After a day at a concentration camp, things could only get better. To that end, we started the day with “traditional breakfast of Bavaria” as our hotel bartender Jan referred to it. That’s right, white veal sausages, sweet mustard, pretzels, and beer and Donsil in Marienplatz! The only downside is that they’re a Hacker-Pschorr stop, which didn’t end up being a top five beer for me.
Were that my breakfast could be so perfect every day, friends.
Outside of Donisl, the carillon was about to trigger, so we got to see all of Marienplatz full of tourists staring up at the clock. Saw this a few other times on the trip; but basically, it looks like this:
Oh, you thought I meant the clock, not the crowd. I didn’t have any long glass, you’ll just have to imagine how the little spinning and dancing display would look.
After our light breakfast, we walked around the viktual market; it was like any other market, really, beyond that the fare was slightly more Bavarian. This lady was cutting slices of a piece of dried meat and handing them to everybody that walked by. I verified she does this every day. It wasn’t so much handing as mechanically jabbing her knife out into the street into the nearest passer-by, and forcing the meat on them. It was good meat, but it was still sort of strange.
So, yeah. Pretty much what you’d expect from a market. Though, it did keep going and going for a while, once we got past the stuff that grows in and above the ground. These were all made from stuff that grew in the ground, plus fake eyes and a lot of hot glue; they look less impressive when you actually get up close, and they feel really cheap, but I liked the way they looked in bunches from a distance:
From the produce and handmade things, we started into the rest of the market; this cheese looked especially delicious:
The bread stand always had a long line; I got a large pretzel and a quarter of some loaf or other there (over a kilo in quarter-size, mind you); both were decent, neither were exeptional. I think that’s a general take-home for food in the region; there were only a few things that were really good (a pork knuckle in particular, a pretzel, a particular obazda), and virtually nothing that was amazing. It wasn’t like eating baguettes, sausage, and cheese in Paris, where everything is amazing. Tried a lot of stuff, and it was definitely a gastronomic odyssey, but here’s where it’s at in Munich: Beer, pretzels, things involving rendered (or otherwise) pork fat, and sausage.
This is a salt pickle.
Imagine your deli pickle. And then brine it. Inject it with reduced salt waster. And then add salt. And brine it. I love salt. I really do. I put way too much salt on everything. This pickle bested me, however, and made me nearly vomit in my mouth when I tried to eat it. As I was throwing it away, I actually was considering buying a kilogram log of butter near the trash can (conveniently placed) because I’d rather start chewing on that than taste what was happening inside my mouth. Even though Indian pickles that normally beat the crap out of me are pleasant by comparison. This thing is disgusting. Friends, avoid the salt pickle from the Greek stand. Just trust me on this one.
Enough of the market; we headed through the ritzy part of the shopping district after walking around the market, which featured a lot of the normal exotics (F430, F50, Gallardo, R8, Z8, 911 GT2), this matte BMW (matte car number two for the trip), and the after-the-Cayenne-why-not Panamera:
It’s a lot like walking down Greenwich ave, except it’s longer, the street is wider, and the food probably isn’t as good. If you want a Hermes scarf and want to buy it on a street where other people are wearing Hermes scarves, it’s the place for you. Want an Audemars Piguet watch? Sure. But really, it just felt silly, so we kept walking towards the Englisher Garden. We thought about accelerating our journey via the U-Bahn, but that wasn’t going to happen:
The park is pretty huge, much larger than Central Park. And the SchÃ¶nfeldwiese permits nude sunbathing (which we didn’t realize at the time). I kept thinking that’s what I was seeing, and this was later confirmed much later on by a man walking along a few yards from us in the buff. No pictures, you’re welcome.
Did I mention you can just buy cigarettes, condoms, and pocket vaginas from vending machines in Germany (admittedly, not usually from the same machine)? It is an amazing country.
In the middle of the park is a HofbrÃ¤u beer garden by the Chinese tower; it’s the second largest, and is really a pretty nice establishment. We ended up going back again later in our journey. I definitely recommend the hike out here for some stress free delicious beer in the park.
I haven’t talked about this too much yet, but Munich is a bike town. All of the sidewalks are coincident with bike paths (and often it’s hard to avoid walking on one, much to my chagrin). Everybody bikes everywhere. If I lived there, I would have a bike, and it would be swell. I’m sure there are better examples in the world, but in my experience thus far, it’s the best integrated bike/pedestrian/automotive system I’ve ever seen.
Dinner was back in Marienplatz at an Italian restaurant whose name I forget. The buffalo margherita pizza and curried chicken pizza were decent, but nothing particularly impressive, continuing the aforementioned trend.
After pizza, it was time for a few more liters of beer (this was my peak beer consumption day, at 4.5 liters; I was hoping to hit 6 by midweek, but a rhinovirus thwarted my efforts) at the actual HofbrÃ¤uhaus, which was delicious. As much as it’s a tourist destination, the place is definitely amazing. Go there.