Vancouver Alpen Club (Deutsches Haus)

Late last year Kim from I’m Only Here For The Food mentioned that he’d like to visit the Deutsches Haus at the Vancouver Alpen Club. To say the least, I was mildly intrigued. What intrigued me even more was learning of the Festplatte. Having a bit of German in me, I knew right away that this was a very good thing. After much pestering, Kim threw out a whole bunch of invites and we wound up with a dinner for seventeen eager diners at the aforementioned Deutsches Haus.

(Just a hint…if you click on the pictures you get a much clearer image.)

When I say eager, I mean eager. The dinner was scheduled for 6:30 on a Sunday evening. I, being the only guest of German descent, arrived at 6:35…the last one to be seated. This is a great, hungry bunch of folk.

At this point I would usually list off all the fellow bloggers but I’d probably miss one or two. It would be simpler to direct you to the Deutsches Haus page at Urbanspoon to check out all of the other perspectives.

Of the seventeen diners, twelve chose to partake in the Festplatte while the remaining five had a variety of schnitzel.

Jägerschnitzel (Pork schnitzel with mushroom sauce)

Schweineschnitzel (Pork schnitzel)

Zigeunerschnitzel (Pork schnitzel, Spicy Gipsy sauce, Spätzle)

Those are three of the best damn schnitzel plates I’ve ever seen…good picks all.

As the Festplatte takes up to thirty minutes to prepare, there was plenty of time to enjoy the various beers on hand and get to meet some other food-bloggers.

My favorite here was the Duckstein. A nice, copper-colored Northern German Ale. The Kulmbacher, although tasty and refreshing, was a bit light for me. With a hint of lemon, it would make a perfect summer patio beer. For the pork-feast we were about to enjoy, a more rich, full-bodied beer was in order.

The Alpen Club has a showcase with a variety of mugs, pins and t-shirts for sale. My favorite shirt is the one, below, on the right. It expresses our sentiments towards tonight’s dinner precisely!

Bring it on!

Ladies and gentlemen, Damen und Herren, I give you the Deutsches Haus Festplatte!

Granted, from this perspective, it doesn’t look all that impressive. You really need to get a side view to fully appreciate it. This is load of pork and pork by-product goodness all plated on a bed of exceptional sauerkraut.

Let’s dissect this amazing platter…

These bratwurst are extremely close to being the best I’ve ever had. Simply loaded with flavor, bursting with juicy, fatty deliciousness…fried to absolute perfection! Having only half of one was cruel but I made up for it by grabbing the biggest piece!

Kassler is German smoked meat. Usually pork but sometimes chicken. In this case, tender, smokey and delicious chops of pork.

Leberkäse (Bavarian Meat Loaf) is one of my childhood favorites. Back then, we’d have it served open-faced on toasted rye bread smothered with sauerkraut and melted Swiss…a fantastic sandwich. It is essentially German bologna. The only difference it that is tastes a million times better than normal bologna…especially fried!

The Schweineschnitzel here is exactly how it should be…plate-sized, tender and fried to a perfect golden brown. Just like Oma used to make!

As if all this weren’t enough, there is the Eisbein (Pork hock). A huge, smokey, chunk of pork leg…enough meat to put this platter over the top! We all tried our best but, in the end, the Eisbein won.

Along with the Festplatte were mashed potatoes and Rotkohl (red cabbage). No German feast is complete without Rotkohl. It is hands-down my favorite German side dish.

Stuffed Ice-Cream Crepe with Chocolate Sauce. This looked damn good.

My selection was naturally Apfelstrudel. It is pretty much Germany’s national dessert. Normally you get tender chunks of cinnamonny apples encased in a very flaky and buttery pastry. This time around I got too-big apple pieces in a stodgy, heavy dough. Ach du liebe! Gott im himmel!

If I were asked to go back and repeat this meal tomorrow, I would be there in a slightly clogged heartbeat! Every aspect of the Festplatte was exactly how German fare was meant to be served. Ausgezeichnet!

Vancouver Alpen Club (Deutsches Haus) on Urbanspoon


9 responses

  1. I didn’t really do much other than setting up the invite for everybody. After all, it was also your idea…!

    April 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    • Karl

      Actually, you mentioned the festplatte in the comments of your Danube post. That’s when I perked up and finagled my way into your circle! BTW…it’s a wonderful circle of happy food-lovers. Always a great time spent.

      April 11, 2010 at 9:38 pm

  2. Is that a shot of me deciding on whether or not to eat more of the pork skin? 😉

    April 11, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    • Karl

      Yup, I’m fairly sure that was the tester piece! 🙂

      April 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm

  3. Anton Heggen

    With all respect to the Festplatte,

    but the Eisbein shown is not smoked, and the Schnitzel is obviously Deep Fried.
    I don’t think Oma had a deep Fryer in her Kueche..

    Always inspired by your writings, Karl


    April 12, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    • Karl

      Hallo Anton,

      Yes, the Eisbein wasn’t smoked but it had a smokey flavor. No, the schnitzel Oma made wasn’t deep-fried, but it was fried to perfection.

      I’m going to try and make it down to Fraser Park on Wednesday for the German Lunch.

      I am always inspired by your food, Anton!

      April 12, 2010 at 7:59 pm

  4. Justin

    I’ve been wanting to try this place for a while, and your review makes me want to get there in a hurry. Got to get me a platter of pork!

    Great review Karl. Keep up the good work.

    April 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm

  5. Ehm, how can I put this?
    I would like to claim the Apfelstrudel as AUSTRIA’S national dessert….you can have Bienenstich or Kaesekuchen.

    April 18, 2010 at 8:55 am

    • Karl

      Hallo H.Peter! I stand corrected. When one has Apfelstrudel every time one goes to a German restaurant one tends to forget it’s heritage. Meine Entschuldigungen! I guess I’m left with Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.

      April 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm

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