Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dresdinner

The reason I've been avoiding writing about this meal is because I can't for the life of me remember what the name of the restaurant was. I blame the long day of Dresden touring and the several glasses of gl├╝hwein (more on that later) in my system for this oversight. In lieu of a picture of the restaurant, which was mostly sleek and modern except for the plasma screen TVs looping a screensaver of a tropical island, here is an uninteresting picture of Dresden's most interesting bridge. Now I'm going to temporarily break my rule of writing about lunches in Berlin to write about a dinner in Dresden.

I did manage to take a picture of my meal.  I thought it was about time I tried something basic--mashed potatoes, bratwurst, sauerkraut. Despite people warning me that everything I ordered in Germany would come with sauerkraut, this is the first time it ever appeared as a side dish on my plate. Surprising as that may seem, I think it might have something to do with German sensitivity to the word "Kraut," which was used as a derogatory word to describe Germans starting in WWI. From what I've heard and read about, Germans have since gone to great lengths to distance themselves from the idea that all they eat is sauerkraut. Then again, these people who warned me of its overabundance were probably talking about the "real" Germany, as in, not Berlin. 

As for this dish, I think it tasted exactly like it's supposed to. Sour, fermented cabbage, good, buttery potatoes, and salty grilled sausage. I admired the valiant effort at an attractive presentation. As always, it felt good after a tiring and cold German day. Even though this dish wasn't exactly life changing, I feel like I got an essential basic out of the way, and now I'm better equipped to get into German cuisine's weirder offerings.

Though I also failed at taking a good picture of it, my friend ordered "Hoppel Poppel," which requires discussion for it's name alone. Once you say it aloud, you won't want to stop. It's so German and amusing-sounding. Basically, it's a "farmer's omelette," meaning an omelette typically made from leftovers and eaten after or before a long day of working the fields. It tasted like a regular giant omelette filled with onions, mushrooms, and bacon, but I think the idea of eating something like this for dinner says a lot about German cuisine. It's the ultimate comfort food-- hearty, satisfying, and in this case, easy to make with any cheap ingredients you have in the house. It's nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. 

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