Sunday, 25 December 2011

Regions of Choice?: German and Irish Meals

As I continue to ponder which areas bordering France I might prefer to work in, my natural leaning falls to the southeast and the Italian border. However, German and Irish meals are subtle reminders of northern comfort food; on Wednesday and Thursday evening respectively I was able to get to both and just couldn't decide which I'd preferred. Then again, why not make a life of sampling regional cuisine?

Wednesday evening, my family and I went to Frankenmuth, MI--Michigan's little Bavaria--and met up with one of my parents' friends visiting from Maryland. After breezing through Bronner's Christmas Wonderland (where it's Christmas year-round and Christmas tree ornaments are organized by theme), we were seated in the Edelweiss Room of the Bavarian Inn Restaurant.

Already awaiting us were crackers, slices of homemade white bread and slices of Stollen (fruit and nut bread), along with servings of Bavarian Inn strawberry rhubarb preserves.

And if the smells of the restaurant didn't already signal a homey and welcoming environment, leave it to the adult hot chocolate I ordered to add to the warmth. As I surfed the Internet looking for the actual combination of adult hot chocolate ingredients, I found this blogger's entry which also appreciated it.

Following the quick arrival of the housemade salads and noodle soup, cottage cheese, Bavarian Inn rhubarb preserves and creamy cole slaw, the rest of the food arrived with buttered noodles, mashed potatoes, gravy and roasted acorn squash (mind you, shared among five hungry diners!). Served with potato cheese puffs, baked dressing and sauerkraut was our Frankenmuth combination dinner plate of chicken (a staple and often sought-out menu item), Schnitzel (breaded loin of pork) and Sauerbraten (marinated beef). (As we ate, I should note, Toni was beginning to become accustomed to German flavours in preparation for her upcoming study abroad term.)

In addition, we also ordered Rouladen (stuffed beef rolls) and the sausage combination plate of Knackwurst (pork and beef sausage), Bratwurst (smoked sausage) and Weisswurst (pork sausage).

Hyuu! Believe me when I tell you we ate very well and enjoyed the diversity of German cuisine all the while still tasting somewhat healthy (or I suppose as "healthy" as one could get when it comes to cold weather foods). To check out what else the Bavarian Inn Restaurant has to offer, click here.

As for a quick mention of the Irish cuisine and culture I absolutely enjoy, on Thursday evening, Lauren, Toni and I went to Dick O' Dow's Irish Pub situated in Birmingham, MI. [Lauren and I had earlier gone for lunch to J. Alexander's in Troy, MI.] Along with my tall glass of Irish cider, I ordered the Celtic rueben: housemade corned beef, grilled on rye with Swiss cheese, a layer of coleslaw and a housemade rémoulade. Simple in the best sense of the word and full of textures, this is a sandwich I'd definitely order again (if not only for the fries that come with it). To check out their menu, click here. [And I bracket again because this has nothing to do with German or Irish food, but to finish off our day of eating, the three of us literally walked across the street to Sweet Earth for frozen yogurt and an array of toppings.] For the complete photo album, click here.

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