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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mountain Brauhaus for Mommy's Birthday Dinner

My Mommy is German and so when it came time for her birthday dinner, I suggested we all try Mountain Brauhaus though I later learned my mother had been there at some point.  Not only had I driven past about a dozen times before and thought about stopping (but it was usually after a day of hiking around Minnewaska and I was in no condition to go out for dinner), something also makes me hesitate about German food.  All those "Wursts" scare me.  Can traditional German food mix with our modern tastes?  

I looked up the menu in advance and sent the link to my mother.  I talked to friends and coworkers and was surprised how many had visited Mountain Brauhaus.  "You must try the pretzel," suggested someone.  I made a mental note to put it on the list.

When I called to make a reservation for 10 I was asked if the meal was a special occasion and so I answered with the truth, "Yes, it is my mother's birthday."  "Would you like us to sing," I was asked.  How fabulous.  I had to say yes and left my mother's name.  After I hung up I realized none of us call her by her first name except my Mr. and brother-in-law, she is Mommy, Mom or Grandma.  Oh well.

The big night arrives and the Mr. drives so some of us can indulge with a cocktail at dinner.  I skip the Cosmopolitan and instead have a Whiskey Sour.

So light and refreshing.

A Grasshopper for the Birthday Girl:

A dark German beer for my son (I apologize, I did not catch the name nor did I write it down) and this was a "Tall."

We order a few pretzels to share and this is how they were presented:

A sweet mustard on the left and traditional mustard on the right.  I am not a huge fan of mustard as a rule, but  will always sample whatever accompanies food as it is intended to be eaten.  The pretzel is somehow cake-like with caraway seeds throughout and has been generously bathed in butter with a sprinkle of salt.  It is worth savoring and is a promising start for the meal to come.

Most of us had salad included with our entree and of the group with salads, I was the only one to ask for dressing on the side.  Many had the house dressing which came with a heavy dose of onion (not sure if that was in the greens or the dressing) while I had the buttermilk and the Mr. had Bleu Cheese (one of his favorites).

Time for the main courses!

Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli
Chicken Jaeger Schnitzel, Spaetzle and Potato Pancake served with applesauce

The chicken was my dish and the I was quite pleased with my choice.  The breading was crisp without being greasy.  The sauce was delicate and I wished for more.  The spaetzle was tender and did not have that overwhelming doughy taste.  Crispy yet yielding potato pancakes were also just what I craved.

NY Strip Steak with Broccoli and French Fries
Beef Rouladen with Spaetzle and Red Cabbage
Very Traditional American Cheeseburger with fries
A second order of Beef Rouladen with Cabbage and Potato Pancake with applesauce
Another American Classic:  Chicken Club Sandwich

Gunk Burger with Onion and Fries

For those who shared my fear of "Wursts" they likely skipped the German food entirely and that was perfectly fine.  The menu had a wide range to select from and something for every taste could be found.  EVERYONE enjoyed their meal and many to-go containers were filled.  However, a few of us also decided to indulge our sweet tooth's cry out for a "little something."  I also knew we had to order desserts so the traditional song could be sung!

Chocolate Sundae
Coffee Ice Cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Honey Tart
NO ONE wanted to sample the tart with me.  I have to confess, I have no memory of ever eating rhubarb before but if it is prepared in this manner for all desserts, I am a fan.  It is not the most visually pleasing of plated sweets and that may be what turned off the others from trying it.


The photo I cannot share?  The Birthday Girl blew out her candle in a plate of Apple Streudel.  I never share family photos on Fed Well - have to have some shred of privacy in the digital age.  *The one let down of the evening - they were out of Black Forest Cake.  Deducting 2 points for a German restaurant that dares to run out of the number one requested dessert :(

Most of our left-overs are placed in traditional tin circle containers with clear plastic lids.  Except one.  My nephew had this cute and politically correct recycled cardboard container for his burger.  I wonder why we all weren't given these?

The restaurant was quite busy for a regular old week night.  We also were not the only large party in the main dining room.  Dress code was quite casual and the waitresses (servers?) all wore what appeared to be German themed dresses from a by-gone era.

We were together, we celebrated a Happy Birthday, we talked, we laughed and we were quite Fed Well.

Mountain Brauhaus Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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