Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Ethnic Diva: German Food Edition, Part One


Of course the first thing you must do when visiting Germany is order a beer ... and so I did - a wheat beer to be exact. Yum! The German beer was every bit as delightful as I remembered it to be, and the food was even better!

We dined at our inn the first night, in the cozy, wood paneled, dining room of the Jagst Muhle. Simply put, the food blew me away. Given that the hotel was located in a small village in the Jagsttal Valley, I was expecting a homey, comfort food type meal ... instead, we were treated to something more akin to a 5 star dining experience!

The meal began with a wonderful amuse bouche - a savory bit of braised beef cheek tucked inside a small square of puff pastry and topped with a dollop of pureed cauliflower cream and a beautiful frond of micro-parsley. Heavenly!

Mama Diva, my father-in-law, and I followed that with the dish you see above, a succulent steak that had been roasted to perfection, medium-rare, and topped with an unctuous nest of crisp, caramelized onions. The rich gravy beneath it was so incredibly flavorful I nearly licked the plate. Apparently, this dish is traditional for the area - and I can see why. It was outstanding!

The husband and Papa Diva dined on roast venison, sauced with an equally magnificent gravy and paired with a compote of red currants and a slice of sauteed pear. Normally, I'm not a fan of game meats, but the husband urged me to try a bite. I'm glad I did. It tasted like the most wonderful, tender pot roast I'd ever had. Pure comfort in every bite.

Naturally, our table was also graced with a stunning basket of breads; served with rich, creamy, salted butter and a luscious puree of herbed cottage cheese for slathering. Divine! As if that wasn't enough, the main courses were accompanied by gigantic bowls of thinly sliced herb-roasted potatoes and fresh, house-made, spaetzle. Color me delighted ... and full!

So full that we had to pass on dessert. More's the pity, I'm sure it would have been fantastic. Suffice it to say, we dined like kings and our German vacation was off to a very good start.

I cannot recommend the Jagst Muhle Inn highly enough. The setting is gorgeous, the rooms large and comfortable, and the food is simply magnificent. The Chef came out to greet us at the end of the meal and he was a doll. He told us that both the beef and the venison were locally raised, within a mile of the inn. I wish I'd thought to take a picture of him, and more than that, that I'd written down his name. What can I say, I was beyond jet-lagged at that point and soooo ready for bed!

The breakfast buffet at the inn was equally impressive. A stunning array of meats, cheeses, spectacular breads and homemade preserves, cereals, farm fresh eggs, coffees, teas and more. I loved the Jagst Muhle and plan to return to it on my next trip over.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for the return of my regular "Thirsty Thursdays" feature tomorrow. I'm scouring the globe for a German themed cocktail ... if such a thing even exists. It should be interesting!

Guten appetit!

23 comments:

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a fabulous looking meal! Whats this about passing up on desert though?

Charmian @ Christie's Corner said...

You passed on dessert? Man! That must have been one good meal.

I'm not normally a fan of German food (except for their amazing desserts) but you're making this fare sound delicious.

So glad you had a great time. But I'm also glad you're back.

Astra Libris said...

Oh my goodness, the inn and your glorious meal sounds absolutely dreamy! Such perfect chilly weather fare, and so beautiful, too!

Astra Libris said...

P.S. I simply cannot thank you enough for your incredibly kind, inspiring words... You are so sweet - I am truly touched by your comments! You always bring a smile and so much joy to my day! :-)

The Diva on a Diet said...

HH - I know, I know! But we were all so tired and out of sorts, I just couldn't manage another bite!

Charmian - I had been to Germany once before, in 1998, and I didn't recall the food being this consistently good. Its all on the heavy side to be sure, but every meal I had was a delight! I can't say as much for my trips to Paris ... odd, huh? And thanks, I'm glad to be back as well. :)

Astra - it was dreamy! I'll have to wait for my mom's pics of the inn, as I think she did a better job than I. But it was so cozy and wonderful. I'd have been happy to stay there for the whole of the trip.

As for my comments, I might well say the same to you. You always bring a smile to my day and to my heart. Your warm spirit is infectious! :)

stephchows said...

oh amazing!! I'm drooling just thinking about the house made speatzle!!

Katherine Aucoin said...

The food looks amazing. What a wonderful trip; I'm sure it took your mind off your computer troubles!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Steph - I think I may have eaten my weight in spaetzle this trip ... so, so good. I'll have a picture of some later in the week. And, really, I need to try my hand at making it ... soon!

Katherine - it did indeed, no computer worries when you're eating this good. (Though they were waiting for me when I returned. LOL)

Fresh Local and Best said...

The food looks magnificent. I bet the beer was incredible! I just love seeing all these braised meats covered in rich gravy sauces. It's just so comforting.

Maven said...

I'm excited to read tomorrow's cocktail and to try it!

Meanwhile, this gastronmoic tour was delightful. I've never had beef cheek and have always been curious.

Tim Stevens said...

Last year,the Stevens family went on a 10 day tour of Germany and Prague.
I was never much of a wine drinker up to that point.But,since then, hardly a week goes by without a taste of a German Reisling.
Maybe I'll have a bottle or two at Wake and Bake 2009!

Velva said...

The meal looks absolutely delightful! So glad you are enjoying the food in Germany.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Fresh Local Best - yes, so comforting! I was wishing I could bottle that gravy up and take it home.

Maven - you certainly need a cocktail this week, here's hoping I won't let you down!

Tim Stevens - we were supposed to visit the wine region this trip, but never quite made it. Ah well, next time ... and meanwhile, you're on for those bottles at the wake 'n bake! ;)

Velva - thanks, and welcome to Beach Eats! I certainly enjoyed all of it ... perhaps a bit too much! ;)

figtree said...

What a feast!!YUM.

pixelgal said...

Sometimes the spaetzle was served with cheese not unlike it's American counterpart and a fresh salad. That was almost always my choice. But the beef at this restaurant was indeed excellent and so welcoming on our first night there. Go to Germany everyone! The people are lovely and so is the country.

The Duo Dishes said...

This is a good taste to get us ready for the rest of your adventures. But no dessert? You're good.

danamccauley said...

Mmm - that beef looks so frosty and inviting....I could eat and drink like that very happily!

Laura said...

I guess I think German and think yech! But this looks and sounds awesome! And how could you pass on dessert? Never to full for dessert!

Glad to have you back in bloggerville, missed you. I wish you were coming to foodbuzz in Nov. :(

5 Star Foodie said...

An excellent meal! And beer sounds perfect!

Tangled Noodle said...

Roast venison and a bread basket - heaven!! Given that it was your first dinner in Germany, passing on dessert is understandable; the entrées sound so amazing, I would have done the same. The sweet treats will wait . . . 8-)

Micah said...

Nice blog you got right here... I enjoyed reading your posts. I'm sure I'll visit here more often. Anyway, if you are interested, you can take a look at these amazing French macaroons and Almond macaroon cookies I've been trying to make.. It's very hard though... :) If you know how to make these, maybe you could give me some tips. Thanks!

Deb said...

All I can say is yum!!

Stefan said...

Very good article and great informations. German Food is really fantastic! I enjoyed to read this! Thank you.