On my last day visiting Bielefeld I woke up around 1pm… But in my defense, it was because the night before my cousin invited a bunch of her friends over and Germans party until the sun comes up. Or in our case around 3:30. If we would’ve gone to the disco, it would’ve been more like 6. Germans seem to start partying way past my bedtime. Guess I need to step my game up.
Anyway, that morning (afternoon) we had a light lunch of a few different tapas. Traditionally, tapas are a collection of appetizers that comprise a meal. We had two different types of bruschetta (made with left overs from the night before), some roasted Spanish peppers, and a variety of german meats.
After lunch, we took a walk through the Teutoburgerwald forest. What’s crazy about Bielefeld is that basically anywhere you are in the city, you are just a short jaunt to the woods. My mom’s cousin, Michelle, gave me a little history lesson about the city on our excursion. Apparently, it was in these woods that the Roman empire was halted on their conquest through northern Europe. Arminius, or Herrmann, was born the chief of a Germanic tribe, but was kidnapped as a child and taken to Rome, where he grew up. He betrayed the Roman Empire in favor of his homeland and aided in their victory during a battle that was fought in the Teutoburgerwald forest. Pretty neat, eh?
Now onto more food. Because you knew it was coming 😉
That night, I was taken to Restaurant zur Linde, an authentic German restaurant family owned since 1677. I can’t even wrap my head around how this restaurant has been kicking since before my country started a violent protest for its independence. I ordered the Jägerschnitzel mit Bratkartoffeln, Schnitzel topped with a mushroom sauce with a side of potatoes. Bratkartoffeln are potatoes that are first fully cooked in boiling water, then sautèd with butter and bacon. This creates a beautiful brown, crispy exterior while keeping the insides nice and tender. Each bite had a light crunch and then melted in my mouth like butter. Then there was the schnitzel, oh the schnitzel. Someone once told me that unlike some more famous cuisines German food isn’t extravagant or fancy. German food is just damn good. And I would 110% agree with that statement. It reminds me a bit of food from back home in Minnesota, very seasonal, hardy, meat-and-potato, nap-inducing, rustic cooking. Schnitzel is pork that has been pounded out flat, breaded, and usually pan fried (God, am I glad I stopped being a vegetarian for this trip). Jägerschnitzel is that, topped with a creamy mushroom sauce. The Linde family has had 340 years to perfect their schnitzel, and it sure tastes like it.
Dinner was followed by a shot of Patthorster waldgeist, or a schnapps considered “the spirit of the forest”. It was like a smooth vodka with a powerful chili kick and a woodsy undertone. My whole mouth tingled and the heat only grew and spread as the waldgeist went down. I can see how it got its name, I felt like there was curios ghost lingering in the throat. I thought it was lovely.
We tried to end the night with some spaghettieis, which is essentially spaghetti made out of ice cream. Vanilla ice cream noodles, raspberry “sugo”, and white chocolate “parmesan”, or in other words, perfection in ice cream form. I’ve only had it once before, and that is when I was around twelve, but I will never forget how enthralled I was by it. Unfortunately, it’s January and most ice cream shops don’t run into the night during Winter. I guess I’ll have to wait a little bit longer to have another taste of that childhood magic.
Bis zum nächsten Mal, tchüss!