Spätzle: Creamy Vegetarian Goodness

15 Aug

Thanks 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 decided to check out the vegetarian options that traditional German restaurants offer on their menus.  Here is my take on the dish I tried.

The local Kitzmann Brewery not only has great beer, it also has a great restaurant.  The menu offers regional specialties, and in the summer you can eat outside in the shade on benches at long wooden tables.  At sunset with a nice cool breeze you cannot beat the chill feel of this place.

As I looked at the menu there, one dish in particular caught my eye – Spätzle.  I immediately recognized the name as one of the dishes that had popped up in a comment on my last post.  Spätzle are basically egg noodles.  They are considered to be a “Swabian” specialty, a region located in the southwestern portion of Germany, and this vegetarian version is made primarily with cheese and fried onions.

Who said vegetarian food had to be healthy?

I think you can see that this is not for those of you out there on a diet to try.  At this particular restaurant the portions are very generous, which of course does not help.  However, since you can take a doggy bag home with you, that is no problem!

This dish is rich and creamy, a bit on the heavy side between the melted cheese and fried onions, but I enjoyed it and would suggest it to others. I would have to say it is probably more of winter than a summer dish though and will probably wait a few months before trying it again. As a point of comparison, this dish might remind some of homemade macaroni and cheese, although the noodles are a bit more chewy – I would say somewhere between gnocchi and regular pasta.

With so many more dishes to try, I feel that I will be eating out quite a bit in the months to come. In the meantime, if anyone has any Spätzle recipes (with or without meat) to share, please do!

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3 Responses to “Spätzle: Creamy Vegetarian Goodness”

  1. Karl August 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Your description of the ” Kitzmann Brewery ” reminds me of the “Scholze Beer Garten” in Austin, Texas, a local institution there that is now over 100 years old, and was on the edge of town (a few blocks northwest of the state capitol building) way back when it opened. Now it is in the general area of the center of Austin. It was a Texas version of a German beer garten, and apparently was pretty much like the “real thing”; it has never changed.

  2. Mary Z August 16, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    I’m a friend of your parents from church. We lived in Spain in the 70’s and had a chance to visit in Germany. Many of the things you talk about we experienced long ago. The one thing about Germany I loved was the way they prepared a cold cucumber salad. Just cucumbers and lots of vinegar! We thought of all the countries in Europe, that Germany was most like the US.

  3. E. September 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    I don’t know if I already shared that piece of information with you, but I lived in Germany for two months, in two different regions, and Spätlze are pretty much the only thing I remember eating there, perhaps because I never ate anything like that afterwards !
    Somehow, looking at your picture, I’m hungry ! I loved this particular meal (I was in a fatty phase, weight-related) !!
    I can’t wait to come visit you, just to taste these again !!

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