When I eat out with friends, food tends to fall into one of three categories: Asian, American, or pizza. It's easy to say that "German" never pops up, aside from a birthday dinner I held about three years ago at Lederhosen (and looking back, I don't know why I chose that restaurant—not that there's anything wrong with it, it's just random). That's three years without German food. Three years! And you know what I was missing out on all this time? Fried pork cutlets, french fries, and fresh pretzels. Why I would deny myself of such a deliciously nutrient-deficient meal for so long is a mystery to me.
At the suggestion of Jeanne's friend Stanley, six of us—including Jeanne's friends Gary, Grace, and Stephanie—went to German restaurant and biergarten Loreley two Thursdays ago. We started with a basket of fresh, warm pretzels studded with salt chunks and accompanied by brain-tingling mustard. I wouldn't want to eat any other kind of pretzel unless they also possessed just the slightest crispy crust encasing light, fluffy, bready innards. The only bad thing about these pretzels is that they had a short lifespan of awesomeness: as they cooled down, their tasty pretzel-powers disappeared. Then again, you should have no problem finishing these off before they dip far below peak-deliciousness.
Although Loreley's menu contained many enticing dishes featuring various meats in various forms, my stomach only wanted one thing: wiener schnitzel with fries, a thinly pounded pork cutlet, breaded and deep-fried, accompanied by seemingly two potatoes' worth of crisp french fries and two lemon wedges.
Wiener schnitzel is like a thinner version of pork katsu with lighter breading. (I know the schnitzel came before katsu in the history of fried meat cutlets—and what a glorious history that is—but as I eat a hell of a lot more katsu, I'm comparing it to that.) I prefer katsu—its thicker cut retains more juiciness and is probably more tender—but I'm not going to turn down a schnitzel. That'd be stupid.
The thinness made it deceptively easy to eat at first: "Hey, it's so thin, I could eat this all day!" Of course, about halfway through stuffing the cutlet down my throat (interspersed with handfuls of fries), my belly felt like it was leaden with a compressed ball of pork and potato matter. Which is was.
Ignoring the cries of my body, I ate through the pain and finished off most of my plate. How? Why? I do not know. Missing brain cells, most likely. Jeanne ordered the same thing and only ate half of her plate. That was the smart thing to do. Yes.
Those fries were tasty though—golden crisp crust, fluffy starchy innards. I guess if I had had ketchup to eat them with, I would've eaten all of them, which would've been bad. I ended up burping fried potato fumes all night. There are worse things to burp, but it definitely gets unpleasant after a while.
If it offsets the meat and potatoes at all, the schnitzel comes with a non-sucky side salad. It's more like salad ingredients put together in a bowl unmixed—lettuce, cucumber slices, shredded carrot, shredded red cabbage, and tomato wedges—topped with an Italian dressing-like dressing. Yay, fiber!
One of the guys (names escape me; I suck) ordered the bratwurst with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes platter. Mm, more meat and potatoes. I'd like to try this next time.
Grace and Stephanie went with the schnitzel sandwich, a wiener schnitzel in a bun topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. I probably should've went with that...if I knew what "moderation" was.
I was too full to get dessert (I'd like to believe there's a separate stomach for dessert, but sometimes my "normal food" spills over into that partition of my digestive system); otherwise I would've gone for a slice of black forest cake. Next time, perhaps.