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Suggestions for dinner for German guests in U.S.

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My wife's aunt and uncle(70) and cousin (21) will be visiting here in Michigan in May. As chief household cook, I'm in charge of serving dinner for the 3 days they will be staying with us. I would like to serve up something that would be different from typical German home cooking but I know absolutely zero about what 'typical' might be. I assume Germany has most of the various world cuisines available as we do in America (pizza, Chinese, various fast foods, etc). I have thought grilled foods and southwestern dishes might work but I'm very much in uncharted waters here and don't want to make something Germans may generally dislike. This will only be our second time meeting them in 35 years (yes, I hope to impress) so I could use some ideas from my friends here at Chowhound. I don't want to cop out and serve the meat and potato dishes my wife believes they normally have.

p.s. I am an experienced cook and make just about everything from fresh pastas and breads to sushi so any suggestion could fly.

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  1. Cook some of your family favorites, and don't worry about what they do or don't do in Germany. They are visiting you.

    1. What about some American dishes such as meat loaf, fried chicken, mac and cheese, hot dog?

      2 Replies
      1. re: PeterL

        Funny you mention mac and cheese. We have a German au pair living with us as of 3 weeks ago. On her first night, we took her to a classic diner, figuring she could get anything there. She ordered the mac and cheese because they don't have it anywhere at home. She loved it.

        Then, the next day, I took her to the supermarket. As we were wandering up and down the aisles, she stopped in front of the Kraft mac and cheese in the blue box. She said "I heard that this was good". So I bought a few boxes...what the hell. My kids were thrilled since I never would buy it for them!

        1. re: PeterL

          Maybe chili dogs would be another idea for an American dish.
          Maybe it's just me, but I can't tell the difference between hot dogs and frankfurters.

        2. I visited Germany once and was told that good Chinese food/seafood was rare there. Fresh seafood especially was rare (though that might mean that they're uncomfortable with it). Fresh pineapple (eg tropical fruit) was rare. I'm sure it varies per region though and who knows, they might be foodies with varied tastes too!

          1 Reply
          1. re: 1MunchieMonster

            Probably it depends on where you are in Germany. Cooking still tends to be more "local" in Europe than in North America, although foods from the world over are available. Perhaps you've seen the scene in Mostly Martha (this film has several titles in translation) featuring the famous Fish Market in Hamburg. People along the coast there in Germany will eat as much fish as Dutch or Danes.

          2. When my German-raised husband, and his mother, cook... they generally don't use sauces. However, they both appreciate any of the sauces which I serve, or which are served in restaurant meals. Neither of them appreciate strong cheeses or dried fish, nor would I serve them something so pungent as nato, or the Chinese style fermented tofu.

            2 Replies
            1. re: KarenDW

              "...don't like strong cheeses..."? Are you sure they're Germans?

              1. re: flavrmeistr

                Not all Germans come from the land of Limburger cheese.

                But people vary there, as everywhere.

            2. I would cook your normal "guest" food and, perhaps, include something that might be a regional speciality.

              1. Fry up some nice walleye, for starters. Who wouldn't love that? Grill up some perfect steaks, steam up some beautiful shrimp with old bay, fried chicken and tater salad--barbecued ribs--fresh asparagus, nice big salads, Zellwood sweet corn, steamed clams, seared scallops, vodka and fresh grapefruit juice...is this a great country or what?

                2 Replies
                1. re: flavrmeistr

                  Oh, what I wouldn't give for a nice walleye with butter and breading.

                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                    I think walleye is what we call "doré" here in Québec. The food of gods. I had extraordinary beginners luck and caught one the first time I went fishing, up in Lac St-Jean. It was my 30th birthday and I had brought a good bottle of wine and a fizzy one to celebrate with an old beau and his brother. Some of the other touches in flavrmeistr's tasty spread would be foreign to us up here.

                  2. Lobster!
                    Lobster Dinners are always enjoyed by German visitors coming to our house. I buy a whole bunch of live Lobsters and cook them at home. ( I boil them). The whole process of preparing and everyone taking their own Lobster apart is a party in itself! I usually serve it with fresh baguettes or similar and an easy salad, and also warm garlic Butter and Lemon are served alongside.

                    I should add - I would make sure they are reasonably adventurous eaters, since it will be the first Lobster dinner for most German visitors.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: RUK

                      Now you're talking! A side boil of clams, shrimp, sausage and taters. They'll go nuts.

