April 22, 2013

German-Canadian Cultural Association Restaurant

German Canadian Cultural Association Restaurant
8310 Roper Road
Edmonton, AB T6E 6E3
(780) 466-4000

While Googling to to find a different German restaurant I'd been recommended (I couldn't remember the name Bauernschmaus), I stumbled on to the website of the German Canadian Cultural Association (GCCA), and discovered it had an associated restaurant. They're open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday , as well as lunch on Saturday. In additional to their traditional German menu, on Friday and Saturday evenings they put on a buffet. I thought this sounded like a place to check out, and set up a Meetup with the Edmonton Foodies to visit. When I arrived, I was directed to the restaurant, which is located just through the lobby of the of the GCCA. The space was bright but fairly nondescript in decor, and reasonably busy. The buffet was the most popular choice with other parties, so after ordering some Erdingers, we headed over to help ourselves.

Salad bar
Though I was tempted to start with desserts (see below!), I visited the soup and salad bar first. The soups change every week, and appear to be homemade. The salads are a weekly staple, and there was plenty of options to choose from, including beet, pasta, greek, fresh veggie sticks and smoked fish. The potato salad, mayonnaise-based but shining with a twist of dill pickle, was my personal favorite.  

Plate from the main buffet

The main buffet options change week to week, and can be found in advance on the GCCA website. I'd run out of room for the salmon with lemon butter, but was able to fit most of everything else on my plate (as well as a second helping of potato salad). The mashed potatoes and roast chicken were generic, but acceptable. Though I'm generally a big fan of braised red cabbage, theirs was a bit dry and disappointing. I don't see rouladen (a mix of onion, pickle and bacon rolled up in a steak) on menus very often, and really enjoyed this one.
I was pretty stuffed, but of course found room for dessert. Between the strudel, pies, cakes and fruit it was a tough decision, but narrowed it down (slightly). While I was not blown away by the strudel, the German chocolate cake was deliciously and gooey with a sweet filling between the layers of moist chocolate cake.

Chicken schnitzel with spaetzle
Since neither schnitzel nor spaetzle were on the buffet that night, I decided to take some home with me to have for lunch the next day. The chicken schnitzel was lackluster; I much prefer Continental Treat's. The spaetzle, however, were dusted with herbs and were cooked in butter just enough to have a few crunchy bits. They might be the best I've had outside of Germany.

The general response from my group was extremely positive. The food was fresh, which is a challenge for a buffet. There was plenty of variety, and the options were all reasonably good, and, at $18.50 per adult, the consensus was that the value was excellent. While you might not find an out-of-the-park homerun (unless spaetzle is on the buffet that week), if you're looking for a good option for a group or a  fresher buffet with comfort food and a good variety, you might find what you're looking for at the GCCA.

A few more photos from our visit can be found here.

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  1. They really should market desserts as appetizers. That way you always have room for dessert.

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