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Asleep at the Wheel

No, that’s not me while driving!  ;)  Asleep at the Wheel is a Country-and-Western Band we went so see live at the Paramount Theatre in Austin yesterday. We certaonly enjoyed their programme, Santa Loves to Boogie, a lot. As band leader Ray Benson said in his introduction, not all of it would be christmasy.  So quite a bit of their performance was classical country-and-western. And that mixture is what made the evening varied and entertaining. And they put up a really good show. They really lived their music, especially Ray Benson – band leader, lead singer and gitarrist of the troupe: a real personality on the stage. We had two absolutely entertaining hours, which went by far too quickly.

Before the theatre, we had our supper at Scholz Garten, the oldest beer garten in Austin – well, as it’s autumn, of course not outside in their beer garten, but inside in the restaurant. This restaurant was founded in 1866 by German immigrant and Confederate veteran August Scholz and is still a privately owned traditional restaurant in Austin, with much ambience, which, in 1966, was evenb honoured by the Texas House in a resolution as “a gathering place for Texans of discernment, taste, culture, erudition, epitomizing the finest tradition of magnificent German heritage in our State” and sports a historical marker outside on its wall. [More about the restaurant’s history here: Scholz Garten History]

Our impressions [of the food that is, as the ambience was ok] were mixed, to say the least. The negative impressions began, as in my experience it is the case so often here in the US, even in quite upscale restaurants, with our appetizer and the main courses arriving at the table at nearly the same time. When I mentioned that to our waitress she only remarked that the food had been there for her to pick up that quickly. Well, this way we just treated our appetizer [fried pickled, btw] as a third side dish. Talking of fried pickles: that’s something really unusual for German taste, but I liked it. Frying nearly everything – there’s even fried beer around – is a kind of a tradition hereabouts.

But back to our food: Mary had barbequed chicken with sauerkraut and potato salad as sides, and she enjoyed her food. Well, she left the sauerkraut to me, as it was cooked with bay leaves, and she didn’t care for that taste. I had decided on bratwurst, as there were only different varieties of Schnitzel as German specialities on te menu and as I’m still on the look-out for a good bratwurst, with French Fries and sauerkraut as side dishes. I wasn’t really satisfied with my food: the sauerkraut was cooked to death, the fries were a tad soggy and the bratwirst was only luke warm. The only item that was really good was the mustard!  ;)  My food really was no merit for the kitchen/cook. When I mentioned that to our waitress, she offered to take my plate back to the kitchen to have it warmed up, but I refused. I really don’t want warmed-up food in a restaurant. I only asked her to make my criticism known to their cook. Other than that: had the bratwurst been warm – or even hot, as the fried pickles – they would have been quite tasty, I think. What I liked best was the draught Spatenbraeu Optimator: nicely smooth and malty, and – for American beer – (nearly) too warm. Which made it absolutely fine for my German taste.

Even with our – or mine, rather – disappointment re the food I think we’ll be back there some time. One can’t always have that bad luck and the kitchen is bound to improve, especially as the present owner says that he bought the restaurant after he had had to complain about cold food and warm beer.

Before the performance at the Paramount started, we went to a small local restaurant for an ice cream [Mary] and an espresso [me].

Btw, for the night we stayed at the Best Western Atrium North again – a motel to be recommended as before.

Um diesen Beitrag in Deutsch zu lesen, hier klicken.

10 responses to “Asleep at the Wheel

  1. Pingback: Hesitation Blues by Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel « Throughhisown's Weblog

  2. I am with R. Sherman! After living in Germany for two years I cannot bring myself to eat the bratwurst here. My brother and his two girls are in the process of moving out of my house, and I am relieved I won’t have to eat (throw away) the bratwurst my brother loved so much. (Since I work nights he made dinner at night for his girls, there was ALWAYS a plate for me to take to work). I won’t miss the bratwurst at all. Shh…..don’t tell my brother.

    • As said before, I agree that a decent bratwurst is really hard to find here in the US.
      What I also miss is Eisbein, Haxn and Kasseler [not the chops, as they are available here, but a complete rack].

      • I looked up bratwurst about two years ago, to find out why it was so different from U. S. bratwurst. I found that in Germany they grind the meat much finer than we do here. I really miss it, and I REALLY loved the bratwurst we would buy while at lunch on base with the red curry sauce. To DIE for! I am ashamed to say that if I tried the three you mentioned I do not now remember, it has been too long for this old brain.😦

        • Well, we have “grobe” [coarsely ground] and “feine” [finely ground] Bratwurst in Germany. I like the coarse one more, btw. The difference, to my mind, between Bratwurst here in the US and in Germany is the spices. I can’t define what it is, but it certaionly tastes different.
          Re Bratwurst with the red curry sauce: I once did a “Currywurst” here myself and really liked it. That was, if I remember correctly, with a “beerbrat” from our local HEB.

          • We must use only the coarsely ground here.:/ You like the coarse more? How come? The spices certainly add to it too, you are right. It does taste different and I’d love to have a Bratwurst again. The REAL ones. You were able to make the Bratwurst with curry sauce here? If you can remember how and what ingredients I’d love to know. Especially the curry sauce as I don’t know how to make that at all.

            • I don’t know why I like the coarse bratwurst more. Maybe because that was what my mother always served?
              As to my Currywurst recipe: that’s really not much if a recipe. I first fry some bratwurst [if possible, I get “beer brats”] in a pan. I like the skin to become fairly crisp, but not too black. I prefer oil that doesn’t have a taste of its own; thus no olive oil, e.g. When the sausage is done, I put it on a plate and slice/cut it open lengthwise. The I liberally sprinkle it with powdered curry and, if I want it a tad hot, with some cayenne pepper, too. And finally I douse it with Heinz ketchup. That’s all that is to it. I like it with French fries. If so, I put ketchup and miracle whip I prefer that to mayonnaise] on them. Plus, of course, some salt.

              • I didn’t like them, at least not those that I tried here in the States. Nothing seems to be as good as those I originally tried while in Germany! The BEST!
                Just now realizing what I thought was an email from you was your reply to me here! OOps! I hope you get my email reply too!🙂

  3. I don’t eat bratwurst here. It’s not the same and I became spoiled in Bavaria. Also, German sauerkraut is better, though I do like variety made with blue (purple) cabbage. If all you can taste is the vinegar, it’s not prepared correctly.

    BTW, I’ve always loved AATW. They and Little Feat together would make a great show.

    Cheers.

    • I agree, it’s quite difficult to find a decent bratwurst here. Some time ago I found something not too bad at an HEB here, but haven’t seen that in a while.
      What I also want to find still is Raeuchermettwurst.
      Re sauerkraut: one of our local restaurants here does decent sauerkraut. And then there’s – of course – always Fredericksburg with it’s German-based community. Quite a few restaurants produce decent sauerkraut. But not the Altdorf. Theirs has an aftertaste I really don’t care for. Re blue/purple cabbage: what I like is Rotkohl.
      Regards,
      Pit

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