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Alpenhaus restaurant

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Any feedback on this long-time Swiss restaurant in downtown Montreal? It usually is never mentioned on the food boards. I remember a Montreal radio personality who for a decade or two did their radio commercials.

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  1. Their food tends toward the hearty /solid rather than anything gourmet. Nice enough on a cold winter's day. Their creamy Zurich style veal is the dish I've ordered on a few occasions. The last time I had a schnitzle, however, it was average at best. They have been there forever. Friendly service. Also they have delivery through one of the delivery services that is advertised in some hotels.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Fritzy

      I used to live near La Raclette, so back then we went there frequently, as there were few "apportez votre vin" (byow) places with really good cooking in those times. See the write-ups are still good, though I haven't been there in several years.

      La Raclette

      Apportez votre vin favori et votre amour du fromage… et dégustez!

      1059, rue Gilford
      Montréal, QC H2J 1P7
      Téléphone: (514) 524-8118

      Remember, it is a byow. There isn't a lot of Swiss wine available here, probably better to make do with its neighbours: French wine from Savoie, Italian wine from Piemont or wines in the Alsacian or (dry) Germanic style...

      It does both winter and summer well. In summer, there is a nice terrasse on a quiet street.

      1. re: lagatta

        Anybody have suggestions where I could get a really good sauerbraten? I love it but never think to look for it in Montreal.

        1. re: Fritzy

          Berlin Restaurant would be your best bet. For take out, I would consider going to Boucherie Atlantique - they may have some there. They sell Spaetzle as well.

          1. re: swissfoodie

            Thanks swissfoodie. I see Berlin has it on their menu. Looks like an interesting place: http://www.geocities.com/berlinmtl/

            1. re: Fritzy

              Berlin is good to excellent in my experience, and pretty satisfying anyway when it's merely good. The portions tend toward gigantic, so don't be shy about hauling leftovers home -- it's definitely casual enough that they're expecting you to do so.

              I've never had the sauerbraten. Of the mains I've tried, the Schweinehaxe (smoked pork hock) is a personal fave and the chef's platter is a pleasing sampler of sausage, schnitzel, rouladen, etc. Sides like spuds, red cabbage, sauerkraut etc. tend to be very good, and the green salad (which you'll need, trust me) is quite tasty. It's probably wise to skip the appetizers, but only because they're pretty filling on their own.

              The weak link is that the beer list is far more interesting than the wine list, which basically tops out with a low-end Pinot Blanc from Alsace. It's all downhill from there -- no fancy German Rieslings, etc. (Based on my last visit, around January.)

                1. re: swissfoodie

                  That's consistent with my half-dozen visits, except one that wasn't quite up to the usual standard (though there wasn't really anything particularly wrong, either).

      2. I Love the Alpenhause. I suggest getting the Festival for 2. I think thats what they call it. It comes with a cheese fondue, salad and Beef Fondue. Go for the "Oil" not chinese. Do yourself a favour and order a Rostie, they are delice.

        1. Does Alpenhouse have any lunch specials worth trying?

          1. Oh my, has this place jumped the shark compared with the descriptions here. Went there this evening for a special occasion (not my choice of places) and experienced the following delights:
            - The place smelled funky and dank, in an appetite-suppressing kind of way. Not good.
            - We were a party of 4, but one of us was not so hungry so she opted to share her dining companion's table d'hote. The waitress brought out exactly 3 glasses of water and 3 dinner rolls. Classy. (I understand not wanting to indulge mooches, but our total bill was still over $100. Come on.)
            - They were out of goulash (at 6:30pm) and also out of one of the beers that we tried to order. No apologies either. We're really off on a good note now.
            - The schnitzel comes, looks great. One bite reveals that it's soggy, bland, and does not taste fresh. We theorized that it had been frozen between breading and frying, the cardinal sin of schnitzeldom if ever there was one. (We *have* been spoiled by the schnitzel at Cracovie, but still, this stuff is $19 a pop...)
            - The à la carte dishes come with a side of plain Rosti potatoes, with the "special" Rosti (with bacon & onions) costing extra. I asked to upgrade to the special one, and she forgot it. When I pointed it out, she brought it out separately and apologized. When I got my bill, she had charged the full price of $6 for the extra one. I brought this to her attention and her response was a well-rehearsed, "The menu says it's extra." I asked to speak to the manager - guess what, he's busy and besides, "he'll tell you the menu says it's extra." WHATEVER! It's a total scam, I'm not the first person to fall for it apparently. (And the 'bacon' is really just a few bits of gristle anyway. Not worth $1 more, nevermind 6.)

            Bottom line: the place is a tourist trap, looks cute but the people running it obviously don't give half a crap about their customers.

            (Side note: their page on RestoMontreal.ca has the review comments LOCKED DOWN at the restaurant's request. Gee, I wonder why?)

            3 Replies
            1. re: anachemia

              Great review and I completely agree. I went for a friends birthday dinner a year ago and had an identical experience. We had a huge table in a hall type area of restaurant ( it looked cool but also like a barn and I kept wondering what was upstairs) and as I was walking to the washroom I stumbled upon the kitchen and it looked pretty filthy. I rememebr thinking the schnitzel was far too thin . Overpriced bad food.

