in partnership with
Usually being called a 'country-dining experience' is a polite euphemism for having overbaked 'treats' served in an underdecorated 'cafe'. That is, until the restaurant in particular is called Hallertau, and besides boasting a five star menu, also hosts beer tasting sessions and also just happens to have a giant craft beer brewery in the middle of the restaurant. Welcome to Hallertau.
I started off my visit to this impressive country establishment with a pint of Maximus ($11), a nice wee hoppy number brewed on site, tasty but not too heavy. For lunch, I tried the beetroot salad ($19) - something of health nut's dream, with beautifully roasted hazelnuts, quinoa, salad greens and pomegranate - a really nice and unusual added touch of sweetness. The service being as fast as it was, I barely managed to finish pronouncing my order by the time it got served to me (okay, not quite - but the service was pretty darn fast. McDonalds has some serious competition here). After a pretty healthy start, I snuck in an order of the espresso crème brûlée, served in a coffee cup (a nice touch). No complaints there either - the texture was perfect, complimented by a nice wee layer of caramelised sugar to crack through, and the taste was delicate not at all egg-ish. All in all a pretty perfect crème brûlée.
Besides some pretty impressive stock, Hallertau also manages to keep their fruit and vegetables fresh (usually picked from the kitchen garden: the perks of being a countryside restaurant), homebake their bread and keep their eggs free range. All things my inner hippie appreciates immensely.
This one's definitely worth the drive out the countryside.