I want to show you a beautiful piece of meat:
That's as risqué a picture as you'll see on this site.
That, my friends, is wiener schnitzel, a thin pork or veal cutlet covered with breading and lightly fried, and it is one of the most wonderful things in existence.
To be specific, this is the wiener schnitzel from Gasthof Zum Golden Hirschen in Burgbernheim, Germany, my first (and best) experience eating the beautiful dish in The Fatherland. We arrived at the restaurant and were shown into the dining room, which had tables around the edges of the room, leaving the middle open. I didn't speak much German, the waitress didn't speak much English, and we got along great.
Being in Bavaria, wheat beers were quite common, a very happy situation for me as they are my favorite style of beer. Thus, I had a large glass of Herrnbrau set in front of me, and it was excellent. Cold with a touch of sweetness, it was fantastic, all the better because I didn't have to drive anymore that day. We had just arrived from Berlin, quite a long ways by car. As much as I enjoyed driving on the Autobahn, I was happy to be done. And beer makes everything better.
Every bit of the meal was excellent. Not just the tasty, tender, lightly fried pork filet. No, the fries (Pommes Frites for you playing at home) and the side salad. I had reached my happy place.
And then the men came.
When the waitress said "Die Männer kommen", I understood the words, but didn't understand the context. "The men are coming." Should I be happy? Should I run? It sounded slightly ominous. Yet it was only 6:30, and all the other diners had left us - we were the only people left in the dining room. Was I about to meet my end in Germany.
It turns out that "the men" were the local men's choir, and they rehearsed in the room. We discovered this by talking to Earl, an American ex-pat from Minnesota who came to Germany via the US military and never left. And now, he sang in the choir. A fellow Midwesterner - you never know who you were going to run into.
Though we had to depart the dining room, we were shown to a table in the bar, a table normally reserved for locals, one of which was Irwin, an older German gentlemen, and we got by on our limited understanding of each other's language. But it was a great evening, and despite language difficulties, it was wonderful part of the trip. My family and I enjoyed the restaurant so much, we returned a couple night later for another meal.
Burgbernheim - not just for Germans anymore.