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WHat do West Germans prepare real well?

DH is going to Bonn and wants to know what to order in a restaurant? What are they known for?

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  1. Hi.

    Wow, starting from ground zero is he? First don't worry. Most of what we think of as
    Traditional Hearty American Fare traces back to German food. Older versions of
    the Joy of Cooking, for example, wouldn't be out of place in a German kitchen.
    So various sorts of roasted meats, potatoes, breads, hot dogs even, will be on the menu.
    Familiar ingredients in interestingly different preparations.

    Germany's a big place with a lot of local specialties. I'm completely unfamiliar with
    Bonn, though. But nobody goes to Bonn for pleasure, so he's probably there on
    business? I'd recommend mentioning to any of his colleagues that he'd really like
    to begin to understand German food and where would they recommend he eat.
    That should guarantee a native guide to some great local chow.

    Also: beer. He should drink all the beer he can. It's different there. Better. So better
    that even if he thinks he doesn't like beer he should drink lots. And if that fails, Bonn
    is pretty close to the heart of the German wine region. So there are options.

    1. Fine German food is wonderful and far from the average American's image of brats, kraut and beer. Your DH will find elegant meals if he eats in top restaurants.
      This time of year these should be a lot of game dishes and the Germans excel at preparing them. Mushrooms of all varieties are found in the forests and are put to excellent use. Pork is wonderful and very highly flavored on its own but treated well by German cooks. Vegetables tend to be very seasonal and I always found a greater variety in common use than in the US.
      Everything is exceptionally fresh. Even cured meats have a cleanness to them. The breads are fabulous.
      I've always followed the advice of German friends to make sure I tried local specialties rather than ordering something that I was already familiar with. I've not been disappointed.
      Leave room for dessert. Glorious cookies and sweets.
      Bonn is an international and business center so there will be fine restaurants and he should have no trouble finding excellent examples of classic German food of high quality.

      2 Replies
        1. re: MakingSense

          If he's going soon, one very important seasonal specialty in that area is federweisser.
          It's partly-fermented grape juice. Sweet, tart, fizzy, with a surprising kick,
          eaten with little onion tarts. It's really one of the most delicious drinks on earth.
          It's either bought from roadside stands selling it in gallon-sized jugs, or just wak around
          reading the little chalkboards in front of restaurants -- places that have it normally make
          a big point of it on the sign out front.

          Another local specialty, though Bonn might be a bit too far north, is Saumagen (pronounced,
          roughly, "ZOW-moggin' "). Reportedly Helmut Kohl's favorite food, so there's gotta be
          someplace in Bonn that serves it. Pig stomach, stuffed with potatoes, boiled, sliced, fried,
          then served with burnt onions. it's a lot better than it sounds.

        2. There's a huge Turkish community throughout Germany, so don't neglect to go to a Turkish Imbiss. The Doner kebab sandwiches are generally amazing.

          3 Replies
          1. re: therealbigtasty

            and the "Turkish pizza!" whatever the hell that was is amazing. thay ususally have it at the doner kabab stands

            1. re: jjb75

              lamagun...I'm butchering the spelling.

              That was a favorite of mine as a kid living in Turkey.

            2. re: therealbigtasty

              Doner fills the same niche in the German culinary scene as the slice of pizza does
              in New York, the hot dog in Chicago, and the burrito in San Francisco. Highly recommended
              for a quick stand-up lunch.

            3. When? The Weinnachtsmarkt's will begin soon - Christmas markets, set up in large areas (stadiums and town commons), with many individual booths selling trinkets and crafts. The best part are the food booths - smoked trout and herring in small hard rolls (brotchen), hard-smoked hams (schwarzwald schinken), and all the wursts and schnitzels you could eat... and then walk around with a cup of gluhwein (hot mulled wine).

              Breakfasts are memorable. Most hotels have incredible buffets that include all sorts of brined and smoked fishes and meats, wonderful butters for great breads.

              1 Reply
              1. re: applehome

                You're speaking my language... Winter in Germany is one of the best things in the world.

