Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Prost to Heidelberg

Prost! That’s German for cheers, and there are plenty of reasons to say it at Heidelberg. Located in the Upper East Side on 2nd Avenue between 85th and 86th Street, this is one of the last remaining authentic German restaurants in a neighborhood that once was primarily German. Established in 1936, the family owned restaurant creates a detailed atmosphere that transports you to a cozy cottage in the Bavarian countryside. The wait staff dressed in Dirndl and Lederhosen sashay past the tables with mugs and boots of German beer – yes, boots.

The glass boot became iconic after the movie Beer Fest and still remains a challenge for beer enthusiasts alike. For $26.95 and a $60 cash deposit for the safety of the glass, you can test the strength of your stomach with a 2-liter boot full of beer.

But be sure to save room for dinner. For my main course, I chose the Jagerschnitzel that came with a side of spaetzle and red cabbage. A veal cutlet covered in a brown cream and wine gravy sauce, and topped with sautéed mushrooms melted in my mouth. I used the spaetzle (funny shaped egg noodles) to sop up what was left of the delicious sauce. The red cabbage had a sweet and sour taste to it that didn’t go with the rest of the meal, so I left that alone. Upon completion of my meal, I still had half my boot left, and I realized that it would not only be my appetizer, but also my dessert.

I recommend this restaurant to anyone in the mood for some Bratwurst or boiled pigs knuckle. I was completely satisfied with the promptness and cheery disposition of the German wait staff and the quality of the food they served. Dinner entrées are a bit pricey, averaging $21 per plate, but you will get what you pay for.
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