Because I’m fairly certain it would have been a terrible breach of etiquette to not visit such a fine cultural institution, I spent my last night in Munich at the Hofbrauhaus-
The Hofbrauhaus is, in short, the grandaddy of all beerhouses, having doled out beer and food to its guests for several hundred years now (I mentioned it in passing when I discussed the free tour of Munich a few posts back).
Me and the two guys I met at the hostel, who work for a software firm in Seattle. Due to our respective lines of work we were all mutually excited to find company who knows what xkcd is, discuss programming languages, and argue over Star Wars. On a more important note, the guy on the right even spoke German so we weren’t total tourists.
And also, of course, as this is Bavaria those are one liter steins we were drinking from as that is the standard size in these parts. (Apparently if you ask for something smaller the waiter just gets huffy and tells you to wait for another tourist to split with.) I must say, drinking a 1L stein is kind of interesting when you’re not used to it. Sort of like finding your personal Everest, and you can’t help but feel happy at the end because the effects have long ago caught up with you.
Speaking of drinking a liter, you luck out because you have this helpful oom-pa-pa band to help you out on occasion. You know the song referred to in the title to this post, which then goes “ein, zwein, zuppa!” at the end, when everyone has to drink? Well, that was invented on this very spot. And the band hence plays that refrain about every other song, in between Bavarian folk tunes. Which I liked just because c’mon, it’s not like people pour into bars in the US saying “man, I would so want to listen to She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain right now!”
The obligatory wiener schnitzel I ate, with a side of sour potatoes. I think that tomato on top of the potatoes is just to ward of scurvy.
And last but not least, the obligatory gingerbread heart with frosting that the three of us split for desert, which are sold by ladies walking around in traditional German garb. (The frosting just says “thanks a lot!”)
I must say, the Hofbrauhaus was great fun but it’s one of those paces that inevitably makes you wish you could drag all your friends back home to visit as well. On the bright side, a new location of the Hofbrauhaus is opening in Pittsburgh later this year, in the South Side Works, so I guess we can do it when I get back! Should be interesting competition for the Penn House Brewery too when Oktoberfest rolls around…