Monday, March 17, 2008

Swining in Minneapolis - Gasthof

Gasthof zur gemutlichkeit, which roughly means the inn of coziness or comfort, is a Bavarian restaurant on the University Ave NE in Minneapolis. From our many visits to Bavarian restaurants in Munich last year, I noticed a few similarities & dissimilarities

Bavarian food is earthy, chunky, & goes down like knife through butter, in Munich & in Minneapolis. It makes you give up pretenses of any higher purpose in your life. If only Hitler had unleashed chefs on Europe instead of soldiers, he probably would have had more success.

The restaurants, in Munich as in Minneapolis, have chequered tableclothes.The waitresses typically wear the Bavarian peasant dress for women which more or less amounts to an apron over a white blouse; beer is always sold by half or one liter mugs of bonhomie. The Hefeweizen, in Gasthof was served with two cuts of lemon. I can't remember if this was the case in Bavaria or even at Gordon Biersch in Washington DC. Lemon or no lemon, a yellow cloudy wheat beer is always exactly the right thing to be seen with.

In Gasthof, as in Munich, the menu did not have chicken. Perhaps eating fowl is considered bad form. Of course, there is ample beef, pork, fish (the local Minnesota walleye), bratwurst, & even venison available at the Gasthof. The schintzel is the speciality. Of course! And Gasthof also prides itself on a meter-long bratwurst - & if you eat it, you get a certificate!

Strangely, or may be its my abysmal memory, I was give a delectable salad in Gasthof as part of my order. And a chunk of bread & ample butter. The bread resembled a shot-put - only it was fluffy & bready in colour. This humongous bread was served with about 8 sachets of butter of which I ate two - half the shot-put. The bread took a while coming as it was being baked as I ordered, & I think that while I'm drooling & writing odes on German food, I just cannot emphasize how good this bread generally was & the breads generally were in Munich. Hitler could have gotten the Poland etc on bread alone!

The quantity, I'm sorry to say, was enormous. I was typically able to finish my plate in Munich. With half that shot-put & the all the salad inside of me, I could not eat even a quarter of what looked like a portion of the happiest, fattest swine to have ever said whatever pigs say to each other on bright Sunday Minneapolis mornings. That roasted porcine thing was the anti-thesis of any semblance of civilization & moderation, a throw-back to our lives in the woods & farms when the sight of a pig waddling through the marshes would light up our eyes & set our saliva production to overdrive.

In Gasthof, there were a couple of accordion players who sang ballad like songs in English for anybody who'd care to listen. I recognized "Happy Birthday" & the perennial favorite from "The Sound of Music" - Doe, a deer....

And here is the parody of of Doe a deer that they sang as well... (I've put in my own words for the bits I've forgotten)

Doe - a beer, a mexican beer
Ray - the guy standing by the bar
Me - I drink in the name of God
Far - a good long way to the bar

so - so I think I'll have some more beer
la - la, la, la, la, la
tea - no thanks, I'll have some beer



Antara Mukherji said...

well we both are doing well remembering swines for the same reasons and feeling a bit alive in a otherwise lonesome world!

S! said...

Yes, swines are rather nice... on a plate.

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