Last week I was invited to go to a jazz club in downtown Victoria by a friend of mine. I was going mainly for the music, but yet again food worked its way into the mix! So im going to do a quick critique of the food, and the music! I usually don’t say much about music since this is a food site, but I loved music before I loved food!
Hermann’s jazz club is a little hole in the wall place on View street, Victoria BC. They have tons of great musicians, and have been around for years. It’s a pretty easy place to miss; up until 3 weeks ago I had never even heard of it even though I drive by it pretty regularly! One word of advice, get there early, it fills up really quick!
Hermann’s is kinda double-sided when it comes to the ambience, it ranges from good to very bad in a 30 foot stretch! But I’ll start with the bad! Hermann’s is located right beside Touch nightclub; Touch is a horrible place, tons of drunks, drugs, violence and cops. When we entered Hermann’s we had no idea Touch was beside it because it wasn’t open yet, but when you leave you will notice. There are always cops outside, broken glass and drunk teens. Now I do not blame Hermann’s at all for this, but make sure you are aware when leaving at night, it’s not a great place to be alone.
Now the good! When you walk in, there is a long hallway, but you can see all the people at the other end having tons of fun while the bands are setting up. It’s a miss match of old furniture, new furniture and an old building. It has a really nice feeling, it feels like a good jazz club!
The service was passable at best, It was a seat yourself kinda place, but that’s not where the issues start to arise; it’s what happens after you order your food. Sometimes it takes a really long time to make it to the table like in my case, or it just doesn’t arrive, which was the case for some of our friends. We finally had to ask if we would be getting our food or not. But they were on top of the drinks for the most part so that was good.
The food, well there really isn’t much to say about the food. I can’t really give a good review of the food because the head chef had just quit. But I will review what I had none-the-less. I ordered:
Yam Fries with jalapeño aioli $5.95
The yam fries were good, they were crispy, but I had the faint impression that they did not make them in-house. They were too perfect, and were very salty, so I assume that they buy them frozen and just re-fry them for service. But, the fries were tasty, except for this creation that they call jalapeño aioli. It wasn’t jalapeño aioli, it was ranch dressing. Now maybe there was some jalapeño’s in it, but I couldn’t taste them, they would have been better off with a simple roasted garlic aioli. Now I will again mention that their chef had just left, so a cook had taken over the kitchen, and I will give them another chance when they get a chef back in the kitchen, because you really could tell that a cook was running the place and not a chef.
The music was what will bring me back to Hermann’s, it was amazing! Now when I first learned that there was a cover charge of $20, I was a little put off. I have never been to a small venue where they charge a $20 cover charge but I soon got over that when I heard the quality of the music! They had a cuban influenced band in that night and it was great! The sound was very good! It is the first time I have been to a venue like that where the sound impressed me, I think it was partly to do with the quality of the band playing, but also the guy running the sound board. I am so used to going to a concert and having my ears hurt after it’s over, but Hermann’s did not have that effect. Now after talking to some people, they mentioned that the quality of the music was always this good, every time they show up.
Go for the music, not for the food! It’s a pretty clear conclusion that at that time, their emphasis was not on the food, but rather the music. I think once they get a chef back in the kitchen, they will have a great combination. Regardless of the food quality, I will go back for the music any day of the week.
For the food I give 1.5 out of 4 stars
For the music I give 4 out of 4 stars
Please let me know what you think about my review, and tell me your experiences as well!
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