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Looking for German style restaurant in Albany NY - Saratoga Springs area.

f
feelinpeckish Mar 15, 2007 08:48 AM

I've been looking for a while and while there are a few close to home eg Yorkshire Farms the description of it doesn't measure up to my hopes. Any suggestions?

  1. c
    caffeine Aug 25, 2009 11:11 AM

    Five of us were at Spa Brauhaus just last nite, Aug 24 2009 - a Monday, which they are only open on Monday during Saratoga Track season, July and August. The decor is depressing to be mild ! Wood wood and more wood in a huge room where maybe 25% of the space is actually used (we've been there a few times). Our waitress had a German accent, a 5 on the "warm and fuzzy" scale ! Prices aren't that low (be careful if you're a soda guzzler ! they do not "refill free" - once the guys soda tab was close to $30!) but DO include a tureen of house soup which is DELICIOUS and HEARTY - it's got barley, carrots, tomatoes, probably cabbage - SO GOOD I could live on it. You could refill your soup cups probably 3 times, maybe more but then you won't be able to eat your dinner! Bread is trashy heat and serve mini loaves - burger buns on steroids. Salad is next, included. It's surprisingly good too - very fresh and "composed" of sorts - lettuce (chopped, not sure if it was only iceberg), red cabbage, carrots, cucumber slices and one nice slice of tomato with a wonderful sweet and sour house dressing. As for meals, 3 of us got the Sauerbraten. At first glance, I was disappointed to see that the meat appeared to be beef eye round. However, it was fork tender and the gravy was perfection! Just the perfect balance of sweet and savory. We chose the spaetzle which was a great choice. The other 2 ordered weiner schnitzel and loved the tenderness of the veal. Sides are really disappointing and that's where they could elevate their food to the 21st century. They're canned - red cabbage....... and so was the applesauce served with the potato pancakes (from appetizers - 3 pancakes, very good onion flavor balance but greasy!). Freshly made red cabbage and applesauce from our abundant apple orchards in the area would make a lot of sense to me. We didn't order dessert since we were returning home to a homemade birthday cake. All in all, I'd recommend the place if you're in the area - there isn't much competition, although they did a mostly good job overall.

    2 Replies
    1. re: caffeine
      financialdistrictresident Aug 26, 2009 04:41 AM

      Thanks for the report, caffeine. We went to Spa Brauhaus for a family birthday dinner recently (I'm always behind in my reports ). We had a similar experience. The soup was good (don't remember what it was) and the sauerbraten was a hit with our German relatives. Our salad was iceberg and traditional (some shredded carrot, red cabbage, etc.). I liked their red cabbage but am also a fan of the red cabbage in a jar. Think RETRO. It was like stepping back in time . . . We had the black forest cake for dessert (which they get from J&S Watson). Not a destination place but one of the only restaurants in the area serving authentic German food.

      1. re: caffeine
        n
        nkjarvis Feb 7, 2012 08:08 AM

        Caffeine: Using canned red cabbage and apple sauce is not the same as using fresh ingredients. First of all the apples used in Germany are different than in the states as are the other ingredients, so the taste is different. I have not found anything comparable in 13 years of living here. Second, the canned red cabbage has been pickled and seasoned a specific way. Making it fresh would work, but again the taste is different. It's kinda like Sauerkraut. Nobody makes it themselves, they use the canned stuff to get the true aroma.

      2. k
        kayt Jul 29, 2009 12:35 PM

        Spa Brauhaus is pretty good but I think the food we've had at Pumpernickles in Bolton Landing is way better and worth the trip from Saratoga. Not as cozy but it is home to the world's largest cuckoo clock originally made for the '62? World's Fair and then landmark of the first Weinerwald restaurant in NYC! The owner is from Germany near the Danish border.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kayt
          financialdistrictresident Jul 29, 2009 05:12 PM

          kayt, did you notice this thread is from 2007?

          That said we will be going to Spa Brauhaus this weekend and will report back. Hopefully it is still "pretty good."

          1. re: financialdistrictresident
            k
            kayt Jul 30, 2009 02:55 PM

            I did, but I was so impressed with Pumpernickle's that I wanted to share the info. We love German food and had driven by the place in the past but never imagined it was so good.
            I didn't add that it was July 4th weekend and we were over an hour late for our reservation partly because I remembered it as being on 9L instead of 9N & then, once righted, we hit a detour caused by the Capri resort fire. The owner handled it all with good humor and my friend, "Mr. Really Hard to Please", enjoyed his meal and that says a lot.

            Looking forward to your report on Spa Brauhaus.

        2. t
          trakman May 6, 2007 08:55 PM

          Second the recommendation on the Spa Brauhaus in Ballston Spa. Have eaten there, and had a good meal. There is also the Heidelberg Inn, on Quaker Road in Glens Falls. Have no personal knowledge of it at all.

          Best way to get to the Spa Brauhaus is to come north, or south on I-87, the Northway, and get off at Exit 13S. That puts you on Route 9 going South. Go to the second red light (Public House and the Ripe Tomato Restaurants will be on your left at that intersection.. Turn right at the intersection. Continue along that road until you see the Spa Brahaus on your left. Probably 2 or 3 miles.

          1. a
            AntSew May 5, 2007 10:29 AM

            Germania Hall in Troy, NY has Friday Night dinners as well as German Organizations and Events throughout the year. Check it out at http://www.troygermaniahall.com/
            The dinner menu's are posted on this site as well as activities. Fun for all ages.

            Aunt Sue

            1. jaylhorner Mar 15, 2007 12:25 PM

              Spa Brauhaus in Ballston Spa is closest to Saratoga that I know.

              http://www.spabrauhaus.com/

              2 Replies
              1. re: jaylhorner
                f
                feelinpeckish Mar 15, 2007 12:54 PM

                Thank you very much, it sounds like just what I am looking for.

                1. re: jaylhorner
                  PSZaas Mar 16, 2007 02:18 AM

                  2nd the recommendation, since it's pretty much the only German restaurant in the area; reliable, warm place on a cold night.

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