Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Bit of Europe in a Small Town



I was out and about in Daleville the other day at lunchtime and found this new restaurant. Well, if you want to be technical, it is an imbiss or schnell imbiss, which is a fast serve restaurant in Germany. I suppose an imbiss might be more similar to a street vendor in New York City than an establishment like Mcdonald's.

As many of you know, I occasionally post about this small town of Daleville. Now you know, it is not a fictional town at all, rather a small community just outside a military post. Yes, Daleville Dan is often talking about real situations-good or bad-although fictionalized.

Anyway, since I've spent some time in Germany (stationed on two separate occasions while serving in the military) I have some experience with German street cuisine. This new establishment gave me a sense of authenticity while inside and brought back fond memories of stopping for a quick bite while shopping in some quaint German town. I remember looking forward to Wednesdays when the Henchenwagon (chicken truck) would roll through the small town outside my military post. Many of us would hurry off the post at lunch so we could buy their specialty; a half chicken with a big cone of fries. Yes, I know it was really just rotisserie chicken, but it was special. With this in mind, I'll try to give a review of sorts and offer that everyone should try this particular new place or, if one is available, give one in your own town a chance.

First off, the food.

I found the bread rolls, called brotchen, were fresh and doughy on the inside while remaining crisp on the outside. The brotchen was just as I remembered it from years past. The Bratwurst (some are calling this place the bratwurst brothers) was also very authentic and delicious. If memory serves, they offered seven different kinds of wurst (or sausage) from the Nuremberger to a white sausage. I had the Nuremberger lunch plate with potatoes (called bratkartoffeln) and a drink. The food was worth the price.

Sadly, I did not get pictures of the food or the inside of the establishment so you'll just have to imagine juicy sausage so fresh off the grill that steam makes its way through the spoonful of mustard, all encased in a hearty bread roll.

On the positive, the cut and fried potatoes were fresh and hearty with just the right amount of browning. I certainly would have liked to have the option of ordering french fries (called pommes frittes) in one of those conical paper containers. As with German tradition, they did offer mayonaise for the potatoes.

The atmosphere.

As one is driving by, this new place may look somewhat like the average roadside lunchtime eatery in this small military town but the sign on the front of the building caught my eye-a simple sign that told customers what they should expect to see inside-bratwurst. This is how I remember many of the signs while in Germany. We used to walk all over town trying to find the most obscure, out of the way, hole in the wall place because they always had the best food and service. I once found a gyro shop far from the market center and halfway up a hill in Schwabish Hall, Germany. It was owned by a Turkish immigrant and his gyro's were the best I've had, before or since then.

Inside, I found posters on the walls of different imbisses throughout Germany and round tables painted in Germany national colors that were so tall one could stand at them or sit in the high chairs provided. Also, along the walls, I found the typical shelves with chairs for extra seating. The atmosphere inside was inviting, authentic, and functional.

If there were anything I might say that was less than positive, it would have to be a general lack of air conditioning inside the building. While it was not entirely uncomfortable, the single portable AC unit was clearly struggling to beat back the oppressive noon day heat associated with the south. I'm sure this is something that is easily remedied. Maybe I just happened by the day their AC was on the fritz.

I would like to state that I was not asked to do this review and I ask forgiveness to the owners after-the-fact for this impromptu review. Overall, I was impressed by this new establishment and encourage locals, visitors, and aficionados to give them a try for lunch. I'll certainly be back again.