Category Archives: German

Birthday-ing Around

Happy belated birthday to me! I celebrated my birthday in Chicago with my friends, and I decided to try out the Berghoff Restaurant. It’s a German restaurant that is fairly well known in Chicago. I never tried German food before and neither did my friends, so we decided to give this place a try.

Berghoff Restaurant – The Loop

Jager Schnitzel

I shared the Jager Schnitzel entree with my friend, because I wasn’t feeling too hungry and didn’t want to be food coma-ed out. The Jager Schnitzel is a pork cutlet with a bacon and jagermeister infused sauce. It came with root vegetables and spaetzles. It was alright. Perhaps I am not really a big fan of German food. The pork cutlet was tender and well cooked. Nothing to complain about, but nothing really to rave about. The pierogies were really amazing though, but that’s not truly German. That is Polish. A little bit of a let down since this was one of the go-to places in Chicago.

Magnolia Bakery – The Loop

My friend gave me these Magnolia cupcakes for my birthday. I have heard great things about Magnolia Bakery which started in NYC. I saw one of their stores on State street, a shopping street in Chicago, and I really wanted to try it since I never had the chance to in NYC. These cupcakes are really good. The bottom is not too rich and more cake-like than your usual cupcake. The frosting was light, but still quite sweet. A little bit on the heavy side in terms of sweetness, but the texture of it was just right. I tried the purple one. I think the frosting was just colored purple and was a regular vanilla flavored  frosting with a chocolate bottom. I offered the cupcakes to my friends, and they caked me with one of them. I have such great friends huh?

Division Ale House – Wicker Park

Hot wing challenge

I didn’t actually do the challenge, but my friend did. 10 hot wings in under 10 minutes, and you get the wings for free and a free t-shirt saying you successful accomplished the hot wing challenge. From the picture you can’t even tell they are wings, because there is so much sauce! They even gave him plastic gloves to wear! I sampled the sauce just to see how spicy it was, and it is truly quite spicy. A burning sensation on my tongue that wouldn’t go away for a couple of minutes. Thankfully you didn’t have to eat all of the sauce just the wings. The strategy then became wipe off as much of the sauce as possible! My friend successfully did the challenge in not 10 minutes, but 6 minutes. What an accomplishment! You go!! Once he finished, the waiters came out with a glass of milk and his free t-shirt.

Homemade Sushi

My sister and I decided to make sushi one night. Using crab meat, cucumber, tamago (egg), avocado, and salmon we made the various roles. My favorite was the salmon avocado. The smoothness of the avocado paired with the salmon is just the best. This has to be my favorite classic sushi roll!

Sweetness is Mandatory

Today is Monday, and what a struggle. My friend Rekha came to visit over the weekend, and we just stuffed our mouths with  cupcakes, cakes, macaroons, and all things sweet. No cuter place than Georgetown for dainty desserts.

Baked and Wired 

1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington, DC 20007

cupcakes galore at Baked and Wired!

The neighborhood of Georgetown should be renamed cupcake-topia. Within the span of a couple of blocks there are three different cupcake shops each with their own distinct taste from the renowned chain Sprinkles, the preppy Georgetown Cupcake, and the hipster Baked and Wired. Whenever I have guests come to Georgetown they always want to try Georgetown Cupcake, but I tell them Baked and Wired is better which is true.

strawberry cupcake

The cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake are too rich for my taste. The batter is thick and heavy paired with matching dense frosting. Baked and Wired is where it’s at. As you can see in the picture the cupcakes are more cake like than your normal cupcake. The frosting is light and whipped making for a delicious cupcake. They are known for their strawberry cupcakes, so I got one for my friend and I to share.

Kafe Leopold

3315 Cady’s Alley, NW
Washington, DC 20007

I have written two previous posts on Kafe Leopold already, but I just love this place. This is my all time favorite place in Georgetown.  A perfect place to take a friend for some sweets.

Topfentorte - mango cheesecake

We got the Topfentorte to share. The Topfentorte is a creamy quark cheesecake marbled with mango and filled with passion fruit jelly in the center. I am normally not a fan of cheesecake, but this was unlike any other cheesecakes I have ever tasted. The cheesecake was so light, almost mousse-like. It was just so delicious! I was a big fan of the whipped cream. It tasted so fresh with just a hint of sweetness.

macaroons

I have had the plate of macaroons before, but they always change their flavors so it’s fun trying new flavors. This plate had pistachio, banana rum, spicy chocolate, basil, and an unknown flavor Rekha and I just couldn’t figure out. All of them were great! I loved the crispness of the top layer of the macaroons.

Georgetown Canal

While walking around Georgetown we noticed that the Georgetown Canal was open and flowing. In the dead of winter the canal is empty. Instead of free flowing water you see the dirt filled bottom. It was so beautiful watching the water flow on such a gorgeous day.

What a sweet day in Georgetown! No pun intended…

Pleasantly Pittsburgh

Wanted to wrap up my Pittsburgh trip with one last blog post. Tidbits, odds and ends, my favorite parts about Pittsburgh.

Hofbrauhaus

a liter of beer!

Rekha has been telling me about her adventures at this place, a German restaurant turned bar during the night. Where it is normal to have a liter of beer all to yourself and stand on top of the tables and sing to the merry songs playing over the speakers. Totally German! I got my own liter of their Hofbrau Dunkel described as a dark lager that is easy to drink with a simple roasted malt flavor and slight caramel undertones. I am usually not a big fan of beer, but the Dunkel was really good. Good enough for a liter of it.

outside

The outside of the Hofbrauhaus was beautiful. The shiny metal things surrounding the outside are the beer brewery tanks which I thought was extremely cool. I’m guessing for decorative purposes.

