Depot 1899 did not thing to assuage me that German food is worth writing about. It isn't lost on me that I am about to do that nonetheless.
The decor is pleasant although my visit was in the run up to the Christmas season so I appreciate that it was perhaps a little 'chintzy'. With its high ceilings and tall windows looking out into the street, there is a very airy feel here. The seating is mixed with some bar-side tables, larger tables for groups as well as the usual 2s and 4s. As we were sat by the bar, I can tell you that this is very well stocked and if you're a fan of German beer or beer more broadly then you're in luck as it is pretty cheap and plentiful... as you would expect in Frankfurt.
The food was OK. I had roasted pork which came with a restrained sauerkraut and a large ball-shaped doughy, stuffing. To accompany this was a separate sauce 'jug'. See photo to see what arrived. The pork was well cooked, it wasn't dry and two thick slices arrived so you coudl describe it as a hearty portion. I think you would struggle to make it through 3 courses with this portion. I say the sauerkraut was restrained as sometimes when I've had this I've had to ask for cabbage with my vinegar. This however was nicely balanced and provided a refreshing contrast to the meaty cut of pork. The sauce tasted like roasted meat juices so its depth of flavour nicely accompanies roasted meat and a sharp sauerkraut.
The baseball sized stuffing ball was truly a mystery to me. I am not sure you would eat something this size. I say stuffing ball because that was very much the flavour coming from it. Bready, herby and soft. It was very dense and safe to say stodgy. My friend remarked that sometimes they just serve this to kids in schools. As a sole portion. I am not surprised. In fact it is remarkable that they serve it in a place largely made of windows. One bad move and the business could fall like a pack of cards. It was pleasant enough but you could easily be satisfied with two golf ball sized offerings. This struck me as both 'filler' and added nothing to an otherwise well-balanced dish.
My friend had roasted beef which arrived in a rich, onion glaze and a generous portion of spetzel (German noodle like side dish which looks like thick off-cuts of pasta boiled and sauteed in butter). Hers looked pretty good but again this Spetzel just struck me as stodge for stodge sake. It is low on taste and high on filler.
Would I return? Maybe for drinks. Again, German food is not my thing but I'm always willing to give food a go. I should say that the overall presentation was more modern than I've had in a few German restaurants which usually follows the mantra of 'lump it on there'. Perhaps I've had bad experiences but Depot 1899 does nothing to make me second guess my view to date.
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