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Where to Eat: Cologne, Germany

Submitted by on January 13, 2015 – 8:00 amNo Comment

sion-lunch By Susan McKee
The Road Trips Foodie
The tastiest part of travel is sampling new dishes in unfamiliar restaurants. When your Road Trips Foodie was in Germany last fall, she tried to stick to the “local specialties” part of the menu at each stop.

Here are the standouts in Cologne, starting with the Rheinischer Wurstsalat mit Bratkartoffeln (Rhineland-style sausage salad with bacon/onion home fries) at Brauhaus Sion (pictured). I don’t think I’ve ever had sausage presented in narrow slivers like this before. Of course the only logical beverage in Cologne is the local brew, Kölsch.

Kölsch isn’t a brand of beer, but the particular style of beer brewed only by members of the Cologne Brewery Association. Every restaurant in town serves its favorite (and often eponymous) version of Kölsch in a tall, thin cylindrical 0.2 liter glass. Characterized by its clear straw-yellow hue, the brew is a bit hoppy and less bitter than the standard German pale lager.

Kölsch also is the name for the traditional dialect of the region, and is the adjective for local specialties.

Peters Brauhaus, Mühlengasse 1, in the Altmarkt just to the south of the Cathedral square, is a popular gathering spot. You’ll probably end up sharing a table with strangers (but that’s the norm in Germany).

rote-grutzeTheir Kölsch specialties include black pudding, broad beans with smoked bacon, and boiled pork with sauerkraut.

I had the marinated beef with potato dumplings — and rote grütze (pictured) for dessert. This is a northern German sweet made with all sorts of red fruit (currants, raspberries, cherries) and topped off with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream. And a glass of Peters Kölsch, of course.

Im Roten Ochsen, Thurnmarkt 7 in the Heumarkt neighborhood since 1798, is a bit more pub than restaurant. Have a sandwich with your Reissdorf Kölsch.

Wine rather than beer is the beverage of choice at the Wienhaus Brungs, Marsplatz 3 — tucked away on a sidestreet near the Rathaus between the Altmarkt and the Heumarkt.

And, instead of a regional dish typical of Cologne, try one of their Alsatian “pizzas” — a thin layer of pastry topped with crème fraîche and then a choice of toppings (I had arugula — called rocket in Europe — and sliced tomatoes). Plus a nice glass of chablis.

lasagnaWhen you’re wandering about near the cathedral, a great place for lunch is Café Ludwig im Museum in (no surprise) the Ludwig Museum — which is on Heinrich-Boll-Platz, between the Roman-Germanic Museum and the Rhine River. They have a rotating limited menu of specials — I had Thursday’s choice: lasagna (pictured) — that include (of course) a glass of Kölsch.

(Photos ©2014 by Susan McKee)

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