Sunday, October 14, 2012

Champagne and Beer, Part II

Continuing on from my food adventures in Nice and Monaco...We missed our flight to Munich, but luckily we were quickly moved to the next flight out and were well on our way to Oktoberfest extravaganza.

As soon as we touched down, I threw on my dirndl and off we went in search of a beer garden. It was raining cats and dogs, and we quickly found one up the street from our hotel. Here we were met by Becca, Nicholas and Whit. REUNION! They found us stuffing our faces with Filet pfandel altes hackerhouse spatzle "butterspatzle" mit kase uberbcken salatteller. Yes, that was just one item on the menu. Basically, meat covered in melted cheese with spatzle.

We had a few more beers, and decided to get dinner. Whit brought us to Cooperativa. Cooperative serves Mediterranean style food, with the Bavarian tradition of "sharing tables". Note, I did not realize this was only "Bavarian" tradition, but cool.  We ordered two carafes of wine and some crostini to start, and we all swapped funny memories about each other. 

{Friends drinking and eating}

{Tomato soup. Caution: HOT!}

{Tagine dish}

We had an early start the next day for Oktoberfest, so Whit took us to a dimly lit, speakeasy-ish bar named Mr. Mumbles. The cocktail menu is extensive, and the bartender, Clayton, will take good care of you.

I noticed there was a Prince of Wales drink on the menu.

I suggested that Clayton add a "Duchess of Cambridge" cocktail as well. I imagine it would be light, airy and floral-y, served in a chilled LK Bennett flute. I don't think LK Bennett makes champagne flutes yet, but perhaps she should. 

{Clayton making a special, secret drink}

An early morning start for us included Hacker-Pschorr beer and a bottle of Clicquot, naturally. Because what else would we drink at 7am? We did not make reservations for a table in advance, and arriving at the tent early is the only way to ensure that we would find a table so we could all sit together. As soon as the doors to our selected tent opened (9am), we rushed and found three tables. Picture a scene kind of like what you would expect to find at Walmart on Black Friday.


When you arrive at an Oktoberfest tent without a reservation, once you claim your table, you must proudly stomp on top of the table to claim the table in question. We luckily found three in a row and in a matter of moments, all 12 of us were standing on top of our tables. At 9am. Beaumarchais has a thing coming to it.  

Soon after, men and women came by selling pretzels, beer, and every type of sausage you could imagine. I ordered a huge, overly salty pretzel. Sanjay and Amar had a ham and cheese pretzel. 

We all ordered a mass (this is not how it is spelled in German but it sounds like this) of beer. 

Then it was time for REAL FOOD. We ordered sausage, of course. The trick to this one is that you must peel off the casing before consuming.

{Removing the casing}


After another mass of beer, Sanjay and I shared two half chickens. So, really, we shared one whole chicken. The only thing I recall of this is that we ripped off shreds with our hands, and I thought to myself, look, it is like we are on Game of Thrones! Wait. I was eating chicken WITH MY HANDS. In our defense, we didn't have any utensils. 

{This is why we are friends}

{Dothrakis were here. I don't know where that knife
and fork came from}

We also ordered an apple streusel. It was mediocre at best. 

We stumbled out of the tent at approximately 1:30pm. Naturally, we found more snacks waiting for us outside. I've seen the photos of the huge, heart-shaped Oktoberfest cookies. I knew I needed to at least take a photo with one. 

{Oktoberfest gingerbread heart cookies}

Then Whit took us to dinner at a pizza place - the kind with thin crusts and lots of fancy toppings. It hit the spot after a 12 hour day of fun, and I quickly fell asleep soon after. 

{Caprese Salad}

My flight the next day did not depart until the afternoon, so, Becca and I took some time to explore the Viktualienmarkt. This is an open air market near Marienplatz that sells fruits, flowers, vegetables, cheese, honey, all kinds of sausage, and there is also a beer garden smack dab in the middle. 

{Heaven! Sausage!}

{I think this means mushrooms in German}


We decided to try some currywurst. I had no idea what it was, but supposedly I couldn't leave without trying it (so I was told). Well, surprise surprise. I found it to be a large hotdog with some ketchup-y stuff and turmeric sprinkled on top. Is this really what currywurst is? 

A quick s-bahn ride later and I was back at the airport. Just in time for more snacks and champagne in the Lufthansa lounge

{My beloved!}

{Cookies? Sure!}

No, this is not a snack. This is a leg of duck entree. I didn't eat the whole thing. But only because as I was eating this, the bartender told me to check out the dessert buffet. Panicked (yes, actual panic) that I would be too full after eating the duck, I ate a few more bites half-heartedly and pushed my duck aside.

There was a nice spread of charcuterie, cheese, bread, and several desserts at the buffet. I saw bread pudding, chocolate mousse, and a couple of items that didn't really stand out. I went straight for the chocolate mousse. 

FYI, this lounge also has a cigar lounge and masseuse services. 

We all know how much I love menus. Once on board, I was handed a menu that had my name written on it! What a nice touch, Lufthansa!

The purser (?) of the flight informed me that the theme of the menu followed Oktoberfest inspired dishes. See below:

{Veal sausage patty}

{Caviar - not on toast yet!}

{Bayerische Festtagussupe}

{Ragout of Bavarian River and Lake Fish}

This time, the cheese course came out on a trolley, and I could pick which ones I wanted. Oh, hello Le Louis XV. Thanks, Lufthansa, for hearing my request all the way from Monaco. 

{Bavarian Cream with Fruit...
yes, that is passion fruit sauce}

{Chocolates and Port}

Half-time snacks were also served. 

CHOCOLATE CAKE??? Not bad for 30,000 feet up! For my sister: since my seat was partially reclined, my legs were dangling off the bottom. So, I was eating my chocolate cake and swinging my legs back and forth. #preschoolforlife.

Sometimes I wonder if the flight attendants will judge me for taking 25 pieces of chocolate and asking for 6 different glasses of wine. 

Well, after said 6 glasses of wine, I watched Snow White and the Huntsman and slept until we touched down in Montreal. I was so full from all the food I ate that I skipped out on eating anything at the airport or the Maple Leaf lounge. Back at La Guardia, I was anxious to jet home and sleep in my favorite flat bed seat of all time, my own bed!

Whew. I'm exhausted from all this traveling. I'll be taking a break from US Customs and keeping my trips domestic for a while.

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