I'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday for a Hamburg

I know you guys want to know what happened when I was in Germanythe week before last. But what I think you really want to see is pictures of beer, glistening, buttery potatoes, and schnitzel. I mean, don't we all? So, I present to thee, my pictorial gastronomic tour of Hamburg!

First beer of the trip, at Fransikaner. Like all the pils, or pilsners, I drank during my four days in Northern Germany, it was light, served somewhere between ice cold and British-warm, and on the more bitter than sweet side. Deeper than a lager, but more refreshing than I expected.

My best dish of the trip, salmon tartare with potato pancakes, at Friesenkeller Restaurant. If I'm going to eat salmon, I prefer it raw, and though salmon and dill are a combo as classic as can be, this play with crispy, rich potato pancakes was genius. The fish was sweet and clean, almost antiseptic with the fresh dill, and those lucious potatoes presented the opposite sensations of earthy, salty Heaven. Loved this, and would order it ten more times.

If you wanted to see something freaky, here you go: pig knuckles, braised. Fransikaner also served them fried and crunchy. I liked the flavor of this, but it needed longer in its braise. A bit sinewy and tough for me.

But let's get really freaky, and gaze upon Friesenkeller's prized pig - sauerfleisch! Literally soured pork. This cold delicacy tastes much better than it sounds, though my friend Bob was the brave orderer, not I. Think pulled pork, mildly spiced, in aspic. Not as scary as it sounds.

Here's some more beer if the sour pork upset you. I'm sorry.

Potatoes absolutely fried in butter will also correct whatever's ailing you. If, perhaps, your feet hurt from standing for eight hours straight at your trade show booth, for instance? Potatoes! Butter! Salt! Yay!

Schnapps and kirsch also happen to be traditional German aching feet cures. Who knew?

Obligatory Wiener schnitzel. Garnished with lemon and capers, which are really nice with the lightly greasy, crunchy coating. I thought the veal could have been more tender. Are we getting all the tender meat over here in the states? Are we just pansy cakes who can't chew food properly anymore? These are questions beyond my scope.

How badass is this plate of meats? This was Becky's, not mine, but those plump little meats in tube form made her happy. And when Becky's happy, I'm happy. Notice: more potatoes. There are always more potatoes.

Beef tartare, in a French bistro, not a German restaurant; but we were in Germany, so it counts. And I love raw beef just as much as I love raw fish. More capers here, and those charred green onions were a smart addition.

Potatoes. DERR.

Apple rings, fried up in a pancake-esque dough, and served with walnut ice cream. I did NOT expect that from the sour flesh place. And you know, I'm not saying I know this for a fact, but it's probably pretty terrific with a little kirsch. Kirsch is a cherry liquor that is not at all like Niquil, and very much like a delicious cordial that goes down waaaay too easily.

Bob, my new eating buddy for work trips, and I toast you! Now be a good little fräulein and eat your potted meat and potatoes before I send you to the forbidden forest and let the witch bake you into a pie! My personality is big, my hunger is bigger!


  1. Do they serve much wine in Germany or is it mostly beer? Not that I have a problem with that!

    1. Oh both! There's lots of Riesling, which is Germany's best varietal - they have a. Wine region there very similar in terroir to our Finger Lakes region.

  2. I'm not the hugest German food fan. I definitely needed more beer to be soothed after the pig. Also not a fan of schnitzel, etc.

    1. If the sour pork is too upsetting, there are crispy, buttery potatoes in the back of that pic to soothe the scary.

  3. Potatoes, butter and salt are like nectar from the gods. I think the salmon tartare and potato pancakes would be my fave too!

    1. We need to convince some American restaurant euros to make the salmon tartare with potato pancakes