Heinz Chapel

The stained glass windows at Heinz Chapel were gorgeous. Unlike other chapels these windows display not only religious figures but also historic and cultural figures like Dorthea Dix and Abraham Lincoln.

Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning

Austrian Nationality Room

Can you believe that University of Pittsburgh students have classes in beautiful rooms like these? Built and decorated by architects from the corresponding nations: Austria, China, Israel, India, etc. Not all rooms are as striking as the Austrian room made for small discussion seminar based classes, but each of them are different and accurately portrays each nation.

Primanti Bros.

Pitts-burgher Cheese Steak topped with fries and cole slaw

Each city has their famous sandwiches, and the IT sandwich for Pittsburgh is the one served by Primanti Bros.. All of their sandwiches come topped with fries and cole slaw. I choose the cheese steak sandwich. When the waitress brought my sandwich over to our table I just stared at it for a good minute or so trying to figure out how in the world I would be able to eat such a large sandwich without having all of the contents fall out. Steak, cheese, fries, cole slaw, tomatoes all in between two thick slices of french bread. Surprisingly it wasn’t as fatty or oily as I thought! The fries were fresh cut and were not completely soaked in oil. The cole slaw was light without the excessive mayonnaise. Very good sandwich. I was full after eating just half and had to take the other half to go.

Bridges in Pittsburgh

one of many bridges in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is known as “The City of Bridges”. It has the most bridges with piers and stands. With three major rivers cutting in and out, hills and ravines no wonder there are 455 bridges within the city limits.

The Mattress Factory

When my friend told me we were going to The Mattress Factory I thought it was a warehouse for mattresses. My friend is crazy! Well it turns out that The Mattress Factory is actually a museum of contemporary art housing one of a kind installation arts.

Infinity Dots

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Repetitive Vision

These two rooms made by artist Yayoi Kusama were fun to be in. Infinite dots under a black light and repetitive dots and figure in a room where there are numerous images of you in the mirrors. I realized afterwards that this was the same artist that made children’s dot room. Her fascination with dots really makes for exciting exhibits!

 Pamela’s Diner

board games galore

This cute diner was board game themed, and I’m not talking about just the modern day board games but also vintage board games. I have never heard of or seen a lot of the board games adorning the walls. Makes me wonder in the technologically advanced society we are currently in do we not have the time or the need for board games anymore?Instead of the simple joys of board games we fiddle around with our phones and play Words with Friends. Maybe it’s time to have a board game night.

Tex-Mex Omelet

I got the Tex-Mex Omelet to share with Rekha. The Omelet had cheese, chorizo, and sweet bell peppers topped with guacamole and sour cream. I especially enjoyed the potatoes. Pamela’s is famous for their Lyonnaise Potatoes. They were soft, but not soggy. Creamy with just the right amount of butter.

What a wonderful trip to Pittsburgh. An urban city with a small town feel. People walking at a slow pace, local stores without the pretentious storefronts. Perhaps all of this is just a modern day representation of the steel making, bustling city of Pittsburgh in the 1900s. The Primanti Bros. sandwich was originally packed with fries and cole slaw, because it was a convenient way for the steel workers to carry and eat their lunch in one compact sandwich.

A city with history, with charm. Definitely impressed me! 

Leopold’s Kafe – Food Update

I did a blog post about Leopold’s Kafe not too long ago, but this time I actually got the food and it was delicious. Very classic, clean, simple dishes that were not overpowering with too much flavors or too much grease. Just a very balanced taste. Very European.

Leopold’s Kafe

3318 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007

I got the Thunfischsalat Nicoise. Whew. Try saying that over and over again. Oh German…

Thunfischsalat Nicoise

Thunfischsalat Nicoise – Tuna nicoise salad, roasted tomato, string beans, herb tapenade dressing

The salad was good. It was layered so it almost looked like a pastry. The tuna on the bottom, tomato in the middle, and the string beans on top. Everything tasted so fresh.

David got the Miesmuscheln.

what a feast!

Miemuscheln – Mussels, white wine and parsley broth, cured tomatoes, herb frites.

It looked so delicious, and there was just so much food. He said that the mussels were very good. I dipped some bread into the white wine and parsley broth and the sauce was just so fragrant and aromatic. The frites were very good. I definitely liked how everything came with an orange colored decoration to fit the orange theme Leopold’s Kafe had going on.

We also got some complimentary bread with our entrees. The bread here is one of the best! It was just so soft with the right about of crunchiness and butteriness on the outside. The one thing that was not so great was the butter. The butter came in butter balls, but not at room temperature. The butter was hard to spread, because it was so hard. Hopefully putting it by the candle helped the butter melt a bit.

Of course we had to get dessert here, because the dessert at Leopold’s Kafe is just one of the best. David got the Karamell-Grey which I talked about in my other Leopold’s Kafe blogpost. This time around the Karamell-Grey seemed to be lacking in Earl Grey Tea flavor. Perhaps there was too much chocolate and not enough Early Grey Tea, so that the chocolate overpowered the weaker Earl Grey Tea flavor? I got the Fraiser.

Fraisier

Fraisier – Almond cake layered with pistachio mousse and fresh strawberries.

I liked it. The pistachio mousse was really good. To my surprise about 60% of the cake were these huge giant fresh strawberries. I thought there were just going to be fresh strawberries pieces or chunks. Instead whole strawberries stuck inside my cake. I would have liked more cake/mousse and less strawberries. Nevertheless good. Just wished there was more cake to eat!

I am beginning to think that Leopold’s Kafe can do no wrong. The atmosphere is gorgeous, the food is delicious, and the desserts are such a treat.

Stars – 5/5