Sunday, March 09, 2014

Cafe Katja

I tried out Cafe Katja with my friend Wes on Monday, the day I passed my exam. I don't recall the last time I studied like that but it felt great to relax after all the studying and the 6 hour exam. Since I set out for dinner quite last minute, I scrambled to find a place on yelp (I believe the keyword I used was "beer") and stumbled upon this gem in LES. Good thing it's so close to the bus stop since the winter weather does not make for nice walks in LES.

79 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

Note: All photos courtesy of Wes. 

For drinks we all had the Bayreuther Zwickel.Their cocktail list also looks great but I may just be tempted by everything elderflower and gin. Since beer goes better with our food choices, I will have to try their cocktails another time. 

We looked over the menu extensively and decided to split two entrees and a dessert. 

Trout with spinach, potato, and dumpling. The potato was buttery and melts-in-your-mouth. The dumpling was very heart-warming and exactly what was needed for a cold winter evening.

Emmental Sausage also came with dumpling and potato and some cabbage (?). I almost went for the sausage sampling but we wanted to try a bit more variety and got this dish with the trout above. The sausage sampler is for minimum of two people and judging by the giant platter my neighboring table received, I think it's heaven for hungry people.

Dessert was molten chocolate cake with orange sauce and schlag. The orange flavor was interesting and offers something a little different from the normal raspberry sauce.

Staff was great and attentive. I am also a sucker for interesting light fixtures, which they had plenty of in the place. I was surprised to see such a nice crowd on a Monday but must be a good neighborhood hangout for residents and visitors alike. As we were mid-way through our meal, we noticed a growing line at the door. Would like to bring J. here so he can look through the drinks and food list as well. Would highly recommend the place for all beer/hearty food aficionados.

Update March 16, 2014: I came back with J. during brunch time. unfortunately dumpling is a dinner thing so the sausage I ordered did not come with it. Instead I tried sauerkraut and shaved horse radish (came with dish) and they were pretty good too. J. ordered the hearty beef goulash with spatzel which came with a few good sized chunks of beef in a nice sauce. The size was reasonable for brunch/lunch. After our meal I was looking for more food to have with my beer so I asked for a side order of the cucumber/potato side. This turned out to be a good find. Fresh cucumber slices, dill, some pickled onion rings and chive all added to the potato nicely. I couldn't figure out how everything was integrated together (some vinegar, but no mayo as far as I can tell).

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