Sherman's Food Adventures: Alpenrausch


Back in November, I did the dumbass thing of not checking as to which location of Olympia Provisions we were supposed to visit.  Hence, we showed up at the one on SE Division instead of the one on SE Washington.  Turns out that this time around, I would be going back to SE Division, but not to dine at Olympia Provisions.  Rather, it is their new concept, the Swiss-themed Alpenrausch.  They have changed up the decor to reflect that and the menu has followed suit.  Mind you, there are still some classic Olympia Provisions influences lurking around.

As such, the Venison Tartare looked suspiciously like the beef tartare we had at Olympia Provisions.  Yes, the protein was different, but it was just as delicious as previous dish.  It came with the same butter-soaked grilled bread which was the perfect vessel for the well-seasoned venison.  Usually venison can be rather tough due to its leanness.  However, this one ate quite buttery and was probably influenced by the mix of egg yolk, horseradish, capers and shallots.  Super tasty!

We also had another OP staple with the Charcuterie Platter featuring Summer sausage, fioncchiona, pâté cubes, mortadella and saucisson.  This also came with pickles, grain mustard and crackers.   Since I've already had their famed charcuterie at Olympia Provisions at SE Washington last year, I knew this would be solid.  We really enjoyed the pâté cubes as they were aromatic and meaty.  Went well with the crackers.  Mortadella was delicate while the saucisson was firm with the usual salty nuttiness.

Something specific to Alpenraush was the Smoked Trout with rösti, chèvre and trout roe.  This was not an overly complex small plate, but it was still very delicious.  The smoked trout itself was so buttery soft and lightly smoky.  Combined with the rich chèvre and a bit of trout roe, there was a bit of smoked salmon and cream cheese vibes going on.  However, this was much more elevated.  Loved the crispy rösti as it was potatoey and well-seasoned while not overly greasy.

For me, I just love fries and I'd rather have some excellent fries over a lobster tail.  No joke!  So I got the French Fries with aioli.  Um, for $8.00, this was a crapload of fries.  But they were excellent fries though!  So very uniformly crispy and served piping hot.  These remained crispy even until the very end.  To top it off, they were perfectly salted and yep, the side of aioli provided that creamy garlickiness.

Now for the thing we were really here for!  The Fondue!  We ended up with the smaller one at $39.00 that serves 2-3 people because we ordered a lot of other dishes!  This fondue consisted of melted emmentaller & gruyère cheeses served with OP kasekrainer, bratwurst, cured meats, fruit, new potatoes, pickles, seasonal veggies and bread.  This was such a treat!  The fondue was so creamy and rich with the unmistakable flavour of the cheeses and white wine.  It coated each piece of meat, veggie, potato or bread beautifully.  We had lots of fun with this!

For some bigger dishes, we had the Schnitzel a la Holstein with pasture-raised pork, soft-boiled egg, anchovy, capers and lemon.  This was a large flattened piece of pork that was a touch dry.  The breading on the outside was crispy and nutty.  With a squeeze of the lemon wedge combined with the anchovy, we had some salty tangy and briny flavors going on.  Add in the silkiness of the runny egg yolk, this was full of textures as well.

The kids just love duck and we couldn't get out of there without ordering the Duck Breast with rösti and dried cherry jus.  The duck breast was prepared to medium where it was still juicy and moist.  It was seasoned enough that it could stand on its own but the sweet and tangy cherry jus was a perfect compliment.  As for the skin, it was fairly rendered and crispy.  Once, again, we found the same crispy rösti on the plate.

Our last main was the most surprising in the Chicory Wrapped Grilled Trout with späetzle, foraged mushrooms, brown butter and herbs.  Nothing could describe how flaky and moist the fish was after we cut into it.   So natural tasting and fresh.  I would say that this might be a bit mild for some people, but we enjoyed the simplicity of the fish.  The späetzle was nicely browned in butter being nutty and chewy.

For dessert, we shared the Pannacotta with tart cherries.  Texturally, this was more akin to a cheesecake rather than a pannacotta.  With that in mind, it was good in that manner.  It was thick and creamy while being lightly sweet.  The tart cherries made this sweet and tangy.  Overall, the meal at Alpenrausch was fantastic.  Food was prepared properly and the fondue was super fun.  Loved how this was a bit different than most other meals I've had.

*Partial food credit paid for this meal*

The Good:
- Something different
- Loved the fondue
- Has some OP classics

The Bad:
- Tables can be a bit small


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