                      1. re: RUK

                        I think you'll find lobster is not uncommon for we north Europeans. Expensive, yes. But not uncommon. Here in the UK, I usually buy lobster from the German owned supermarket chain, Lidl as they're reasonably priced, if a little on the small side.

                        This link may suggest that its fallling out of fashion in Germany on ethical grounds. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-bru...

                        1. re: Harters

                          It's not uncommon here, either. But it is delicious.

                          1. re: Harters

                            I guess, things have changed during the years.
                            My father years ago used to go bonkers over good Lobsters here with us. And we have nowadays usually former East German visitors, they like it a lot.

                          2. re: RUK

                            They may well have had lobster in lesser forms: tinned, frozen etc. They have probably had crab. Fresh lobster is found in Europe but is far more expensive than in my personal "here" (Montréal Québec).

                            Not Germans, but this is may have been the final straw in Sarkozy's previous marriage, as the Bush family invited them to a cookout in Maine (if I recall) and it was hamburgers and hot dogs. Any sophisticated European visitor (who eats seafood) will want to partake of lobsters in Northeastern North America, it is a constant in tourist websites and guides. Cécilia snuck off with her daughter to enjoy a lobster dinner.

                            You have to check about seafood in the case of any visitor you don't know well, as it is a common allergen, wonderful though it is.

                            Lobster is a very high-prestige North American food, among Europeans.

                          3. In addition to what others mentioned, I like the idea of doing something along the lines of "southwestern" like you mention. Most folks I know from Europe really enjoy southwestern/mexican food here in the states. It can even be the basics, like some good tacos or enchiladas.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: juliejulez

                              I second this heartily. Even in big German cities like Berlin, decent Mexican/Tex-Mex food is nearly impossible to find. It's the thing I miss most when I'm there.

                              1. re: biondanonima

                                There have been any number of new and very decent Baja Mexican places in Berlin, namely the 3 Maria's (I still think Maria Bonita is the best of them).

                                That said, most Germans wouldn't recognize *real* Tex/Mex or Mexican cuisine if they were drowning in it.

                                I second the steak recommendation. It's damn near impossible to get decent steak. Burgers. Corn on the cob. Fried chicken. Shrimp (WAY cheaper here than in the fatherland), scallops and other seafood that is inaffordable o'er there.

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Yes, I definitely go into steak withdrawal when I'm in Germany - and if you can find a decent one, it's sure to cost a fortune. Luckily I live near The Bird in Prenzlauerberg so I can get my burger fix!

                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                    Yes, that's still pretty much the best (and affordable) place to get a reliably good steak in town.

                                    That said.... Maredo, depending on the location (yes, it's a chain), can crank out a pretty damn good rib-eye or sirloin steak, too, if one feels like grass-fed Argentinian beef. And they almost never screw up the temp.

                            2. When my German relatives would stay with us, I remember they enjoyed good steaks. Its been 20 years since I lived in Germany so maybe this has changed but I remember a lack of good beef. So maybe one night of porterhouses on the grill?

                              The relatives also enjoyed seafood, specifically shrimp and lobsters. Lobsters were, in my relatives eyes, extremely expensive to buy in Germany at the time. Every time they visited, we would go to a restaurant that had a tank of live lobsters.

                              1. Lived there for almost 10 years and friends still visit. Anything on the grill. Preferably a great porterhouse or prime rib. A 2 lb lobster each. Southern fried chicken. Hopefully it is walleye season. And anything Mexican.

                                What not to do. American beer. The first time a friend had it, he said it tasted like it had been filtered through a horse. Don't bother with any sausages, hot dogs, or pork. Germany has perfected it and even that insanely expensive artisanal butcher down the road will not impress them. Asparagus may be in season, but only the white is elegant. Any tinge of green drops the price. And corn on the cob is fit only to be fed to the hogs.

                                On the drinks side, definately Vernor's, a decent bourbon, and any wines you may like. And a case of bottled water as the water from the tap over there varies in quality. And definately make your coffee stronger.

                                And the main meal should be in the middle of the day, with a lighter one in the evening.

                                Be happy you are not responsible for breakfast, fruhstuck. It varies widely by region.

                                1. Again, I would suggest that you do your favorite dishes from your family. Share something of yourself with them. What is your signature dish? What does your family like? What have your friends liked?

