Bavarian Bier Cafe, Eagle Street Pier – a wunderbar eating experience

*This is a shitty photo alert*
*This is a shitty photo alert*

The first thing I noticed was the heat. It was going to be a warm one today. It was already being a warm one today and I was kind of a little unhappy with the 24hr air conditioning at Queenies house (Jennee’s brother and our host for the weekend) that was fooling my brain into thinking the celsius was actually hovering somewhere at or under the 20C mark… Silly, silly brain. That brain o’ mine really needs to be a little more on point than that, I mean, if it’s going to make all of the important decisions around here.

So it was hot, I dealt with that.

Secondly, the whole of the Brisbane CBD 20-to-30-something-old male office crew seemed to be divided as to whether it was the light baby blue shirt or more of a pastel salmon pink shirt that was to be decreed office uniform for 2016.

I was rooting for the pastel salmon pink myself.

Thirdly, I was really, really hungry as I had skipped a proper and complete breakfast in favour of an extra coffee in preparation for the sausage fest that would be ensuing this midday (not that kind of sausage fest – I would have needed at least a complete and proper breakfast to get my energy levels and longevity up if I was going to be rocking that kind of sausage fest), so it came to pass that I should move away from the street corner and stop with my pointless observations so we may go and fill our bellies with a big fat pile of steamy German sausage (once again, not that type of sausage) and, to a lesser degree, some kind of soured cabbage product and a hopsy, malty type beverage or two.

I'm pretty sure this is compulsory for your first time on a pretzel
I’m pretty sure this is compulsory for your first time on a pretzel

We were keen. The waitress came to get our drinks order and we hit her with the lot.

NB It is also worthy of note right here that our waitress was quite a pretty young German lass, no piggy tails or ridiculously over-ample bossom, but German none-the-less, and if this is the type of effort these Bavarian Bier Café folks are willing to put in, searching the globe for the right candidate etc, then I was certainly going to allow myself to be very impressed and even compliment them on their attention to detail.

Really tasty home made preztels
Really tasty home made preztels

The pretzels ($4.5ea) hit the table, neck and neck with our first round beers. Pretzels are good, and so is beer. Fact.

Next up the waitress arrived with our meals – a pretty good idea on her behalf because the beer on an empty stomach thing was doing nothing to subdue my pangs of hunger.

Our table quickly filled up with pig and pig products, cabbage-y things, potatoes and more beer – everything would expect from a Bavarian Bier Café. I was certainly stereotyping the heck out of these people by now, but they are my people so I felt it was OK.

GIVE ME SAUSAGE!
GIVE ME SAUSAGE!

The Sausage Tasting ($28) was so full of sausages it looked like Ian “Huey” Hewitson, or possibly the fat German kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was still holding my plate. All the while I could not decide weather I was thinking more about the fat guy (I know it’s not PC but it certainly is the truth) sausage fingers or the scene from “Freddy got Fingered” when Tom Green makes the sausage mobile. “Daddy would you like some saus-sage. Daddy would you like some saus-sage-ges?”

Needless to say I gobbled the shit out of a heap of sausages this day and I loved every goddam second of it. All of that sausage gobbling did not even bring back one single bad memory of waking up on the wharf with a pocket full of fivers and hair gel all through my beard… There were a couple of sausages that were my favourites but at the end of the day I kinda got caught up in the heat of the moment and before I knew it there was a flurry not dissimilar to that of Cookie Monster on Sesame Street, some gnashing of teeth and the sausages and sauerkraut and mashed potato with beer sauce and mustard were all gone.

Definitely one of the tastiest knuckles I've been hit with in a long time
Definitely one of the tastiest knuckles I’ve been hit with in a long time

So then we moved onto the pork knuckle.

Along with the Volkswagon, this half pork knuckle ($27) was another true triumph of German ingenuity; crispy on the outside, moist and tender in the middle, and served with some more tasty potato and cabbage products, and apple compote. Tasty shit.

We had no space for dessert so we were out of there to wander a-little-bit-pissily through the streets of Brisbane.

All in all a great job by the Bavarian Bier Café. Wunderbar!

