I’m no German foodie. I’ve been to Germany only once and I spent most of it stuffing my face with street-side bretzel vendors so I was usually too full to eat a proper sitdown meal. So all that trip taught me was 1) soft pretzels are truly my favourite snack and 2) I have an odd affinity towards street vendors.
Well, perhaps fortunately for me (or maybe it doesn’t matter?), I’m surrounded by people who seem to know their German food and beers. Bei Otto is a group favourite.. to the point I keep wondering if they forgot that there are probably tens of thousands of other restaurants to hit on our Friday nights out. The German owner treats us rather well… getting a birthday cake for me on my, well, birthday. He slyly asked for one of our emails so he can sent the incriminating photos of me with a silly Happy Birthday alien headband and a goofy grin as they brought that out. Well, he’s got my email and I haven’t yet received those photos three months later, but I do get the restaurant newsletter on a regular basis.
The restaurant also runs a bakery next door and I rather like their (what else?) pretzels. They offer a basket of mini-pretzels before the meal and I could live off that alone. The bakery opens at a decent morning hour, so I’ve once stopped in on my way to work.
The food is as meat-and-potatoes-heavy as German food is reputed to come. While it’s disconcerting taking a recommendation from a Thai woman speaking broken English, one has to be awed by being served a large beer in a glass shaped like a tall boot, and taller than my eye level.