                                  1. I agree to just cook what you enjoy and do best. I lived in Germany (Bavaria, actually) and the bottom line is that even if you try to replicate, it's impossible because you just can't get the ingredients here without ordering through on-line German grocers... even then it's the tinned variety and not the fresh.

                                    Do what you do best and I'm sure it will be appreciated. It took my sister-in-law (in Turkey) a few years to figure out that I don't want "American" food when visiting ... I want the great food that she cooks, which I can't get in the US and is local and unique to her.

                                    Enjoy your visit!!

                                    1. I'm not German but am English and have traveled extensively in Europe and whilst there a lot of US foods at lot of them are done badly or not at all readily available.
                                      Any of the following I think would be appreciated.

                                      Brisket, short ribs, tamales, pulled pork, fish tacos.

                                      1. Even on a 3-day trip, if I'm in another country, I want to go to the grocery store. If the 21yo is a Chow-type, then take a trip to the cleanest GC that has the most variety in your area.

                                        Regardless, Cousin will be able to educate and steer you about food choices for the Aunt & Uncle.

                                        Additionally, 3 days is a very short trip-- is this a leg of a longer journey for them? Please consider travel and "novelty" fatigue if they have been away from home for a while. As was mentioned upthread, think about stronger coffee and a familiar breakfast; they may be really ready for something basic /to/ /them/.

                                        ONLY in my personal experience-- I have found that the older the traveler and the longer away from home, the more they crave recognizable and familiar food Made the Right Way. So, you could ask for menu/kitchen help.

                                        EDIT: "GC" is our family abbreviation for the "GO SEE STORE," which, 20 years ago, is what a toddler called the Grocery Store.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                          I thought I was the only one who did this! I love going to grocery stores and markets in other countries. Such an interesting peek into everyday life.

                                          1. re: Hobbert

                                            Reminds me of when we had German guests, they were part of a community band that was traveling in the area. SInce my brother spoke German, was president of the German club, it was decided that we could house two gentlemen. Well, my brother was away at college (Naval Academy) at the time of the visit. yep. They spoke no English, we spoke no German. While waiting for Dad to come home from work, Mom took them to the mall, (not a big one), and Sears. They loved Sears.
                                            Then over dinner (I have no recollection of what we ate), Dad kept raising his voice when talking to them. We were like, "Dad, they aren't deaf! They just don't speak English!"
                                            Thankfully, it was a short visit, just one night.

                                          2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                            I'm wondering if there is a thread on this vital topic at Chowhound. I started one at a travel site I frequent (any port in a storm) and it was most enlightening.

                                            Grocery stores are anonymous. Within reason (that is not looking as if you are going to steal or poison something), they will leave you along to peruse the aisles. They require far less knowledge of the local language AND CUSTOMS than small shops or markets (for example, I've spoken fluent Italian forever, but in Italy one must not squeeze or even touch fruit in markets). And they provide a lot of clues about what the local people actually eat. Italian supermarkets have very little junk food, Dutch ones have a lot of cookies (good, with butter) and dairy products, despite what they say about falling wine consumption in France, the wine aisles are still large and varied in ordinary French supermarkets) and so forth.

                                            In Germany and the Netherlands, I could read far more of the local languages (and understand them) than I could actually speak them.

                                            A German breakfast is not a full English or American one, but it will have more protein than a southern European one. Yes, good bread, croissants if you live in a place that makes good ones, but also some cheese or cold meat. Of course you would be hard put to equal the wonder of German breads...

                                          3. The other posters suggesting good beef, based on my experience, are right on.
                                            Also noted sausages (hot dogs), pork and beer are things they do very well and should be avoided as they will not impress. Seafood, crab, lobster is a good bet. Some American craft beers could be interesting to them, but don't expect raves. Over years of hosting German colleagues and customers these observations have been proven most often true.

                                            1. I have many family members who live in Germany. My parents were also both born in Germany. I know from experience some of the things they love to eat when they visit. Also we send care packages to spme of our famly members monthly. Absolutely hands down the favorite thing that they eat when they come to visit is Mexican Food. Tacos, Burritos, Enchiladas, We often make a buffet of sorts where we have just about any kind of topping, sauce, meat, etc. This is always a hit!

