Augustiner-Keller Beer Hall
The Augustiner draft at the hostel bar are so good we decide to stay on that brew train and follow Ben’s recommendation to the nearby Augustiner-Keller beer hall. It’s only a few blocks away. Whoa big building. It’s an old school brick and beams, long warehouse-shaped building with a large outdoor garden area. A number of pergolas, overgrown with hop vines and other foliage, provide some cover. Impressive and exactly what we want.
We walk up and all the servers are in traditional Lederhosen and Dirndls. There’s fun Oom-pah music playing. They take us back to an epic, long beer hall alive with the din of large tables of people largely happily drinking large amounts of large beers. This has all the trappings of a good ol’ Oktoberfest time. Giant platters of incredible looking food and steins being delivered by the armload. It’s perfect.
They take us to an empty table 3/4s of the way down the hall. We immediately put in some beers and take a gander at the menus. It’s warm in here. All the body warmth from the room of happy drunks is mingling with the low hanging rain and making the space kind of humid. Thankfully, our cold steins of helles land to help us out.
A giant salad, pretzel and 2 big platters show up to the table. Looks narmzy.
Let’s take a look around.
The marinated ham thing is amazing. Dip the pretzel and rye bread in the sauce underneath nummmmm. Great pickled radish, cured meats, cheese, sausage, squash, carrots medley, and fabulous sauerkraut. It’s a killer spread and we gobble it up over a couple steins of perfection.
I think Agent Oogie is falling in love with Munich already. The food, music, and beer, I can tell he’s really digging it. I’m glad we opted to come down this way. He hasn’t done a lot of travelling overseas and taking him to a world class city like this is probably a better first euro-travel experience then our original BEEF plan.
Destroyed! Great meal.
On point suggestion from Bartender Ben. Augustiner-Keller is a grand slam of traditional atmosphere, food and beer. We’re pleasantly plump and ready to get rolled out of here.
On the way out there is a bevy of drunks congregating around one of those giant mallet strength meters you see at carnivals. They’re laughing as one wiry dude picks up the heavy mallet and stumbles backwards. But then he really comes on to’r with a two-handed windmill, over-the-head smash that drives the cylinder all the way up to the bell with a piercing ring. Ohhhhhhhhh hahaha. Everyone’s clapping him on the back.
We’re feeling super stuffed after that big meal and the ocean of beers we poured on top of it. Around the corner is a place called Funkstadl. Great name. Hope it comes with a funk playlist. Looks like a smaller traditional restaurant. I can see a nice, all wood interior room through the window. “I wonder if they play Oom-pah James Brown in here”, “Maybe a cocktail?”, “There we go.”
It’s nice in here. Some chill lounge piano playing and only one other table. We take a seat for a second. Looks like there’s only one dude working the joint. We tell him we just need a few drinks and he motions for us to come up to the bar. Heavy promotion of Franziskaner in here. I do like it. Would be great out of that white stone mug I’m sure but I think we’re too heavy on the beers right now and need some lighter cocktail fare.
I spot two things on the shelf that I think may help with our situation. Fernet and Hendricks. A digestif to work it’s way through the feast and some gin to keep our detective skills sharp. The guys are on board with this prescription. Damn, this bartender isn’t messing around and pours a healthy 3oz shot of fernet into it’s own Fernet-Branca namesake glass.
We thank the man, pay up and take our G&Ts back to the table. Time to do a little München intel gathering on the smizzle phizzles.
I’ve toured around Munich before so don’t really care what the guys want to get into tomorrow. I do really want to make it to a restaurant that I ate at last time round called Ratskeller. It’s in the astounding central city square anyways, Marienplatz. Amazing traditional German food in a badass setting that’s a cellar under the Town Hall (hence the name). I think the guys would definitely like it. I throw that out as my only requirement while they look into various museums, squares, and scenes.
While we’re doing this a couple sits down at the table next to us. They overhear us talking in English and ask if we’re American. “He is. We’re both Canadian”, “Ah very nice. We are from Kazakhstan”, “Oh cool. Whereabouts? Almaty?” The look on their faces is great. Total surprise. “Yes Almaty. Do you know it?”, “Yep, we were there a few years back. Had a great time there. Lovely city. Fun city too”, they can’t believe it, “Really?”, “Yeah we had a little too much fun actually haha”, “Yes, we are so happy to hear this. Not many people have been there. Or go there. So glad you had fun time”, “Oh we had a great time in Kazakhstan in general”, “Why were you there?”, “Ahhh long story but we drove from Uzbekistan through Kazakhstan into Siberia as part of this whole…”
These two end up being great fun to talk to. Their names are Andrei and Jaena and they’re genuinely thrilled that we’ve been to their city and country. They’re traveling for 6 days to Prague and Genoa. Say they do these types of trips often.
They tell us a funny story about a 90 year old guy checking them in to the last place they stayed at. “He was so old! I don’t know why he’d still be working.” I guess he was just super slow in general, but also describing everything in great detail, talking and talking as some aging folks have want to do (I know I will). “I told her we need to check in before he dies. Then he asks, “Can I help you with your bags?”” we’re all laughing and Jaena jumps in, “No, no you stay alive. We got it! We got it!”
After a few more stories, we finish up our drinks, thank the Kazakhs for the company and wish them well on their journeys. Time to get back to the hostel, regroup and see what else the night has to offer. Big ol city like Munich, I expect we can find something stupid to get into..