It took me far too long in life to make a trip to Munich. I don’t know particularly why it was so delayed, but the planning just never worked out right. I had a layover in the train station there about 10 years ago but I never really went outside – big mistake – and so when the opportunity came up recently to add a weekend in Munich on to a scheduled trip to Germany I jumped at the opportunity.
I visited in mid-November so it was most definitely the off-peak season in town. Still, there was plenty going on, both during the day and at night. It was more than enough to keep me busy and entertained. Wandering the quiet pedestrian mall area of town was quite enjoyable, even in a light drizzle. Plus I managed to stumble into some phenomenal dining and drinking opportunities along the way.
After a rather unfortunate episode at the bar of the otherwise lovely Sofitel in the heart of the city a group of us made our way to a new bar/club in town, Eight Seasons. The night manager of the hotel was kind enough to make a call and get six of us on the list to enter which was a good thing as the place had the velvet rope and clipboard crew similar to many clubs in New York City. The scene inside was pretty much what I expected from a club with such an entrance policy but we still had a great time. I’m not entirely sure what we paid for the bottle of Bombay Sapphire that was consumed but it was delicious so I wasn’t all that worried about it. And we finished the night with a very late-night and very intoxicated amble/stumble to a street food vendor outside the train station and also to Burger King. Not the most authentic cuisine, but the strawberry shake was pretty good and the photos are pretty incriminating.
At the Bräuhaus
The following night was a dinner with the group at the Augustiner Bräuhaus, just a couple blocks from the train station. The restaurant is associated with the brewery and it isn’t completely clear which part they take more pride in, though I’m pretty sure it is the beer. Still, the food is delicious. With a group as large as ours – about 30 folks – the only reasonable option is to go with the sampler platters that they offer up. The appetizer course has various meats, cheese and spreads along with some breads and crackers. The main course was four or five different meats and some ridiculously delicious potato dumplings. Plus, the beer comes in liter-large glass mugs and it is phenomenal. After four mugs of beer I didn’t even really think it was that bad an idea to do jager shots. I know that I was wrong in that analysis and I did protest the concept a bit at the time, but ultimately the beer, exhaustion and a bit of peer pressure did me in. Jager shots for everyone. MANY of them!
|Appetizer platter at Augustiner||I probably shouldn’t have done the Jager shots!|
|Large quantities of delicious beer|
We learned later that night that one of the group picked up the wrong jacket when leaving the restaurant. This was discovered when he reached into the pocket of the jacket he was wearing and pulled out someone else’s passport. Whoopsie. The hotel concierge was quite helpful in resolving that situation (which is to say that I dumped it on him and assume it was eventually resolved) but it also meant that we needed to go back to the restaurant the following day to find the correct jacket. I’m very, very glad we did.
It was a Sunday afternoon and they set up a TV in the main dining room for the locals to come in and watch the local Bundesliga team play, and also to enjoy a few beers. I discovered the German version of the morning after drink – a lighter beer cut with lemonade, quite tasty and refreshing – and I got to explore the rest of the menu. Oliver was there to translate for me which helped out immensely as the English version of their menu has only a small portion of the full selection. In discussion with the waiter and after much internal debate I settled on the Braumeister Schnitzel. It is the heartiest version of schnitzel on the menu, meant for the hard working, blue-collar brew master. And it was awesome.
Piled high with bacon and potatoes, it was just the right thing to cut through the alcohol still in my system and aid the hangover recovery. We also had a dessert of some sort that was pretty much fried dough topped with powdered sugar and some fruit preserves. The fried dough thing is a dessert in pretty much every culture around the world and the German version did not disappoint. Sugary sweet doughy goodness. Yum.
|Braumeister Schnitzel and a morning-after beer||Fried doughy goodness|
Seafood in Munich
My trip to Germany started with about 225 other folks chartering a 757 and flying around Europe on tours, so there were a decent number of folks I knew in Germany that weekend. Still, I didn’t really expect to randomly run in to two of them as I was touring about on the streets of Munich. Boy am I glad I did. They had made reservations for dinner that night and invited me to join them at Austernkeller. Austernkeller is a seafood restaurant in the French style which isn’t really what I would think of when choosing a dinner option in Munich. Fortunately these guys were making the decisions for that night, however, and it was a wonderful meal.
As is often the case the appetizers were better than the main course dishes but it was all pretty delicious. The oysters – wild Aussies – were the highlight of the meal for me, followed by the scallops and the fish. I thought the seared tuna was overcooked, but i like my tuna raw so maybe I’m not the best judge there. Still, the place has been around for over 30 years and there’s a reason for that. The food is top notch.
|Some of the many delicious dishes at Austernkeller|
One other thing that I love eating is kebabs from the shops near train stations. No, there is no good reason for this, but I generally find that the food is pretty good and pretty cheap. That’s not so bad. On the way out to the airport for my flight to Los Angeles I stopped in at one of the many shops available and had my donner kebab gyro. Yum!
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