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Point Richmond. At last … German food at The Baltic!

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I've been waiting months for this place to open. After jumping through the hoops with permits, red tape, yada-yada-yada, they are finally open and serving lunch and dinner at the Baltic.

We received an email announcing that they were open as of last Wednesday. Today, DH came home early from work AND hungry. At the moment, my refrigerator is full of crème brûlée and lemon posset (that's another story) so we headed downtown rather than my fixing us something to eat.

Gone are the trappings of the previous restaurant, no more pictures of the Royals on the walls of the dining room. A nice collection of ceramic steins sit behind bar.

They serve lunch until 2pm. We arrived at 1:40pm and there was one other table in the dining room. Their menu is written in German with English translations. They have a selection of vegetarian dishes, soups, salads, burgers, and serious sounding sandwiches. We ordered from their entree section - DH ordered the Jagerschnitzel in ChampignonsaBe mit Spatzle und gemischtem Salat (Sauteed Pork Loin in Mushroom Sauce served with Spatzle and mixed Salad), and I ordered the Gulasch uber Spatzle (Beef stew). While we waited for our food, our server brought our drinks and a small basket of German bread with a compound herb butter. We ordered iced and hot tea, the latter being the Lipton variety. It was about a ten minute wait for our food to arrive, during which our server stopped by our table (twice) to let us know our food would be served very soon.

Talk about solid comfort food … two ample-sized slices of pork loin covered with a most delicious mushroom sauce plated with their housemade spatzle. I'm not familiar with spatzle, but these little dumplings had a tender and chewy texture and paired well with the sauce. The mixed salad may well have been a “traditional” salad … shredded, pickled cabbage, carrots, lettuce, sliced beets and half moons of cored cucumber laced with caraway seed with an oil and vinegar dressing.

My beef stew contained chunky cubes of tender braised beef with onions, carrots and celery in beefy, stewy goodness. An equal portion of spatzle was hiding at the bottom of the bowl, believe you me. In fact, I couldn't eat it all, so DH helped me out. Between his entree and mine, he was totally full, so no chance for dessert. I thought their lunch portions were ample enough for dinner. Apparently, their dinner portions are even larger.

They have plans to serve brunch on the weekends. I am presuming they are serving lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner every night (I forgot to ask).

The head chef, Jesse, came from a German restaurant in the city (the name escapes me at the moment). He said that the patrons there totally expected large servings. He is dedicated to maintaining the quality of his food and portion sizes.

Jayson, the manager, said that they are still in the process of getting a full liquor license. So for now, they will uncork your bottle of wine or hold your six pack of beer in the refrigerator while you dine. No corkage until the bar is open.

The waitstaff is friendly and attentive. It's still a little rough around the edges, but they genuinely want to make your dining experience pleasant.

Their current lunch menu does not have Sauerbraten, but they do offer it at dinner. All the more reason for me to go back. But first, we'll stop down the street at the Spot Liquor Store for a six pack of beer. :)

The Baltic
German & American Food
135 Park Place, Point Richmond
Lunch: 10am – 2pm
Dinner: 5pm – 9:30pm

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  1. As to your title ... seriously

    I stopped by Halloween and they said they stopped giving out an opening date. So I said, how about sometime before Thanksgiving, They laughed and said, sure it should be Thanksgiving. I drove by the day after turkey day and they still were closed.

    It is not like that place hasn't been a restaurant for years. I can't imagine why they were given such a hassle. It was really a shame they couldn't be open for the Christmas tree lighting.

    Anyway, sounds good. I knew you'd be on top of it but I thought maybe you were traveling or something and circled by the place a few times.

    Thanks for the report. I'll try to stop by there sometime next week.

    1. When they put Sauerbraten on the lunch menu, I'll make a special trip there. Good Sauerbraten is very hard to find and I have high hopes for theirs.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mick Ruthven

        I took a look at the dinner menu and there weren't that many more dishes than lunch. So I asked if the dinner dishes such as sauerbraten could be ordered ahead. They said if you call ahead that would be fine.

        With one visit it is hard to determine how the consistancy is. If you make a special trip, since they are open daily, I'd ask what day the head chef is there just to be sure you get the A team.

      2. What are the prices like for Dinner

        1 Reply
        1. re: mustardgirl

          Their German entrees range from $12.95 to $19.50, and their American entrees range from $11.95 to $22.95.

        2. At lunch today, most people seemed to be ordering burgers. The buffalo burger seemed very popular. I had ...

          - Cup of split pea soup with sausage $4
          - Bread basket with sliced rye, white roll and herb butter
          - Special of the day : Pork Tenderloin with apples, red cabbage and mashed potatoes $16.50
          - Apple strudel with vanilla ice cream $6
          - Catahoula coffee

          As mentioned, the portions are generous. Half of lunch is in the fridge and will be finished for dinner.

