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Shepherdstown, WV

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Likewise, what's the take on The Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown?

I'd love to know this, too. Last time I was there - in the late 1980s - the mashed potatoes tasted like reconstituted dried flakes. The rest of the meal wasn't much better.

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The question I really intended to ask was if anyone had an opinion on the Schmankerl Stube in Hagerstown, and in particular their schweinshaxen...I get to craving this stuff periodically, but haven't had a good one outside of Bavaria yet.

Likewise, what's the take on The Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown? Where else do you go for good German (or in a pinch, Austrian) food near DC? I've hit Old Europe, Cafe Mozart, Cafe Tirolo...all good in their own way, but not quite what I was hoping for. I've heard very good things about The Bavarian Chef, way down Rt 29 towards Charlottesville. And then there was the now-defunct Wurzburg Haus.

Ve need...informaaation!

The Bavarian Inn is not worth the trip, even if you are in town. Granted I was there over a year ago, but nothing about the food made me want to return.

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Although it's been about three years, I wouldn't wast the time or the gas on the Bavarian Inn. Everything we had was dried out and tasteless. Very dissappointing.

What about Cafe Berlin? I've generally had a really enjoyable meal there. We often go with friends who were stationed in Germany and they say it's very authentic. Click

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Although it's been about three years, I wouldn't wast the time or the gas on the Bavarian Inn. Everything we had was dried out and tasteless. Very dissappointing.

What about Cafe Berlin? I've generally had a really enjoyable meal there. We often go with friends who were stationed in Germany and they say it's very authentic. Click

It's been about 10 years since I went to the Bavarian Inn. I would never stay there at their lodgings ever. But I would try their food again -- if it was laden with game like it was 10 years ago and treated simply. Sounds like it has gone downhill.

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I have eaten in this place a handful of times over the past ten years. Dining options in the general Martinsburg area are somewhat limited, so this place generally makes the cut. It is not great food, but compares favorably to the Pennsylvania Dutch smorgasbord food throughout Lancaster County and south-central Pennsylvania. The daily specials have always been the way to go here, the portions generally large and not much variation on the sides -- i.e., scooped out of a large pot and meant to go with every entree. I have not been here recently enough to comment on the observations about instant potatoes or the food having gone downhill, but this is not a place worth a detour.

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BI has a nice location on a bluff overlooking pleasant scenery. Dining room was too stuffy for my taste but the Octoberfest lunch I had several years ago, with wild game and schnitzel etc, was not bad and the service was very accomodating in making certain changes.

On the other hand, if you are looking for the best option in that area, consider Lot 12. Damian, the chef, offers interesting twists on any number of dishes and streses use of local organic produce, fish and meats. Lot 12 is in Shep proper in a restored manse. Never had a mediocre experience there with multiple meals over the past ten years. Nice bar area also.

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The Press Room

We had dinner at The Press Room in April; wonderful meal and service. The Sea Bass was done to perfection and we had a Gorgonzola Custard that was smooth, round and wonderful. I think they have the best executed dishes in town; need a little work on their wine pairing recommendations. Chef should get someone knowledgeable to set up a wine pairing algorithem so there is less confusion when an order is placed. Prefer to eat here rather than Bavarian Inn.

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We're looking for a cabin near Harper's Ferry, so we've spent some time in Shepherdstown. Here are our observations:

Stone Soup - food was OK, service was incredibly slow, the floor was so uneven that stuff was falling off the table. Probably not again.

Bavarian Inn - we liked this place. I would definitely go again.

King's New York pizza - very good pizza, it's mostly a take-out place, there are about 4 tables for eat-in. Would do again.

Nearby:

The Mediterranean Cafe in Charles Town - horrible. My greek salad had dried oregano so liberally sprinkled over it that was all you could taste. Other halfs kabob was so tough that the table shook while it was being cut.

Grandale Farm Restaurant in Purcellville, VA - wonderful. We both enjoyed our meals. I had polenta on warm tomato jam served over young asparagus. Other half had crab cake benedict that was wonderful. We split a prosciutto, goat cheese, young asparagus appetizer. The dining building is in a mown field in front of the farm house.

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We're looking for a cabin near Harper's Ferry, so we've spent some time in Shepherdstown. Here are our observations:

Stone Soup - food was OK, service was incredibly slow, the floor was so uneven that stuff was falling off the table. Probably not again.

Bavarian Inn - we liked this place. I would definitely go again.

King's New York pizza - very good pizza, it's mostly a take-out place, there are about 4 tables for eat-in. Would do again.

Nearby:

The Mediterranean Cafe in Charles Town - horrible. My greek salad had dried oregano so liberally sprinkled over it that was all you could taste. Other halfs kabob was so tough that the table shook while it was being cut.

Grandale Farm Restaurant in Purcellville, VA - wonderful. We both enjoyed our meals. I had polenta on warm tomato jam served over young asparagus. Other half had crab cake benedict that was wonderful. We split a prosciutto, goat cheese, young asparagus appetizer. The dining building is in a mown field in front of the farm house.

Grandale Farm restaurant: we literally drove down the driveway, around the building, made a u turn in the parking lot and back to the highway of this restaurant on Sunday. It was recommended by the owner of Hillsborough Winery. Fascinating setting but in the daytime the rather plain building-which was closed-looked like it lacked ambience or character inside. Its website was uninspiring,perhaps not doing justice to the room. http://www.grandalefarm.com/index.php?option=com_phocagallery&view=category&id=3:restaurant&Itemid=185 Did you go at night? Sunday brunch? In the photo linked the room looks rather plain and well lit. I ask all of this because the grounds-the farm is really exceptional. We are thinking seriously about returning to it but it seems more like a very good place to stop if reasonably close but not worth, say, an 80 mile roundtrip trek from D. C. Still, the setting is extraordinary. A few candles in the dining room in the evening or perhaps sitting on the patio...

