Tag Archives: Munich

Travel & food- Warsaw

I’m currently on a work trip, and still have a couple more days to go until I can sleep in my own bed.  Until then, I’m living off restaurant dinners, airport snacks and cafes.  Just thought I’d show you guys what I’ve been up to ’till now!

During my layover in Munich, I had this great sandwich from Dallmayr Cafe.  It’s a family-owned company which began as a small grocery store.  The bread was delicious- very fresh, and I loved the flax and sunflower seeds.

It was simple sandwich, but very tasty.

Of course after a long flight, a cappuccino was needed!

I’ve spent the last couple of days in Warsaw.  Remember when I was here in December 2010?  Well, I’m visiting this city again.  Between some work appointments, I did get out to try some places in the city:

Some espresso is definitely needed for the jet lag!

I stopped at a cafe for some tea and tiramisu.  It was great to enjoy some time while warming myself up- today it was -8ºC!  Brrrrr!

Although this beef tartar wasn’t as cute looking as the one we got in Vienna, it was just as delicious!  It came with onions, pickles and pickled mushrooms.  My favorite was the alfalfa with the tartar, a great addition.

Lastly, I had this fantastic, and gorgeous, soup at La Bodega.  It was a creamy potato and vegetable soup, with a piece of fresh salmon (the pinkish little blob in the middle).  The soup was hot, and cooked the raw salmon.  It’s also a wine bar, with some tasty Spanish wines, so if you pass it- stop in.

I wish I could have taken more pictures of the food that I have eaten.  But when you meet new co-workers, especially on the other side of the world, I’m not sure if they’d feel the same about the photo-taking!  =)

More to follow in a couple of days…

European Food Adventures- Munich

Our last stop on the European adventure was in Munich, Germany (other stops include Poland and Austria).  One of the main reasons for choosing Munich was because of Oktoberfest.  Other than liters of beer, Munich also had to offer plenty of great food.

Munich, Germany

As many of you probably know, Munich is the third largest city in Germany and the host of the 1978 Summer Olympics.

Fun Fact #3: München (in German) was derived from the Old High German, which  meant “by the monks place”.  The city name comes from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city- the foundation date is 1164.  At that time black and gold were the colors of the Holy Roman Empire- they continue to be the city’s colors today.

Of course, the first thing we had to do was drink some German beer!  The liter mugs, also referred Maß, were in all of the restaurants around Munich:

One of our favorite things, not just in Germany but in all of the cities we visited, was the plethora of outdoor seating.  It’s really nice to relax outside- especially with the wonderful weather that we got throughout our trip.

After walking around the center of the city, we stopped at Hackerhouse, just blocks from the Marienplatz.

Both of these dishes (above and below) are Oktoberfest specials at the restaurant.  The above meal was a variety of wurst with potatoes.  Sam did say that the sausage link all the way in the back of the photo was one of the best he’s ever tasted in his life.  The dish below was roasted beef with gravy and cold potato salad (with dill and cucumbers).  The salad was definitely a first for me in texture and taste- but I really enjoyed- I wonder if I can replicate it!

As I mentioned before, when we were in Munich we did stop by Oktoberfest.  Just walking around it feels like a state fair (I’ve only been to the state fairs in the midwest so I’m not sure what others may look like) with rides for kids, vendors with lots of food and many people just walking around.

While walking, everyone will notice that there are massive tents- 14 of them this year.  Each tent is manned by a different brewery.  The capacity of these tents range from 98 to 10,000!  Sam and I visited 2 tents: Armbrustschützen (Bull’s Eye) and Hacker (Bavarian Heaven).

This is the entrance to Oktoberfest, as you can see there are a lot of people going in and out!

All around the campgrounds there are little kiosks selling Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread hearts).  They range in size and color as well as a variety of  messages.  For example: Ich liebe Dich (I love you), Du bist mein sußes Herzchen (You’re my sweetheart) or Ich denke nur noch an Dich (I think only of you).

One of my favorite parts of Oktoberfest was brezn (pretzel)!  The pretzels range in 3 different sizes:

1) about the size of your hand
2) about the size of your face
3) significantly larger than your head!

And yes, I had 2 of them during our visit.  I don’t think any pretzel from a baseball park will ever compare.  All of these are so fresh and fluffy- I think this inspired me to make some of my own very soon!

Last but not least: hendl (chicken).  In each of the tents there were large of rotisserie stations getting chickens cooked.  Since everyone seemed to be getting them, we had to try it.  The one pictured above was finger-licking good!  The crust was crispy and full of flavor, while the inside of the chicken was deliciously moist.

Fun Fact #4: During the 2011 Oktoberfest, held for 17 days, 7.5 million liters (1.98 million gallons) of beer were consumed; there were 6.9 million visitors; each Maß was €9 ($12.66); during this time there were 226,000 stolen mugs.

There is one more thing that we stumbled upon while wandering through Munich, the Viktualienmarkt.  It’s a large, daily food market close to the Marienplatz (closed Sunday’s).  As Munich began to grow in the 19th century the city needed a larger market, therefore, King Maximillian allowed for a large space close to the city center to be designated for the market to grow.  Over the decades many stalls and pavilions were added.  Unfortunately, the market was severely damaged during World War II, but due to its popularity was rebuilt soon after.

