Monday, November 26, 2012

Daily Dresden: Watzke Hausbrauerei

After a long, nearly subzero day of sore-footed traipsing through Dresden, there's nothing like stepping into the dim, jovial warmth of a classic German Brauhaus. This weekend's educational excursion brought me out of Berlin and into 'real' Germany for only the second time after Oktoberfest in Munich, and with it brought a lot of old-timey, authentic food. This Hausbrauerei is as authentic as it gets, and has been open since 1898. Outside of the bizarre and progressive art experiment that is Berlin, things feel a lot more, well, German. You don't have to strive to find German food, it's just there, like you'd expect a nation's cuisine to be. 

Wow. This chicken platter. I'm a firm believer that everything is better with a fried egg on it, especially with a nice, runny yolk. This seems to be very on trend in the food world right now, but I don't think I've ever seen a fried egg adorning a plate of shredded chicken quite like this. Why does the chicken in Germany so good? It's verging on ridiculous how far the chicken I've eaten here has surpassed any chicken I've eaten before. I think the answer to this question might be "salt." And maybe, "time." It is so juicy and flavorful and tender, it authentically seems like it's been roasting on a spit over an open fire for hours.  As usual--I can't say it enough--the potatoes are perfect. Here, fried to until slightly crisp. Even though the gravy is so good, I barely need any, mainly because it's already so flavorful but also because the runny yolk has already made a sort of dressing of its own. When I ate this I was both freezing and starving, and it made quite the optimal antidote to both conditions. My most heavenly German food moment yet. 

On a slightly less thrilling but still interesting note, the beet salad. To preface, I was raised in a household in which the very word "beet" was taboo. My Dad hates beets and married my mother on the condition that she would never bring a beet into our home. I've since tried them numerous times, but the impression of beets as enemy has been kind of hard to shake. Beets, like fried eggs on things, seem to be very en vogue right now, and I get why--they're colorful, earthy, and chock full of antioxidants. I never thought of beets as a staple of German cuisine, but they seem to be everywhere, and appear on almost every fall menu I've seen in Germany.  The beets were mixed with pickled onions and apples, which in turn gave a pleasant kick and sweetness to contrast the earthiness of the beets. The oversized dollop of Crème Fraîche seemed a little superfluous, but was enjoyable when used sparingly as a condiment to the salad.

All in all, the experience at Watzke was kind of enlightening. I feel like I'm getting closer to an authentic German food experience and beginning to "get it" a little more. Now the challenge is achieving that feeling in Berlin. 

Watzke Hausbrauerei
Leipziger str. 132 
Dresden 01127 
Tel: 03 51 65 28 87 84

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