          The pork was lovely - three thick, generous tender and tasty pieces topped with apple rings and sprinkled with fresh rosemary on top of a pool of light gravy. The whipped mashed potatoes were sprinkled with parsley. The red cabbage very good.

          Everything is made in house except the sausages, red cabbage from Germany and bread which comes from Pure Grain Bakery in Vacaville.

          The strudel was served warm with a scoop of nice vanilla ice cream and a fan of three thin slices of granny smith apples.

          The soup was fine, smooth and with a bit of pea sweetness. The sausage is $1 extra and I would skip that next time. It gets added to the bowl as ordered to keep the soup otherwise vegetarian. It was generous but added nothing to the overall flavor and the sausage was only ok.

          I was happy they use Catahoula coffee from a local Richmond roaster that I like.

          The service is friendly but as mentioned, still needs work. Most tables didn't get bread until they were asked ... except one table that ordered burgers ... which is like ordering bread on bread.

          They were had a holiday party and four other tables around noon so the seem to be catching on. In warmer weather, there is a patio out back and some sidewalk tables in front. The take-out menu mentions live music.

          I enjoyed them and will try some of the other items on the menu. It seems like the liquor license will take a while.

          -----
          The Baltic
          135 Park Pl, Richmond, CA 94801

          1. Christmas goose is on the menu. I haven't had it, but someone whose taste I trust said it was very good. Don't know much more than that. Call to be sure it is on the lunch as well as dinner menu.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rworange

              Thanks for posting. I wanted to cook a goose for Christmas Eve dinner, but not at 70$ a bird and there is only two of us, so we're settling for a muscovy duck instead. Maybe we'll head there for dinner tonight.

              Funny, but I have no problem spending that much or more when we go out to eat ...

            2. This afternoon, I texted my DH at work suggesting we have dinner there, specifically the goose. He was all for it, so we went for an early dinner. When we arrived, there were two other parties in the dining room, both towards the end of their meal. DH and I ordered the goose. Our server brought us a basket of bread with their herbed butter and poured a couple of glasses of wine from the bottle we brought. Our food shortly arrived. The roast goose was accompanied with smashed potatoes and brussels sprouts lightly steamed then sauteed with onion and a hint of bacon.

              We both thought the goose, brussels sprouts and potatoes most excellent. The head chef came out to our table (I erred in my prior post, his name is Jose, not Jesse). I was impressed that he remembered us and what we ordered 2-1/2 weeks prior. I asked about the other staff in the kitchen and he informed that he is their SOLE head chef, so the A team is the only team.

              Jose asked if we were having dessert. He gave us a rundown on what they offered and DH said “send out what you think we should have”. Our server brought us two desserts - a warm apple strudel and a slice of Black Forest cake. The strudel was accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a dollop of whipped cream and three thin slices of granny smith apples, as RW mentioned above. The cake was a generous slice, not overly sweet, layered with cream and cherries. Both were judiciously dusted with confectioners' sugar and garnished with a sprig of mint.

              Jose mentioned that he wants to include Sauerbraten as a regular on the lunch menu as well.

              Before we left, three more tables came in for dinner. Hoping that business will pick up for them. They are having live music both this Saturday evening and New Year's Eve, and planning to serve appetizers later into the evening. Because of the liquor license issue they will be pouring virgin drinks … so, to spike or not to spike, is up to you.

              Looking forward to trying more of their menu.

              -----
              The Baltic
              135 Park Pl, Richmond, CA 94801

              13 Replies
              1. re: AntarcticWidow

                >Jose mentioned that he wants to include Sauerbraten as a regular on the lunch menu as well.<

                I'd appreciate a heads up if you notice that has happened.

                1. re: AntarcticWidow

                  Thanks for the update. They will be open Christmas Eve and will have live jazz starting at 6pm.

                  Mick, don't forget you can get the sauerbraten at lunch now. You just need to call ahead.

                  1. re: rworange

                    >you can get the sauerbraten at lunch now. You just need to call ahead<

                    Thanks, I don't remember reading that. Is it always on their dinner menu? The reason I ask is that sauerbraten requires a few days to prepare (assuming they do it correctly) so they'd have to have it already prepared to offer it at lunch by special request.

                    1. re: Mick Ruthven

                      >you can get the sauerbraten at lunch now. You just need to call ahead<

                      RW mentioned it in her second post. The sauerbraten is listed on their regular menu, described as "braised beef tri tip marinated and aged in red wine, served with cranberry sauce, red cabbage and spatzle". Jose said he marinates the meat for up to four days, which after reading a couple of recipes, is key to the dish.

