So. Ahem. I went to Europe, and haven’t blogged about it yet. So I’m going to attempt to cover a lot of things in a very short period of time. Using food. Let’s start with Germany, because that’s where my trip began. This isn’t everything I ate, obviously, but it’s a good sampling of it.
Grilled duck with potato cakes and braised cabbage. This was my first meal in Germany, in Dresden. We ate in a beer cellar, where we drank beer. The duck was tender and crispy, and this was where I found out I love braised cabbage. This is also where I figured out that German food tends to be heavy, with lots of meats, potatoes and very few other vegetables.
Sometimes I tend to order the craziest thing on the menu, because it’s the specialty of the restaurant, or I’ve never had it. This usually works out well for me. This time, it did. This is a fried liver pie, with an egg and potato salad. On the menu, it sounded weird. Even I know that. It thought it would be more of a pie with a crust, but it was actually more like a ham steak. And it was delicious! It kind of tasted like a hot dog.
In Germany, there’s a lot of bratwurst. There’s a dish I saw everywhere, called currywurst, where the bratwurst is served in ketchup spiced with curry. It’s a pretty popular dish, so popular that a store I went to had candy replicas of them. I liked currywurst best when the bratwurst is really crispy. One of the best meals I had was a bratwurst I bought on the street. It was a huge semicircle, with a tiny bun to hold it with and spicy mustard on top. It’s probably because I was starving, but that was some of the best bratwurst I’ve ever had.
When John and I were in Dresden, we ate at the same restaurant almost every day for breakfast. One of the breakfast specials had what sounded like an enormous amount of food. Like, ENORMOUS. Well, this is it. It’s coffee for two, meats, cheeses, scrambled egg, hard-boiled egg, six rolls, butter, jelly and nutella. It wasn’t an obscene amount of food, but we definitely were stuffed. Lots of the breakfasts we saw in Germany were more savory focused, although there were lots of sweet pastries. One of my favorite breakfast pastries (which I don’t have a photo of) was the puddingballchen, a donut hole filled with pudding and covered in sugar.
There was a lot of Middle Eastern food in Germany. Most of what I saw was street food, but we did go to a few restaurants. This Berlin restaurant was famous for their falafels. This is the sampler plate. In addition to ordering the crazy things on the menu, I also like to order sampler plates, especially in restaurants where everything sounds delicious. In this restaurant, I couldn’t decide between the doner and the falafel, so I got the sampler, which had both.
We did a lot of walking in Germany. A LOT. Like, four miles a day. The good news about walking four miles a day is that I didn’t gain any weight. And I could eat lots of pastries during the day and drink lattes and not worry about it. This place had some great cakes. Plus, everything tastes better when your feet are tired and you need to sit down.
One of the restaurants we went to in Berlin offered a sampler platter. They weren’t joked around about it. There were giant boiled hams, cabbage, various kinds of potato, and lots of other fixings. This was an obscene amount of food. It was delicious, but too much for us. The ham was boiled, so it had a texture I couldn’t really get over.
Can’t talk about Germany without talking about beer. Beer is less expensive than water in Germany, and people drink it all the time, and everywhere. It was ridiculously cheap to drink half liters of beer. I’m not a big beer person, but I did enjoy sitting around and drinking beer. Maybe it’s the sitting around part I like so much.