The Rathskeller • Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Rathskeller

401 E Michigan St. Indianapolis, IN 46204
Although we were disappointed in a majority of the Devour Downtown menus (either not a great deal or not a great selection), The Rathskeller stuck out in a good way. It had at least three selections from each of the courses and at $30 per person, it actually was a good deal when compared to pricing out each dish individually (about $10 cheaper than normal). Since we ordered off of the Devour Downtown menu, we weren’t given bread service, which was a bummer since it includes their famous pretzels.
The Rathskeller is located in the historic Athenaeum Building downtown. After opening the door from the street, the restaurant is just down the stairs to your right. There is banquet seating to the where bands live music plays, a small bar straight ahead and plenty of seating all around.
Appetizers
Brat 'n Kraut Balls (normally $9.95)

Brat ‘n Kraut Balls (normally $9.95)

Sean started with the Brat ‘n Kraut Balls (normally $9.95)—a combination of beef, sausage, bratwurst, sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings deep-fried in breading. All three meatballs (about 2″ in diameter) were somewhat dry and the beef was the only dominant flavor that came through. They were breaded in a cornmeal mixture, so the coating was slightly thicker than flower. Because the meatballs were a little dry and bland, the sauces provided—mustard, thousand island and a beer sauce—were a necessary addition. Of the three, the beer sauce was our favorite. It had an alfredo taste with a subtle hoppy tang from the beer.
Recommendation: These weren’t bad, but they also didn’t stand out as being particularly tasty.

Stuffed Mushrooms (normally $10.50)

Stuffed Mushrooms (normally $10.50)

I had the Stuffed Mushrooms (normally $10.50)—four sautéed mushroom caps filled with cream cheese, bacon bits, chives and seasonings, and topped with melted provolone and parmesan cheese. These were definitely the favorite of the appetizers, even with Sean not being a big fan of mushrooms. It was probably because they mostly tasted like cheese, cheese and more cheese. The mushrooms did provide some earthy flavor and added texture to the otherwise very cheesy dish.
Recommendation: Worth getting at least once, especially if you love cheese!
Entrées
Penne Pasta Diablo (normally $18.50)

Penne Pasta Diablo (normally $18.50)

I ordered the Penne Pasta Diablo (normally $18.50)—penne rigate, sun dried tomatoes, red bell peppers, portabella mushrooms and fresh garlic sautéed in a spicy tomato cream sauce. I opted for the grilled chicken instead of the Gulf shrimp and it was served with a garlic French bread on the side. The pasta sauce had the right amount of heat to it (spicy, but not overly spicy) and the portion size was rather large, so I had leftovers to take home. The French bread was topped with butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley. This dish had great flavor, it wasn’t too heavy and I had enough to take home. What’s not to like?
Recommendation: For someone who NEVER orders pasta dishes at restaurants, I’m glad I made the exception here.

Traditional Schnitzel (normally $23.50)

Traditional Schnitzel (normally $23.50)

Sean ordered the Traditional Schnitzel (normally $23.50)—Center cut pork loin cutlet that is pan fried in special breading, topped with lemon slices and served with a lemon dipping sauce. They are pounded thin, breaded and pan fried. The schnitzel was cooked perfectly. Lemon(s) always make fried food better, but the lemon dipping sauce was more like lemonade than a sauce and was far too sweet. Unlike my dish, Sean got to choose two sides—steak fries, and rice and beans. The steak fries had a thick, crispy exterior and were tender on the inside. They were good, although they had no seasoning whatsoever. The rice and beans were good, although they weren’t the typical rice and beans one would expect. It tasted more like a gumbo than anything else because of the okra and dark, spicy rue.
Recommendation: The schnitzel itself was a hit, but the sauce and sides were a miss. 
Desserts
Rathskeller Bread Pudding (normally $5.95)

Rathskeller Bread Pudding (normally $5.95)

For dessert I had the Rathskeller Bread Pudding (normally $5.95). The bread pudding was good, but not great. It lacked the buttery goodness most bread puddings have, and it was not as tender as we expected. It was accompanied by a raspberry sauce that was good and wasn’t overly sweet. Sean thought the sauce was too tart to go with the bread pudding, but I enjoyed the contrast. It was my favorite of the desserts, but it still wasn’t great.
Recommendation: You can’t compare this bread pudding to Bluebeard’s (or Bru Bruger’s…or Late Harvest Kitchen’s), but it was okay.

Snicker’s Ice Cream Pie (normally $5.95)

Snicker’s Ice Cream Pie (normally $5.95)

Sean ordered the Snicker’s Ice Cream Pie (normally $5.95). This dessert is made up of layers of chocolate ice cream, pecan praline ice cream and crumbled Snickers’ bars on top of an Oreo crust. The finishing touches were slice almonds, caramel and chocolate sauces. Although this sounds like it would be an obvious 10, it wasn’t. While it was Sean’s favorite of the three, I’m not sure that’s saying much. It was WAY too sweet (yes, even for a dessert) yet the decadent flavors you’d expect were lacking.
Recommendation: Save your calories.
Apple Strudel a la mode (normally $6.50)

Apple Strudel a la mode (normally $6.50)

Our friend ordered the Apple Strudel a la mode (normally $6.50). This dessert was so bad, that I don’t want to waste time describing the ingredients that went into the dish. The dough was cold, undercooked and the apples were dry, flavorless and rubbery.
Recommendation: No. Just no.

 
Overall
While the overall experience was enjoyable since we went with friends and got a good deal, there was nothing this restaurant offered has us wanting to come back food-wise (they have a great biergarten). Most of our dishes were just average and unfortunately there is not much more to say than that.

Rundown:

Food: 3/5
Service:
4/5
Price:
$$$
Location:
Downtown (Mass Ave.)
Cuisine:
German, Pub
Dress Code:
Casual

 

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