Though Ernie only makes the occasional appearance at the venerable Barb's and Ernie's in his lederhosen and charismatic greetings, this restaurant he opened in 1975 is still family run, packed and busy on a Tuesday night when we dropped in for dinner. They recently started having a buffet spread for $20 on Tuesdays with a rotating menu weekly, and Thomas, the eldest son strongly encouraged us to try the buffet rather than ordering off the menu, and led us to the buffet table for a sneak peek at what was smelling sooo good. Though I was looking forward to trying their escargots, touted as the best in town, couldn't pass up the buffet as it smelled amazing.
As we patiently waited for a table to be freed up, and admired the mementos of Barb and Ernie's travels which adorn the walls. I couldn't help but take a pic of their cool beer taps, which I'm sure has a much fancier proper name then "beer taps" :)
Now, a good German meal can't be had without a fine pint of beer, so we had a new beer they had on tap Haker pschorr weisse. Couldn't spell it without one of the waitress's help! Sweet, malty, buttery smooth with a medium light hit of hops. Yum.
Thomas brought out a serving of homemade sauerkraut soup. A dark salty broth loaded with sauerkraut, and served with a side of sliced rye and multigrain bread, it was a great way to warm up from the cold
There was a small charcuterie and salad section with tasty Parmesan cheese pita crisps (no pic). My boyfriend wasted no time in loading up his plate with one of each item off the buffet menu which included:
-Rouladen: tender slices of well cooked beef stuffed with bacon, mustard, onions and a pickle! -Tiroler Rahm Schnitzel: a super crisp lightly battered, super moist piece of pork cutlet covered in a tasty mushrooms and red wine cream sauce.
-tangy shredded cooked red cabbage
-homemade hot sauerkraut: the BEST sauerkraut I have ever had with just the right amount of tang, wine and seasonings. Mmmm!!!
-Spatzle - springy and lightly tossed in butter and herbs
-Cheesey scalloped potatoes: can't go wrong with a rich cheesey sauce and tender potatoes.
-Corn O'Brien - corn niblets with bacon and diced sweet bell peppers
-Sausages, 3 types here. Yum!
There was 4 desserts tonight and we tried them all!
We both liked the lemon meringue tart - not so much for the artificial tasting lemon goo, but for the marshmallow like toasted meringue topping. Mmmm.
I really enjoyed the New York Cheesecake. The cheesecake was so light and fluffy it was almost like biting into a cloud of cheesecake mousse. Nom!
My boyfriend loved the rice pudding which had a generous amount of Amaretto added to it, giving the rice pudding on the bottom and the creamy topping a big hit of almonds.
And last but not least, we had a rich dark pecan and coconut cake. Drizzled in a light syrup and topped with shredded coconut, this was an awesome dessert. It was reminiscent of a super moist date/carrot/pudding cake all in one!
Earlier I took a huge scoop of their homemade grainy mustard to go with my sausages and I was sad I didn't scoop more. I picked up a jar of it afterwards so I could enjoy the tangy sweet mustard at home!
Overall, a great family restaurant where you will be stuffed like a bratwurst with tasty German food. Sadly, I didn't have room to try their infamous apple strudel, but that means I have the escargots and apple strudel to look forward to the next time we go!
Barb and Ernie's Old Country Inn
Address 6-72 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB T6E3R3
Phone (780) 433-3242
Hours Tues-Fri 7am-8pm, Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 8am-3pm, Holidays 9am-2pm
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