                                              1. I lived over two years in Germany, and while it was in the 1990s, I think these thoughts remain more or less valid:

                                                1. Many but not all Germans do not like spicy foods. Ask ahead of time to see what they say. If they say they're okay with spicy foods, assume they like it mild. Nothing short of clear enthusiasm for heat would persuade me that they really want any burn at all.

                                                2. Mexican/Tex-Mex (mild or otherwise) is very hard to find, and generally much liked when tried by Germans. I had huge cravings for Mexican foods when I was in Germany, once found a place in Berlin that called itself Mexican, but it turned out to be in fact Peruvian (not a sharply observed distinction to Germans at the time, so the owners were probably just reusing signage from the previous owners.)

                                                3. Because steaks are pricey in Germany and grilling spaces limited, I second those here who recommend outdoor grilling.

                                                4. Consider making some Cajun/Creole dishes. Even further off the radar for Germans than Tex-Mex.

                                                5. I disagree that they cannot appreciate American beers. You just need to give them quality craft beers. Bell's line in Michigan supermarkets would be worth a try--for starters. Depending on where you are in Michigan, you might have some worthy micro-brewerers nearby.

                                                6. In case they like the idea of German style light meals with rolls, cured sausages and cheese and mustard for breakfast or snacks, consider hunting up some real-deal Wisconsin versions of German cheeses. You won't find them elsewhere than at a speciality store, esp. outside of Wisconsin. If you've got the budget, consider mail ordering from:

                                                http://fromagination.com/

                                                That's a Madison, WI, shop near the State Capitol building that showcases Wisconsin cheeses. I consider myself an experienced cheese eater and have spent significant time in UK, France, Germany and Italy. These Wisconsin cheeses are world-class, and the people at that shop know their stuff inside out.

                                                7. Finally, I also agree with those who say that better-then-meh Chinese food is hard to find in Germany. Same might apply for Thai, too, but I am not sure. Actually, I don't recall Indian there, either.

                                                Where in Michigan are you?

                                                1. It really depends on your relatives. When I've had visitors from Germany, some of them have really enjoyed Jamaican food, Ethiopian food and Greek food while visiting me in Canada, whereas other visitors were plainer eaters, who were more interested in ice cream and apple pie.

                                                  My last set of German guests seemed to want to order apple pie whenever they had an opportunity, and weren't interested trying other cakes, squares or other North American desserts. I've introduced other German visitors to buttertarts, which those particular guests found a little too sweet. One of our most recent guests liked the zucchini fritters we made, which she had never seen in Germany, and I sent her home with a recipe. For whatever reason, corn on the cob wasn't a hit with our German visitors.

                                                  I noticed that our guests tend to order poultry or fish when given the choice at a restaurant, both when we visit Germany and when they visit us, so I'd probably serve chicken, turkey or fish for our guests.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: prima

                                                    Concerning corn on the cob, I think it may be a cultural thing to do with an adversion to eating with their hands.

                                                    My father and his sisters came to the US as adults. They never "learned" to eat food with their hands. Until the end of his life, my dad continued to eat sandwiches, burgers, etc with a fork and knife.

                                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                                      So the little corn-on-the-cob poker-handle-thingies might change their lives.

                                                      1. re: cleobeach

                                                        That sounds more like a generational than a cultural issue.

                                                        I've never had any issues eating with my hands.

                                                        And the reason why many Germans don't eat corn on the cob is because the corn is husked god knows where or when, and then sold at the supermarket looking sad. No wonder nobody buys them.

                                                        That said, this German LOVES COTC, so there.

                                                        1. re: cleobeach

                                                          It also could have something to do with that particular guest associating sweet corn with the feed corn that's fed to hogs in some parts of rural Germany. I suppose it's also possible he just didn't like corn or wasn't in the mood for corn. His wife didn't have as much of a problem with eating corn, I think she took one cob. Maybe she was just being polite, the way I was polite when I was served leberkaese at a friend's house in Germany. It's quite possible his lack of interest in corn has nothing to do with his citizenship/nationality. I don't think my aversion to vanilla ice cream or grapefruit has anything to do with my nationality.

                                                          1. re: cleobeach

                                                            Surely things have changed a lot -
                                                            years ago Corn was not really grown in Germany for human consumption, but grown as animal feed, not really ranking up there as something worth eating.

