I knew nothing about The Maennerchor, including its existence, until Megan and I were recently invited to a surprise Birthday Party (Grady, if you are reading this, remind Theresa what great night that was). Last Sunday we returned and had a very good, but not quite great experience. We will have a small history lesson and then get to the schnitzel of the story.
Opened in 1848, The Maennerchor (or Men’s choir) is a German Singing Society and Social Club. The building also hosts a Damenchor (Women’s choir), Kinderchor (Children’s choir), and Damen Sektion (Women’ Auxiliary). The Maennerchor is located in a 3500 square foot building on South High, just north of Merion Village. Inside, there are a few cozy rooms and a very small bar and the outside hosts a comfortable patio. Valters is the name of the restaurant inside of the Maennerchor.
We arrived around 1pm on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon and were seated on the shaded portion of the patio, which offered a great view of High Street. We both ordered a coffee and I ordered a Bloody Mary.
The chairs were high and the coffee cups were large. As a result, this is my frauwinzig, or Tiny Wife. The Germans really do have a word for everything.
The Bloody Mary was served in a 12 oz Iced Tea glass, had a watery mix and came with few garnishes.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a person who needs a garden in a Bloody Mary, but a few more pickle slices or even a cubed piece of cheese could have gone a long way towards rectifying the size of the glass and the watery mix. When I return (and I will because we did have a good experience) I will just order a Paulaner Hefeweizen.
Valters has a menu that is a combination of Old World and New World and American and German. The lunch/dinner menu is available every day after 11am and the breakfast menu is available on weekends until 2.
After looking at the menu previously in the week, I thought I would order the 5 Polish Brothers – five different pan seared pierogis. The menu description sounded delicious, but there was something strange about a German restaraunt stealing a Polish recipe. However, I then remembered that Germany tried to steal Poland, so this concept made more sense.
After deliberating, I decided against Perogis and chose the Prime Rib and Eggs ($15).
This dish came with a warm baguette (Germany tried to steal France too) and home fries. The entrée was delicious and the different parts complemented each other well. The only downside was that the meal came in a VERY warm cast iron skillet – which I imagine the prime rib was prepared in. The problem was that the hot skillet turned my eggs over easy into eggs over hard, which was not awful, but damn do I love a runny yolk at breakfast. The warm skillet also slightly dried out my prime rib. It still was a good entrée – the baguette was crisp and fresh and the potatoes had a lot of flavor, however if you order this dish, I recommend asking that it be served on a plate.
Megan chose the French Toast ($10) with a side of Bratwurst ($4).
The French Toast was a was French Loaf covered in the perfect amount of warm syrup and toasted to perfection. Bananas, blueberries, and strawberries were added for taste, texture and color.
The Bratwurst was masterfully grilled and juicy, with a slight amount of spice and smoke. It is a great option for a breakfast side/protein and I wouldn’t mind seeing more Central Ohio restaurants add a similar option to their breakfast menus.
I definitely would like to return to Valters to try their dinner menu, especially on the patio in the fall. Valters also seems like the ideal place to go on a cold winter evening and get some comfort food and a rich, dark lager. Or, what the Hell? Go anytime you want. This place has a lot of character, menu items that are unique to the area and is one of my favorite newer Central, Ohio restaurants to open in recent memory. Just ask for your skillet dish to be served on a plate.