I never dined on tapas in Madrid, did not enjoy lamb chops in red wine sauce in Athens or sip from a beer filled with pilsner in Germany.
But I indulged in food and drink from Spain, Greece, and Germany without flight delays, baggage loss, or jet lag at Battle Ground Village, a pedestrian-friendly venture filled with restaurants and cafes about 17 miles northeast of downtown Vancouver.
1113 SE Rasmussen Blvd., Battleground; 360-513-2448
For nearly nine years, Richard and Mar Mayrhofer have served Spanish tapas and wine from their brightly tiled wine bar, Emanar Cellars. The food, drink and décor are inspired by Mar Meyerhofer’s hometown of Madrid.
Some restaurants and bars use the term tapas to describe small dishes or appetizers. At Emanar Cellars, the term is used the right way—to describe small plates and Spanish-focused snacks like Spanish olives and manchego cheese ($7), mini sandwiches called montaditos ($9-10), and Mar Mayerhofer’s mother’s recipe for meatballs in tomato sauce ( $10).
Spanish wines sold by the bottle, by the glass, or the trip ($12 for five one ounce) fill the food-friendly wine list.
“Spain is one of three countries in Europe with old world wine that everyone in the world is trying to imitate,” Richard Mayerhofer said. “It is known for its density, longevity and aging. This wine has a lot of history.”
Meyerhoefers also hosts an annual trip to Spain. After a break due to the pandemic, they led a group in July for a walk along part of El Camino de Santiago, a network of ancient pilgrimage routes leading to the shrine of St. James the Great at Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in northwest Galicia, Spain.
Northwood Public House and Brewery
1401 SE Rasmussen Avenue, Battlefield; 360-723-0937
Eric and Paula Starr’s Northwood Public House & Brewery serves gemutlichkeit (German for the joy of good company) as well as hearty food and an excellent selection of handcrafted beers and whiskeys. The Starrs took over the big space in 2014, giving it a sense of alignment with the Bavaria battlefield by adding portraits of the family as well as dreamy depictions of mythical deities like Kochab, Guardian of the North.
Despite the other artwork, the food and drink are decidedly unpretentious. Northwoods serves up a mix of German classics like kasespatzle (a small casserole made with spaetzle and Swiss cheese topped with crunchy onions ($7.95), pierogies ($10.95), and chicken schnitzel ($15.95), as well as grilled Pacific Northwest favorites like nachos ($10.75). ), wings ($11.95), and burgers ($13.95 – $17.25).
You can get craft brews from local locations like Brothers Cascadia, Fortside, and Loowit here as well as Locust Cider and Ethereal Meads. Northwood also has a stellar whiskey list with 120 offered by the glass ($8-$69) or in four flights ($18-$85).
George Molon Love
1417 south of Rasmussen avenue, battlefield; 360-687-7770
George Vlachos’ love letter to Greece, George Moulon Love, celebrates the traditional Greek cuisine inherited from his great-grandmother. Molonlav translates as “Come and take them,” referring to a statement made by King Leonidas when the Persian army demanded that his army surrender their arms at the Battle of Thermopylae. Likewise, Vlachos will not abandon his great-grandmother’s recipes but will serve them to customers in his cozy restaurant, Battle Ground Village.
Blue and white accents and Greek flags fill the cozy dining room with the natural generosity of the owner greeting customers as if they were long-lost relatives. Greek classics like spanakopita (spinach and feta covered in phyllo dough, $14.95), moussaka (layers of meat, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes and herbs topped with béchamel sauce, $15.95), and leg of lamb braised in red wine sauce served over orzo ($21.95) fill the menu. . A small Greek salad topped with feta cheese and topped with a homemade Greek dressing can be added to the restaurant for $3.95. Greece boasts one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world and one of the first in Europe. Bottles ($21-$50) and cups ($8-$10) of this ancient elixir complement the dishes on the menu here.
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