Frankly, we're still trying to replace Four and Twenty Blackbirds which we loved.

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BURGER ALERT!

We went to Domestic Saturday night and had a rather mixed experience. Since I don't drink, I often order iced tea and got a glass of something that tasted sort of like pumpkin pie water. It was awful. I don't know why they would serve this stuff (I found out when I returned it that it was some kind of chai) since the taste was so strong it threw off my palate. Strange.

Next up Sautéed Calamari with Roasted Red Peppers and Grilled Crostini. There was nothing in the description indicating this would be a cream-based sauce, but otherwise it was a decent appetizer. My vegetarian +1 had the Mushroom Napoleon. I had a taste and enjoyed the meaty mushrooms with crispy phyllo and goat cheese.

I ordered a burger (medium rare) with bacon, goat cheese, and caramelized onions. Despite there being no discernible goat cheese on the burger, this was an excellent hamburger. The burger/bun ratio was perfect, it had a bit of a char on the outside, and it was as juicy as could be. I also enjoyed a taste or two of +1's Autumn Risotto. The rice had the right amount of bite to it, and the flavors were certainly autumnal.

It's a nice little space right on the main drag a block or so from what was The Yellow Brick Bank which is now a Mexican joint with a run of the mill menu.

You might find it a worthwhile spot to grab a drink and a burger at the bar.

Domestic

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The infinity pool is nice but the disappearing edge is actually quite small, maybe 15-20 feet in width.  That's where most of the adults with beverages hung out.  So the kids kind of got the pool to themselves.

We enjoyed our lunch in the garden of Mecklenburg Inn.  Small food menu but we enjoyed the burger, hot dog, grill cheese and cheese fries.

In contrast, the food at Bavarian Inn was pretty mediocre.  We had the sausage sampler (3 slices of each sausage), fried calamari (super tender but felt greasy and were served lukewarm to almost cold), pate, and wiener schnitzel.  The schnitzel was really uninspiring - the breading fell off, the meat wasn't tender, the whole thing felt dry and somewhat flavorless.  

We stayed in a chalet with a view of the Potomac.  The bathroom was updated but the bedroom felt worn.   The AC unit was loud, the bedding too thick for the summer.  The beds were comfy enough though.  

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The girls have such long hair, they look like they had a nice time, despite all that.  Did you feel like there were a lot of people there, or did it feel safe-ish?  

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1 hour ago, ktmoomau said:

The girls have such long hair, they look like they had a nice time, despite all that.  Did you feel like there were a lot of people there, or did it feel safe-ish?  

Not a lot of people there but I think they might have just reopened.  The chairs around the pool were separate by 6 feet and they ask you not to move them.  People like to hang out by the ledge and some times that area can get crowded (another family with young kids also practiced social distancing but most of adults didn't stay 6 feet apart even if there may have been some slight attempt at distancing).  There's patio and indoors dining.  It felt safe-ish.  The next morning we had the pool to ourselves because it was cloudy.

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Food quality at the Bavarian Inn seems to be an intermittent focus. That location gives them a bit of a captive audience and the menu has changed over the years pretty drastically based on their chef/owners whim. At various times it's been local-centric, German focused, generic hotel/wedding food, or some combination of the three. I've admittedly had a few decent meals there, but other times I would have been better off just getting Pepperoni Rolls from the Sheetz down the street.  The basement bar remains a fun place for a drink and a pretzel though. 

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2 hours ago, ad.mich said:

Food quality at the Bavarian Inn seems to be an intermittent focus. That location gives them a bit of a captive audience and the menu has changed over the years pretty drastically based on their chef/owners whim. At various times it's been local-centric, German focused, generic hotel/wedding food, or some combination of the three. I've admittedly had a few decent meals there, but other times I would have been better off just getting Pepperoni Rolls from the Sheetz down the street.  The basement bar remains a fun place for a drink and a pretzel though. 

You know what? I think (I'm not sure, but I think) this might be the first critique I've ever read about the Bavarian Inn, even though I've been hearing about it for ages. Thanks for writing it.

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On 7/18/2020 at 12:16 PM, DonRocks said:

You know what? I think (I'm not sure, but I think) this might be the first critique I've ever read about the Bavarian Inn, even though I've been hearing about it for ages. Thanks for writing it.

And all of the above was appreciated as I'm considering a couple nights there next week!

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On 7/25/2020 at 4:54 PM, zgast said:

And all of the above was appreciated as I'm considering a couple nights there next week!

Back from our few nights in Shepherdstown.  Nothing to report on the Bavarian Inn.  We stayed there, but it was PACKED and a number of guests weren't exactly wearing masks so we just didn't feel comfortable dining there at all.  Dinners were at Hecho en Mexico, which was decent American Mexican food, and the Press Room.  A couple really good dishes - the Pork Milanese and our two salads (wedge and burrata over arugula).  Maria's Taqueria was probably the best meal we had there - grabbed lunch and it was just a really solid taco place.  Not horribly authentic (lettuce, cheese and tomato come on the tacos), but the meats were all so wonderfully cooked that it still hit the spot completely.

As an aside, Harper's Ferry was a ghost town. I can't imagine the permanent pain this is going to cause to the surrounding communities.  We went for a hike in the park, which was delightful. For some reason, though, the Parks Service has closed most of the parking lots so many of the best hikes are basically off limits unless you're really willing to work for it.  I'm completely unclear what closing an unmanned parking lot accomplishes besides encouraging people not to get out and exercise in a responsible manner.

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