What do you say when a live musician at a German restaurant arrives after the 8:00 p.m. set-up time?
She was later-hosen!
Joke credit to Alex Jagendorf
Last weekend, we went to dinner at Schnitzel Haus in Bay Ridge. Funnily enough, I was craving a beer hall kind of atmosphere, but we neither had beer nor was it the ambiance of a beer hall. Instead, Schnitzel Haus is a family-friendly eatery, sort of like the German pavilion at Epcot Center. There were a lot of tables of guests who seemed like regulars by the way the staff interacted with them. As we were sitting down to eat, a musician was setting up a complicated stereo system, later joined by his slightly tardy colleague. She definitely wasn't wearing lederhosen (rather, stiletto boots and leather leggings) but had quite a good voice. There's something pretty cool about stumbling upon a restaurant with a live music night and having a front row seat to the performance.
In terms of füd, we ordered a sausage sampler to start and a schnitzel sampler to share. The little sausages were: rabbit, lamb, boar, duck, and venison (my first time trying both rabbit and venison!) There was a refreshing mound of German potato salad and a few types of mustard to accompany each bite of sausage. I found the rabbit and boar sausages to be a little gamey, but not unpleasant. The lamb sausage was in the style of merguez sausages: shriveled-looking and spicy. I liked the boar sausage the most, since it had a strong hearty pork flavor. Finally, the venison sausage was very interesting in that it had cherries ground up in the meat that gave a slightly sweet taste that went very well with the sweeter mustard.
The three types of schnitzel were: chicken schnitzel with truffle butter, pork with a mushroom gravy, and veal with just a lemon wedge for our own spritzing. The three massive cutlets came with spaetzel. I did enjoy the truffle butter chicken schnitzel because truffle makes everything better. Truthfully, my mouth was getting schnitzel-fatigue pretty quickly from the very crunchy breading scraping at my gums. We were approaching fullness with a schnitzel and a half left, so we brought them home and they tasted better as leftovers. The Jaeger gravy ("hunter" gravy...also Alex's family's namesake?) on the pork schnitzel was a thick brown sauce that tasted less like mushroom and more like a wine reduction. We heated up the leftovers the following day with a slice of gouda melted on top and I think we hit on a revelation: instead of Italian chicken parmesan, we have pork schnitzel with gouda and Jaeger gravy!