Gasthaus / Restaurant Klosterwirt, München, Germany
There are days when you just want a nice Currywurst or a Doner, but not a great dinner at a Michelin star restaurant. Food depends on mood, as does what we drink, in many cases. Right after a satisfying soccer game played by my team, FC Bayern München, a friend invited me to a classic Munich Gasthaus: Augustiner Klosterwirt, right near Munich’s landmark Frauenkirche. This was a nice choice on his part: the mood of the place is very busy, almost like in a beer hall, but with excellent, fast service and perfect quality. Since my visit to Munich was at the right time, we had so-called Starkbier (according to leo.org the best translation aside from strong beer seems to be stout), a dark beer containing more wort and alcohol than usual. There are officially two weeks of Starkbierzeit – so two weeks of stout – during that time, Munich brewers offers this special beer; something very Bavarian if not very specific to Munich. These two weeks are not always the same two weeks every year – all linked to the catholic “Josefitag” – a day in honor of St. Josef, the husband of virgin Maria, mother of Jesus.
Munich offers a variety of local cuisine, which is mainly pork. At Klosterwirt you get all of the Bavarian classics – roast pork, roast beef, sausages, meat loaf (Leberkäse) – most of the time served with Knödel (dumplings) made of bread or potatoes, with cucumber-potato salad or, even better, coleslaw. Not for a diet! The unhealthiest dish is “Schweinshaxe” which is knuckle of pork. Be careful using just “knuckle of pork” because there is a huge difference between “Schweinshaxe” and “Surhaxe”. The second one is an unappetizing version – a boiled knuckle that is popular, for instance, in such a region as Berlin – and for me one of the best examples of the poor and simply bad quality of the Berlin food landscape in the past – and in regard to basic and classic dishes, it somehow still remains. The Munich one, which one you see in the main picture, must be broiled very well, so all fat turns into a crispy crust, which then is dangerously delicious. Real Bavarian food!
Catching up with the beginning of this short review: some Starkbier with Schweinshaxe – I guess your doctor would not recommend this, but if it is a baroque doctor he would understand you very well: this is once-in-a-while a great meal. If you are in the mood for something like this and in Munich: I can recommend Klosterwirt. And if you are not in Munich during the short stout season, you can be sure that Munich brewers will have announced the next beer season: Maibockzeit!
For all my readers who speak German please watch Gerhard Polt: a hilarious satiric description of what it happens if you drink a Starkbeer or Bock: Polt: Der Lungenhering.
For more information about the Restaurant look at their webpage: http://www.augustiner-klosterwirt.de/cms/.