The Secret to Happiness in Germany

**Guest post written by Stacia’s husband**

By the time we made it to Munich we were both tired and hungry and a bit grumpy. We decided to seek out dinner and not much else. We walked about a half mile from our apartment to the Paulaner Brauhaus. We walked into a gorgeous, warehouse sized dining hall with 30 foot ceilings and beautiful brass beer vats featured at a center bar.

A  man and woman sit at a table in a restaurant in Munich Germany

Our moods already improving, we sat down and quickly realized why “it’s all German to me” is a common American phrase. In Spain, France and Italy we could find our way through the menus but there were too many consonants on this one. We exchanged confused looks and laughed.  Our waitress noticed and offers “English Menus?” We bashfully accept and order two beers which were delivered in buckets. It was literally like doing curls during dinner.

A man and woman make faces at giant beers in their hands at a restaurant in Munich Germany

ALL of the food sounded amazing but we settled on a couple of house dishes. Stacia ordered a meatloaf and Bacon dish with mashed potatoes, sausages and sauerkraut. I assumed I would end up eating a good portion of it. I ordered a pepper steak with mashed potatoes, veggies and beer sauce. By the time our food showed up we had each finished a half-liter of our beer tubs and probably would have eaten our napkins with appropriate seasoning. But OH MY GOD! How we were treated instead!

Close up shot of a plate of meat and vegetables in a restaurant in Munich Germany

Close up of a plate of sausage and vegetables in a restaurant in Munich Germany

The plates were beautiful, and smelled amazing!  No sooner did I begin eating than I heard the strangest thing coming from the direction I thought my wife was sitting. “I like Sauerkraut!” I couldn’t believe my ears. Stacia liked everything on her plate. I ended up having to trade away my mashed potatoes just to get a few bites of sausage and kraut.

A woman smiling over a plate of food with a knife and fork in her hand in a restaurant in Munich Germany

For dessert we got this thing….

close up of a dessert tower in a restaurant in Munich Germany

We still have no idea what it was but we ate it, all of it, then walked the half mile home and fell into a food coma until the next morning.

The next day we made our way to the train station to take care of some housekeeping for the journey ahead. On the walk back we came across The Augustiner restaurant. Don’t be turned off by the touristy feel of the place or the waitresses in traditional dirndl dresses, this place is incredible. We were seated at a long communal table with a nice elderly couple at the other end sharing a pot of sausages. We studied our menus and Stacia ordered veal meatballs with mashed potatoes and cabbage and a half-pint of beer this time.

close up of veal meatballs and mashed potatoes at the Augustiner Restaurant in Munich GermanyI got this…

Close up of a pig knuckle at the Augustiner Restaurant in Munich GermanyIt’s a pig knuckle. It came on a bed of sauerkraut and scared me. I looked at Stacia who was having a similar reaction and then really got worried when I saw the elderly German man staring at me and my plate trying to determine what would happen next…

Close up of a pig knuckle cut open at the Augustiner Restaurant in Munich GermanyI ate it….

Close up of a pig knuckle bone at the Augustiner Restaurant in Munich Germany

All of it. That’s what happened…and now I’m German. The whole restaurant jumped up applauding and carried me out on their shoulders chanting. Ok, maybe not, but it was an impressive feat and it was the only meal either of us needed all day.

The next morning we got up early to head to the train station in time to get one last German meal. Stacia had potato stew with bacon and croutons which she says was amazing.

Close up of potato soup in GermanyI had Bavarian style hash browns with applesauce and sauerkraut.

Close up of barvarian hash browns

If you’re thinking all we did in Germany was eat, well…you’re right and yet I don’t feel like we missed a thing. You can learn so much about people by the food they eat and I learned that Germans must be magical, because how can they eat this amazing food everyday and not be morbidly obese?

Have you been to Germany? What was your favorite food? Share your story in the comments below! 

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