House of Skip

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Alps Bistro, Allentown, NJ

Good German food. Not something we often hear a lot about in the restaurant world. French, Italian, Asian and Latin seem to rule the roost. But every once in awhile you want the comfort of Spätzle. So, grab your favorite Riesling and head to Alps Bistro in quaint Allentown, NJ, right on Main St.

It really feels like you are walking into some one's living room when you walk in to Alps Bistro. The place is small and narrow, there are probably about 8 tables in the whole place. The decor is cute and very homey. The tables have nice cloth place mats and instead of plain cloth napkins there's are plaid. A couple Eastern European knick knacks and mostly country style art line the walls. The waitress dressed in German attire, is the owner/chef's wife. She is very sweet. My companion and I started with a pate platter as an appetizer. There were two types of pate, we weren't told what they were (we also did not ask) but they were both wonderful, we are guessing one was chicken liver and one goose liver, as one was definitely more gamey than the other. The platter also had crackers, various cheeses, dried apricots and an awesome honey mustard dip. Oh I almost forgot!! Before our appetizer came out we were presented with an adorable little cloth lined basket that contained magical little pretzel rolls. They were crusty on the outside, soft and warm on the inside, just like a pretzel, but round like a dinner roll, they were fantastic. Okay, so back to the pate, we ate as much of it as we could, it was a lot of cheese for two people, but it was yummy. Our waitress brought over our salads (all entrees come with a salad) and took away what remained of our cheese and pate. The salads were a typical house salad except they had beets on them, yum! My companion gave me all his beets, double yum!

The menu at Alps Bistro is chock full of all the classic German style comfort foods, pierogi, kielbasa, Sauerbraten and more. My companion got the Rouladen, which is bacon, onion and peppers wrapped up in thin sliced beef and served with Spätzle. He said it was very good. It looked awesome. Of course they have schnitzel and it changes daily with the specials, the night we were there it was pork schnitzel, covered in a pretzel breading, guess what I got? Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding! You win. I got the pork. And it was awesome, truly awesome. The breading was not thick, but you could definitely tell it was pretzel, gave it a unique flavor and crunch. The pork was pounded thin and cooked perfectly. The Spätzle was great too, we both couldn't get over how tender they were, sometimes they are too chewy. The other side was red cabbage, it was sour and soft and oh so delish. I am a cabbage fan, so I always like it, but my companion who can usually take it or leave it said it was really yummy.

We were so full from all the pate, cheese and meat that we hadn't even thought of the idea of dessert and so just asked the waitress for our check. Right after we brought it the chef came out to our table with a gorgeous looking piece of cake and said it was on the house. We had seen him sitting in the back talking to other guests and he had come over once before to ask us how everything was. I love that about small mom and pop restaurants. While he was there he explained that this little chocolate cake he was giving us was an Austrian dessert known as Sachetorte and traditionally has an apricot filling but this one had a raspberry filling. It was great, chocolate and raspberry always go well together, the cake was sweet, tart, and delicate. We devoured it. And then rolled home.

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