so me and ma duke's went to see neil DIAMOND live (best concert ever) and stopped at Marienbad's for dinner before.......
That's right, Neil Diamond and he puts on one hell of a show (74 years old, no opening act, no intermission, 2.5 hour set and dancing the whole show). I decided to invite my mom from out of town to go with me. She offered to take me out to dinner before the show and I obliged. Now where to go? We could have gone to a chain like Kelsey's, Jack Astor's or East Side Mario's. These are all great options but my mom's town has most of these chains and so does any Canadian city with a decent population. I thought let's pick somewhere that you could only go to in London, support local business as well as the downtown core and be close to Budweiser Gardens. Keep in mind that mom was paying so I could have chosen the Tasting Room or Michael's on the Thames but I decided to check out a place my German buddy swears by. I knew ma duke's would be up for whatever and appreciates supporting good local cuisine, breaking free from the restaurant chain's and truly getting a taste of London so Marienbad's it was.
Now I would first of all recommend calling ahead for reservations especially if there is a play going on at the Grand Theater and a concert at Bud Gardens. Their number is (519) 679-9940. We were lucky enough that Eric greeted us at the door and informed us that one of his reservations was an hour late and a table was available. The place was packed and we were arriving at prime time, 7:00 p.m. and Neil Diamond started at 8:00 p.m. Eric sat us and took our orders for drinks. My mom ordered some custom Malibu rum fruit drink concoction with special instructions of how the drink should be made. I opted for a beer as they have something like 70 plus choices of beers from all over the world. Germany would be my beer destination and I went with a Hacker Pschorr. We also informed Eric that we had to be at Bud Gardens before 8:00 and asked him if the kitchen was behind or if there was anything we shouldn't order because of cooking times. Eric made his recommendations and ensured us that we would be finished in good time.
I thought in keeping with the German theme (the pint of Hacker Pschorr helped in this choice) I would go for some schnitzel. I decided on the Franz Joseph Schnitzel and ma duke's went with the Three Mushroom Penne. Some sliced bread and butter will also arrive at your table to accompany your entrees.
Eric brought us our drinks (ma duke's cocktail was exactly to her liking) and placed our order. There were so many tempting choices on the menu that it was hard to decide on what to get. Marienbad's menu caters to everyone specializing in European meat dishes but also offers vegetarian options.
The schnitzel was amazing, picture chicken cordon blue but replacing the chicken with pork schnitzel. Cheesy gooey goodness and ham wrapped in perfectly cooked schnitzel with an incredible breading, definitely the smart move of the night by Jay Eatz. The roast potatoes were excellent (way better than the french fries that would be your typical side at a chain restaurant) and the veg were nicely seasoned. I had a bite of ma duke's pasta and it was quite delicious as well and the mushrooms tasted really fresh.
Eric brought us the bill and to my surprise it was under $50 with taxes. Eric also kept his promise and we were out the door by 7:45 with a 3 minute walk to the gardens just in time for Neil. Great food, nice atmosphere, great drink selection and good value. Ma duke's experienced a little bit of London's unique and diverse food scene rather than getting the same meal she could have gotten back home from the chain restaurant.. I am definitely hitting up Marienbad's again just with reservations next time. Thanks Tietz for being that German friend with the ausgezeichnet recommendation.