Hangover, Sausage, Beer and Goose. No finer Saturday was ever known.
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Diary and Notes
I have to confess that the exploits from last night, left me a little tender in the morning. It's probably not good for one's liver to stay up past 3.00 am drinking port, but every once in a while it is a must. We had enjoyed a good night's relaxing and now were ready for more. If only we could get the mind and body working properly. Aah, cake is the answer.
We tried cake. I strolled to Cafe Hemer and bought a wide selection of breakfasty type cakes but no matter how many I ate and how much coffee I drank it didn't seem to do the job. So we tried sausage. As the Christmas market was on there were no shortage of sausage stands offering all types of tasty treats including a 1/2 metre long bratwurst in a baguette. Not feeling quite up to the challenge, a normal (1/4 metre) bratwurst with some chips was sampled and this started to clear the head. After a yoghurt drink, a stroll and an afternoon's shopping for pressies, we were feeling chipper again and ready for the fray.
So what to do in Göttingen on a Saturday evening when Christmas market is around?
Well firstly a beer of course, just to clear the head and then a glass of gluwein and a wander around the market. We gazed in wonderment, not so much at the prettiness of it all (it is very pretty), but moreover that so many people could be standing around drinking very cheap, strong booze and for the atmosphere to be so friendly and calm. If this happened in Bristol (for instance), the 1.50 euro gluwein would cost 3.00 pounds, taste awful and as soon as more than ten people had gathered a scuffle would start and the police would send everyone home.
So what to eat after a glass of warming kirscheweinpunsch? I had special plans for tonight and would not be thwarted by suggestions of chinese food or pizza for dinner. I had been waiting for nearly two weeks for tonight's dinner and knew exactly where we would be eating and what was on the menu: The Schwarzen Bären, my favourite restaurant in the whole of Germany.
Now I may have mentioned this excellent restaurant before (in fact I did, see 13/11/2004) and I may also have mentioned that they serve a special goose menu, which though I hadn't tried it, looked amazing. So that was what we did and amazing it was.
I wont say too much again about the restaurant. Once again the service was excellent and this time the function room at the back had a group of German drinkers standing around a piano singing German drinking songs. Quite the best thing that can happen while you slurp your consomme and nibble on a bone. I will however mention the food.
All three of us had the goose menu. This comprises a fine, light, goose soup, followed by the goose plate, then a light parfait for desert. The soup was good, the parfait, parfait, but the real item is the plate of goose that comes for the main course. They don't cheat on the goose here and there's none of this poncy 'goose breast' or 'goose leg' plate, it's just goose. They cook a goose and then chop it into giant pieces and serve it up, with knödel (big potato dumplings, light and fluffy), rotkohl (spiced red cabbage), a baked apple stuffed with some sweet fruit puree and a gravy made from goose fat. This was a superb meal, I recommend getting on a plane and coming here just for dinner. They brought us more gravy when we asked (for it was very, very, tasty) and kept the drinks flowing. It wasn't even expensive. We had a large glass of fine weissbier, a bottle of 1999 Baden-Baden, (I've never had German red wine before and rumour says it's awful, this was light, refreshing and not unlike a young Burgundy and for the price was a bargain), coffee and to finish a glass of Norwegian aqua-vit - when I asked the waitress if they had any schnapps she laughed and said "natürlich" and rattled off the names of about five, we ended up with the aqua-vit as that was the last one she said and the only one I could repeat the name of. We lounged around for about three hours, eating, drinking and mulling over old times and wondering why we can't get a meal like this for 40 euros (including drinks and tip) in Britain. All hail the Schwarzen Bären.
Streuselkuchen: Similar to a Danish pastry but more cakey than bready and drizzled with icing. Has a sweet crusty top too. Very good breakfast food.