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"Oans, zwoa, drei, g'suffa!"
A staple on any trip to Germany is a visit to a beer hall. I enjoyed the Hofbräuhaus on a previous trip to Munich and was looking forward to trying this one. Located just off Alexanderplatz, Hofbräuhaus Berlin is a Bavarian-style bar-restaurant serving schnitzels, sausages, sauerkraut and most importantly, steins.
The venue is massive and filled with the traditional wooden benches and tables you find in German beer halls. An Oompah band plays as drunken revellers dance and sing "Ein Prosit" loudly, and the staff serves you while wearing traditional dirndl and lederhosen. It can get pretty noisy, with sing-along's aplenty, great for dinner with a group of friends, but not exactly the kind of place you'd go for a romantic dinner.
We arrived before a midweek night out and had a great time as expected. The beer was great as always, Prost! However, I was a little disappointed that the selection of potato items on their menu seemed sparse compared with their Munich counterpart. I was craving their potatoes! There were no potato dumplings, the au gratin non existent, and the potato stew wasn't on the menu; my international Hofbräuhaus food craving had not been satisfied! I ended up ordering the frankfurters because it came with a side of Bavarian potato salad and, of course, ordered a pretzel (you've gotta order a pretzel!).
The food is reasonably priced, the portion sizes fair, and our meals came out quicker than you could say 'Der Gemütlichkeit'! There were no complaints from our table, only fits of laughter when a casing slipped off James' weisswurst and into his soup, making it look as if a condom was floating in his food. I repeat, it was a sausage casing! It looked foul (possibly a reason the dish does not appear on the current menu), that aside, my meal was tasty but straightforward, and Mark rated the pork knuckle he ordered incredible! We kept drinking and eating pretzels before leaving in a great mood, ready to finish off our night.
Whether it be Munich or Berlin, you've gotta love the Hofbräuhaus!