Thursday, October 9, 2008

Everyone's German in October

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 9:10 PM

click to enlarge germanfood.jpg

Everyone wants to be Irish on March 17, St. Patrick's Day. For Germans, the ethnic adulation is less intense but lasts a whole lot longer.

To those for whom October becomes Oktober, the month has many opportunities to guzzle beer by the stein-full and tamp it all down under a mat of sauerkraut and sausage in ad hoc beir gartens. And these are not terribly inaccurate pursuits for those seeking a dose of German culture, or at least Bavarian culture, the type most picturesque for foreign consumption.

While Bavarians do not necessarily zoom along their seamless Autobahns dressed in lederhosen all the time, excellent beer and sausage are indeed had in vast quantities and at regular intervals, like the completely normal lunch pictured above from a tavern in Regensburg.

So after our local month-long Oktoberfest wraps up at Deutsches Haus, and after the specialty German-themed menus are folded up for the year at local restaurants, remember it need not be October to revel in this hearty, comforting cuisine.

The best local purveyor of German food in the city is found in the French Quarter and run by a Czech: Jäger Haus German Bistro and Coffee Shop, reviewed back in the spring.

Curiously, the menu here is short on sausage. But the German beers are first rate, and the variety of schnitzel (think panneed meat), the potato salads (yes, more than one type is available here) and most of all the spaetzle (tiny, irregular dumplings, beautiful in gravy) give the fundamentals for a great German meal any time of year.

-- Ian McNulty

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