It's all about the G's!
Hubby has discovered Groupon and stumbled on a German restaurant not too far from where we live, if 45 minutes is close. It is the most authentic he's discovered since The Feasting Fox went belly up due to poor management. We went to a beer and pretzel tasting with hubby's work family and stayed for dinner.
It really felt like being back in Germany, and the beer was perfect! Sadly, the food, being made with American ingredients was missing that quality that comes from using the pure food of Europe. But it was Wunderbar (now where is that darn umlaut when you need it?)!
I am usually all about schnitzel when it is on the menu, it is simply one of my favorites. Their menu had many of my favorites so I decided to go with Rolladen, potato pancakes and red cabbage. I had not had that in over 20 years and it was always one of my favorites. I still remember the little Gasthaus we stayed in outside of Sembach for a couple of months when we first got to Germany in 1978, that was where I first tried it. My folks made it for us and it was always wonderful. It was good, not as good as I remember it, but it was good.
And while the food was the reason we went, the friends were what made it perfect! Last night would not have happened a few years ago. Hubby's work family back then was not pleasant, it was ugly and hateful. Luckily the two toxins are gone. The new group is a true family. I sometimes feel like the odd duck out as I am a bit younger than the rest of them, and there are times that they start talking about things that I cannot possibly remember. I have discovered it is all good, because that is when I enjoy my beer or coffee and sit back and listen. I love soaking up the laughter and joy of it all.
We met a couple of new folks, in true German fashion the room was set up with long tables for you to sit with friends and new friends to be. It was nice to discover that the guy sitting next to us had been in Germany during one of times I was there, even if he was in Stuttgart. They were fun to talk to and I am sure we will find them at the next event! I know this, because having been raised in Germany, I can always find the people in the group that miss it as much as I do.
If you happen to be in Southern Illinois, near the town of Fosters Pond (just outside of Waterloo) make a trip to Dreamland Palace, you won't regret it, be sure to take a few good friends with you. And enjoy a stein or two of Heffeweise or whichever beer you enjoy. It does feel like you are in Germany, the owners are wonderful and it's a great opportunity to make some new friends or simply enjoy the ones you already have. We did!