Alpine Market Cafe – Torrance – Review

Alpine Village Market Cafe

833 W. Torrance Blvd

Torrance, CA 90502

(310) 327-4384

www.alpinevillagecenter.com

Alpine Village Market Torrance

Alpine Village Market Cafe is located off the 110 freeway at the Torrance Blvd offramp in Torrance. The Alpine Village theme offers a colorful and unique cafe experience that seems like you jetted off to not only a different country, but a different time. After you eat you can venture around the rest of Alpine Village or even visit the swap-meet that goes on much of the week.  There is ample parking to help make this an easy stop for lunch.


OLIVER: I don’t think that what comes to mind for most people is lunch at Alpine Village, but it should.  You might not notice it unless you were looking for it, but located within the Alpine Market is the Cafe.  Behind the gated arch doorway you will find a lunch board that has a list of their specials. This is always a bonus as it makes deciding on a new restaurant a little easier, it also lends itself to being a little more personal. This board was loaded with great things to eat but the moment I saw that they had Rouladen, I knew I was ready to order.
Growing up in a German household my mom would cook many different typical German meals, but there was one dish that was reserved for special occasions only, and that was Rouladen. This is a meal that is very popular in Germany and is on the top of the list for that special dinner or event. I can remember my mom working on them all day long and being very excited about it, tempting us with how good it was going to be. The whole house would smell so good that my mouth would be watering the whole time. Rouladen was a special treat and I always looked forward to it.

Alpine village RouladenRouladen are made up of a thinly sliced steak that has been tenderized. The steak is laid flat and then bacon, onions,mustard along with pickles are placed on top. The whole steak is then rolled up with all the contents inside. String is usually used to hold the whole thing together. Once completed it is placed in a pan and either baked or simmered on a stove.

Alpine Village Cafe RouladenI looked down on my plate and I was blown away, I was looking at what is basically a fancy dinner for under $10. Not only that, this was something very special and you will have to drive a long time to find an authentic German dish like this.

First things first, I dove into the Rouladen. There is a specific flavor and texture to properly done Rouladen, and Alpine Village Cafe nailed it. I won’t say is better than mom used to make, but I’m sure she might just  think so. The meat is exactly as it should be, a little bit flaky and with just the right consistency to soak up the delicious gravy. That is actually the key that makes Rouladen special. As the meat is cooking it dries just a little bit making it a sponge for the gravy. If you dry it too much it ruins the meat, not long enough and it doesn’t soak in the gravy, Alpine Cafe knows what they are doing. With your meal comes a serving of potatoes, red cabbage and your choice of bread with butter to perfect this meal. You can not get more traditional than that.

Everything was perfect, the meat, the ingredients, the portion size  and even its authenticity. Not only will you enjoy it but you will be satisfied after finishing this meal. What can I say, I loved it. The atmosphere is Cafe like and you get a sense of being in a different time and country. Lots of items to choose from, authentic dishes and a great price. Alpine Village is not just about their world famous Oktoberfest, it is also about a great place to have lunch. I’m giving Alpine Cafe 5 pigs. 


CARL: The first time I experienced the Alpine Market Cafe was about 10 years ago when I had a business meeting with actor George Wendt – best known as “Norm” from the hit TV show Cheers. George didn’t come down to the South Bay very often and he wanted to combine our meeting with a lunch at Alpine Village. I truly had no idea what to expect but hey, it was a chance to hang out with one of the best loved actors in TV history. Much to the delight of the Alpine Village staff, we got the full Alpine Village experience and George posed for pictures with everyone from the chef to the busboys. It was a truly memorable day but I was so busy chatting and being the photographer, I don’t remember much about the food. George and I did have a blast.

Moving forward in time a decade or so and now I have a lunch blog with all the responsibility that goes with being adventurous. Still, if it wasn’t for all of the fun and excitement surrounding Alpine Village’s Oktoberfest, I wouldn’t have ventured to this corner of the South Bay. Let’s just say I would have missed out on a rare culinary treasure. I ordered the Bratwurst Sausage Meal with Fried Potatoes and Kraut ($7.95). The meal came with a couple of slices of fresh bread and generous portions of both the Bratwurst and the Kraut. I mixed in a bit of mustard to spice things up a bit and it was a truly remarkable meal. I really enjoyed the change of pace and I will come back again soon. Do yourself a favor and step out of your comfort zone and pay a visit to The Alpine Cafe. I give it 5 pigs for it’s uniqueness, flavorful taste and authentic ambiance.

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