Where to Eat: Germany

While Germany is not exactly synonymous with world famous cuisine, there definitely are a few outstanding traditional dishes. If you're a meat n' potatoes and/or beer fan, you will be extremely content dining in Germany. Since I was only there for three days, I stuck to the most well-known dishes at a few brauereis (or brewhouses) that came highly recommended. Each has its own house beer, often brewed on the premises.

In Dusseldorf:
Brauerei im Fuchschen

If you visit Dusseldorf, you will probably end up in Altstadt or the "old town." Rather than dining at one of the tourist-packed restaurants in the centre of the area, walk a little further north to Brauerei im Fuchschen.Tucked away on a quiet street, this brauerei has been serving up impeccably prepared traditional German dishes since 1848. The clientele is a pleasant mix of locals and food-savvy visitors. The service is friendly and brisk. The Farmer's Sausage with Potato Salad was nothing extraordinary. But the Leg of Pork with Red Cabbage and Apple and Boiled Potato (Schweinehaxe mit Apfelbotkohl und Salzkartoffeln) was delicious. Come hungry-- I attracted a lot of attention at our long communal table as the server set down the plate with a massive piece of pork as large as my head. Cracking through the crisp, roasted skin released the mouthwatering pork-y steam. The meat was tender and perfectly seasoned. While I'm not usually a fan of cabbage, this side dish was stewed with apples and bay so it was lovely and sweet, almost jam-like. Needless to say, the meal left me incredibly full and satisfied.

In Cologne:
Bei Oma Kleinmann
This small brauerei is famous for schnitzel. Schnitzel is traditionally Austrian and made by pounding thin a piece of pork, beef, or (traditionally) veal, dredging it in breadcrumbs, and frying it until golden brown and delicious. Our friendly waiter recommended the Jager Art, which is schnitzel with creamy mushroom gravy. The meat was slightly tough in the center, but the crust was perfectly crunchy and not at all greasy. The gravy was packed with fresh mushrooms and intensely perfumed with wine.We were lucky to encounter asparagus season in Germany, which runs around mid-April to June. Germans prefer white asparagus over the green variety common to North American markets. Our plate of spargel were simply steamed and served with a delicious parsley packed sauce. Although they were fairly thick stalks, they were not at all stringy, and delicately sweet.When I first heard about this restaurant, happy patrons reported that there was a real live grandmother (Oma Kleinmann!) working in the kitchen. I do not have a German grandmother to cook for me, so I was instantly drawn to this restaurant. Sadly, our waiter informed us that she is not longer able to work at the restaurant. However, I can report that the food is still comforting and delicious, just like grandma made.

Merzenich is not a brauerei but a bakery chain. There are branches dotted around Cologne. After a long day of sightseeing, I was starved and bought two sugar-coated jelly doughnuts called berliners from their sidewalk stand. While it just tastes like a yeast doughnut, I remember hearing an urban legend about berliners in a history class years ago.President John F. Kennedy allegedly said, "Ich bin ein Berliner" in a 1963 speech made in West Berlin. He had intended to say, "I am a Berliner," as in a person from Berlin. But instead of saying, "Ich bin Berliner," he added the "ein," thereby claiming, "I am a jelly doughnut."

Eat Here:

Brauerei im Fuchschen
Ratinger Straße 32
40213 Düsseldorf, Deutschland

Bei Oma Kleinmann
Zülpicher Straße 9
50674 Köln, Deutschland


(multiple locations in Cologne)

Images property of beetsandbites

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