Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alois at Bube's Brewery (Mount Joy) 09

Described in their brochure as "Gourmet dining at Alois" we had a five course disgustation meal. I can't remember a worse meal and the quality of the service was laughable. That they add 18% service fee to the bill, here it's called the check, for parties of six or more is the only way they would get that sort of gratuity from any but the least discerning diner. We started with a first course called chicken sate which was four bone dry heavily breaded salty pieces of chicken breast threaded on a stick with a small bucket of uninspiring sauce

and a carafe of equally indifferent Merlot. Our waitress inquired "Have you finished working on that?"', which was the appropriate question, before removing the dish. We ate this in the former gentleman's bar,
now called the "parlour", which retains the original 1820's bar, including the cash register,

before moving to another of the rabbit warren of small rooms for the rest of the meal.

A clam chowder was very short of seasoning and, although still bland, improved when the requested salt and pepper were brought to the table. The French onion soup

was light on for the onion which had not been sufficiently caramelised to give the soup the desired sweetness and flavour. Next we were served a simple salad of leaves with a couple of little tomatoes and a ring of red capsicum and a little balsamic dressing. "Have you finished working on that?"

was again the inquiry before it was removed. This was followed by an inedible sour berry sorbet which must have thawed and frozen to make it full of chips of ice.

I asked the waitress if it was meant to be like that to which she replied "I don't know, that's how the chef makes it" The main course of crab cakes with lobster sauce, mash and green beans was just OK-

the beans were the highlight! and the sauteed veal (two tiny slices) with Kalamata olives on angel hair pasta was spoiled by the strong taste of the pickled olives and pickled tomato.

Dessert was a choice of cheese cake

or chocolate pudding

- actually cake. We had one of each. Finally a cup of coffee was served with a couple of little cafe style containers of Swiss half and half.

No saucer, no sugar and no spoon. We asked if a restaurant with pretensions to fine dining normally served beverages like this. The waitress apologised that she "could not find a saucer"!!! A 30 minute drive, freezing weather- it was 10 degrees Fahrenheit, about minus 12 centigrade, and yet I'm not sorry we visited this 130 year old brewery largely in original condition. I particularly loved that question "Have you finished working on that?" The fabulous old rooms with striking lamp shades

and chandeliers, the credenza's and a glorious eperne evoked visions of a past era. Unfortunately the food does not score at all.
Price: $45/head before drinks and service.


Unknown said...

We had a similar experience nearly 10 years ago. We are going to be back in the area next month so I was checking if they had improved. Guess not - but I agree the atmosphere almost...I repeat almost makes the trip worth it.

Thanks - we will try another place this year and maybe just go for a few drinks.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Ashwin,
We really loved the place and have only the fondest memories of it. The food and service were so extraordinary that they made the whole thing an experience never to be forgotten, or repeated.
Last year we enjoyed a couple of very good meals - one at Josephines and one at Gibraltor on the edge of Lancaster I think.
E & S