The illicit love

Since being scorned by the Rathskellar in 2005, my love has become an illicit one.  Not welcome in the restaurant, I have had to find other ways to obtain my favourite German dishes - ordering takeaway from Dine In and hiding in my house, eating my dinner and feeling naughty. There is something a little titillating about being being berated, then sneaking back to indulge in the objects of your desire. I just can't get the image of riding crops out of my head.

It's getting harder all the time to accept my punishment. With dishes like pork knuckle, sauerbraten, wurst and their array of dumplings and delicious pickled red cabbage teasing me from afar. Oh, it's pretty good when it's delivered, but it's not the same. The Styrofoam packaging just isn't very sexy and I can't replicate the accordion player at all.

Tonight we dine on rouladen and cabbage rolls behind closed doors, maybe I'll put on some tall leather boots.

The Rathskellar

 1205 Quadra Street, 386 - 9348

The Boss does the cooking...

You've surely seen the sign on Quadra St at View St, however, there are still Victorians who have not dared to visit the infamous schnitzel house! Cowards!!

Other than Oktoberfest, when many people get sauerbraten on the mind, the Rathskellar is most visited for special occasions, principally birthday parties. Tonight was such a case. Our dear friend Adria thought her 31st year deserved the honour of a trip to a brauhaus, or the next best thing  - not that she that drinks beer or eats pork, she does enjoy the tomfoolery that ensues when liquor mixes with waitresses wearing dirndls.

While the Rathskeller appeals to groups with its festive approach to dinning, it did take a little while for us to get drinks and menus, however, once the service began it improved. Our server, while not German, did have a eastern European accent which enhanced the authenticity of the experience.

The food is what you might expect and includes a variety of schnitzel ($15.25-$18.25) and other specialties such as rouladen ($17.25), cabbage rolls ($15.25), goulash ($15.50)and sauerbraten ($17.25). For what the food lacks in aesthetics, it makes for with a rib-sticking dose of  meat, cabbage and starch. To be fair, the presentation is rustic, to say the least. The only green you need expect will be the parsley. That said, while they do have a vegetarian option, it's a funny combination of various starches and cabbage. The Rathskeller may not address the needs of vegetarians, it is kid-friendly. Your child's screams will not easily be heard over the accordion music.

Clearly a place to drink, the Rathskeller is best known for its boot of beer. Equivalent to about five pints, it's neither a good deal, nor does it taste very good by the time you get to the bottom - although, it is awfully funny to watch someone drink it. If you don't want the boot, they also carry a variety of German and a few domestic beers. The wine list isn't bad, but is weird. Nothing is identified by vineyard. Expect only grape, country and sweetness to be listed. All the wines are inexpensive ($20-$30/bottle) and my choice was totally appropriate for the meal and everyone liked it - whatever it was.

So after all that fried pork and beer you might think some exercise would be a good idea?! Thank goodness for the chicken dance and other old time favourites. The Rathskeller's in-house accordion player, a gentleman with many, many, many years of experience, knows'em all and he wants you to dance! If you demonstrate the least bit of enthusiasm for his accordion stylings, expect a personal serenade.

  Reviewed: January 13, 2005


The Rathskeller did not appreciate our review. While, I enjoy their establishment and intended the review to be a recommendation, to be fair to their feelings I am posting their comments unedited.

From Andrea Krieger

Your critique clearly reveals your lack of experience in this field (descriptive words including "fuuny" and "weird")  but most prodominatly a real lack of worldlyness and travel knowledge of cuisine.  Ours is a typical  Bavarian establishment found on almost every block of a smaller German community, with a 35 year history.  We are certainly  not a Brauhaus, a brewery, or a place best known for the boot of beer.  Where do you get this false information.  Europeans imbide respectfully and within limits.  The boot would be something a group would enjoy as a special occasion, tis only the North American youth who have exploited these European virtues, and taken what is tradition, such a typical attire, entertainment, and good old-fashioned stress relief and made it into something that is funny and to be viewed as some kind of show.  With Victoria's extensive array of "green", vegetarian, and diet food establishments, coming to the Rathskeller and not enjoying our type of food is just silly.  Our clientele are wonderful folk who know what to expect from our place due to either extensive travel in Europe, postings in the military abroad, or coming from a European background.  We have over the many years been reviewed several times, but this is the first in which I felt a need to respond and these words are just my opion.