                      If you are holding out for when they include it regularly on their lunch menu, I'll give a holler.

                      1. re: AntarcticWidow

                        >If you are holding out for when they include it regularly on their lunch menu, I'll give a holler.<

                        I'd appreciate a holler, but will also call to see if I can get it for lunch per what RW said.

                        1. re: Mick Ruthven

                          Mick, just so you don't waste a trip to the Point, there was a notice posted in their window that they have temporarily stopped lunch service. Dinner hours are unchanged and they are still open for brunch on the weekends.

                          1. re: AntarcticWidow

                            Thanks for the heads up on no lunch during the week.

                            1. re: Mick Ruthven

                              From their website it looks like the "temporary" stop in lunch service still holds. Has anyone been there lately? Is it still good?

                              1. re: Mola

                                They have been serving food during the summer music events in the Point, street-food style and it has been quite good. Bratwurst, smashed potatoes and a roll - 6$, vegetarian lentil soup - 4$, burgers and a couple of other items, I'm not sure what. I always stop reading at bratwurst.

                                The big news ... prohibition is OVER! I drove by today and saw a sandwich board out front advertising happy hour. Their website confirms their dining schedule, beer, schnapps and other alcohol ... sounds like a full liquor license to me. No idea what beers they have available, will have to stop in for dinner sometime soon.

                                Daily Happy Hour Specials, Tuesday - Friday, 3pm - 5pm
                                Fast Track Lunch, Tuesday - Friday 11am - 3pm
                                Brunch, Saturday - Sunday 11am - 3pm
                                Dinner, Tuesday - Sunday, 5pm - 9ish

                                1. re: Mola

                                  Eh. Not impressed at all. Went for lunch/brunch last Sunday. The service was awful--and there was only one other table of customers! Everything took forever. I actually walked to the back to ask for the check. My burger was dried out (asked for medium rare), the pancakes were like lead, potato soup just bland, and the coffee tasted like it'd been sitting on the burner for 4 hours. The potato pancakes (or whatever they're called, I forget) were delicious, but they aren't a reason for a return trip.

                                  Maybe this place is decent for a beer and some music, but I wouldn't go back for the food again.

                                  1. re: zunzie

                                    What a waste of $40!

                                    The food was bland, the portions small and the service slow.

                                    I had the grilled, smoked pork chop and it had a really strange smokey flavor. The spaetzel with it was so bland as was the red cabbage. My husband had the venison and it also lacked flavor. Both pieces of meat were small. I find catahoula coffee very weak, even Starbucks is better.

                                    The worst part is that I only went there because of the rave reviews here. It makes me think twice about trusting chow hound.

                                    1. re: Moon Cake

                                      Do you have a recoommendation for a good German Restaurant in the bay area?

                                      Thanks fo the update. I see you are new to Chowhound. If you look at the dates, the positive reports are from a year ago.The other recent report from this year isn't enthusiastic. It is possible this restuarant has gone downhill since 2009. Reports like yours are helpful to alert other readers such as yourself.

                                      Or it may be that your tastes don't match those of the people who liked it. If you spend some time reading Chowhound you will find people whose tastes match your own.

                                      Also, as you post more, Chowhounds get to know your tastes and steer you to the restaurants that are more to your tastes.

                                      1. re: rworange

                                        I was here about a month ago and found the food pretty good. We had the following:

                                        Potato Pancakes (nice and crispy, served with apple sauce, just needed some sour cream which our server kept forgetting)
                                        Pork Chops (surprisingly good. Nice smoky flavor. Maybe Moon Cake went on an off night?)
                                        Goulash (just okay, I've had better at Britt Marie's)

                                        Service on the other hand was awful. The app and salad came out after our entrees because they forgot, we got the wrong bill, etc. The owner was very apologetic and gave us a free drink, but for a place with only 3 other tables, it was disappointing.

                                        I would go back and give it another try since I live close by, not has good Suppenkenche, though I heard they are now closed.

                  2. I went there the other day with a co-worker. I had the wienerschnitzel. Two delicately thin and perfectly fried schnitzels with a side of roast potatoes with bacon, sprouts, and an excellent side salad of red cabbage, marinated cukes and carrots...just as you would get in Germany. I must say, without any reservation, that the quality of the German cooking is outstanding...it's as good as the best I've had in Germany. A very satisfying meal.

                    I'd ordered a beer only to learn they don't have their license yet....minor bummer. And the service was kinda slow after the meal was served. We needed to get back to the office and waiters need to be extra quick with the bill after lunch.

                    I am very much looking forward to my next meal there...next week!