like blocks. They made for a comfortable and spongy seat cushion.

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The menu was abbreviated. A smaller offering reflective of their small space and smaller kitchen. A one page of sausages and sides. You choose your style, how you want your sausage prepared. Either currywurst, a sausage sliced and serve with curried ketchup over crispy fries; that was listed as being Berlin’s most popular street food. Or sausage with sauerkraut, both served warm with house made mustard and fries. Then you choose which sausage you want. All four options are all natural, free range, and local. Classic pork thuringer, Southern BBQ turkey, smokey bison, and veggie wurst. If that’s not enough add on extras like potato salad, more fries but now with cheese, gherkin pickles, extra sauerkraut, and warm pretzels with a cheese sauce they describe as being “stinky. This was definitely good late night eats.

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We partnered the all natural classic pork thuringer bratwurst with sauerkraut and house made mustard to allow what they considered “bratwurst at its finest” to shine. Then paid extra to have our side of fries made into cheese fries. The sausage was flavourful as is, and the best of the two we had. The mustard and sauerkraut were hardly touched. The latter was delicious, fresh, and hearty, but there was too much of it for the one sausage link. The cheese in the fries were gritty, a chunky cream paste that offered salt and an off putting texture. Most of the flavour came from the chopped chives sprinkled on top.

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With the Currywurst we choose the smoky bison sausage, more for the rarity of the protein on any menu as appose to its potential taste and value in the dish. It was sliced and pre-coated generously with the curried ketchup, which did allow the meat to be highlighted. The ketchup was a dominating taste like the cheese above this too was grainy in taste and lumpy in texture. More sweet than salty, it isn’t what I expected or am use to. Is it bad that I prefer the processed non heathy kind of ketchup instead? Especially with the fries that it came with? The fries were average, they could have been crispier for a better contrast to the also chewy sausage.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I liked it for its name alone. The sides could use some work, but the bratwursts are definitely worth trying. I wouldn’t recommend this as a meal, but late at night and you need some greasy eats, this is one I would refer to. Don’t deny your cravings.

BESTIE
105 E Pender Street, Vancouver BC, V6A1T5
604-620-1175
bestie.ca
Bestie on Urbanspoon

Candy Meister Foodtruck

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I have made a few attempts to catch this food truck when outside of my work place. And on each occasion I have just missed it. So today when I saw it parked by the road during a casual stroll down commercial drive I had to stop. My long last excitement rubbed off on “Miss Vancouver Piggy”, fellow food enthusiast and blogger, as we approached the truck with smiles. We have all heard of and seen trucks offering snacks and meals on the go, though this is the first I have seen offering candy. And not just your regular grocery store variety bulk candy, but the all natural gourmet kind.

The truck is predominantly blue and white with stripes of yellow, red, and green. It’s name is the real draw, who doesn’t want to get a closer look at what a candy truck can offer. And when was the last time your solution to quelling your sweet tooth came to you?

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Already heading in its general direction, we were drawn even closer with the offering of free samples by the clerk in the truck. She generously doled out full sized candies using plastic tongs. She got us interested using the safe lure of assorted fruit candies. These I suspect are the most popular in classic lemon wedges, sweet raspberry, cherry drops, and green apple. She was insistent in offering us others to try despite the first hard candy was still being in play in moth. I couldn’t refuse her persistence after the third plea. And thus was forced to double cheek, a candy per cheek, I found it hard to judge one from the other. But was pleasantly surprised at how well they married together.

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Hard candies given an attempt at being healthy. These natural candies are home made in Germany. They use either use honey, fruits, or herbs as their main ingredient. And as a result come as vegan friendly, gluten free, dairy free, and corn free options. A handy visual chart easily explained this with photos and fine print for better clarification. Some more interesting combinations included Bavarian malt, mulled wine, fennel sticks, and anise as ingredients.

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I simply do as I usual do and asked for the recommendation of the most unique. This was “green woodruff leaves” fruit candy. I don’t know exactly what green woodruff is, other than it being a German herb, but was sure it tasted good. A mild flavour that wasn’t over bearing, it offered itself as a gentle after meal mouth cleanser.

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The more cautious and ever careful, “Miss Vancouver Piggy” played it safe with “honey bees” and “fizzy candy”. They were as their name suggested, candy that tasted of honey and candy that gives off a fizzing sensation. The bees were more honey taste than honey sweetness. And the fizzes were assorted fruit flavours that bubbled when sucked.

Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I like my candy chewy or chocolatey, the kind that rots teeth and is bad for you. Though novel, the idea of satisfying my sweet tooth with healthy and hard candies isn’t the image that immediately comes to mind. They were good and I did enjoy all that I tried, but these aren’t the kinds of taste I would long for again. When present I will park take, but nothing I would go out of my way for. I almost prefer a candy truck stylized like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Unique treats and nostalgic sweets. The candy that requires you to play with your food and remise of a childhood once had. Bubble tapes and bubble jugs, pop rocks, and gobstoppers, colour changing gum balls, and flavour intensifying chewables. Don’t deny your cravings.

To read “Miss Vancouver Piggy’s” review of “Candy Meister” from our blogger’s date click HERE.

CANDY MEISTER
778-926-5002
candy-meister-van.com
Candy Meister on Urbanspoon

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