              2. Bread and cakes can be some of the best in the world.

                1. If you're near Bamberg try the Rauch(sp?) beer it's smoked.
                  If you see knoblauch zuppe(garlic soup) on a menu try that.
                  Helles are really good beers.
                  i also had a lasagne type dish somewhere in Bavaria made with bread instead of noodles that was wonderful.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jjb75

                    Yeah! Rauchbier! It tastes like bacon...so good.

                    1. re: therealbigtasty

                      that doesn't make it sound too appetizing! :)

                      1. re: jjb75

                        Ahhh, but it is! Sadly, Bonn is about as far from the Rauschbier zone as
                        you can get while still remaining within Germany. Bonn is near enough
                        Cologne that I'd suspect that K├Âlsch would be the dominant style
                        available. A clear, golden, fruity light ale served in a distinctive, smallish
                        skinny glass. Quite tasty. One good way to try local beer in Germany is
                        to just wander into any bar and ask for a bier. Unlike the US where that
                        will cause the bartender to treat you like an idiot, in Germany it's conventional
                        and expected and you will get a glass of whatever they're pouring (and
                        most places are only pouring one thing). Check the emblem on the tap or
                        the name on the bierdeckel (cardboard coaster) for a clue as to what you're

                        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                          Okay, so I like everything.

                          I love Kolsch, last I was there I drank about ten a day. It was just perfect for the moment.

                  2. Make a trip to Munich and tour the worlds most famous breweries..and yes, Gluhwein, Weissbier, and Bretzels...PROST to Germany !!!

                    1. Spaeztle! Even though it is a Swabian specialty, you will still find it on menus in Bonn.

                      Sauerbraten is a good choice if you like beef with a nice tangy wine/vinegar(depends on region) based sauce. Or rouladen, which is a beef roulade, usually with containing ham and a pickle.

                      Throughout November in Germany,many traditional resturants are offering wild game menus, with specials using pheasant, wild boar, venison, elk, etc.

                      You'll often find goulasch on the menu- it can often just mean stew or ragout when you're in Germany, as opposed to tasting like Hungarian Goulash.In Germany, it usually has a rich gravy and is served with spaetzle.

                      There are also lots of pork dishes on most menus in Bonn. Schweinebraten is roast pork. Lots of different sausages are also available most places.

                      Herring, trout, and smoked salmon also usually seem to be very good in German restaurants.

                      The soups are often very good as well. As an earlier post mentioned, mushrooms are in season, and the cream of mushroom soups I've ordered in Germany have been excellent with a richer flavour than what one usually finds in North America.

                      The desserts are excellent in Bonn and the surrounding area. Palatschinken are delicate crepes, usually filled with fruit compote or chocolate and nuts.

                      I'm rarely disappointed with the restaurants I've visited in Germany- they somehow seem to manage better quality control than most North American restaurants.

                      1. Maultaschen ("mouth bags").

                        Don't ask. Just order them if you see them on a menu.

                        1. <<DH is going to Bonn and wants to know what to order in a restaurant?>>

                          My wife lived there for three years, but I have only been there for a month or so...I wish I could show her this question, but I only have time after midnight!

                          To answer the question, the most memorable things I remember eating in this area are...

                          - Whitefish
                          - simple roll breads (believe it or not)
                          - All the pork wurst is so much better than in the USA that you should try some just for the hell of it
                          - Kaninchen (NOT Hasenpfeffer) - although it's even better out east and south.
                          - And I say you should skip dessert and buy Rittersport chocolate.

                          1. Hello, I'm Lori (my husband Scott replied earlier). I lived over in Germany for 2 years and was often in Bonn (where my relatives live). This area's specialty is Sauerbraten, and the fish (trout, called Forelle) is also very good in this region. Their specialty is white wine (NOT BEER). Your best bet is to get out into the smaller suburbs of Bonn and check out the guesthouses. I like Gasthaus Otto in Thomasberg. They have wonderful homemade meals, and anything they make is great. I also love their simple breakfasts (sorry if you're expecting a Maine breakfast -- it's generally lots of wonderful homemade bread, served with a hardboiled egg). Also, check out the bakeries for "teatime" -- the cakes are the best. This area also has some great hiking -- take the mountain climb up the surrounding mountains and have some tea and cake on the summit!

                            Guten Appetit.

                            Lori White