Last night, Christian and I did what we had wanted to do for so long. We finally made it over to Fort Bliss’ German Community Center to have dinner at the club’s restaurant. We’d been there before, for the German Spring Bazaar, but had never had the chance to experience their dinner. Seeing their menu online, I knew we had to make the trip soon, so I played a little hooky from work and we set off.
The club itself is small but homey, with a very cozy and quaint atmosphere. There is a “biergarten” that is great in nice weather, but since it was pushing the triple digits, we decided to eat inside. There is also a full bar with a pool table, large screen TVs and some booths. When we got there, there were about 4 other tables occupied, one with two German Air Force soldiers talking about how “at this time tomorrow we’ll be on our way home,” two American women enjoying a late afternoon beer and early dinner, a birthday party and two American businessmen. There is definitely a mix of clientele, not just military and not just German.
Since I’d been craving Knödeln for weeks, I ordered the Schweinebraten because it came with two. Christian, on the other hand, has been dying for some REAL Leberkäse since he got to the states, and was wary about trying ANY here, especially on the border of Mexico. I too was scared, since every “German” place I’ve taken him to so far hasn’t cut the senf, so to speak.
First, we started with the cheese plate, which came with slices of REAL Emmentaler cheese and Gouda, as well as sliced pickles and a large pretzel. It would make for a very nice light meal and really is what I SHOULD have ordered, but this was one night not to have regrets. My Schweinebraten came swimming in a sea of brown gravy, two HUGE Kartoffelknödeln and rotkohl, and was perhaps the largest plate of food I’ve seen in a long time. I managed to eat one slice of pork, one Knödel and half of the red cabbage before giving up (well, also wanting to save the rest of it for lunch the next day. The Knödel was fantastic, filled with slivers of raw potato mixed into the cooked potato mixture. With the gravy it was divine. I could live on those potato balls and have a smile on my face every meal for the rest of my life. The pork, on the other hand, was delicious but a bit tough, whereas the rotkohl was sweet, sour and succulent all at the same time.
Christian hesitantly tried his Leberkäse, which was topped with two fried eggs and served with kartoffelbrei. I looked on, holding my breath and hoping for the best. He slowly started nodding his head and he looked up at me and said, “This is GOOD.” Bingo! I scored! He wants to return, which is on our agenda for next week, but for breakfast next time.
I had eyed some fabulous slices of cake coming out of the kitchen, but after that meal, I knew I needed to slow down on the intake. However, we did stop by another place on the way home, one I’d been wanting to try out for some time…YogoBerry.
It wasn’t authentic Bavarian Black Forest cake, but the small cup of nonfat yogurt with raspberries, blueberries and granola certainly hit the spot in the sweltering El Paso sunset, and saved me a few calories. Tomorrow is another day!
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