I hadn't eaten German food since, well, yesterday, when our cafeteria decided to hold a belated Oktoberbest celebration (sans alcohol. lame-o) that inflicted spicy sausages and dreadful sauerkraut on unsuspecting employees. Although that made me swear off cholesterol-laden sausages for a year, strangely enough when David's Thrifty Gourmets group decided to have an outing at Loreley, I jumped at the chance to join them. Mostly for a taste of German beer and lively company.
Things got off to a good start when we entered the restaurant and were greeted by the enticing, skimpily-attired image of Loreley, an alluring maiden who, according to German legend, lured many a sailor to his death with her hypnotic singing. I personally think that's hogwash - it's the see-through blouse and long legs that did the trick. LOL.
On to more important matters. Loreley's interiors can best be described as sparsely decorated. It's all large wooden tables and chairs and makes no pretense of being upscale. We were led into the crowded, lively outdoor dining area, which consisted of yet more long wooden tables and benches occupied by revelers partaking of the outstanding beer selections. In fact, if you close your eyes and really stretch the imagination, it's easy to imagine being in the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, albeit on a miniature scale, filled with NYU students instead of Germans, and without the robust frauleins holding eight gigantic beersteins in each hand. After much deliberation, I decided to go with the Schneider Wiesen Edelweiss, a special Oktoberfest brew from Munich. This pleasant beer turned out to have an after taste similar to astringent (beer connoiseurs, feel free to flame me), but check out the cool specially-labeled glasses below!
Ah, the food. Decided to give German sausages another try, and ordered the Wurst Teller mit Sauerkraut und Kartoffel Puree (sausage platter with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes). The mashed potaoes were yummy, the sauerkraut I didn't touch and insisted on foisting upon V. who sat across from me, the sausages were somewhat bland so I dipped them generously into the mustard. One weiner actually looked and tasted like supermarket Oscar Mayer. Hmmm. As my custom is, I started taking pictures of the multi-colored sausage dish. When M. saw this picture (on the left), he quipped, "Now, that looks vaguely pornographic", which elicited a belly laugh from yours truly. Trust me, it was funny. Or maybe it was the half-liter glass of Edelweiss beer working its magic that made it seem funny.
On the whole, the entrees were uneven. The Gebratener Schweinerucken mit Zweibel, Kartoffel-knodel und Rotkraut (pork loin with onion sauce, potato dumplings, and red cabbage) is quite a mouthful to pronounce, and that's about all my seatmate L. ate before declaring it inedible. Out of curiosity, I tried a little of the pork loin, and it was dried out from overcooking and I agreed with her assessment. V. opted for the "Rhineland-style" goulash whose appearance was so unappealing that it made me nostalgic for the Czech goulash I had in Prague (it was that bad). Nevertheless, V. gamely finished every morsel of it and complimented the spatzle side dish. At the other side of the table, D. and his cohorts enjoyed the potato pancakes and sauerbrauten, and thought the sides (mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, red cabbage) were fresh and tasty. A mixed bag, basically.
Would I return to Loreley? To sample specialty, seasonal beers - sure. And to get another glimpse of the nymph Loreley. See, she's got me under her spell already.