Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mi Casa Tapas Bar – Frankfurt, Germany

I always do my food research before going to a new city (or even a city I’ve already been to). I wanted something special for my last night in Germany and I stumbled across this small Tapas place that was well-reviewed and sort of an out-of-the-way gem. I knew this place was a haul, so I hopped in a cab from the hotel and drove for like a half hour – yeah, it was out-of-the-way.

I asked for a table for one, which is always funny. They always ask if I’m meeting someone and I assure them I’m solo. I got a nice table by the window. I looked at the wine list since I was in the mood to do some damage. I ordered a bottle of nice Tempranillo – Preferido Tino 2014. My server asked if I was meeting someone. I said no. She asked if I wanted the whole bottle. I said I did. She paused. Then she went back behind the bar to find me a bottle of wine. Another server brought out my wine and my original server stopped him before he got to my table with two wine glasses. I couldn’t make everything she said to him, but he was just as confused why one person would order a bottle of wine for themselves. Eventually it made its way to my table and was delicious.

I ordered some Brot und Aioli (bread and aioli) and a plate of Serrano-Schinken with Melone (Serrano ham with honeydew) for an appetizer. It came out pretty quickly while I decided what I was going to eat. The bread was the rustic kind that was super dense with a thick crust. Perfect for this aioli I was given.  But, the ham and melon was amazing. I love meats wrapped around melon (insert joke here), but this was exactly what I needed to celebrate a successful trip to Germany (along with a bottle of wine for myself). Very bright melon flavor with a dark rich ham slice always cheers me up.

I flipped through the menu, but I saw what I wanted written in pen on the mirror on the wall in front of me. The Tapas plate for one person – the Diverse Küche.  

It had Oliven (olives), Teigröllchen mit Schafskäse (filled pastry rolls with sheep’s cheese and herbs), Hähnchen grill spieß (grilled chicken on skewers), Calamari Ringe (battered squid rings), Datteln im Speckmantel (bacon-wrapped dates), Runzelkartoffeln (roasted salty potatoes), and Hackfleischbällchen (a meatball in a tomato broth).

Everything was fantastic, but of special note was the meatball and the pastry rolls with cheese.  Btu honestly, I’d order this exact same thing again next time. It was so good and filling. I ate everything.

And I drank everything.

I chatted up a family that was having dinner because I was drunkenly drooling over the paella that had been brought to their table. The mother asked me a question in German and recognized my butchering of the language as American, so she politely spoke with me for a few minutes. About how good the food was at this restaurant. I needed to head back, but I really wasn’t feeling a cab ride filled with motion-sickness-inducing weaving and starting/stopping activity. (Did I mention I had an entire bottle of wine?) So I walked. I knew roughly where I was going and my phone GPS was actually working quite well in Frankfurt, so I hoofed it.

Hoofed it much further than I anticipated, but I needed to walk off some food and wine. So it happened to be like 2.5 miles and an hour and a half stroll in the dark. Probably one of the best walk-abouts I've had in a long time. Worth it and well-needed.

A night or two ago, I walked by a REALLY fancy restaurant on the south bank of the river – the old town of Sachsenhausen. It stuck out to me because it was a REALLY upscale restaurant, but had a cartooney chicken logo on the sign. It’s called Coq Au Vin. I’m not usually a dessert person, but I was going to rock this entire night in all things culinary. I had already knocked out a brilliant dinner and now it was time to blow up the dessert course after walking 1.5 hours to get there.

All the tables in the place looked full, so I grabbed a seat at the bar. Based on the number of people at the bar (zero) and the look on the server’s face (confusion), people don’t sit at the bar at this restaurant. I saw a chair at the bar, so I’m sitting at the bar. When the server recovered he was actually quite polite and talkative. Maybe he’s been dying for someone to sit at the bar and chat with him since he started – I’ll just go with that. It was dessert, so I ordered a dessert wine – a sweet Gewurtraminer from Spitz & Fils. I love me some Gewurztraminer and this one hit the spot. I asked for the dessert menu and found what I was looking for. It was basically a ridiculous dessert sampler with everything imaginable on it. I’m sure it was for a table of 8, but I didn’t care. I ordered it. The server asked if anyone was joining me (I get that a lot, to be honest), and I assured him I was celebrating – so he filled me wine glass back up to the top – I like this guy.

It has a small crème brulee, mousse au chocolat, profiterole, sorbet, and Tagedessert (dessert of the day).  The mousse was actually chocolate and vanilla mouse, which was wonderful. There were three different sorbets (lemon kiwi, and raspberry). The profiterole was dipped in chocolate and covered in almonds – delicious. The crème brulee was wonderful, like they always are when YOU get to break your own shell. But the sleeper dessert was the dessert of the day – strawberries in a rhubarb sauce. Trying to determine the translation of rhubarb from Germany to English was a bit of an adventure, but we figured it out and this thing was magic. 

I absolutely killed this entire plate (and multiple glasses of wine). 

The server was extremely gracious and thanked me for coming in. I really feel like the weirdness caused by me sitting at the bar sort of broke down a barrier. We’re both in a better place now (that may have been the gallon of wine I drank that night). All in all, I feel I did justice to what I refer to as the celebratory dinner experience. Nailed it.

(Yes, I know I combined Spanish dinner with French desserts, but frankly, I eat what I want.)

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