I must admit that when it comes to German food, I am a novice. In fact, if it wasn’t for National Lampoon’s European Vacation, I wouldn’t even know the microscopic amount I know now, which is – beer, wieners, beer, cabbage, beer and that girl who lets Rusty see her boobs.
So when a fellow foodie told me about her recent internet “coupon” she acquired for Steingarten, I have to admit I was excited to pop my proverbial cherry.
Upon our arrival, I was very impressed with the set up. Deep rich woods, open airy dining room, family style tables that could fit an entire pack of lederhosen clad blonde men (that’s German, right?) during a rowdy and beer induced party. But being that it was lunchtime on a weekend, it was very calm and well lit thanks to the skylight in the main dining room.
Our first order, of course, was beer. And being that my lunch date is some what of a beer expert, she was delighted with the options and with our selections. Refreshing and clean, I don’t know what it was I drank, but it was good.
I insisted on beginning with a soft pretzel as I have a passion for carbohydrates and all things guaranteed to make my ass grow in width. Though my friend was not a fan, I was very pleased with the warm, just-out-of-the-oven taste and the bitch slap you in your sinuses hot mustard that accompanied the warm up. So far, me likey the German food.
Inspired by the family style seating, we decided on sharing two entrees so as to experience more variety and to generate closeness in experience.
First up was the sausage, with sauerkraut on the side. I tend to enjoy the taste of phallic shaped foods, which I know is a shock to all of you, yet I can’t say it was the best I’ve had. Much like my encounters actual phalli, I enjoyed the experience, but it wasn’t anything that really had me craving a repeat. The flavor of the sausage was pleasing with it’s smokey undertones, the ‘kraut added the needed crunch and the mustard, a more toned down version than the pretzel’s counterpart, was just spicy enough. However, my response was, “It’s ok.” One major issue for me was the curried ketchup. Is curry a staple in the German diet? I found it very confusing and it detracted from the meal for me, though my friend found it very pleasing.
The potato salad and little gherkin pickle were a delightful addition to the plate. The creamy richness of the potato, then the tartness of the pickle contrasted well with the flavor of the sausage and the sourness of the ‘kraut. It was enjoyable, true, but so far I was still more excited by the boobs from European Vacation than I was by what I was eating.
Next up was the “Build Your Own Burger” which we went a bit overboard with. The addition of bacon, carmelized onions, roasted tomatoes, and roasted garlic aioli pushed up the price of our burger but, sadly, not the flavor. Though it looked like it would be amazing, the meat was rather bland and overdone and the additions were too muted to stand out. Nothing was wrong with the burger, but I found it a bit uninspiring when compared to the interesting “fifth” flavor of that Japanese one on Hollywood or the classic American from that office off Venice. You know, the one where your dad works.
I will admit like any novice, I could just be so elementary in my undersatnding of what I expereinced that I wouldn’t know good German food if it threw me out of a zeppelin, Indiana Jones style. All in all, I left Steingarten with a full stomach, but feeling unsatisfied.
Perhaps I will return next time and find I was mistaken, but for the price we paid for what I considered a mildly good meal, I may just have to order beer and pretzels and look for hot girls who’ll show me their boobs…