The menu @ Olde Hansa is intriguing. Elk. Bear. All kinds of local rarities. It makes one want to try everything. And thus it is no coincidence that they have designed special "feasts" such that one can. Luckily, they are very honest about the amount of food involved as well as the amount of time involved in order to get through a feast. We were 2 adults and 1 6 year old boy and it sounded like 1 feast would have been enough food for all of us. Then there was the time axis. Even though the interior of the restaurant is fascinating (truly medieval as advertised, no electric lights, candles only) it still would not have provided the extra hours of entertainment needed. We were not about to torture our son by making him sit in the dark all that time. (there is not enough light to play cards)
So, we proposed the following to the waiter:
We would order 1 big feast + 1 small thing from the à la carte menu.
They bring all the stuff at double the normal rate. (speed, not price)
This was in violation of 2 strict rules:
A) 1 feast per person. No sharing.
B) Each feast has its own special order and it doesn't work if they mix it up or double it up.
We had to order dishes from the à la carte menu. There are certainly some interesting selections on this menu, but it is so much less interesting than the contents of the feasts, that it ends up being a big disappointment.
And therein lies the paradox.
That which you want, you cannot have.
And that which you can have, you don't want.
2 pints of their delicious and super strong homemade all but drowned both the disappointment of not being able to get what we wanted as well as the annoyance of the inflexibility of their system. The food finally arrived and it was superb. One would never think to use the words gourmet and sauerkraut in the same sentence, but this version is so good, it deserves some kind of award.
Maybe it was the lack of oxygen due to all the candles and the limited ventilation. Maybe it was the heat. (poor ventilation again) Probably it was all of the above. But we started getting overly annoyed with each other. As our tempers grew shorter, we realized it was a good idea to cut things short. We ate quickly, paid (a whopping bill!) and left.
Tempers were back to normal after a few minutes in the fresh air. So, we had to conclude that the Luft in the Hansa was a bit stale.
Would we return to the Olde Hansa?
Would I recommend it to others?
It is worth the high price to experience it once.
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