Ordering in German Restaurants: When in doubt, just order sausage

8 Aug

I have not gotten to the “essen und trinken” (eating and drinking) section in my German lessons yet.  As a result, going out to eat has proven to be slightly challenging.  There is of course the point-and-nod method of ordering, but this only works in certain situations.  At sit down restaurants, English menus seem to be fairly common.  The downside is that when I read “grilled knuckle of pork” on the menu, it just does not get my taste buds watering.

Maybe you have guessed, but I have never been a big fan of pork and prefer eating it in small quantities.  Yet, I found myself pointing helplessly to the sausage the other day for lunch, because I had no idea how to order anything else.  This only happened one time so far, let me reassure you, and the problem should go away as my German lessons progress.   In the meantime, however, in a country where I have been told that people are capable of spending a small fortune on their kitchen, I would be surprised if there were not many great local specialties to try out here.  I have even already found one.

Fleischküchle (German meatballs):

These salty beef meatballs are a safe bet, and proof to the contrary for those of you out there that fell for the “Germans only eat pork” cliché.   Although I have yet to find a recipe, the taste of this dish definitely reminded me of (good) American meatloaf.  Served with warm cabbage and steamed potatoes, the portion was so generous that it was hard to finish.  I noticed that the people at the next table took a doggy bag.  This would have been impossible in France, so I did not dare ask.  However, I will be checking to see if taking leftovers home is a common practice here as in the US.

If you know of any good German specialties I should try, please share!  In the coming weeks, I will keep you updated on the best and possibly the worst of the food I try.


8 Responses to “Ordering in German Restaurants: When in doubt, just order sausage”

  1. Meg August 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    Here’s a link to the Bavarian Grill website in Plano! Matt Talbert’s dad used to take us there in college, and it was pretty tasty and (I think) authentic for “Texas German” food! The site includes the menu and translations!

  2. Susanne August 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    Yeah, taking leftovers home is a common practice in Germany! Just ask “Könnten Sie mir bitte den Rest zum Mitnehmen einpacken?” (Could you please prepare/ box the leftovers to take away?). Most of the time, restaurants do have little aluminum boxes for this purpose…
    If you want you can also try and order vegetarian meals. Even if we do eat a lot of pork, there a many vegetarians in Germany and most restaurants offer a variety of veggie meals… My dad just told me a speciality from Middel Francony that you probably won’t find anywhere else: Blaue Zipfel. Ok, it’s again porc, but something very typical for your region. These are cooked sausages that you mostly eat with – Sauerkraut!
    If you prefer beef you can try also Rinderschmorbraten. Try it with Blaukraut (Bavarian : Blaukraut = Hochdeutsch: Rotkohl). This is cooked red cabbage, very typical, too!!
    Guten Appetit!

    • bavariaundercover August 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

      This is all great news! I can’t wait to try these dishes out and I am excited to hear I can take home leftovers! Thanks for these suggestions. It is always good to get advice from an insider 😉

  3. Karl August 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Try German noodles, or maybe Schnitzel. Also, the red cabbage kraut is usually very good. And do not forget German Chocolate cake : maybe even with seven layers !

    Sometimes Germans pickle foods that are not generally served in America as pickled foods, and so you may want to check this out on the menus. Some of these pickled food items are very tasty ….

  4. Susanne's brother August 10, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Okay here are some more:
    “Käsespätzle”, food from “Schwaben”. You can – in a broad sense – compare it to some kind of pasta. Served with fried onions 🙂

    “Labskaus”: Speciality from the men going to the sea => local dish from the northern part of Germany (Hamburg, Bremen, …). Doesn’t look very tasty but it usually is – give it a try 😉

    “Currywurst”: Another sausage – you get the best ones in Berlin. You always should have them with some fries “Currywurst mit Pommes” 😉


    • bavariaundercover August 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

      Thanks for the advice! I also like the fact that these specialties are from different regions, as this more than justifies travel!


  1. Spätzle: Creamy Vegetarian Goodness « Bavaria Undercover - August 15, 2010

    […] to the suggestions I got after my recent post on ordering in German restaurants I felt much more relaxed when it was time to order dinner the other night.  As recommended, I […]

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