We sampled another European country's cuisine this week that is dear to both of us for we have heritage and family ties to her. We found Germany at Jägerhaus German Restaurant in Anaheim where our immediate reaction upon entry was "smells like German food!".
Since Jägerhaus means 'hunter's house' in German, I browsed the menu items with game meat and picked the Braised Rabbit. Rick, on the other hand, was hunting for a more rare and special dish so he picked the Gebratene Schweinshaxe (Ham Hock). Our choices for sides were as German as it could get: Spätzle, Creamed Spinach, Cucumber Salad, and Red Cabbage. We also asked for the White Asparagus appetizer with sautéed onions and cheese which they had as a limited time special for Spargelfest. Did you know white asparagus is the same plant as the green ones, but kept covered under soil to hide it from the sun so that it does not have the green pigment?
All food came at once, turning our table into a true festival of comfort food. German food is very manly! The Gebratene Schweinshaxe looked glorious with the enormous chunk of meat and a knife stabbed upright into it, garnished with the warm red cabbage in deep shades of bordeaux.
My Braised Rabbit definitely looked more delicate with the lean and long leg bones and tiny ribcage. The meat was too white for game meat but possibly it was because my rabbit came from a farm rather than the belt of a true Jäger. The sides of Spätzle and Cucumber Salad perfectly complemented the delectable flavor of rabbit.
The good thing about this food adventure is, we order a lot of food but try not to clean up our plates to spare room for any special desserts. The rest is always packed up to supplement another meal. Since we are eating Germany, we succumbed to the temptation of getting a piece of Apfelstrudel and were greatly rewarded with a large slice to share.
You'd think we would've asked for the check after dessert but, no, we were not done yet. The last thing to top off this extremely fulfilling meal was to get a bottle of Underberg that is served in its very special and elegantly tall glass.
Underberg is the German bitter digestif, that saves you from the pains of overeating. The etiquette for drinking this digestif is you never sip it; it all goes down in one shot with all your senses engaged to enjoy the deep scents and flavors of mysterious herbs and spices of this concoction. Nobody knows what is in this little bottle for the Underberg family has successfully kept the long list of ingredients a secret for over 165 years!
Please join us next week for another trip to a different country's kitchen.