Ahh, October… it’s one of my favorite months of the year for so many reasons. I love the way the weather cools and the leaves start to turn brilliant shades of orange, red, and yellow. I enjoy the way the days gradually grow shorter and the air becomes crisp and clean. It’s this season that always turns my thoughts to the virtues of a good beer. The fact that my husband Bill and I recently lived in Germany for two years makes me enjoy Oktoberfest all the more.
But Bill and I aren’t in Germany this year; we are in Georgia, living in Fayetteville, a relatively rural area just south of Atlanta. Over the weekend, we were both missing Germany when Bill suggested that we go to City Cafe and Bakery for dinner. City Cafe and Bakery is a delightful little restaurant and bakery in Fayetteville that specializes in German food.
We arrived without reservations at about 6:00pm on Saturday, October 2nd. The restaurant was bustling with many locals enjoying the restaurant’s Oktoberfest celebration, which will be running until October 30th. The staff all wore German inspired clothing; an accordion player wandered about playing polka music, and we could see that plenty of families were having a great time, enjoying the beautiful fall weather.
Bill and I were seated in the outdoor pavilion, which was decked out with German and Bavarian flags. We weren’t seated a minute before our waitress, Wendy, said hello and dropped off some water and fresh rolls for us. Wendy was pretty busy, so that gave us plenty of time to take a look at the City Cafe and Bakery’s menu. We both decided to have large Paulaner draft beers. A large beer is a half liter and is served in an official Paulaner glass, just as it would be in Germany. A small beer is served in a .4 liter glass. City Cafe and Bakery also offers Warsteiner on draft, as well as a number of different bottled beers and wines.
The menu is heavily geared toward German foods, complete with sauerkraut, spatzle, and dumplings. If you’re a fan of schnitzels, schweinebraten, sauerbraten, goulashes or wursts, you’re in luck. City Cafe and Bakery offers all of those dishes and more. For those who don’t like German food, there’s a small list of alternative dishes, everything from classic prime rib to roasted salmon. Unfortunately for vegetarians, there’s not very much on offer, though salads are available.
Since Bill and I were visiting on a Saturday, City Cafe and Bakery had Schweins Haxe on offer for $17.95. This is a slow roasted pork shank, served on a bed of sauerkraut with a side of potato dumplings and whole grain mustard. City Cafe and Bakery also tops this dish with a red wine mushroom sauce. I had often seen Schweins Haxe in Germany, but I think I ordered it only one time in my entire two years there, mainly because it tends to be a huge dish. I decided to try it during our visit, though I asked Wendy to hold the red wine mushroom sauce because I hate mushrooms.
Bill opted for the Szegediner Goulash Stew for $13.95. This Hungarian style goulash is made with beef and pork, cooked with mild sauerkraut, topped with spatzle, and served with a small house salad. The small salad actually turned out to be fairly substantial, so Bill shared some of it with me while we listened to the accordion player play polka favorites like “Roll Out The Barrel” and “The Pennsylvania Polka”. He was quite good and the music lent even more of an air of authenticity to the atmosphere.
Our food arrived after a short time. We both gasped when we took in the size of our entrees. They were enormous! The Schweins Haxe was served with a small knife sticking out of it. It really could have been enough food for three people. Bill’s goulash was also quite large and he declared it delicious.
I barely made a dent in the enormous pork shank, which was a bit fatty, but very tasty. I have a feeling I’ll be nibbling on it all week. I might have had more luck with eating the shank had the knife that came with it been a little sharper. I had trouble cutting through the tough, fatty rind on the outside of the Schweins Haxe. But under the rind was some very tender, flavorful pork. The sauerkraut made a nice accompaniment, though I ate less of it in favor of the “potato dumplings”, which to me tasted more like lumpy, mashed, new potatoes with the skins left on. The potatoes were heavenly and probably my favorite part of the meal.
Bill and I both enjoyed the food, but we definitely needed to go boxes for our leftovers. If you happen to go to City Cafe and Bakery hoping for the Schweins Haxe, keep in mind that it is only served on Fridays and Saturdays at dinner time and quantities are limited. As we were finishing our meal, I overheard another waitress tell a table that was seated at about 7:00pm that they had already run out of the Schweins Haxe.
We were really too full for dessert, but I couldn’t resist taking a look at what was being offered. Our waitress asked me to go into the indoor dining room and take a look at the display counter, which is where the bakery sells its heavenly wares. The display case had cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries aplenty and they all looked delicious. I opted for a slice of Black Forest cake, which Bill and I split and ate about half of. The Black Forest cake was priced at a very reasonable $3.95 and tasted very good, although I got the feeling the whipped cream used was probably of the non-dairy variety. We took it home and it was still holding up perfectly after two days.
I think the food at City Cafe and Bakery is very reasonably priced. For our two meals, from which we still have plenty of leftovers, and two large draft beers, we were charged $48.09. I did notice that the total on the check was circled and there was a tip table under the total due. The end of the circle just happened to go around the total for a 20% tip. I’m sure that was more than a subtle hint, but Wendy needn’t have worried. I used to wait tables, so I understand good tipping. She did a good job, so Bill left her over 20% anyway.
Hours and location
I get the feeling that City Cafe and Bakery is more about the bakery than the restaurant. The bakery sells wholesale items to businesses and retail items to individuals.
The bakery and restaurant is open from 8:00am until 4:00pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, 8:00am until 8:30pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 8:00pm until 9:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11:00am until 2:30pm. Dinner is served Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 until 8:30pm and from 5:00 until 9:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Parking is free and plentiful.
The restaurant and bakery is located at 215 S. Glynn Street in Fayetteville, Georgia. Phone number is 770-461-6800.
This was actually our second trip to City Cafe and Bakery and Bill and I both liked the food, especially on a beautiful fall evening. This German restaurant is very charming and, especially for Georgia, quite authentic. If you’re in the mood for some German food and happen to be in the Atlanta area, you would do well to visit the City Cafe and Bakery in Fayetteville!