Thursday, June 17, 2010
We just got back from supper and what an experience. Dad wanted to go to the Hofbrauhaus – an establishment that has been part of Munich since 1589. We walked through the old city (with the occasional raindrops) to the joint. We walked in and I wasn’t sure I would make it – the place was HUGE and LOUD and full of oompa music and drunk football fans (the menu says the restaurant will fit 3,500 at one time). But I’m kind of glad we stayed.
The place is an old fashioned beer hall – there are long tables and you grab whatever free space you can find. We ended up sitting at a table with three older guys, one of them was a serious regular. How do I know this? He had his own stein. Apparently, the regulars (and I mean the honest-to-god-come-so-often-it’s-more-like-home-than-home kind of regulars) have a place to lock up their own beer mugs which the wait-staff with fetch and fill with Hof Brau (the in-house brew) upon request.
Dad had only wanted a light supper, but I think he got caught up in the atmosphere of the joint. He ordered a large beer (roughly a half-liter) and a slice of roast pork with potato dumplings that could have served as my lunch and supper. I, on the other hand, finally ordered a mix cola – half coke, half lemonade – a bowl of homemade, cream of veggie soup and the bread basket, which came with a role, some brown bread and a couple of pretzels. I even asked for some mustered on the side – now, I’m not a mustard and pretzel kinda’ gal, but it’s Baveria and I just rolled with it. Besides, not ordering a beer was bad enough, I didn’t want them tossing me out over not liking pretzels with mustard.
After dinner, Dad struck up a conversation with the guys sitting at our table and we had a nice chat with one of the guys. He was telling us about his travels in Canada (he only knows of Ottawa because it’s close to Montreal) and about good places to go in Germany/Austria. By the time my sensor-overload had reached the max, we waived down the very hassled waitress for our bill. This was the point where I unabashedly stole a menu. What was I supposed to do?! It has the history of the place on the back, and it was too cool to pass up! Besides, the regular with his own stein saw me do it and nodded that it was okay – that’s as close to officialdom as it gets, as far as I’m concerned.
Would I do it again? Probably not on a FIFA night, after 8 when it’s packed. But I’m glad I went and got to experience an old-school beer hall!