Holy Schnitzel: Review of The German Cafe

THE HEARTS: German ambience, Napoleon, close to free parking

THE FARTS: Dry chocolate cake, closed Monday evenings and Sundays

Young At Heart says…

I was transported to a quaint little cafe in Germany this afternoon. Upon entering The German Cafe, my visual senses were surrounded by all things Deutsch. The walls are peppered with cuckoo clocks, signs and artwork reminiscent of a vintage village cafe. I am delighted to say that even the waitresses are clothed appropriately. Yes, definitely a mini vacation getaway.

On this day, we did not indulge in the full lunch menu but instead dove right into dessert. I did let my eyes meander the full dinning area to “scope out” what others where eating and all the fares looked appetizing. YOF kept scolding me about my sleuthing abilities and insinuated that I was checking out the “meat” next door (a young gentleman taking two elderly ladies to lunch). In fact, I was checking out a schnitzel dish past the party next to us. Oh well….I guess it’s all in the eyes of the beholder.

Our “German” waitress recommended the Napoleon for dessert and I obliged. It was delicious, I am happy to report. And yes, it was a twist on the traditional Napoleon, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. It was layered with fresh whip cream and Philo dough and then topped with an almond icing drizzled with chocolate. A fine combination to my palette. But, I am a lover of all things almond. If you don’t like the taste of Amaretto or almond, I would suggest you try one of the other desserts. All of them looked yummy!

So for a total check of $12, excluding tip, we were transported to a small village haus in Germany. And yes….I will be back for the full fare in the future.

Küssen,

YAH

Young Old Fart says…

Guten Tag! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to nibble on some wiener schnitzel while whispering sweet nothings into your lover’s ear? Yeah, neither have I. But that’s besides the point. Wilmington’s The German Cafe (located behind The Cottage Exchange downtown) is like going on “It’s A Small World” in Disney World and stopping to have a meal when you spot the kids in lederhosen. In other words, it’s a German dream come true. Both the decor and the music were notable additions to the authentic ambiance the restaurant was trying to create.

Like YAH said, we only stopped by for some dessert (the best part of the meal anyway). While I went in intending to purchase the Napoleon I changed my mind upon seeing the chocolate cake (what can I say? I have a weak spot for anything choco-related…). I dove my fork in and shoved it into my mouth expecting a chocolate explosion to ensue, however, I was thrown for a loop. This cake isn’t all that chocolatey. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s almost like the gingerbread man cheated on his wife with the neighbor, Devil’s food, and spawned this concoction . Though the flavor wasn’t what I expected, my biggest problem was the dry cake. I’m sorry, I thought Germans were supposed to make the best chocolate cake. They have their own version named after them for goodness sake! While this cake left much to be desired, I enjoyed my mom’s dessert and spotted other meals and goodies that definitely warranted a second visit.

All in all, I really liked this outing, even if it didn’t subside my constant fatty cravings. Besides, I learned two important things:

1) My mom is an undercover cougar who enjoys ogling young dashing lads.

2) I should work here…I would look bangin’ in some pigtails and dirndl (the female equivalent of lederhosen).

Kätzchen and fondant,

YOF

Living Like The Locals: Common Stores In The Cape Fear Area

Young Old Fart says…

Whether you’re visiting, relocating, or attending college in the Cape Fear area, there are several things you must become accustomed to. While I’ll tackle other norms another day, I want to focus on the types of stores you’ll see around here.

I spent the majority of my childhood and angsty years in Edison, NJ where Applebee’s was the Friday night hotspot and chillin’ at Menlo Mall (until it became all ritzy and too expensive for my broke bum) was the place to meet new friends and wreck havoc. Basically, I knew where to go, what to get when I got there, and the specials of the day. When I first moved to Wilmington and started attending UNCW, I underwent “culture shock.” Who the heck were these happy people that called me “ma’am” and offered to help me with my groceries? Why was everyone always smiling and asking me about my day? (I doubt natives to the Cape Fear area understand my confusion, but notherners get where I am coming from). Worst of all, I was missing the stores and restaurants I had gotten used to, I missed my “homes away from home.” Ultimately, I had to suck it up, get over my losses, and embrace my new area like a true local.