                                                            1. re: cleobeach

                                                              No, sandyic, it is the type of eating. Of course Germans pick up party foods with their hands and eat them, but there is a strong aversion in many European countries to "eating like an animal" True of relatives in Italy and France as well. German (and Yiddish) have two verbs, essen and fressen (to eat and to feed, like livestock feeds).

                                                              When I've seen fresh corn in most European cuisines, it is the kernels, popular in salads that often have names redolent of the Americas, North and South.

                                                          2. If you go online to germandeli.com they have a nice selection of smoked meats that are very popular for breakfast in Germany, as well as cheeses. Most of our visitors have prefered to eat anything but German food while visiting. But I know my grandparents still wanted hard bread or brotchen ( hard rolls similar to french bread) for breakfast. Along with cheese and meat. Anything grilled would be a good idea. You might ask ahead of time what kind of food they have tried from other countries, and if there is something they would like to eat.

                                                            1. Germany DOES have a seacoast, not to mention rivers and lakes. My father was from Hamburg, where he grew up eating lots of flatfish and eel. Much depends on where in Germany your relatives live.

                                                              There's a substantial middle-eastern minority in Germany today, so things like kebabs and curries will probably be familiar to them.

                                                              Sounds like Tex-Mex would be a good choice but I would definitely communicate with your relatives ahead of time - ask if there are any foods they particularly like, or want to try, or dislike. The cousin may want a culinary adventure but the seniors might be happier sticking with schnitzel and kartoffelkloesschen.

                                                              1. Great quality surf & turf. Nice prime steaks & cold water lobster tails. Universally liked & pretty easy to prep.

                                                                Porterhouses will give you the filet which will still be tender for those who like their beef more well done & also the strip for those that like it more med to med rare. When the strip side hits med rare, the filet is easily cut off the bone and left on the grill for additional cooking.

                                                                1. You might want to have some carbonated water on hand. Most Germans I know don't drink tap or still water, they prefer carbonated water. A friend of mine was quite shock when I said I was fine with drinking tap water. It lead to a discussion of how her husband spend 6 months drinking only Sprite during an exchange trip to Seattle in his teens, he was too polite to mention he is used to carbonated water to his host.

                                                                  Also, the older generations might be used to having the main meal of the day at lunch, not dinner.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: gnomatic

                                                                    The German girl that is living with us is fine drinking tap water. I offered to buy her anything else to drink and she just drinks tap water.

                                                                    Regarding the lunch meal, she has told us that on weekends they do eat a big meal at lunch and on holidays too. During the week, it's different because or work/school.

                                                                  2. Many Germans like a coffee break about 3 or 4 in the afternoon. It's called Kaffeetrinken. Usually there is a spread of about 3 or 4 varieties of cakes. Often they whipped up some cream.

                                                                    The Germans I lived with loved my homemade brownies. Of course, they would put whipped cream on them and eat with a fork.

                                                                    If you did something like this, I'd get cakes that were less sweet. Or have some banana bread or other less sweet breads. Here's where apple pie could fit. Or strawberry shortcake.

                                                                    Yes, their coffee is usually strong and filtered through a Melitta-like filter. They often use condensed milk or whipped cream.

                                                                    22 Replies
                                                                    1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                      +1 on the brownies. Our au pair told me that she just had a brownie for the first time...and loved it.

                                                                      1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                        I absolutely agree with the suggestion of brownies. I've sent several European (German, Russian, etc.) houseguests home with recipes for brownies after they fell in love with them at my house. Chocolate chip cookies are also a big hit. I also agree with Prima (above) regarding apple pie. My German houseguests came in October and I live in upstate NY, so I made them apple pie with fresh local apples. They loved it! Since we were busy during the day I used my crockpot for a couple of meals. They really liked the chili I made. It wasn't too spicy. One thing Germans typically do not like is root beer. I've yet to meet one who can drink it without gagging. Also, when the German exchange students came to our high school (we hosted one), they were fed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread. They all thought it was the most disgusting thing they had ever eaten and couldn't understand why the bread was so mushy.

                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                          I guess it's really hard to generalize. Our au pair (age 21) had heard of peanut butter but never tasted it. She loves it. But she buys a dark brown bread, sort of a pumpernickel, and eats the peanut butter on that.

                                                                          1. re: valerie

                                                                            Yes, it wasn't so much the peanut butter as the combination with jelly on wonderbread that they found so revolting. But apparently that's the school's standard box lunch fare.