Rueben-ish Sandwich

reuben sandwich
Today I will instruct you on how to make my version of the Reuben sandwich – a sandwich made famous by someone, but it is one of those culinary historical events that are damn near fucking impossible to pin down one actual origin for. Thus I shall be calling this a Reuben-ish sandwich, as I shall be basically making it with ingredients I have on hand and/or are readily available in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, and not even referring to any type of kitchen tested, pre-typed, recipe AKA. I shall be winging it.

Since making this sandwich I have well and truly fell in love with this Russian dressing business. Once again I have created my own version of said dressing, thus it shall be known as the Russian-esque dressing.

Oh yeah, and I put some really nice ham in there too, just because I really like the idea of ham in this sandwich/burger and not at all because that is what goes into a Reuben sandwich. This shit just keeps getting better and better!

I will be putting all of these almost-Reuben sandwich ingredients together using sorta-sense-making sentences.

So as you should be able to see by now, this is the usual miss-matched, slung together, fly by the seat of your pants, shit you have grown to expect from foodisthebestshitever. You’re welcome. For what I’m not sure, but you truly are very welcome ☺.

Pile it up exactly like a bossss
Pile it up exactly like a bossss

Get your pickles ready... I will give you the recipe for these in a post or two
Get your pickles ready… I will give you the recipe for these in a post or two

Nommy nommy goodness
Nommy nommy goodness

MY REUBEN-ISH SANDWICH/BURGER

3-4 slices pastrami (or I am been led to believe that corned beef will also do a grand job here)
2-3 slices decent ham
1 slice Swiss cheese
½ cup sauerkraut
A good slather of Russian dressing (recipe below)
A burger bun or sliced bread
Some pickles and potato crisps to serve

• For toasted sandwich stylee; put everything together between two slices of quality bread (rye is traditional, but I’m pretty sure this whole thing is about giving traditional a “cheeky one” roughly from behind, so just use whatever bread you damn well feel like), get a little butter and oil in a pan over medium heat and then fry sandwich for 2 or so minutes each side until browned and toasty and warm. Once again, eat it in your face
• For the burger stylee; heat the meats through in a pan over medium flame. Once warmed pile meats on top of each other so they will fit in your bun and put cheese on top to melt a little. Put meat pile onto base of burger bun, put sauerkraut on top and then Russian dressing. Eat it in your face

RUSSIAN-ESQUE DRESSING

1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup tomato sauce (ketchup)
¼ cup diced onion (from roughly ½ small onion)
¼ cup chopped dill pickles
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce

• Pulse all ingredients in a food processer until combined or chop the onion and pickles nice and fine and mix it all together in a bowl
• Left over dressing is relly good to dip chips (French fries) into, or pretty much just put it on everything…

Bye bye
Bye bye

Chicken, bacon, potato and sauerkraut soup… more easytastygood

chicken, bacon, potato and sauerkraut soup
This was both an ode to my German heritage and the only thing I could come up with using what I had on hand.

In keeping with simplicity of my recent mussel recipe and in the true spirit of #easytastygood this is indeed an easy recipe that is both tasty and good for you. This is the sort of food I need in my life at the moment as I have again found myself officially in the realm of the time poor. Also known as “just having such a blast at this life thing that I really can’t get enough of all of the cool shit going on”. Whatever the case, this food is getting me through.

The smell of bacon and vegetables cooking in garlic butter is truly a good smell indeed
The smell of bacon and vegetables cooking in garlic butter is truly a good smell indeed

I had some nice, smoky Borrowdale bacon in the fridge, I had some shredded roast chicken in the freezer, I had some potatoes in the cupboard and I had some sauerkraut in the downstairs fridge. I always have sauerkraut in the downstairs fridge… a great big effing bucket of sauerkraut. So you know what? I chucked that stuff and a couple of other veges in a pot (in an order that would make sense. Don’t just go chucking it all into a pot. I will reveal all in the full recipe below) and sweated it off in some garlic butter (left-over from the garlic bread we made to go with those mussels), added a few liters of stock… or maybe it was water… yep, it was definitely water, and simmered it for an hour until it was all delicious smelling and my face was begging for it. Literally begging for it, pining and shit. Dirty little whore face.

