I am no stranger to the unwise. I have been on a first name basis with Dumb before. But heretofore, I had never met Das Boot.
This was rectified at Brauhaus Schmitz, the German beer hall on South Street that has thankfully taken over Philly’s German helm since the sad demise of Ludwig’s Garten, which had been running on fumes for a few years–quite literally, as Ludwig’s smelled like Jürgen Klinsmann‘s sweat sock.
The Society was treated to a Bavarian feast at the Brauhaus, where we enjoyed great treatment from an awesome staff on a miserably rainy night that kept a few key members from attending. I had emailed Chef Jeremy Nolan prior to the dinner and he put together a menu that appealed to the SoG’s lust for odd animal parts and all things pork. And I will now try to recap some of these things, but for some reason, my memory was a bit hazy from the dinner.
Ah, yes, that must be the reason.
Outside of glassware resembling footwear, the Brauhaus’ beer list is amazing, and the huge print of the German Purity Act of 1516 on the wall shows the commitment to not serving swill. We began the gorging with some of their housemade soft pretzels–Chef Nolan said his wife makes them each day–which were really awesome in their own right. But I took the advice of a German coworker who told me to order it with the Obatzda, a delicious Bavarian cheese spread that she said reminded her of home. It reminded me–like most German food does–to keep drinking heavily, as the saltiness helped me plow through the upper portion of the boot–the sock, if you will.
We followed that up with our typical foray into organ meats with Leberknödelsuppe, a liver dumpling soup in beef broth. As the weather gets cold, I may seek out this hearty broth, a comically oversized beer from Brauhaus’ extensive list, and a barstool to plop my fat ass upon during a sporting match. Next up came something right out of the SoG playbook: Schlachtplatte, which translates into the butcher’s plate, and was described by Chef Nolan as “a heaping mound of sauerkraut with a cured and smoked pork chop, a house made bratwurst, a knackwurst, blood sausage, liverwurst, bacon, and potato dumplings.” Fittingly, The Society of Gluttony was treated to an actual Sausage Fest. We had three of these sexy beasts on our tables:
To be honest, at this point the boot was kicking my ass, and while all the sausages were good, there was one in particular that struck a chord. Alas, I was too drunk to take note of which one it was, and now I long for that sausage, and I would sincerely contemplate placing a Craigslist Missed Connection ad seeking out this Wurst if I thought it may respond. If you’re out there, Mr. Sausage, let’s talk.
Though sufficiently tanked at this point, I was smart enough to capture the obligatory Jeff Franck-eating-something-odd-in-an-overly-erotic-manner-that’s-uncomfortable-for-all-parties-involved moment:
Alongside that plate of awesomeness was a Schweinshaxe, a pork shank thrown on a rotisserie for a long afternoon spin and rubbed with mustard and salt. Seriously, how can you go wrong with that? It was great. Plus, it provided a burly keepsake of a night where my memory took a Bavarian holiday.
A mutant bone. Steins of beer. Good laughs. Even though I woke up the next morning smelling like a Berlin sewer, I reckon that’s a damn good night.