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Feb 27, 2009 06:25 PM

Bavarian Brathaus, Cary NC

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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  1. Good job with your detailed review of this restaurant.
    As a long time employee in the restaurant industry, I would like to make some comments about service.
    It is difficult to predict how busy a restaurant will be on any given night.
    Restaurants try to staff according to their predictions (ie reservations).
    Some walk-ins are expected each evening, however reservations are given a priority.
    If a restaurant has empty tables, there probably isn't a server available to serve these tables. If they had seated you right away, you would have been the one complaining that you had to wait for service (as evident when you complained that your service went down when the host asked your server to pick up more tables).
    I have no affiliation with this restaurant, nor have I even been there,
    and this is not an attack on you, as I enjoy reading your posts,
    but I just want to make many people understand a little more about how restaurants work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bluejworld

      Thanks bluej. I wondered about them being understaffed, but when we were seated, the host said that we were that server's only table - hence his comment about our getting good service. I thought that was a little weird, although I guess they were planning for her to have the 12 top too.

    2. We ate there recently and I was disappointed. Every entree is $22.95, and the menu clearly states "no substitutions." I prefer restaurants to be a little more accommodating to my preferences. The service wasn't very good, and the food was nothing special. I also like to have a salad with my meal, but didn't want to pay an additional $5.

      1. Thanks for the report. My husband was interested in going to this restaurant (his mom is German and he misses some of the traditional dishes she makes), but for those prices I'm not sure we'll go. German food shouldn't be that expensive. We spent less at J. Betski's!

        1. My wife and I have been to this place twice and are going again tonight for our third time. Point blank, the service is terrible. We arrived at 8:00pm on a Friday night for our first visit and were told there was a 30 minute wait. For a place that's been open only 3 weeks we thought? Oh, ok, it must be a hit! After waiting about 42 minutes at the bar (I'm starting to see a pattern here with the reviews), we were escorted to our table through a dinning room filled with many empty tables. I'm sorry, I don't want to hear the "proper staff" excuse. It's Friday night. Have enough staff on hand to handle filling up the place. Friday night is one of the 2 most busiest nights in a restaurant and you should be prepared. That is in no way an applicable argument for a Friday night.

          After sitting at the bar for at least 8 minutes, finally the owner of the place took our drink order between brow-beating an employee to "get it together" as this older gentleman was trying to get all of his checks straightened out. Note to owner: If you have an employee who is not performing at their best on a particular night, pull him aside and explain it to him in private. Not at the bar, infront of everyone sitting there. Very unprofessional and a big turn-off.

          We were allowed to take our bar tab to our table where service again was excruciatingly slow. We began to make sure we loaded up the waitress with as many requests as we thought when we did see her as may not see her again for another 20 minutes. After the meal when she finally came by and I was able to ask for the check, I gave her my credit card at the same time as I didn't want her to simply drop the check off and leave again for another 20 minutes. When she did return with the check for me to sign, she left it without a pen, of course. So, I sat there for another 5 or 6 minutes before finally getting up and going to the bar myself to get a pen.

          The food, on the other hand, is excellent. I love Bavarian and German food and I love the food here. It is the only reason we go back. The schnitzel is excellent, the brats are excellent, you name it, it's was good to me. Though the service in our two visits has been very poor, the food is very good. The 8 German beers on tap helps!

          Bottom line, the food is great. Authentic and huge portions. 2 brats is enough to fill a large male adult. The service on the other hand sincerely leaves something to be desired. I do hope they turn the service around as it really is a great place. I receommed going, but make a reservation so you are seated promptly and go into it knowing that your server may be slow. If you love German food as much as I it is worth it at the end of the night. Get the 4 brat platter and take 2 of them home They are even better the next day!

          2 Replies
          1. re: JayBar

            $22.95 for entrees??? I was initially intrigued, but not anymore.

            1. re: wahpahh

              The servings are large enough that with an app, I believe a couple could pretty easily split an entree. I haven't tried it, though, so I don't know if the resto is amenable to it or not.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. I agree with you except for "attentive wait staff" and "short wait for the food." While I do hope that they've worked out some kinks since we were there, we probably won't be back anytime soon.