4 out of 5 stars
Normally when I think German food, I think grease-laden sausages and stinky sauerkraut, but J. Betski’s couldn’t be farther from that. Your European dining adventure starts out either on the small patio at high top tables or inside the gently-lit interior. J. Betski’s is in the well-kept Seaboard Station shopping center, not too far from the 18 Seaboard nursery and cafe, just off Peace Street.
For our first visit we sat outside and enjoyed the homemade cheese perogies plus an order of the bratwurst to start. At this point I wished I could order a whole plate of the simple cheese perogies and sit in a corner by myself gorging. Unfortunately I had to share the cheesy soft pillows with just a sheen of butter with my tablemates. We were soon to learn that everything at J. Betski’s is freshly prepared, including the crisply tart sauerkraut that accompanies the brats.
This picture is of a half-eaten jagerwurst plate with some perogies. In the background is the remains of the smoked salmon with potato pancakes pub plate. I was way too hungry to wait to snap a picture!
We each ordered a different entree. I tried the chicken stew pub plate, on the advice of a review I read, which was all that I expected. It was creamy but not cloying, with delicate pieces of chicken and veggies over the delightful spaetzle noodles. Hubs had the horseradish-crusted trout over a bed of spinach and a beet and lentil blend. While I would almost assume the combination of those items would be harsh, it was all perfect together and this is how I learned that I actually like beets. Brian ordered the pork schnitzel which was tender and crisp. It came with a homemade creamy cucumber salad which was spiced with fresh springy dill, as well as some tender potato salad and lingonberries. Wendy ordered the herb-stuffed chicken which was a substantial portion. She was happy enough with the seasonings and the tenderness to order it again on our second visit.
My dessert was a bit of a disappointment after the perfection achieved earlier. I ordered the most popular dish, a chocolate hazelnut torte topped with sea salt, caramel and crispy bacon. The topping was unique and rich but the torte itself was a bit too firm for me. I’d be curious to try the strudel.
On later visits we sat and waited for friends at the cozy bar, enjoying the wine recommendations and inventive drinks. We also tried the Smoked Salmon “Carpaccio” which was tasty but a bit sparse.
J. Betski’s would be a great stop to bring some visitors from out of town, or to drop by and have a drink with friends while sharing an amazing appetizer or two. Or give it a try during lunch, when the prices are a bit more wallet-friendly and you can order a delightful plate of perogies just for yourself. Just remember it’s not necessarily a traditional German restaurant, it’s more of a contemporary take on European food.J. Betski’s 10 W Franklin St #120 Raleigh, NC 27604