I had decided to ride up toward Hendersonville and Asheville for a Sunday drive. While driving through Hendersonville I spotted Haus Heidleberg, and it reminded me of the hole that had been left in Greenville’s ethnic cuisine since the closing of Haus Edleweiss last year. That also got me craving German food. It was too early in the morning for sauerkraut, so I continued my drive, and eventually found myself driving past the Black Forest German Restaurant in Arden, NC at a reasonable lunch hour, so I decided to give it a try.
I had driven by this location many times, and always thought it would be a good place to try. I was happy I was going to have the opportunity today. According to their menu and website, Black Forest has been in this location since 1977. Of the many years that I’ve driven past, it has never seemed to change.
As one might imagine with a name like “Black Forest” there are lots of Bavarian influences, both in the external architecture and the items found inside. In addition to the Bavarian items, the interior seemed to reflect a 1970’s decor with lots of wood. The parts of the restaurant I saw were divided into equal parts lounge and restaurant seating. I was seated in the lounge where several televisions showed golf and infomercials. There was also a large deck with lots of seating.
As far as clientele was concerned, I was the only one in the lounge. I had spotted a few older couples in the restaurant area. Since this was a bit later than normal lunchtime, it probably wasn’t as crowded as it might have been.
There were some salads and typical bar appetizers for $3 – $9. A variety of sandwiches, including “the best Reuben in town,” as their sign proclaimed. There are also several wraps. Entree’s on the lunch menu were all German cuisine, including bratwurst, knockwurst, schnitzels, etc. Most of these were erved with a choice of two sides, including sauerkraut, red cabbage, German potato salad, or spaetzle. All sandwiches and entree’s ran from about $5 to $12 – quite reasonably priced.
The dinner menu is much more extensive, with Italian entree’s, steak, and seafood. Prices for these entree’s range from $15 to $25.
I decided to keep it simple. I ordered bratwurst. Since that already came on a bed of sauerkraut, I selected potato salad and spaetzle as my two sides. This was washed down with a Warsteiner on tap.
The meal was surprisingly light. The potato salad started with a nice sweet flavor with a spicy finish. This made a nice accompaniment to the sweet sauerkraut. The spaetzle was served with a light brown sauce that had a flavor similar to an aus jus. The flavors worked together very well, and the lighter Warsteiner was the perfect beer to accompany the meal. This was especially pleasing since the meal (sans beer) was only $6.
Since my lunch was so inexpensive, I had to try the dessert. This was apple strudel with vanilla ice cream, and it was fantastic. The strudel crust was very light, with apple, raisin and walnut filling. The strudel was more expensive than the meal, at $6.50, but it was worth it.
When I was first seated in the lounge, there was no one around. I didn’t know if someone would come to take my order or not. After a few minutes wondering, the waiter/bartender arrived, and took my drink order. Service was relaxed, but there when I needed it. The waiter was even helpful in getting their WiFi turned back on for me.
It’s not close enough to be a replacement for Haus Edlewiess, but it’s nice to know that Black Forest is within driving range. When I’m desparate for a German fix, I know where to come.