Sunday, July 15, 2012

Being German at Zum Schneider

In America it's like second nature to call yourself Italian or Irish or whatever more interesting country your ancestors have come from. I didn't realize that outsiders think this is stupid until I left America for more than a week and basically found out that when you say these things to a real-life European you sound like an American. Technically we're all just American, unless of course you yourself crossed over the border permanently from your homeland at some time in your life.
Like an American, I enjoy calling myself German and I love Germany. Thus, I have learned that as a good German offspring, I must forever be on the quest to find good German food. Namely, freaky sausages and meats and super starches doused in dark gravy and washed down with BEER.
Enter Zum Schneider. Yeah, the NY Times just wrote about the new Montauk outpost recently. Yeah, I worship the NY Times, but Montauk is far away. Alphabet City is far away too, but not too far. Ed, Denise, Emeline and I made it happen last Thursday, because German food has to be a family affair. Except of course when I went to Germany without them. Oops. 
I went on the treadmill once this week, and I feel good about that. I have convinced my immediate genetic relatives that in order to provide an unbiased account of the quality of food and service at a restaurant, it is imperative to order as much as possible off the menu. We started with Reiberdatschi, potato pancakes, and Brotzeitteller, a plate of cold cuts and cheeses. When these arrived is basically when we realized that we had reached Mecca and the feeding frenzy began. The pancakes were nice but the meat plate was exceptional. Fresh brie, stilton, liverwurst, radishes, tomatoes, crunchy pickles, butter, crusty bread and more. I would go back just for this and some beer like, tomorrow.
Denise got a beautiful smoked pork special, Ed went with the Schweinswürst'l plate of Nürnberg sausages, and Emeline had the sausage platter featured above. Each finely crafted dish had sauerkraut, mustard mashed or oven baked potatoes, and fresh garnishes. Emeline's weisswurst was soft and snappy. I love weisswurst. I went with the below, Schweinebraten: roasted pork in dark beer gravy with a big freakin' potato dumpling. The meat was so tender. No knife-age was necessary, and the potato ball was starchy and light. Perfect.
My dish came with the below Bavarian salad which involved beets, red cabbage, cole slaw, creamy garlicky cucumber, mustard mash and fresh greens. We also all shared an order of the Käsespätzle with cheese, caramelized onions and bacon, because you just can't skip spätzle. The spätzle dish looked just like a plate I devoured in Berlin two years ago in the best little restaurant ever with Marissa. (omg remember that?)
We somehow ended with apple fritters in beer batter with ice cream. These were made a minute before they arrived on our table. (If I'm wrong, good job deceiving me.) Our overall experience at Schneider's was a great one. The German/something else waitress was friendly, even when she asked us to switch tables so a bigger party could have ours. The beer was cheap to reasonably priced, and it came in huge quantities. I had a big Hofbräuhaus for $5 and a Schneider Weisse for $8. The owner has an oompah band, and the restaurant has a soccer team. It was crowded, with good vibes all around. I'm confident you'll find me here for Oktoberfest.
Moral of the story here is: If your ancestors escaped squalor decades or days ago and ended up in the land of the free, celebrate it and share your meatballs and matzo balls with me. Oh, and, bring me back to Zum Schneider. The end.

Zum Schneider: 107 Ave C at E. 7th St. (212) 598-1098 Zum Schneider on Urbanspoon


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