The other weekend we took T down to one of his favorite bounce places, where he ran at a full sprint for 90 minutes non-stop. As C and I watched T run back and forth (and bounce, climb, and play with dozens of kids of all ages), it was exhausting and it made us hungry, so we discussed lunch. Where to go for lunch… always a fun topic of conversation when out and about in an area of town we aren’t familiar with at all.
Based on one of our favorite dining referral sites (OK, iDine – we’re miles whores), we wound up heading over to the Old World Village shopping and dining center just two miles away in Huntington Beach (http://visitoldworld.com/). Honestly, I never even knew this place existed – and it’s right next door to Bella Terra where we go weekly (down the street the other direction, but still, duh me). Old World Village is something of a shrunk-down, Solvang-style village, but rather than Swedish culture think Bavarian/ German flavor and flair instead. We thought, looks fun, and there’s beer – thanks, iDine, let’s go!
We lunched at the Old World German Restaurant (http://www.oldworld.ws/), where our meals consisted of the classic Wiener Schnitzel (C’s dish), Jaeger Schnitzel (my dish of a pork cutlet with mushroom gravy, traditional spaetzle dumpling noodles, and red cabbage), and grilled cheese on Farmer’s Bread (a German-style rye bread) with fries (T’s meal). C and I split a pitcher or Hofbrau (traditional brew for the region) to wash down our tasty meals. Needless to say, we were not disappointed with our new find. The food was a great value (all meals on the entire menu listed at $10 or less at lunch; beer by the pitcher for $9!) and something different and fun to boot.
After our meal we walked next door to the German bakery and market and picked up a few pastries to go: plum cake, apple strudel, dark chocolate cake, loaf of bread, and a Bavarian pretzel. The pretzel and cake were amazing, and the bread was a good grab for brown-bag sandwiches this week for lunchtime, too. C picked up some Bratwurst from the market, which he grilled up the other day; they were delicious paired with a simple white rice and mustard for dipping.
But I have to say the best treat we discovered was the apple strudel not at the first stop but the second, from Gourmet Café and Candy (store #35 on the property).The lady working in the shop was hand-cutting apples as we entered, and her hard dedication to this real deal of a strudel showed. There were buckets and buckets of sliced and peeled apples scattered about the shop ready for strudel-ing. She said Austrian relatives brought over the strudel recipe three generations ago, which is nothing but a mix of several varietals of apples, butter (never margarine), and Phyllo dough (and of course, special spices and sugaring, but those details are not for public digestion). A hunk of the Gourmet Café and Candy apple strudel will set you back $7, but trust me when I assure you that it’s an ample serving for 2-4 people (dense, rich, and satisfying after just a few bites really).
The shopkeeper at Gourmet Café and Candy also mentioned that her daughter makes a special plum strudel come Plumfest in August that can’t be missed. The plums are a variety that only comes into season 2-3 weeks of the year and are brought in just for this Plumfest weekend (and two weeks surrounding). Sweet news, I can plan my return trip to Old World Village in another month or so (I’ll let you know closer to the date when that is, RMT’ers)!
So if you find yourself hungry for a slice of something new and different, take a trip to the Old World – Village, that is. Sure, it’s a bit hokey and overly themed (with wiener dog races on Sundays to add to the silliness), but the kids love that kind of thing. Oh, and if you like Oktoberfest, rumor has it they throw quite a party for two months of the year come September and October with a kid-friendly day weekly. Prost!