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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Boulevard Haus - German restaurant downtown Dayton

Downtown Dayton finally has a German restaurant! This was particularly exciting to me, because I have traced folks back to Germany on both sides of my family tree. Also, I had wished for a number of years that we had a local German restaurant. About the closest we could get formerly was to eat at an occasional fundraiser put on by one of the nearby German clubs.

My first impression was that although the front of the place was easy to find, the parking was not. It turns out that you need to drive around through the parking lot of the Clear Channel Radio building, and then you find the parking lot on the West side of Boulevard Haus. Upon entering, the dining area seems much smaller than expected, but there are additional areas to eat over by the bar, and also down in the basement. I was rather hoping for some traditional German music, but the establishment instead features "world music" (rap/dance type) that is popular in Germany right now, along with the occasional older song.

My wife ordered the Chicken Riesling for $19, while I got the Bavarian Sampler for $22. The Bavarian Sampler includes "Tender shortribs, currywurst, grilled bratwurst, wiener schnitzel, red cabbage, sauerkraut, spatzle" and mustard sauces for dipping. Bread and an excellent creamy butter were brought out to our table within a couple of minutes of placing our order. I have to say that the "pretzel bread" is excellent. I probably could have filled up on that alone.

Unfortunately, I was both very hungry and excited about trying out the different choices on my plate, so I completely forgot to take pictures of the food this time around.

The currywurst is a large sausage, cut up into small sections, with a sweet, tomato based sauce that has a very small amount of curry in it. It was not hot at all, and overall had a sweet taste. The shortribs was really one massive rib and chunk of meat. While it was adequate, it was also a mite overcooked. I think that the rib could benefit from marinating, to both enhance the flavor and internal moisture during cooking. Thankfully, this was only a detraction because it was so-so, while the rest of the meal was magnificent.

The grilled bratwurst was very good, and I especially enjoyed chunks dipped in the sweet mustard dipping sauce that was provided. The weiner schnitzel was also tasty, mild and flaky, and I enjoyed some of the more robust mustard sauce with it. The red cabbage was, as expected, mild and sweet. Often I find sauerkraut too bitter for my tastes, and I find myself drawn to the sweeter "bavarian" variety. While not as sweet as the bavarian style, Boulevard Haus's kraut was mild, and I surprised
myself by finishing most of it. The spatzle was something new to me, a delightful tiny flattened ball of pasta with a hint of oil and herbs, which reminded me somewhat of pierogies.

Room for improvement department:

- Some may find the "world/dance" music to be distracting from the dining experience.
It would be fantastic to offer diners a choice by featuring traditional German music downstairs.

Boulevard Haus
address: 329 E. Fifth Street, Dayton (North side of street)
telephone: (937) 824-2722
website: (includes menu)
closed Sundays
open for lunch M-F 11:30-2
open for supper starting at 5, Mon-Sat

Dayton Dining

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