Posts Tagged ‘austrian’

What’s the Wurst?

When dad’s a chef/owner of a German restaurant, the word “wurst” is heard quite a bit. I couldn’t help but to hear that inner guilty childish giggle every time it was verbalized. It sounded dirty.

Now, where do you even find a wurst or a wienershnitzel (why does the Lorena Bobbitt story always come to mind)? Oops, there goes that giggle again. Well, Germans and Austrians do love their meat – suppress the giggle – but in a time where everyone is carrying a pill bottle of Lipitor or trying to fill up on salad and tofu, there’s hardly a demand for consuming protein- and starch-heavy dishes.

There are those days, however, especially when it’s cold, when you need a little pork fat to warm up your veins. And there is still the older generation of German immigrants who are true to their hometown cuisine. So where to go since dad’s place in New Jersey has been closed for five years? I’ve tried these so-called German restaurants that are nothing more than a tailgate party of hot dogs and beer. Then I found Heidelberg, NYC. This had the wood, the steins, the lederhosen and dirndl, and of course the boots of beer.

Traditional offerings include a Wurst Platter, wiener- and Jaegerschnitzel, rouladen, kassler rippchen and sauerbraten. The king of all the dishes, though, that will make you forget about the bratwurst quickly, is the schweinehaxe (enough for 2). The roasted pork shank with the large bone in center provides you with an array of flavors from the crunchy outer skin to the moist center meat that takes on multiple characteristics depending on which side you approach. When it’s brought to the table, you think, “that’s so much meat.” But it becomes an exploration and a puzzle trying to figure out how this piggy can deliver so much and be so  juicy without any gravy. The next thing you know: nothing but bone..

I don’t mean to worship this swine so much, but you’ll understand when you sink your teeth into it, and you’ll never really stop thinking about the rendezvous with Porky, since you probably won’t meet again until you go back to Heidelberg NYC.

There are so many other German/Austrian dishes worth trying here, so go ahead slap your leather pants, loosen your belt, crash your beer mugs together and wish “Ein Prosit”! If you’re an Irish coffee kind of person, finish with the hot apple strudel and a Rudesheim Coffee.

You’ll be yodeling all the way home.



Goulash Soup


Wurst platter for one


Cucumber salad



Baked camambert with poached pear

Baked camembert with poached pear