Sunday, January 26, 2014

Eating American

Yesterday was a cold and grey day but we had a good time.  First, we hung out and relaxed in our pj's and did not do much of anything in particular.  Then around 3:30p our friends the Wamberas came by and we followed them in our car south to a place called Bebenhausen.  No idea what this means.  Tried to Google Translate and came up with nothing.  We took about a 30 minute drive up and down and around windy roads through forest which was pretty and would be an extremely scenic drive if there had been sparkling snow or summery green.  When we arrived at our destination, we were the only ones there.  It is something of a nature park with hiking trails and the highlight - penned wild boars.  Apparently they are indigenous to this area and our friend Thomas said his father routinely shoots them near his home and gets them butchered for food.  (I politely declined offers to bring us wild boar meat on his next visit to his dad's.)  Our friends had brought bags of dried pasta which we threw into the muddy pen and had fun watching the boars snuffle, snort and crunch up the noodles.  Isabel said last time they brought old bread but the boars turned their noses up at it which is funny because they pretty much eat anything and everything.  They saw another person feeding them dried pasta to the boars' great delight so remembered that for this outing.  And while it was fun to see the boars up close, I would *not* want to have that fence disappear as they did scuffle and squeal and looked like they could be pretty ferocious.  We walked around a little bit (to say we actually hiked would be extreme since in addition to Peter, who was the most adventurous, we had an almost 2-year old and two 3-year olds) and enjoyed the pretty scenery and fresh air.

After our short jaunt we got back into our toasty cars and followed Thomas to a great treat... a little restaurant serving "American" food called Route 66.  I was highly skeptical I must say as so far most things proclaiming to be "American" here are SO not!  I was happily proven wrong.  The kitschy inside decor was mainly vintage looking Coca-Cola signs as well as signage for Budweiser and Miller beers, a map of Route 66 painted on a wall along with some wild west / cowboy paintings and one of Willie Nelson in his red/white/blue bandana.  Our table had a canister of forks and knives wrapped in red, white and blue paper napkins with the Statue of Liberty printed on them.  The wall on the far end of the small restaurant was a massive TV screen showing... European football (soccer to us Yanks).  Oh well.

Now to the best part... FOOD!  (Yes, it always seems to come down to food for me.)  There were burgers, burgers and more burgers.  And steaks.  Lots and lots of steaks to choose from.  And then potatoes in many different ways, "American"-style... not just french fries and no goopy German Kartoffelsalat (the delicious but over-served potato salad).  The kids got chicken schnitzel (a thin, large, flat breaded chicken breast patty... so basically a gigantic chicken nugget in the kids' eyes) and fries while Isabel got the biggest, juiciest looking burger with bacon and cheese and Thomas, Mike and I got amazing looking steaks.  I can *not* remember the last time I had a bonafide steak and this did not disappoint.  It was so, so, sooooo delicious!  (Think about Bill Murray in "What About Bob" making m-m-m-m noises while eating.)  I also had a wonderful baked potato with sour cream.  Might sound pretty bland or ordinary to you but buying US-grade steaks at the butcher over here is cost-prohibitive so this was a treat (at decent prices).  Mike got "home-fried" potato slices done to crispy perfection with his meal and Thomas got the biggest steak I have ever seen in my life.  Seriously, it looked like a hunk-o-cow sitting on his plate.  You'll see in the picts.  While the guys got pils (the good German kind, none of the watery American stuff), Isabel and I had Cokes in retro Coca-Cola glasses.  They had older (70's?) American hits playing and it was just a fun time relaxing with friends over a much-needed taste of home.  Doesn't have to be fancy to be good and it was fun eating "American" for a night.

Cover of the menu and a couple of inside pages.  These were the more tame illustrations of the ladies, seemingly all pinup girls.  I love on the menu cover, "an relaxed American atmosphere in typical US decoration."  Really?!

 Thomas' steak on left - as big as my head!  Mine with peppercorn sauce.  Picts don't look appetizing but it was all very delicious.  And in case one had doubts that you were eating in an "Amerikanische" restaurant, everyone had American flags plunked into their meals.

1 comment:

  1. I can appreciate this....glad you had a great time! You will be able to get a taste or two of American food when you are in London :)