Here is just a sampling of what you may find in the Seahawks’ hometown:

  • While I was used to Starbucks being located on every corner, the most popular coffee chain down here is Port City Java. But do not fear Starbucks lovers (fyi they are SOME Starbucks locations around here), PCJ  offers the same types of caffeine-induced concoctions that are just as overly priced. The one difference: you can actually pronounce the names of these products.
  • My favorite “fast food” place in Edison was my beloved Baja Fresh. Notherners, don’t even ask natives about this place, they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about. Instead, they’ll refer you to either Moe’s Southwest Grill (which we also have in NJ) OR the collegians’ absolute fav Flaming Amy’s.
  • The one way to truly torture me was to force me to go grocery shopping on a Sunday in NJ. It was an experience that guaranteed to supply an elbow to the face, poor customer service, ten naughty curse words, and at least two cart-to-ankle run-ins. While Shoprite, Pathmark, Stop and Shop, and Wegmans were the destinations of my Hell…Food Lion, Lowes Foods, and Harris Teeter are the pleasant grocery stops of Wilmington.
  • Finally, one of the saddest losses of living in NJ IMHO were the few happy memories I would have during the Christmas season. One of my fav holiday activities was going to Macy’s and checking out their Xmas department after dropping off my letter to Santa (don’t judge, Santa’s my homeboy). Unfortunately, Wilmington does not have a Macy’s and there doesn’t seem to be any in the neighboring towns. While you can find JCPennys, Sears, and Kohls, the next closest thing to Macy’s is Belk. Sadly, I went there this past Xmas and was highly dissapointed…it just ain’t the same : (

Well, while there are many other things newbies will need to learn about Wilmington, the above list will just have to do for now. Until then, A WARNING TO ALL NEW JERSYANS: If a Cape Fear native offers to help you with your bags, or gives a cheery “hello”…PLEASE bite your tongue and force back the urge to give them the one-finger salute (it gives everyone from the Garden State a bad rep…

unlike the popular NJ-based reality tv shows, Jersey Shore and Jerseylicious, they just make us seem so clASSy).

Kittens and fudge,

YOF

The Apple of My Eye – Review of Apple Annie’s Bake Shop

THE HEARTS: good variety and selection, chocolate croissant, Reese’s peanut butter bar, mocha fudge bar, pretty reasonable, good customer service, pastries aren’t too sweet

THE FARTS: nowhere to sit, everything is refrigerated, SOME selections are skimpy for the price, carrot cake square

Young Old Fart says…

Bakeries. The yin to my yang, the Sonny to my Cher, the light of my life…the reason my lower stomach (which I fondly call “my pooch”) has taken on a mind of its own. All joking and stretch marks aside, pastries, cakes, and desserts of all sorts are my reason for existence. Therefore, when we moved to Wilmington, NC, I was heartbroken that the delicious goodies I had scoured and labeled as “my babies” would no longer be accessible. What is a chubby, choco-craving girl to do? FIND NEW GEMS, BUT OF COURSE!

Apple Annie’s is a well-known bakery in Wilmington that has two locations, one on South Kerr and one on Military Cutoff. I have yet to try the Military Cutoff location, so I can only vouch for the other. The first thing I noticed about AA’s was its selection. Everywhere else that has offered desserts in the Cape Fear area has had slim pickings, this is definitely not the case with AA. Whatever you dream is your hearts desire here…from german chocolate squares (delicious) to the cinnamon croissant (amazing) to white chocolate macadamia cookies (have yet to try), AA’s will surely have something for everyone (they even offer sugar-free goodies!). The customer service is absolutely amazing as well. Not only do the employees allow you to take your time, they also offer words of encouragement to lead you along your artery-clogging way!