The sauerkraut does beautiful things to this soup, much like pencillin does beautiful things to that rash in your private parts, as does the smoky goodness that was gifted by that bacon. It was a combined effort resulting in a truly effective combination that my family, and indeed a lonely spinster who was wandering the night streets, thoroughly enjoyed. A combination that shall henceforth be known as “the Batman and Robin Effect”.

So clever.

That soup
That soup

CHICKEN, BACON, POTATO & SAUERKRAUT SOUP (serves 4 easily. Possibly even 6)

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
250-300g good, smoky bacon, diced
1 medium onion or leek, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 stick celery, diced
750g potato, diced into 2cm-ish cubes
3-4 cups sauerkraut with whatever juices it may be chilling out in
2 tablespoons garlic butter
2-3 liters water or stock
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley and crusty bread to serve

• Heat a heavy based pot over a medium flame. Add bacon, onion, carrot, celery and garlic butter and sauté for a few minutes until they start to almost get a bit of colour
• Add chicken, potato and sauerkraut with enough water/stock to cover fully plus an extra cup or so
• Simmer for 1 hour or until potatoes are cooked and it smells like you need to eat it
• Taste and season with salt and a heap of pepper – it shouldn’t need too much salt because of the sauerkraut and bacon
• Serve garnished with parsley
• Bam. Damn well easy as f…

Reiberdatschi… My Nana Rose’s Potato Hashbrown/Rosti/Pancake

SAMSUNG CSC
Whenever I use a recipe of my Nan’s on a menu or these here Blogland pages I allocate credit due. I would happily tell every one I met about the food my Nan would make for us because the way that lady cooks is a crazy, intermingling, goat cart driven journey of hearty, soul warming comfort food and childhood memories and nostalgia fixes. And well it should be, she is my Nana after all. The funny thing is though, when I tell her about the credit I’ve given her for those recipes, she kinda doesn’t believe me. She humbly chuckles and, in her still cracking after being here for sixty something years German accent, she says “Oh, Graeme”, and then chuckles a little more, not quite grasping that I would seriously put her name on a menu or why people would love the war torn, poverty born dishes that she has been cooking for all of those years. She chuckles some more when I thank her for the umpteenth time for all of the inspiration her cooking and love for the love of food has given me. I pull my phone out and show her a picture of a menu or specials board where I have credited her for a dish as, although I never make a point of trying to beat my Nan in an argument (well, I would never argue with her regardless but if I did I certainly wouldn’t be winning), this is a story she is going to have to believe. I think she is still dubious, which is fine with me now, but I really do hope she knows how much her cooking means to me…

My Nan has been getting some mad props on these pages recently, and here is another favourite of ours as children, and now a favourite of my children, that she may or may not believe I have told the world about.

My mum would put onion and bacon in hers but Nan stays the purist, stating that back in the old country (not that she would say it like that, I just think it gives the statement more of an authentic, post world war two type feel) the reiberdatschi would often be eaten with sauerkraut, but some times they would be garnished with sweet stewed apples – so the onion and bacon just didn’t go. Another vote for the sweet camp came from my Grandad, Jo, who ate his simply sprinkled with castor sugar. I seam to recall us eating fat piles of these things flavoured quite simply with the all-purpose seasoning of my youth – tomato sauce (ketchup), and lots of it! You can make your own grown-up decision on how you’d like yours to come.

However they came, our bellies always cheerfully received these reiberdatschi. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these things are the shit!

