I had the chance to take the culinary-passport on the road for work and Germany was the place to be. We landed in Frankfurt, spent our nights in Friedrichsdorf and hit some surrounding areas for meals. This will be a picture filled post highlighting several great meals over the trip and I have to say there was not a bad meal among them just shades of good or great.
There were several meals at the Mercure Hotel restaurant including the first one from a lunch buffet.
You could pay for one trip or multiple trips and I decided one trip would be enough for my time distorted self. There were a lot of nice options but I went with the turkey roll, which had turkey wrapped around dressing / stuffing, as my meat. I added an eggplant mixture plus some other mixed vegetables, half a boiled egg, a rice dish with shrimp and a coarse brown roll. It was a good, filling meal but not really spectacular. I’m going to cover all the meals at the hotel together so these won’t be in chronological order. The next meal covered here was the evening before a quick trip to Italy (more on that next post).
This wonderful little container of goodness was the Frankfurter “Dreckschipp”. It had me at meat with sides of meat. The contents were, filet of pork, pork cutlet, nuernberger (sausage), and bacon with a mushroom cream sauce and in a nod to healthy I opted for mixed vegetables but to keep things balanced the pan fried potatoes finished out the meal. This was a great meal that wasn’t as heavy as it might sound. The portions were enough to give you a good taste without making you overstuffed and the pan fried potatoes were well cooked and seasoned. The last dinner was also at the hotel.
Here we had the bacon wrapped veal rolls filled with rocket (arugula) and the rosemary potatoes. The veal was tender and tasty and the arugula was interesting. The rosemary potatoes were one of the few disappointments of the trip. They were roasted just a little too fast and had a mild burnt taste. One thing I didn’t mention was they provided a bread appetizer with several spreads including butter, olive oil, creamcheese & chives, and something else I can’t remember. Overall I’d give the hotel restaurant good marks.
The first evening we went for dinner at a great place in Bad Homburg called Shreinerei Pfeiffer. I have to thank Yelp for this find. The place had a great atmosphere. You enter via a little alley and they have seating inside and out plus a hybrid that had one wall open to the outside and we sat at a table in that section. The walls had old carpentry tools hanging from the walls and the furniture was all heavy wood. You can check out their link for more info if you are so inclined. I ordered up the Hessenschnitzel. It came with a salad that tasted pretty good but it was the first time I ever remember getting corn on a green salad.
The Hessenschnitzel was fantastic. It was your basic pork schnitzel but they had it covered with onions & melted cheese curd with a side of fries too. It wasn’t pretty but it sure was one of the best schnitzels I’ve ever had.
Of course I had to wash it down with something so the first choice was the Kronenhof hell beer (picture below). Nice light, smooth beer that went well with the meal. I also had a Radler which it turns out is basically a shandy. I’m not generally a fan of mixing beer with other stuff but this was a nice refreshing little capper to the meal.
The next night we walked to a place called the Lindenhof in Friedrichsdorf. We had our own room with a big table to accommodate our good sized group. After an aborted attempt to get the Schweinehaxe (pork knuckle) which they had just sold out of I selected the Ochsenbrust and the house draft pilsner.
Ochsenbrust is beef brisket and came with a generous helping of potatoes and one of the primary reasons for getting it, the local green sauce. The sauce is yogurt based with 7 herbs and boiled eggs and went nicely on both the beef and the potatoes. The beer was nothing remarkable but it was competently pilsnery.
We had a full team dinner at Stangs Restaurant in the Friedberg Golfclub. We sat outside and enjoyed the mild temperatures and beautiful view.
What you can’t see, because I cropped out the people in the shot, is the pond just to the bottom of the frame and close to our tables. This provided a lovely breeding ground for the multitude of little black, annoying bugs that harassed us throughout our time here. They were honestly so bad I was encouraging the smokers to light up so the smoke would drive them away. In spite of the little pests we did manage to get good meals out of the deal.
Just FYI in case you are as ignorant of this as I was but April through June is spargel (asparagus) and strawberry season in this area and it is such a big deal that EVERY restaurant we went in had a special seasonal page or separate menu dedicated to them. That being the case I figured I’d have to try them at least once while I had the chance especially since we had been passing the fields that they’d been harvested from.
No for the regular asparagus I can get at the grocery stores here in the US I’m a take it or leave it kind of guy but after trying these I get why the Germans are enthusiastic about their spargel.
What you see in the photo above is the white asparagus with two kinds of ham, what they called raw and cooked, plus a side of boiled potatoes and house made hollandaise sauce. The asparagus was tender enough to easily cut with your fork and had a light flavor that was even better with the hollandaise slathered all over it. The ham portions were small but that was ok because they were just an accompaniment to the star of the meal. The potatoes were boiled potatoes and nothing special except when supplemented with a dab of the hollandaise. I had a house pilsner while we were waiting for the meal but with the meal I had a glass of apfelwein, which translates to apple wine but is better known to us as apple cider. It paired well with the asparagus and ham. If it hadn’t been for the bugs this could easily have been the best overall meal of the trip considering the outside dining, view and quality of the food. I’d still go again given the chance but I’d take a citronella candle to be on the safe side.
I think there is no substitute for eating a culture’s food on their home turf and this trip to Germany didn’t change that opinion one iota.