Archive for the ‘German’ Category

Bronwyn – A Faint Whiff of Meaty Air from O’er the German Alps

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

bronwynrestaurant.com

Location: Somerville, MA (See on Map)

The Foodie: Recommends

The Boston area has always been seriously underrepresented in the category of German and Eastern European cooking.

PREFACE

Up to this point, Jacob Wirth and Café Polonia have been the only establishments raising flags lined with wurst, bier, und kraute from the kitchens of our fine town.

A new era is upon us, dear friends, with the opening of Bronwyn.

There has been a lot of noise and chatter in the cyber-sphere about this restaurant from many months before opening until now – As your indubitable Boston seer of signs and reader of food riddles, allow me to clear the air and give you a real, true opinion from one foodmensch to another.

A casual search of the world wide web will bring you to idle rumblings from the masses and should not be trusted in the case of Bronwyn:

  • Under the ad for liposuction on the Yelp page for this restaurant, anonymous phantoms will bitch about how this place doesn’t compare to Ronnarong (formerly housed in this space…a weird place and a travesty for Thai cooking) or Machu Picchu (any Peruvian would scoff in disgust). They may also complain about wooden benches, the weather and other non-food-related minutia, when they should really be concerned about their own lack of food knowledge, taste, and ability to handle any form of discomfort.

Let’s also set-aside the fact that we are not in Germany for a second here. We all know that authenticity cannot be matched outside of the source nation due to differences in well water, the air, terroir and hundreds of years of tradition.

  • If you have tasted currywurst and ketchup from street vendors in Berlin, noshed on those delightful little Nurnberger sausages (my personal favorite), or gulped down a Weisswurst in a Munich biergarten…you cannot hope to match those experiences abroad.

Ahhh, now we can talk about how one of Boston’s best chefs, Tim Weichmann (of T.W. Food Fame), and his wife (after whom Bronwyn is named) have created a place that respectfully pays homage to a certain region of cooking while adding a dose of their own creativity.

FOOD REVIEW:

Seated in Bronwyn’s delightful little outdoor Biergarten, my compatriots and I sampled a nice selection of sausages and other treats while enjoying beverages like Bear Republic Czech Pilsner and Erdinger Hefe.

I will start with a dissection of the “Giant Wurst Platter” that was indeed a seven-sausage meat fest. Observe:

Here is my wurst-breakdown:

  • Zungenblutwurst – A tasty blood sausage made with pork, tongue, and roasted pears. For the real mann.
  • Lemon Weisswurst – Bronwyn does an excellent rendition of one of my favorite Bavarian treats. This delicate light-colored sausage of veal, pork, and herbs is tricky to cook but Bronwyn pulled it off well.
  • Currywurst – Definitely not exactly to specification of this Berlin staple, but a delight to eat nonetheless. As the name suggests, this sausage is made with a little curry, veal, and pork.
  • Spicy Bierwurst – Though I’ve never tried this variety in Germany, the bierwurst here kind of tastes like a milder chorizo and was cut more like liverwurst in a thick round patty form.
  • Krauterwurst – A very juicy, herby little wurst made with chicken, pork, kohlrabi and beefsteak tomato
  • Kielbasa – A much different version than the spicy Polish creation that I’m used to, Bronwyn’s Kielbasa is a mighty fine and unique chunk of pork with garlic, coriander, marjoram, and farm greens poached in cream. Shazzam!
  • Bockwurst – Probably my least favorite sausage on the plate, the bockwurst came off a little dry and bland for my liking. But with 6 out of 7 sausages striking my fancy, I was pleased.

All of the above Bronwyn sausages were hand-cased and tenderly cared for. Our sausage pile was served over sauerkraut along with roasted potatoes and a refreshing little cucumber-dill gurken salad.

Beyond the wurst, we pulled apart one decent Bretzel and dipped that bad boy in a nice spicy little house-made mustard, and ordered a traditional Swiss dish called Rosti which was quite different than what you would get across the pond but was lovingly cooked together with beet, potato, arugula, radish, and chevre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN ZUSAMMENFASSUNG (summary):

Bronwyn is not T.W. Food in that the owners have definitely created a unique identity that sets this spot apart from their upscale contemporary American hotspot in nearby Cambridge.  It is also not a substitute for eating in Deutschland. But it is one mighty-fine swag at good quality German and Eastern European cuisine in a city badly in need of this style of cooking.

ENJOY BRONWYN FOR: Steins of lager in the biergarten, sausage-fests, sharing with friends, schnitzel, rosti, pretzels, and a faint whiff of fresh air from the Bavarian Alps.

Tatte – Finally, the Right Way to Say “Tart”

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

http://www.tattecookies.com

Location: Cambridge, MA

The Foodie: Recommends

Much to the chagrin of places like Woburn High, this place is actually pronounced Tah-tuh.

But damn can they bake. After opening right smack in Kendall Square on Third Street in early May, these guys have been packed to the brims with pharma jocks, medical device bandits, MIT babes, start-up engineers, and latte-carrying yuppies.

Business has been good. And Tatte deserves it. With a pimped-out line-up of sweet and savory, crusty and creamy, chocolatey and buttery, cheesy and meaty, green and soupy – the menu here features the following:

  • Fresh baguettes
  • Croissants
  • Brioche
  • Quiches (cherry tomato ‘n feta, potato ‘n thyme, zucchini ‘n mozz)
  • Soups (sweet pea, tomato basil bisque, mushroom)
  • Sammiches (think mozz, tomato, basil and pesto on toasted foccacia and pan roasted meatballs and san marzana ‘matoes on baguette with provolone)
  • Salads (vegetarians will delight in a full array of salads that come herby and green, loaded with ancient grains, or classically spinach and feta)
  • A Legit Breakfast Spread (brekkie sandwiches, muesli, bread baskets galore, shakshuka, and other assortments worthy of the Sunday Brunching crowd)

There are no pictures of these items in this review because the snapshots I took did not do them justice. On top of all this, Tatte tips their hat to nearly all my favorite food havens in Europe:

  • The shop looks unmistakably French and customers are greeted with a hearty “bonjour” from the full selection croissants, brioche, and baguettes behind the pastry window
  • The sandwiches, bread items, and full Illy Coffee setup scream “Viva l’Italia!”
  • The name Tatte conjures up images of an apron-and-rolling-pin-wielding-stocky-German-woman plus they serve Schnitzel for lunch

There is a fine patina of Eastern Europe and Mediterreania here as well with your eggplant purees, tahini, and yogurts.

Oh, and any bakery would be incomplete with a big slice of Americana – yes, they have a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.

I guess Tatte really does speak Baaaston after all…But I am glad that they bow to European technique.