Bavarian Manor – Purling (dt) (#198)
6.33 – 7.2, 6.5, 6.5, 6.4, 6.25, 6.25, 6, 5.5

With the usual reservation time of 7, and a meeting time at 6:30 at the Monteverds, we were guessing some place close, and a short drive to Bavarian was a welcome one.
            For those of you who thought that DP8 had visited BM before, you were right – June 2013, with lead car Ken weaving around the closed streets of Cairo which was celebrating Legs Diamond.

Ten minutes after seating, two baskets of chewy rolls, joined by two small bowls of individual pull-tab butter servings, were placed on the table.
            I suppose the dinner order could have gone faster, except, when asked if we knew what we wanted to drink, I was foolish enough to ask what do you have and do you have a wine and beer list. Eventually, the drink order was taken—a carafe of the house pinot noir, and then another. A soda and water around took care of the rest.

Shortly thereafter, perhaps fifteen minutes later, the included soup/salad was delivered. Six chose the salad - a five inch plate of mixed greens, a couple chunks of tomato, one diagonally sliced cucumber, and carrot shreds. Two chose the cream of broccoli soup. Most were satisfied enough. (I liked the soup.)

The menu reflects the restaurant’s name, and the tradition of three generations of family (Bauer). Overwhelming German, there are several choices of non-Germanic. Classic question: do you order chicken at a steakhouse?

It was beginning to get later and server Megan took our order:

the Thursday night Prime Rib Dinner Special that included soup or salad, dessert and coffee (Ken and Chay, both requesting and receiving the well-done ends)

At the hour-twenty mark, the entrées were delivered, most paired with mashed or baked potatoes, except spaetzle with the German dishes. And a cluster of steamed vegetables accompanied several of the plates.
            The verdict? Quite mixed. Nobody’s entrée was hot, most were warm enough, and a couple were cool. And the prime rib was deemed a little dry. The potato dumpling a tad gummy. I suspect the Teators liked theirs the best and Kriss complimenting hers. The rest – somewhat meh to good enough.

The dessert offering is better than at many restaurants, especially for Bavarian choices. Kriss and Don chose the German chocolate cake (darn good) and Mark and Chay chose black Sambuca. Ken was enjoying his coffee (it serves as appetizer, entrée, and dessert for Ken!).

Service. This was one of those few times where poor service affected almost everyone’s score. Megan was attentive enough at first, lasting through the entrée orders. We would catch her eye as she walked past to other tables. Mid-entrée course saw the peek-and-boo era, leading to a long time clearing, performed by one of the other waitstaff who also boxed our leftovers. We waited even longer for dessert, and almost as long delivery of the bill. It felt as if she were staying out of our sight, and we hoped we had not traumatized her by something we were unaware of.

Pacing reflected service somewhat. Two hours twenty was getting long despite good company. The final bill came to $95 per couple. And off into the Purling darkness and over the newly wet ground we drove. (Our other visit here kept us twenty minutes shy of two hours, a little quick, instead of twenty minutes over.)

Ambiance: Bavarian Manor is probably one of those places that would never be built if someone were starting new. But, when a century-plus Victorian style boarding house (Sulphur Springs, it was called in the late 1800s) glides over into the mid-20th century Bauer Bavarian era, there are bits and pieces of cozy and warm and idiosyncratic that is to be experienced. Entry takes one through the lobby and bar area, a place that many of us have met during town and school functions. The dining room would be the equivalent of a six room space – a 70 by 30 cavern, divided by some disguised structural poles and disguised beams, all of which can be folding-wall-divided in three smaller rooms. Large windows give view to the driveway/carriage semi-circle. A wall to wall coral/magenta carpet with gold diamond grid almost escapes notice.
            A large, lit inset glass shelving, filled with dozens of German “knickknacks” served as a focal point on the east wall while a large fireplace graced the west wall. Other wall spaces were filled with clusters of steins, photographs, cuckoo clocks, paintings, and other German items.
          Several five-globe chandeliers, each globe covered with a shade, provided most of the lighting with a combination of recessed lights and individual lamps on most tables supplying the rest of the lighting.
           The blue and white gingerbread linened table was set with a centerpiece of a small vase of fake white flowers and two sets of salt and pepper sets. Sturdy wooden chairs with the spindled high backs with a padded cushion was mostly comfortable.
            It’s a real time piece to be appreciated. It is, and will be, a legend.

A Karnes-car of four met briefly at the Monteverd house, back seat occupants changed cars, and off to the Notar house to whisk them, and us, to Purling. And we had plenty to talk about since we had not seen the Monteverds since January. And somewhat surprisingly, the Monteverds were the couple who had been home the longest since their return, all of it topics of discussion.
            The major topic was a sobering one – the recent passing of Dale, a good friend of the Monteverds at Solivita (Florida). Our sympathies to all.
            Travel topics included the Teators’ four weeks in Italy, the Karneses’ trip to Newport, and the Notars’ excursion to CA. Added to that were upcoming plans.
            Grandparenthood took center stage for a few minutes with the announcement of the Monteverd’s fourth on the way (Matt’s second! yeay for all). Of course, it would be a gigantic announcement if any of the rest of us announced grandparenthood - ha.
            Other topics: pleasure that Lynda’s treatment is going as well as planned, Chay is mostly good with hand and other, Deb K training for the Freihofer Run (results in at press time – a good outing), the four awful weeks of wet & chilly weather while the Teators were gone, the Southerners wondering what they were coming back to, the change of foliage from lime green to darker green, flowers and shrubs, lawns to be mowed, health insurance forms to be sent in, Conor Quinn and Jeopardy, the whereabouts of our other DP8ers, #200 coming in July, possible summer plans for DP8, Deb K’s extra work, a house for sale on Pine Meadow Lane (no, not the first house on the road), Shutterfly books, someone forgetting a pocketbook home with calendar and cash with it, a couple encounters with Heather Maassmann about school (how enjoyable it is) and Board elections and union elections and tickets for a drawing (thank you, Heather), the local crowd, and more that has escaped my memory retention center.