Sunday, April 1, 2012

Taste of Bavaria


With research money burning a hole in my pocket, we set off on the third official trip of the Gas Station Boudin odyssey to take in the rare Louisiana pleasure of German food at Taste of Bavaria. I have mentally been tasting the above plate of food - the Mixed Grill: bites of knockwurst, bratwurst, and frankfurter with German potato salad, red cabbage and sauerkraut - since I first heard of the place years ago. My wife spent some of her childhood in Germany as the daughter of the Air Force and I align myself with any sausage-based culture, so we have a particular fondness for German food and frequently lament that it can be hard to find here.


German food is likely a hard sell here; it's a cuisine of solid foundation and slow textures, in contrast to the sharpness of say, Cajun and creole cuisine or the blunt richness of soul food. Nor is it flashy. It is cabbage and sausage and potatoes in a similarly hued kaleidoscope of richness. It is gravity tempered with beer and cured pork.


Our entrees were good, but truthfully not the thing of legend. I wanted more sausage but when don't I? My eulogist will likely shrug, "He wanted more sausage." at my wake. Jerri's schnitzel was crowded on the plate by some dull roasted potatoes and sliced tomatoes. Maya's potato pancakes were mushy. I'm guessing they we serving beer on Sunday (you never know here) but I didn't see anyone else getting one and felt momentarily like a total alcoholic for wanting one, which is not the feeling a German restaurant should inspire.

It was starting to look like this place wasn't going to make the book. I didn't want to say, "might as well drive a ways more to Middendorf's." as my summation. Plus, the owners have a real problem with cell phones. There are signs everywhere forbidding their use. I hate talking on the phone, but I've never wanted to make a call more in my life. Like do my taxes over the phone in the dining room. I get it, preserve the olde worlde charm, but don't bum me out with your rules, Germans.


We inspected the bakery and this trio was boxed up for Mad Men/The Killing/Game of Thrones tonight. One should counter television's finest cocktail of ennui and fatalism with a phalanx of sweets. But we couldn't wait.


Holy mother of God of Deutschländer desserts! The meringue was perfectly pitched atop a creamy chocolate filling that American confectionery just cannot do. Sweet but not but is but I don't know what anything means anymore. Taste of Bavaria just soared in my rankings.

I am still picturing a basket of Middendorf's bible-page thin catfish on their peer, maybe getting a little sunburnt and then grabbing a box of chocolate meringue tarts on the way back so you can think about them all the way home along the greeny, grainy stretch of Hwy 190 - no amount of logistical expediency can justify spending involuntary time on I-12 - just to kill them off as quick as somebody can make a pot of coffee back home. That might be my dream Louisiana meal.

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