A summer day, an outdoor table, and a light German brunch menu sounds like the perfect afternoon. And, despite a few serious service hiccups…this afternoon really was pretty close to perfection!
Landbrot is a new German bakery and cafe in the heart of the West Village. The interior, with its small balcony and large counter showcasing breads, tarts, and cookies, is homey and well designed. The outside cafe is casual and comfortable.
This soup du jour was excellent. Sweet, smoky, and with a hearty texture, it was filling enough to serve as a meal but light enough to enjoy as an appetizer with friends. The bread served alongside was nutty and tangy.
Moist, with sweet chunks of apple. More of a breakfast item than a dessert one, this would be a wonderful way to start the day.
An outstanding pretzel. Warm to the touch, crisp in some places, delightfully doughy in others. The brown crust is thick and crisp, and the insides are chewy. slathered with homemade unsalted butter, it is a standout at the bakery.
I love this salad. It is light, it is bright, and it has textural variety. The potato salad, in between German and American style potato salad, is creamy with bites of boiled potatoes and bites of mashed potatoes. Dressed in a lightly acidic dressing with chives and plenty of pepper, this is a great dish for someone who does not like mayonnaise. The cucumbers are sweet in their tangy yogurt dressing, and the watercress is spicy and very fresh. I didn’t love the kraut, because it lacked that lip-puckering punch I really love in a good fermented vegetables.
Soft, buttery smoked salmon on hearty rye bread. The freshly grated horseradish adds a peppery kick that complements the radishes. The sweet-tart apples with the salmon were a revelation – they added a sweet component that I would normally never pair with fish! Served with a small salad and some kraut, this would make a satisfying light meal all on its own.
And we were also gifted some beers…
Why, you ask?
Well, the service just wasn’t very good. Some people got and finished their meals before others were even served. A few orders were wrong. We weren’t done eating for an hour and a half. For some cold sandwiches. I mean, normally, that would be a huge problem.
Our server knew that there were problems. She came out constantly and apologized for the slowness, saying that there would be more hiring going on this week to help with the brunch rush. She brought out extra food and drinks. She thanked us multiple times for understanding, and was sure that our glasses were always filled with water. In short, she ensured that we had a pleasant time and that I will return in a few months to see how the service has improved. It is amazing how good service can make or break a meal, and this turned a potentially awful situation into a very good one.
In a word, Landbrot is wundubar.