One of my paddling buddies accused me of posting “food porn.” Sorry, James, but here’s some more…
For months now I’ve seen signs for Doner Kabob, and have wondered about the food being advertised. To me, a kabob is meat on a stick with vegetables, cooked on a grill. Little did I know that it’s actually a type of German sandwich, in this case sold from a large trailer that moves from place to place.
One of our office co-workers offered to get sandwiches for everyone at lunch, and they were quite good. Mine was a very spicy turkey on a flat sort of bun. Along with the discovery of the sandwich came the discovery of a new German restaurant in the community of Pelham. So, with Laura out of town, tonight was the perfect night for my sister Glynda and I to give Hans and Franz a try.
First, the building – this was one of the original 1860’s buildings for the Pelham Mills. It was a barn structure to support the main mill, which made Confederate uniforms during that war. For awhile recently Rocky Creek Bakery occupied the building. Glynda and I had a couple of lunches here, and loved the old structure and wonderful bread. We were both thrilled to see the new restaurant here.
It’s my understanding that Hans and Franz is an enterprise by the folks that own Addy’s Dutch Restaurant in downtown Greenville. They have been wanting to branch out into German cuisine, which has been sorely lacking in the area since the demise of Haus Edleweiss. While not owned by them, the Doner Kabob trailer works in partnership with the restaurant in a symbiotic relationship.
The owners have tried to create a German biergarten. There is a large outdoor area with standing only. Inside there are only a couple of tables low enough for regular chairs. The rest are tall tables with bar stools.
The old brick has been left visible. The walls are adorned with antiques, old barrels, odd bits of old clothing, and other artifacts. Two high-def TV’s seem strangely out of place amidst the antique flavor.
There was a good crowd there tonight. We first ran into our good friends Marty and Prudy Cook before taking our seat. This seemed to be an older crowd, from the 40’s and up. Still, it had a good, lively vibe to it. We heard a few phrase passed about in German by some of the customers, which we took to be a good sign.
Our waitress told us that this was a “soft opening” – that they had only been open for about a month, and then only Wednesday through Saturday evenings. As such, all menus were temporary. Even so, there was quite a selection of German foods. One side of the single sheet had appetizers. These looked heavier, such as the ham sliders and goulash soup. Some of these looked like they could be meals by themselves. Prices for these ranged from $6 – $9. The entree’s were typical German fare, with schnitzel, wurst, and other German dishes. These ran from about $12 up to $20.
Right now only bottled beer and wine are available. There were about twelve beers, and a few wines. I’m sure that will increase as they get closer to their real opening, and the bar looked like it would eventually serve up mixed drinks and beer on tap.
It seemed only fitted that we started with beer. I got an Augustiner, which was excellent, and Glynda got a……Corona??? I had to give her grief about drinking Mexican beer in a German restaurant.
Glynda and I both had to order our standard so that we could compare this to our other German dining experiences. She got a wurst platter, and I got a sampler platter, which was the same as hers but with the addition of a pork chop that we would share. We both got potato salad and sauerkraut.
This was not a vegan-friendly meal. The wurst selections we both had were weisswurst, bauernwurst, and, of course, bratwurst. Of the four meat dishes on my plate, only one of them appeared to be in a state natural to the animal. But, that’s the way of sausages.
The food was very tasty. Each wurst had its own flavor, and it was hard to say which we liked best or least. The bauernwurst had a very smokey flavor, whereas the weisswurst was much lighter. The latter of those was my favorite, while Glynda preferred the smokier taste. All three wurst had a bit of mustard. The pork chop had an unexpected orange sauce that I couldn’t identify. While it was good, I’m not sure I would get it again. The potato salad had a surprisingly sharp taste. I don’t know if it was a carryover from the saurkraut, or the spices on the potatoes themselves. It wasn’t bad, just unexpected. Overall the meal was very good, but it seemed at times that the varying flavors were more in competition with each other, rather than complementing each other.
We were stuffed, but asked about dessert none-the-less. We were told that it would none was available now, but would be once they opened officially.
Efficient and excellent – we were served promptly, and lacked for nothing during the meal. When our meals didn’t come with rolls (a faux pas on the part of the menu, we believe), our waitress was happy to find some for us. She was also happy to answer questions about the restaurant and the historic building.
I don’t think anything will replace Haus Edleweiss, but this comes darn close. There was something about the simplicity of their meal that these other places are missing. While Schwaben Haus and the Black Forest in Arden are excellent formal German restaurants, Hans and Franz is obviously going more for the informal bar set-up. The food was good, as well as the vibe. It will be interesting to see what happens when they have their grand opening next weekend.