Munich Restaurants

Munich claims to be Germany's gourmet capital. It certainly has an inordinate number of fine restaurants, but you won't have trouble finding a vast range of options in both price and style. Typical, more substantial dishes in Munich include Tellerfleisch, boiled beef with freshly grated horseradish and boiled potatoes on the side, served on wooden plates. Schweinebraten (roast

pork) is accompanied by dumplings and sauerkraut. Hax'n (ham hocks) are roasted until they're crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. They are served with sauerkraut and potato puree. Game in season (venison or boar, for instance) and duck are served with potato dumplings and red cabbage. As for fish, the region has not only excellent trout, served either smoked as an hors d'oeuvre or fried or boiled as an entrée, but also the perchlike Renke from Lake Starnberg.

You'll also find soups, salads, casseroles, hearty stews, and a variety of baked goods—including Breze (pretzels). For dessert, indulge in a bowl of Bavarian cream, apple strudel, or Dampfnudel, a fluffy leavened-dough dumpling usually served with vanilla sauce.

The generic term for a snack is Imbiss, and thanks to growing internationalism you'll find a huge variety, from the generic Wiener (hot dogs) to the Turkish döner kebab sandwich (pressed and roasted lamb, beef, or chicken). Almost all butcher shops and bakeries offer some sort of Brotzeit, which can range from a modest sandwich to a steaming plate of goulash with potatoes and salad. A classic beer garden Brotzeit is a Breze with Obatzda (a cheese spread made from Camembert and paprika served with freshly sliced rings of onion).

Some edibles come with social etiquette attached. The Weisswurst, a tender minced-veal sausage—made fresh daily, steamed, and served with sweet mustard and a crisp pretzel—is a Munich institution and, theoretically, should be eaten before noon with a Weissbier (wheat beer), supposedly to counteract the effects of a hangover. Some people use a knife and fork to peel off the skin, while others might indulge in auszuzeln, sucking the sausage out of the skin.

Another favorite Bavarian specialty is Leberkäs—literally "liver cheese," though neither liver nor cheese is among its ingredients. Rather, it's a sort of meat loaf baked to a crust each morning and served in pink slabs throughout the day. A Leberkässemmel—a wedge of the meat loaf between two halves of a bread roll slathered with a slightly spicy mustard—is the favorite Munich on-the-go snack.

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