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Best German Restaurant Phoenix 2008 - Black Forest Mill - CLOSED

Black Forest Mill

Black Forest Mill

4900 E. Indian School Road

Phoenix, AZ 85018


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There aren't too many restaurants that put us into party mode, but we have to smile whenever we think of Black Forest Mill. No matter what month it is, it feels like Oktoberfest as soon as we set foot in this place. Crisp, golden wiener schnitzel, potato pancakes, grilled beer-soaked bratwurst, gulasch made with braised beef and veal, and toothsome homemade spaetzle are just of the few of the hearty dishes we like to feast on as we soak up the cheerful German atmosphere — and the ice-cold German beer. Friendly waitresses clad in traditional Alpine dirndls give us another reason to celebrate, and once the band starts playing the oom-pah-pah music, we're ready to roll out the barrel. At Black Forest Mill, it's the best of times and the wurst of times.

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We visited the Black Forest Mill German Restaurant on a Saturday evening, approx 6:45 pm. The outside of the restaurant is not pleasing to the eye, but that's not always the best indicator of the yummy food factor. Once inside the large restaurant was almost empty. Three tables were occupied, with our party bringing it to four. The decor was quaint, with a big dance floor and a live polka player. The music was very loud. I like having a polka player when I'm in a German restaurant, however, if you want to be able to hold conversations I would recommend asking for a table in the back of the restaurant. Our server was friendly and attentive. We ordered a hefeweizen on tap, which was very good. Next we were brought bread in a basket and it was cold and hard -- and I mean refrigerator cold. This bread had been pre-cut and stored in a refrigerator!! Blech! We were going to ask our waitress to warm it but decided we'd skip the bread and wait for the real food to arrive. We ordered a few dishes to share: Gurkensalat(Cucumber Salad), potato soup, jaeger schnitzel and the Black Forest Sample Platter (smoked pork loin, jaeger schnitzel, sauerbraten and bratwurst). If you decide to order the sampler platter and share it with someone else there is a $4 charge for the additional plate. I wish they wouldn't do that! We saved our bread plates and used those to avoid the charge. The pork loin chop (from the sampler) was unbelievably scrumptious and coupled with sauerkraut was heaven on a fork! The schnitzel was ok. It was smothered in a mushroom sauce that tasted like it was from a can -- very disappointing. The sauerbraten was good, not my favorite, although others in our party liked it. I must say that every piece of meat we tried was very tender and moist. The roasted potatoes were delicious but not very warm. I know these are cooked ahead but I don't like to "notice" the temperature of the food that's served. For dessert a couple of us split the Black Forest bread pudding which, *no exaggeration*, was the worst dessert I have ever had, at any restaurant. When it was served no one thought it was the bread pudding and that our server brought the wrong item. We were told that it was indeed their bread pudding. After a bite we all wished it had been the wrong plate! It sat un-eaten. The pudding was a very thick crepe folded, with a bread paste stuffed inside. There was no discernable taste to it and the bread paste/pudding was atrocious. It looked and tasted like a pureed bread patty. It was served with brandied cherries (good), vanilla ice cream and cool whip. COOL WHIP?!?!! Who serves cool whip at a restaurant? Is that traditional German fare? The chocolate lava cake ordered also came with cool whip. The cake was good but nothing special and tasted frozen. Overall, the good things about this restaurant were very, very good. However, the negatives were just so glaring and overshadowed the entire meal. I wouldn't tell a friend not to go there, but I will not go back for a second visit. Not for cool whip and cold bread.