Why is it always difficult to find a good, yet authentic, German restaurant? I’ve thought about that and as a person with a German heritage I’ve asked myself that many times and I’ve arrived at a conclusion. Or better yet, conclusions, because I believe there are several reasons. But before I give you those, you may be asking: Why should I care!? Haha, well that’s a good question too.
I care because I am German and have some fav foods from that cuisine. You should care because unless you have actually tried good authentic German food then you’ve never truly had German food. It doesn’t mean you will like all German food – I sure don’t. But there are some phenomenal foods from this cuisine that you have to try.
Now for my conclusions …
First it’s because in the U. S. of A. we love to take a cuisine and Americanize the crap out of it. Yes, this has made many a food much, much better. But this very American practice has made it difficult to find the authentic version or in many cases to even know what the authentic version really looks or tastes like.
Second is the fact that in order to fit into that American dream of making a profit and living the dream, often times cheap imitations are created that are in no way equal or even close to the authentic version. Cheap can work but all too often you get what you pay for and it tastes nasty or at least not like the original.
Third is that because of the former two we have heard all we think we need to hear about that cuisine and have no time or resources to waste on it. Or we have tried one of the former two and don’t wish to repeat that performance any time soon.
Lastly is that we think sauerkraut is all that German food consists of and we just plain don’t like it.
I understand each and every issue but I’m here to tell you that there is more to German cuisine than sauerkraut and sausage – much, much more.
Take Weiner Schnitzel for example, one of my all-time favorite foods. Sure, we’ve heard of it but we can’t get past the name because it brings to mind either a hotdog or a hotdog dog. There are actually many types of schnitzel and they are a gift to mankind. Really, they are.
I tell you all of that to tell you that we do have a good German choice near-by in Black Mountain at the Berliner Kindl German Restaurant. Berliner just refers to someone from Berlin and Berliner Kindl (meaning Berlin child) in the Bavarian vernacular of German is the name of the symbol on the coat of arms of the city of Berlin.
The menu offers a variety of German foods from bratwurst to schnitzel to leberkase. Yes, sauerkraut is available if you’re a fan. I took my wife who said she didn’t like German food but would find something to eat. For the record, she realizes now that she didn’t know what German food really was and does like it. Of course I had to choose one of the schnitzels but choosing was difficult since it all sounded so delicious.
Schnitzel is merely a thin boneless meat that has been pounded out, encrusted with flour and fried. It can be made from veal, lamb, chicken, beef, pork and etc. Usually it is made from pork in Germany but if it has an additional name then you need to understand what it means in order to know what you’re ordering.
Here’s a key for you to understand the different types of schnitzel.
· Cordon-Bleu – this schnitzel came from Switzerland and is stuffed with ham and cheese.
· Hächen Schnitzel – breaded, boneless, skinless breast of chicken.
· Jägerschnitzel – or hunter’s schnitzel is a schnitzel with a mushroom sauce.
· Käse Schnitzel – schnitzel covered in melted cheese.
· Lemon Schnitzel – natural schnitzel pan sautéed in a lemon sauce.
· Naturschnitzel – natural schnitzel is schnitzel with salt and pepper with no or very little sauce made from sour cream added to pan drippings.
· Paprika Schnitzel – schnitzel topped with a tomato based sauce seasoned with paprika and red peppers.
· Parisian Schnitzel – a classic French style schnitzel made without breadcrumbs, it is a veal cutlet pounded thin, dipped in flour, then egg and fried.
· Puten Schnitzel – breaded slice of turkey breast.
· Rahm Schnitzel – schnitzel with a peppered cream sauce and often will have mushrooms as well.
· Schnitzel Holstein – schnitzel topped with a fried egg, onions and capers.
· Schwiene Schnitzel – breaded pork cutlet.
· Vegetarisches Schnitzel – vegetarian schnitzel is a meatless patty made from soy, tofu or seitan and is obviously a more recent version.
· Wiener Schnitzel – Viennese schnitzel is a thin veal cutlet that has been pounded out, dusted with flour, batter with beaten eggs and coated with bread crumbs before being fried.
· Zigeunerschnitzel – gypsy schnitzel is a schnitzel with bell peppers, mushrooms and onion slices in a sauce of tomato paste, red wine and chicken broth.
My wife order the Schnitzel dinner ($14.95), pork schnitzel served with home fries and German potato salad (my wife loves potatoes!). She went out on a limb to order, not knowing what it would taste like, but she trusted me and it paid off for her. She loved it!
I order the Wiener Schnitzel ($17.95) a lightly breaded and fried thin veal cutlet with no sauce but fresh lemon to squeeze over it. The meal also included home fries and red cabbage. Just wonderful. There is nothing quite like good weiner schnitzel and Berliner Kindl made it beautifully. This is a food that I grew up eating and that I crave at times. It is so good to know that I don’t have to travel far to get it again.
Anther craving of mine is a schnitzel sandwich with pork schnitzel on a bun. I love this with pickles and a little ketchup. It may not sound good but boy I’d kill to have one right now! I can now drive to Black Mountain and have my schnitzel sandwich for lunch – oh, life has gotten to be so good!
If you crave authentic German food like I do or haven’t found any recently or have never tried the good stuff … make the drive and stop by Berliner Kindl. You will be so happy that you did.
Berliner Kindl German Restaurant
Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711