              1. re: kpaxonite

                My god I can't believe that anyone goes to this restaurant - I am astounded it is still in business. More than 20 years ago it was our local 'hole in the wall' - and even then they didn't have a 'cook' let alone a chef. The owner came to Montreal with Expo 67 (from Switzerland). Perhaps it was good once - but it was dreadful before we left Tupper St. in 1983.

                1. re: kpaxonite

                  Good point about the schnitzel being too thin - it still is. Who the hell needs a square foot of schnitzel on their plate, especially if it tastes like ***?

                  That's nasty about the kitchen. Pretty much confirms my suspicions too. Ick. Really a shame, it is such a cute place. Oh well.

              2. Slightly OT, but not really.
                I'm having a senior moment that's been lasting for a while.

                What was the name of the Swiss resto on Ste. Catherine, a few steps down, North side, maybe kitty-corner from the Alpenhaus? Was it called the Happy Wanderer maybe?

                8 Replies
                1. re: bomobob

                  Having my own senior moment but wasn't there also a Swiss place called the Vieux Kitzbuhel?

                  1. re: eat2much

                    Doubt it, as Kitzbühel is an Austrian town. Le Vieux Kitzbuhel on Île-Perrot still exists: http://www.vieuxkitz.com/home.html

                    1. re: lagatta

                      There was a Swiss place on the the North side of Ste-Catherine a few steps down but I can't remember the name either. Le Vieux Kitzbuhel was (c.1977) up near Queen Mary and Decarie before it moved to Ile Perrot.

                      1. re: Fritzy

                        Le Vieux Kitzbuhel was where the Japanese resto Hyang Jin is, across from the bill's wings place.

                        But if I remember Alpenhaus was always a swiss restaurant but I think it changed names because I used to go there and I don't remember it called the Alpenhaus until a few years later. They used to make a veal chop with a fried egg on top: absolutely divine in those days.

                  2. re: bomobob

                    I believe that was the Chalet Lucerne. Never been there though.

                      1. re: jolifew

                        Nope to Chalet Lucerne and Hunter's Horn. GAAAAAA!!!!! It's driving me nuts, because i went there a few times. I can see the exterior. Lots of wood, 3-4 steps down below street level to the front door.
                        Unfortunately, it's not mentioned in my priceless 1967 "A Taste of Montreal", but that book is a great read anyway if you like strolling down memory lane.

                        1. re: bomobob

                          No idea if this is the place you are thinking of, but when I was a child I had strange temporary fascinations, and one of them was swiss restaurants. Apart from Alpenhaus I also remember a place called William Tell - could that be it ? We're talking mid-70ies though.

                    1. Oh my god, I can't believe Vieux Kitzbuhel is still around... I've been thinking about this place for years and could never remember the name or where it was located. I was thinking somewhere out near lachine, but I'm so glad to finally be able to put it to rest! I'd only been a few times and it was the setting and kitsch decor that struck me more than anything else. I just had vague memories of this Austrian style dining lodge with outdoor seating on the water. Both the pictures and online menus look and sound absolutely disgusting. Does anyone still eat there and is it worth a trip out, just for the nostalgia kick... or follow instincts and stay away?

                      1. We just went there this weekend, poor service. We waited a long time to be served after sitting down; waited about 10 minutes before someone came over and spoke to us. There were others there who were waiting an unusually long time just to get their bill. Their "chineese fondue" was not worth the price they charged us for. We had a coupon and they charged us the TIP on what the meal would have cost normally! There are other places to get fondue in Montreal. Too bad, I would have liked to come back and try their other menu items. I do not recommend this restaurant because of poor service, but most of all for their poor food quality.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: hvilla

                          "We had a coupon and they charged us the TIP on what the meal would have cost normally!"

                          This is a standard (and fair) practice.

                          1. re: C70

                            Well then I would expect the service to be "standard" practice if you will be charging me tip prior to me receiving to any service. The tip should up to me, and more importantly a reflection of some basic restaurant service; there was only 2 of us.

                            1. re: hvilla

                              I had the same experience a few weeks ago - I had a coupon for a three course meal for 2 people with different options from their menu.

                              When the bill came they had charged me the tip based on the maximum that we could have ordered with their options.

                              For example, the maximum would have been a value of 150 $, but we had stuff worth a lot less than that, therefore the tip should have been accordingly.

                              Anyways, when you have a coupon you should tip based on the value you get, not on what you pay for the coupon.

                              Charging the tip automatically for 2 people pissed me off and I wont return there for sure, also because the service was very slow and the food was not that good as well.

                              1. re: FortyMan

                                The etiquette for these new internet group-buying deal is that you tip on the full amount of the bill that you would have paid otherwise. It clearly suggests that you do this on each of their websites. I also believe that the taxes are charged based on the full amount. It is tactless that Alpenhaus adds gratuity to their bill, there is no doubt about it, but if you are only tipping based on the value of the group deal then you are doing it wrong.

                                1. re: catroast

                                  Taxes are to be charged on the amount you paid for the coupon. Not the value of it. Some restaurants I've been to have been confused about this.