Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Restaurant Review - Good Food at Last!!!

I had heard rumors that there was a decent French restaurant in San German. I heard it was a little expensive. I heard more rumors that it was good and still was hesitant to get my hopes up. While our friend Rob was visiting we were running running running the whole time and finally decided to go out and ended up at L'Auxerre in the heart of San German. The rumors turned out to be true! We had a wonderful meal and it was a nice way to end Rob's visit.

First off, you could sit outside out of the air conditioning. There were cloth tablecloths and glass glasses. The glasses were filled up with water and you didn't have to ask for it. A waiter appeared immediately as did silverware and napkins and plates. We had menus and our questions were answered. Is the fish fresh? (there was a halibut dish and a salmon dish - fish we know from Washington) Where is the crab from? Still we were skeptical about fish since it is always dried out and deep fat fried here. We opted to try one fish dish and stick with one chicken dish since chicken is usually cooked well here.

First though we got appetizers. Rob had French Onion Soup which he said was good. Jeff ordered a trout appetizer and I got crab cakes. The trout had an amazingly crispy skin and was perfectly moist on the inside. The crab cakes were not oily, had a nice taste and nothing to chew around....no shell bits. Oh, and did I mention bread? They brought out warm bread as soon as we ordered. They also had a wine list.

So when we ordered the entrees we thought it was a bad sign when they didn't have the chicken. Jeff got the salmon which was on some kind of pureed sauce and I ordered the halibut that was on a cauliflower/endive puree that was seasoned well. The portions were decent I thought but could be considered "small" if you are used to the over sized globs of crap most people usually eat. There was a really nice sear on the fish and it was cooked perfectly - Jeff thought his was a little pink on the inside like a seared Ahi but it was warm and delicious. Rob ordered a Churrasso steak that looked good if you like beef - had a nice glaze on it. Rob also had a couple whiskeys, a particular kind that he likes and that they had and wasn't Jack Daniels. I had a margarita because they didn't have lemon drops or lemon martinis (a small disappointment that was overlooked due to the great excitement of good food!)

For dessert Jeff had a chocolate mousse that I tasted and Rob had creme brulee. I was too stuffed to have my own thing. I am not a mousse fan but this was made with a lot of really good quality dark chocolate and was yummy. The creme brulee had a crackable crust and was dense and good. This was a fabulous meal with actual service!!! A few things to know - the menu had 4 appetizers and 4 entrees and 2 desserts on it. The menu changes every 2 or 3 weeks because the chef flies to New York to get fresh ingredients. The menu is limited but all of it was really nicely done. They had a choice of 3 proteins (fish, chicken, beef). They had all kinds of alcohol if you are into that. It is hard to find the door. In San German there are two plazas. The restaurant has large banners on the second story of the building near the church on the second plaza - not the Porta Coeli church, the other one. You have to walk around the other side of the building to get in. It was odd to see banners, and then padlocks on the doors. The guy in the ice cream shop will send you around to the next street over away from the plaza. It is on Calle Estrella #16 Esq. Calle Cruz and the phone number is 787 892 8844. They add a 15% tip to the bill so just be aware of that. This was very exiciting! Really good food perfectly prepared with service!!!!! We have to be careful not to go there too much. Maybe go just for coffee and dessert some times?

Get up and go - wednesday and thursday 6-10, friday and saturday 6 - 12am and sunday brunch 11 - 4. Yum!


Rosa said...

Sounds really nice and tasty...what do you have against meat? churrasco sounded yummy...but so did the salmon. I just love food, I am not picky. I can go from steak, to chicken, to salmon, oysters,clams, any kind of fish...like I said I just love food. Thanks for the info, maybe Frank and I can make a day of it and go there...

Anonymous said...

Great news indeed! What is the name of the restaurant? I think Calle Estrella is the one that is actually quite the hill, isn't it? You guys need to sponsor it more often if it is that good. I'll tell my parents about it. New restaurants always struggle to stay open in spite of the fact that some of them are actually really good. Buen Provecho and Salud!

H Jr.

Anonymous said...

Never mind, I got the name after reading your post again. San German de Auxerre (or Saint Germain, Bishop of Auxerre in France) is actually the Patron Saint of the City of San German in PR. Pretty cool, eh?

H Jr.

Anonymous said...

Rosa - Meat...I just don't like bongy bits of gristle and fat and don't like having to nibble around bones and stuff. I don't like the way it feels when you have to cut it up either - just grosses me out! I like chicken (just not a carcass hacked in half with vertebrate and stuff). I like pork loin or pork if it is shredded or in tiny pieces without skin and fat. I was just meant to eat veggies I think. I like most seafood except when it has eyes and fins and don't like chewy stuff like octopus (which is too smart to eat anyway). katrina

Rosa said...

ha ha...good laugh.
I just tried snails for the first time, yummy....escargot..will try again.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Anonymous, Katrina is far from a food elitist. She will eat things that fall on the floor and she will pick things from the yard and brush off the bird poop and call it good. IMO the worst thing she does is eat from the road side venders or the really dirty filthy Panaderias like so many here do. It just grosses me out to walk into a Panaderia that you can tell the door and windows have never been cleaned (is cleaning a luxury?). Or even better, drive up to a road side vender and have all that contaminated gravel and dust fly into the air and coat the rotisserie chicken all day long. They tell me it adds flavor.

So she doesn’t like to chew off of bones or eat gristle. That’s not neurotic. She doesn’t like meat that much. The lean meat here is the same price as cow balls, tongue, pig feet/ears, and fatty meat. She could be called neurotic when it comes to cross contamination of raw meat but that’s for health reasons. Salmonella and E coli are real concerns.

Like it or not PR is part of the USA. Don’t think of it as a third world country. As such I expect to have toilet paper, soap and a way to dry my hands when I go into a bathroom. Would you call me a bathroom snob? Yes we are frustrated with the lack of greens, fresh fish, and non-fried foods. Should we not post our complaints about the “local” traditions of fried food, dirty restaurants, and grisly meat?

Katrina has embraced Puerto Rico far more than probably most Puerto Ricans. Don’t call me classist because I don’t tolerate the “local” driving customs or the “local tradition” of the mis-treatment of animals.


perrosucio said...

Jeff you choose to move to PR in first place, this is the deal,PR not gonna change for you.IM native of Aguadilla seen al lot of Gringos over the years complaining and shortly leaving PR.Have 2 choices
1)Adapt the way PR works
2)move out of PR like other Gringos i have seen over the years and stop acting like a little bitch

Fran and Steve said...

Dirty Dog: There's good and bad about living anywhere in the world. Jeff and Katrina write about it all, but overwhelmingly the good stuff. You won't find as much first hand information about Puerto Rico's natural beauty as you do on this and other mainlanders' blogs. Or really good information about the joys and challenges of everyday living in PR. Last time I checked, this was a free country with 1st amendment protections. Here's the real deal: As a fellow American, you have 2 choices:
1) Start your own blog with only positive references to the island, where you can publish your own views.
2) Don't visit blogs that offer balanced viewpoints.

I don't mean to be fighting other people's battles, but sometimes I do feel compelled to let the world know that not all Puerto Ricans are closed minded and intolerant. Fran