                                                                          2. re: AmyH

                                                                            No root beer, huh? Hmm. Coca-Cola is big over there, I'm told. A friend of mine worked in his uncle's tavern in Augsburg one summer. He came back with 30 extra pounds and this recipe for the local favorite summer beverage, which they drank in the kitchen all day long.

                                                                            In a large pitcher, add equal amounts of Coke and dark local beer and 4-6 ounces of cherry brandy. Pour over ice; repeat indefinitely.

                                                                            Even though I generally don't care for sweet drinks, I found it tasty in a dessert-ish sort of way. My teeth are singing at the memory of it.

                                                                            1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                              Yes, no root beer. That stuff is revolting -- like peptobismol-flavored soda. Germans don't get it; same with the PBJ.

                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                Hell, Germans invented root beer! Pennsylvania Germans, that is.

                                                                                1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                  Really? Just googling around briefly I could not find anything supporting that. Can you provide a link? I'm honestly curious.

                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                    I don't know about a link, but I can tell you that the Amish who sell at our local farmers' market bring home brewed rootbeer to sell.

                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                      http://www.cooksinfo.com/charles-hires
                                                                                      Charles Hires, of German descent

                                                                                      1. re: wyogal

                                                                                        Wait, he's not even first generation German? Ok.

                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                          I don't really care, I just found this. I'm not making any claims about root beer being invented by Germans.
                                                                                          Other sources cite A&W founder as coming up with an alternative to beer as anti-German sentiment grew during/after WW2. I didn't explore those links.

                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                        Yes, really. Germans, as everyone knows, will make beer out of whatever's available wherever they make landfall. They've been brewing this stuff in PA Dutch country for a long, long time. Birch beer, sarsparilla, rootbeer--whatever. It's all "beer" and it's all made from roots, mostly by people of German descent. They didn't learn it from native Americans. If you check out Wikipedia for birch beer, there's a cool picture of a pot still cranking out a batch at the Kutztown fair.

                                                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                          Lot of Germans in the Poconos and some of the bars had PA Dutch wooden barrels of Birch Beer. Good stuff.

                                                                                      3. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                        That's the crazy thing! And I think that may have been why I bought it when the exchange student was here, since we don't usually have it in the house.

                                                                                      4. re: linguafood

                                                                                        When I sent a graduation gift to my German friend's daughter, I included a few bags of Jelly Belly's because I know she loves them. I purposely did NOT include a bag of the soda flavored mix because it one of the flavors was root beer.

                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                          Ha! That was very considerate of you! I personally can't stomach jelly beans regardless of their flavor.

                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                            linguafood, I have some German culture questions; can you contact me at SandylcChow@comcast.net ?? Thanks!

                                                                                      5. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                        That drink sounds rather tasty!

                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                          I thought it was pretty good. We whipped up a close approximation, but my friend said the version he had in Augsburg was better. I'm sure the beer was much better. I'll be up at the Brewmeister in Cleveland in a few weeks. They have Augustinebrau Maximator, which might be just the ticket for further experiment. I will report back.

                                                                                        2. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                          OMG, A friend was stationed there 77-80 and we called it a Ghost Beer. (Gheist Bier?) Worth the trip from Erlangen and later Ansbach.

                                                                                      6. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                        Germans and Dutch have the most wonderful apple cakes and pancakes, which are not very sweet. I don't like sweets in general but I love those.

                                                                                      7. I see a lot of suggestions for Tex Mex, here's a new Houston take on vintage Tex Mex. How about a frito pie?

                                                                                        http://elrealtexmex.com/menu_dinner/

                                                                                        Check out this old menu from the 40's.

                                                                                        http://elrealtexmex.com/tex-mex/

                                                                                        Your guests might enjoy it.

                                                                                        1. Here's a fun experiment. Ask you guests what they call an end-piece of bread. My great-grandmother always called the end-piece of bread crust, "Knust," and preferred it for her sandwiches. I finally looked it up and am surprised to see so many regional versions in the language for "Kanten". http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanten

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                            This German here knows it as "knust" (with a long 'u').

                                                                                            1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                              I know it ( growing up in Erfurt/Thüringen) as Rämpftchen ! And many times I ate it on the way home from the bakery, still warm and fresh
                                                                                              :-)