Point Richmond. At last … German food at The Baltic!
- AntarcticWidow Dec 4, 2009 05:49 PM
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. :)
German & American Food
135 Park Place, Point Richmond
Lunch: 10am – 2pm
Dinner: 5pm – 9:30pm
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.
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.
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.
135 Park Pl, Richmond, CA 94801
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