|Wonderful Potato Soup|
These days you can search in vain for an old style German eatery. Used to be a Gasthaus on every corner, redolent with farmers’ omelets, schnitzels, and roasted potatoes. The restaurants are still around, but times change. The world turns. Some of my old favorites changed owners and now sell Greek food. Is it my imagination or is the world spinning faster, with traditional German restaurants flying off the edges?
All the rage is mediocre Italian, which is bad enough. But, to shock the Kaiser even more, the most popular fast food is Doner Kebab. No wonder. Germans don’t flock to fast foods, or if they do it’s to grab a fresh Brotchen with salami and cheese at the local Backerei. Won’t find a Mickey D or King of the Burgers flashing their lurid lights and showing off their arches on every street.
I’m not hard to please, contrary to what my family says, but I do search for the exceptional. Found a great spot. Alt Landstuhl reaches right into the heart of my hunger. It is German to the core, with dark wood paneling, a stone fire pit in the center, heavy pewter goblets and pitchers, and a good charge of old style beer and wine. Alt Landstuhl’s been sitting in the town of the same name for decades. Always was famous for the potato soup and succulent Chateaubriand. Still is. There’s a touch of comfort in constancy, a streak of lunacy in change.
You want to start with the potato-bacon soup. Creamy. Mouthwatering. The vapor sweeps by you first and your spoon soon has a mind of its own. A good second choice is the French onion soup, crusty and cheesy on top, bubbling underneath.
For the main, don’t screw around. Go for the Chateaubriand for two. I know you’ve heard the name, Chateaubriand. What is it exactly? Short answer: Thick slices of tenderloin, cooked to your order and cut at the table. But, there’s more to the story.
I always enjoy a slice of history, especially while I’m scarping down medium rare slices of Chateaubriand, resting on a pool of succulent brown demi-glace, and crowned with a buttery, rich Béarnaise sauce. Just in case you’re short on calories, there’s also a platter of vegetables and potatoes to fill the odd space in your short-lived diet.
About the history of Chateaubriand - from the Larousse Gastronomique (the French culinary Bible – Julia Child was only an apostle) the steak first graced the table of Françoise-René de Chateaubriand, who served Louis XVIII in various diplomatic capacities. Originally cut from the sirloin, tenderloin soon became the cut of choice. That’s enough talk. My mouth is watering and I’m beginning to drool in my wine.
Anyway, my meal was just prepared for me at the table and I need to dig in, or risk the wrath of the Mistress-of-the-Saber. “Just a little more wine, please.” Oh, yeah, the house red, sold by the liter, is beyond delicious.
Address: Schützenstraße 12, 66849 Landstuhl, Germany Phone: +49 6371 3003