Black Forest Restaurant-8

Wandering off in our Volvo XC60 (this sporty, very comfortable car handles the country roads so nicely!) on a late afternoon drive to Harrison Hot Springs, we parked right at the Esplanade and headed into the The Black Forest Restaurant for an early dinner.

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The place was packed with families, tour groups, and locals as Wednesday is Schnitzel Night at The Black Forest (soon to end though as the restaurant revs up for the busy summer season). Dozens of schnitzel varieties were being served up along with healthy portions of red cabbage, bread, and other German specialties.

Owner/Executive Chef Vick Singh and his wife also own another location in New West, The Old Bavaria House.

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The atmosphere is cozy, the walls decorated with German-themed farming tools, old skis, etc. The couple own the rights to the live German radio feed flowing into The Black Forest’s speaker system, playing old-time German hits, music that doesn’t feel overwhelming yet gives a vibe that you’re not just in any restaurant.

I started with a lentil soup ($7.25) while my husband ordered the Black Forest Famous Shrimp Cocktail ($11.95).

Black Forest Restaurant's famous shrimp cocktail

The lentil soup was hearty, made with pork and green lentils, perfect for soaking up with the sliced baguette brought to the table. My husband’s shrimp cocktail was filled with plump shrimp, topped up with a tangy cocktail sauce. We ordered a couple of German beers, a Krombacher Pilsner and a Dunkel (dark).

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There’s also Canadian and local beer to choose from as well as house, BC, and German wines by the glass and/or bottle.

Black Forest's Schnitzel, beef roulade, bratwurst, spaetzle and veggies combination

The Combination Dinner ($27.95) offers a bit of everything: Schnitzel, beef rouladen, bratwurst, spaetzle, and traditional red cabbage, made slightly sweet with a bit of brown sugar. My husband loved the bratwurst, nice and mild, perfect for dipping into the mustard.

The rouladen (thin rolled beef with onion, with a fried pickle in the middle) is an acquired taste. The spaetzle is perfectly cooked as is the juicy, crispy schnitzel. We imagine that the restaurant serves up hundreds of each every evening.

Black Forest's Grilled prawns and scallops, artichoke hearts, and spaetzle served in herb Riesling sauce with red cabbage

The grilled prawns and scallops with artichoke hearts ($28.95) are cooked in an herb Riesling sauce, served on a bed of spaetzle. The prawns were large and succulent, while the scallops are of a good size and tender. Seasonal veggies complement each dish, prepped al dente. Personally, I can’t get enough of spaetzle, the delightful little dumpling bites that are the cornerstone of German cuisine.

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After dinner, we admired the sunset over Harrison Lake, while turning around to do a double-take: the restaurant was set against snow-capped mountains, glowing in the late daylight, that little view really giving the impression of being in a German alpine village. How lucky the restaurant is to have this magnificent view and busy kitchen.

Future plans for expansion include an upstairs Black Forest Bistro to handle the overflow crowd during high season, to open next year.

Volvo XC60; photo by Ariane Colenbrander

A huge thanks to Volvo Vancouver for giving us the chance to explore some more of BC with the 2014 XC60. Read my recent XC60 experience here. The Black Forest Restaurant is located at 180 Esplanade Avenue in Harrison Hot Springs.

Our dinners were courtesy of Tourism Harrison Hot Springs.

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