I really do love this place. However, like everything else, there are SOME drawbacks. First, there is nowhere to sit in the bakery, it is set up so that everything you buy is to be eaten at home or somewhere else. Second, all of their offerings are refrigerated, even items that should be warm (such as a croissant). This could definitely become an inconvenience to anyone who would like to enjoy their selection pronto. My suggestion is either wait till you encounter a microwave OR kindly ask one of the employees to heat it up for you (I don’t see why they wouldn’t). Finally, while YAH may disagree, I think that though their quality is always worth the price, their quantity isn’t. I understand that not everyone wants a cupcake the size of their head (you would be stupid not to), but selling a cheesecake morsel for $3 seems outlandish. Again, this last complaint could be due to my pooch’s impressive mind control and constant need for fatty goodness.

Today I sampled their chocolate croissant.

Right off the bat I was pleased with it’s size and obvious cholateyness…I mean, check out that drizzle and ooze seeping from the middle!

When I got home, I ripped this sucker out of its pretty package, stuck it on a plate, and microwaved it for 1 minute. I used a fork to eat it, but most people would just grab a napkin and shovel it in. The pastry itself wasn’t crunchy but light and fluffy (not soggy at all). The chocolate middle was warm, gooey, and sinful. This baby is not meant for the kiddies or wimpy milk-chocolate lovers…this one is stuffed to the gills with semi-sweet chocolate. The richness of the chocolate paired with the mildness of the pastry (it wasn’t very sweet), makes for a yummy snack, and dare I say it? A rewarding breakfast treat? (It’s acceptable as long as skinny french people keep eating them for le petit déjeuner as well.) Overall, I definitely recommend this beauty. It’s worth both the $2.50 I spent AND the extra mile I’ll have to run tomorrow.

Kittens and fudge,

YOF

Young At Heart says…

Apple Annie’s is definitely one of the best bake shops, if not the best in Wilmington. I have purchased goodies from many bakeries (NJ, NY, SC, and California) and this one ranks right up there. So far (third visit so far as we just recently discovered this little local gem) almost everything I have eaten there was delicious, the service was great and the prices reasonable for the quality of their smaller treats. Hats off to this bakery!

Today I ate their Reese’s peanut butter bar and it was out of this world. It is layered with a yellow cake and what I presume (hate the word assume) is Reese’s peanut butter mousse surrounded by a delicious dark chocolate. Nestled on top is a small Reese’s peanut butter cup. This delectable goodie is not overpowering with sweetness and allows the diner to walk away without that heavy feeling. You can be sure I will be buying this baby again in the future. For $2.50 plus tax I think it is definitely a sweet dream!

Now on the down side, I was completely disappointed with their carrot cake square. Oh bombs! And a big one at that! Now I will fess up that I am a traditionalist when it comes to certain desserts but willing to give a new twist a try. But….this twist just turned me the wrong way.  It was composed of carrot cake with this foreign substance in the middle. After some contemplating I determined that the baker had choosen to layer in either a pineapple or orange marmalade. Gross!!!! And then to add to my dismay, the icing was buttercream instead of the standard cream cheese icing. All in all, a terrible combination in my opinion. Maybe if the icing was the traditional cream cheese icing, I might have been able to stomach the marmalade but with that combo it was way too sweet for carrot cake. Oh well…back to the drawing board for this one!

But have heart dear readers….I ate this scrumptuous goodie last night that rocks! Their Mocha Fudge Bar is well worth the drive! It was layered with white cake and mocha mousse…great combo but then wrap that  in dark chocolate and you have a home run. Again for $2.50 plus tax, I think it is worth every penny! Yum…yum…yum is all I can say! Just thinking about this and the Reese’s goodie makes me want for more. And you can be sure…I will be buying again from AA!

Chocolatey KISS,

Young At Heart