Today the market has about 140 shops and stalls filled with many fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, flowers and much more.  In the center of the market stands a blue and white maypole.  Maypoles can be found in many village squares in Bavaria; in the past, signs were posted all over the maypole indicating the goods and services available around that particular city.  The Viktualienmarkt maypole has the following symbols: beer-carts, carousels, dancers, musicians and a fruit lady.  Every year on the first of May the pole is raised by men wearing Lederhosen.

Although we have farmers markets in the US, they don’t compare to the one’s in Europe.  This is just an example of one stand- so much produce to choose from!

I took a picture of this fruit (I think)- but I have no idea what it is.  If anyone reading this blog knows what this is- definitely let me know.  I thought it was very cool looking- lots of texture.

Since it is Germany- there were a number of pickles.

And lots of cheese!

If any of you get a chance to explore the food and drinks in Germany, you’ll enjoy your time here.  Everyone we met in Munich was very friendly and helpful, lots of smiles to go around.

I hope all of you enjoyed our updates on Europe, don’t worry- recipes coming up!  We didn’t have spicy food in Europe, so we had to make up for it once we got back!

European Food Adventures- Vienna

The second portion of our trip included Vienna (we first visited Poland).  This was the first time either of us had been there, and we really enjoyed it!

Vienna, Austria

One of the well known Viennese specialties is Sacher Torte.  It is a chocolate cake invented by Franz Sacher (an Austrian-Jewish confectioner) in 1832.

Fun Fact #2: Prince Metternich wanted a special dessert from his personal chef, but the chef was sick.  Therefore, his 16-year old apprentice, Franz Sacher, took on the task.  The torte was created for a special occasion, and all of the guests enjoyed it.  Sacher ended up opening his own specialty delicatessen and winery after finishing his training.  Then his son, Eduard, continued the family legacy and perfected his father’s recipe.  The torte was first served at the Demel, and then at the Hotel Sacher, which he established in 1876.  The cake continues to be one of Vienna’s famous culinary specialties.

We might have had our dessert before dinner that day!  =)

Sam and I both really love mushrooms.  I know there are many of you out there that do not like them, but I find them delicious!  Fortunately for us, we had mushroom soup a number of times while in Europe, one of them being in Vienna.

We stumbled upon Restaurant Ferdinandt.  A section of their menu was seasonal, where I found this mushroom soup:

This tasty soup was made out of chanterelles.  Being a mushroom lover, I can only repeat- every bite was amazing!  Here, in the US, chanterelles are expensive and depending on where you live- hard to come by. But in Europe they are fairly inexpensive and many food stands and farmers markets were selling them, so we indulged!

Don’t you worry, we still got our Vitamin C when we ate some fruit.  A fruit that my Mom loves, and we haven’t been able to find in the US, are red currants.  They are native to Europe and have a great mix of tartness and sweetness.

When I was little, my Mom and I used to pick red currants every single year.  Some ended up in the baskets to take home, others in our tummies!

Of course, while Sam and I were in Vienna, we tried a lot of beers.  Here’s a picture to prove it.

Every beer needed a tasty European dish!

While we meandered the street of Vienna, we ended up trying two different establishments, turns out they had the same owner.  It was only after we left the second place, we found out they were extremely close together (around the block!).  How I love winding European streets, it can be fun to get lost!

The establishment(s) that deserved two visits in one day were Bierhof and Hopferl!  Apparently there is a third restaurant, but we didn’t not find it.

Sam had the rostbratwürste (grilled sausage) with bratensaft (gravy) and braterdäpfel (fried potatoes).  The potatoes had the perfect crisp to them!

Meanwhile, I tried out the wiener saftgulasch (Viennese goulash) with spätzle (egg noodles).  I ate my plate clean!  Goulash is a Hungarian soup, but it’s a very popular soup in East and Southern European countries.  Spätzle is a popular egg noodle in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary.  The gravy was perfect with it.

Of course, brats and beer are not the only thing that Austria specializes in.  They also have wine.  While wandering the streets, we found a wine bar!

One evening we found was a specialty grocery store.  Below it was Meinl’s Wine Bar.

The store had a number of European wines: French, German, Italian and Spanish (plus more!).  But we wanted to try some Austrian wines.

I’m not sure if either of these can be found in the U.S.- but in case they can, our recommendations are: Helmunt Bruckner and Umathum.  Both of these had a deep juicy quality, reminiscent of dark red cherry quality.  While we tried out these wines, we also indulged in:

Sam thought that this beef tartar looked like a muppet.  Which muppet do you think it was?

As you can tell, we ate very well while we were Vienna!  Up next: Munich, Germany.


Yesterday we officially bought our tickets for our fall trip to Europe. We’re very excited and we’ve even started a little countdown. Unfortunately, it’s still more than a 100 days away, but that gives us a chance to plan away.

Our itinerary will begin in Kraków (Poland), then we’ll go to Vienna (Austria), and our last stop will be in Munich (Germany).  The end of the trip will let us have some fun at Oktoberfest!  So if anyone has any good tips, we’d love to hear them!

With that, I came across an article about why people choose to travel, which I found interesting.

Why We Travel

Happy Travels, wherever you might go!