December 8, 2009
Our reservations for the Biergarten were for 5:30 pm. We arrived 15 minutes early and had to wait 15 minutes past our reservation time so there was plenty of time to start off our meal with a beer while seated underneath the giant cuckoo clock in Germany.
There were six in our party this evening so we were seated with a party of two friends traveling together from North Carolina. This is one aspect of eating at the Biergarten that some do not care for. Most tables are for parties of eight to allow for communal dining experience. There are some tables of four and six but you are not guaranteed one of these tables. Depending on the people you are seated with and your mood this can be a really great experience or one of misery. On this night we all had an enjoyable evening.
The adults all started with another round of beer. After we had started our drinks we noticed the beer flights that were available and made a vow that next time we went we were definitely going to try the beer flight.
Potato and Leek Soup
This picture did not turn out well at all but it was one of my favorite foods during dinner so I had to include it. This soup was delicious. It had just enough onion to add a bit of flavor and just enough potato chunks so that I did not feel like I was eating a baked potato. I actually had two bowls of this as I thought it was so good.
This was my first pass through the buffet line. A white roll with butter is at the bottom center of the plate. To the left is a few sausages with sauerkraut. The sausages were far blander than I thought they would be. More like hot dogs. The sauerkraut was good but could have had a bit more bite to it. My mother used to set sauerkraut in our basement when I was a child so I have very vivid memories of homemade sauerkraut.
The item that looks like ham in the upper left portion of the plate is actually German meatloaf – Leberkase. The best description I could find of it was a Polish style ham bologna with garlic. I am very glad I took a couple bites to try it but it was not something I would eat in such a large slice all at once.
Next on the plate was the German potato salad. A delicious combination of bacon, the creamy potatoes and the tang of vinegar. Both of my children tried this dish and declared mine better (more bacon and a bit more vinegar) but this was VERY good.
The green salad with the creamy herb dressing is the last item on the plate. This dressing is reminiscent of a ranch dressing. It was cool and creamy and went well with the greens.
One question asked by many heading to The Biergarten is “Will my children find something they will eat?” This was my nine year-old daughter’s first plate.
At the top of the plate the small fried piece of meat is Schnitzel Wiener Art (Breaded Pork Schnitzel Vienna Style). Both of my children enjoyed this meat. It was thinly sliced pork breaded and fried with a nice light flavor. The meat was still moist and not too dry.
Next to this was the sliced pork roast that is served at most carving stations and the macaroni and cheese that is on every child buffet in Walt Disney World. Next was a small piece of beef in Hunter Sauce. Basically it is a beef gravy with onions and mushrooms. I kind of picked around the onions for my daughter as they are the one food she will not knowingly eat. Finally some carrots and two sausages from Wurst Platte mit Gegrillter Bratwurst, Mini Regensburger und Kassler Ripchen (Sausage Platter with Grilled Bratwurst, Mini Regensburger and Double-smoked Pork on Sauerkraut). There was also roasted chicken, pretzel rolls and potato dumplings that both of my kids enjoyed. There was plenty of food for my two hearty eaters.
As we were eating at the Biergarten near Christmastime the German Band played their Christmas program. This is our favorite show to see them perform. The children all go down to the “courtyard” to dance while the band plays. They did the Chicken Dance and then they told the story of the song Silent Night and sang it in German and then English. I cried as they sang it in German as it brought back many wonderful childhood memories for me of sitting in church on Christmas Eve and singing the song in German.
We made a plate of a bit of most of the desserts for all of us to try before deciding which we all would really like most of all. To the left what looks like a light flashing is actually the gold coin the children were given at the end of the bands program. My son insisted it was part of his dessert and needed to be in the pictures. Just above that is a cup of berry compote with vanilla sauce. My children each ended up eating two of these. The berry compote was sweet and tasty with the vanilla sauce cutting the sweetness and adding another dimension to the flavors. It was delicious.
In the bowl to the right is a vanilla pudding with chocolate chips. It was okay. Typical vanilla pudding with chocolate chips. Nothing special. Below the bowl to the outside of the plate was the Linzer torte. This was another big hit at our table. It had a sweet jelly like raspberry filling with a moist buttery sugar cookie like crust. Next there was a chocolate cake with a caramel like frosting. Not something very memorable but tasted fine. Lastly both children filled up on the fresh fruit salad. Watermelon, pineapple, honey dew melon, cantaloupe and red grapes were something that were far out of season in New York so both children ate a big bowl of this.
This second plate has in addition to the berry compote, chocolate cake and Linzer torte the Bavarian cheesecake to the left and the apple strudel. The Bavarian cheesecake was my favorite dessert of the night. It is not what you usually consider cheesecake, thick and dense. This slice of cheesecake was light and fluffy with the lightest hint of lemon to cut through the sweetness. The apple strudel was a delicate pastry that wrapped the apples, cinnamon and raisins inside in a perfect little slice. The first slice we had the apples were a bit too crispy for my liking but the second slice was perfectly done not too mushy and not too crisp.
This may very well have become our new must do restaurant each trip. We spent so long in the restaurant we actually were there through two performances of the German band. With drinks, dinner and desserts with plenty of laughter and talking we were there for over two hours. This was our choice to have a relaxing fun meal. We cannot wait to do it all again!