Fry those suckers up. Do not listen to their screams as they will feel no pain soon
Fry those suckers up. Do not listen to their screams as they will feel no pain soon

Stack them up on a plate, you'll be needing a few each, and dress with your favourite sides
Stack them up on a plate, you’ll be needing a few each, and dress with your favourite sides
Yep. On a plate
Yep. On a plate

BREAKFAST REIBERDATSCHI (for 4)

1 kg potatoes (sebagoes work well but at the end of the day, I’ve used most common varieties with pretty similar results), grated
and squeezed of excess moisture in a colander
1 onion, small dice
2 rashers bacon, chopped

1 egg


2 – 3 tablespoons flour
A good pinch of salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Eggs (cooked would probably be best), bacon, tomato relish, cherry tomato salad (the boys want cherry tomatoes with everything at the moment) and parsley to serve

• In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly to combine
• Heat a good splash of oil in a pan over medium-low heat
• Form medium handfuls of mix into balls and press gently into pan with a spatula until 1cm thickness. An average pan is good for 3-4 reiberdatschi per go
• Fry until golden brown on the first side, should be 4-5 minutes, flip and fry until the other side is also golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper. Keep in a warm spot
• Continue frying the reiberdatschi in batches until they are all done
• Season with a little more salt, garnish and get it in your belly

The WTF Hotdog

You gotta have sausage for a hotdog
You gotta have sausage for a hotdog. You also need sausage if you want to be a man… we shall concentrate on the hotdog today though

The more astute amongst you would have noticed that there was no “Jennee’s Sunday Spread” this week. That is because Jennee joined me in my kitchen this weekend as my kitchen hand was away and quite frankly, I just think she was keen to hang out with me a little more. So she certainly did not have the day to prepare her usual Sunday feast… plus she did consume a lot of alcoholic beverages the previous night. To say that she should not have been allowed to wield a knife on this day would not be a strong enough description of her condition. At one stage of the day I actually asked her to wield a real live knife, to which her response was a look of fear combined with what can only be described as delirious laughter. Not the response I was looking for, but we would carry on nonetheless.

I too was feeling crusty, but I damn well just had to deal with it. It was a straight up case of “we had made our bed and now we had to damn well lie in it”… even if it was a really shonky job of making the bed and the mattress had piss stains and other questionable textures on it. Our friend Em helped us make that bed though, and because of that we are more than happy to lay blame on our crustiness fair and square in her lap. You see, Em has recently purchased a house (which shall be known as our “mattress”) so felt it was only fitting that she should have a house warming party. Sure thing. Who wouldn’t? We thought we would stay for a few drinks (which we will later call our “sheets” and there shall be three of them and they shall be to the wind*) and then be back home in bed at a decent hour as we both had to work the next morning.

Needless to say, we had more than a few drinks (sheets), we did not go to bed at a decent hour (doona), and it’s all Em’s fault.

Anyway, several hours after I got my ragged ass to work, Jennee appeared. Damn. I had forgotten how much Jennee can annoy the shit out of me when she working with a hangover. It was like working with the offspring of a monkey and a galah that someone had trained to dance around and poke me and taunt me with silly words. That woman is seriously just effing disastrous. Some may say it is my comeuppance for being quite annoying on a daily basis but those people who say that should just shut their damn cake holes!

Anyway, the short of the story is that she survived the day, just. But there was no way in hell there was going to be a Sunday feast coming from Jennee… just mumbles and disenchanted sighs.

So I shall tell you about a hotdog we had last week.

I had mine with the lot
I had mine with the lot

This was not the humble hotdog I remember from my youth. I have memories of some kind of bright red sausage shaped thing of un-disclosed origin, pulled from the swampy looking steamy water and then slapped into a warm bun and doused in tomato sauce (or ketchup… sometimes I like to clarify things like this as I do realise that the audience of this blog has reached numbers larger than three or four, and are from all corners of the globe. Corners of the globe? Where the fuck did that come from? Corners of the round globe? Oh dear me… Deary deary dear me… I need to move on…).

Nom nom nom
Nom nom nom

Well the days of the humble hotdog are nothing but a distant memory to present day Grazza, as now, if I am delving into the world of hotdog, I shall be delving into the world of the WTF hotdog (yes his moniker was gained from his close relative the WTF Nachos. This shall also be the moniker given to any old school junk food I tamper with and bring back from the brink of a sad, sad culinary death). This is one souped up dawg. This hotdog walks into my home as a 1978 Datsun 120Y, and hits the table looking looking like a Maserati… a black one with bum warmers in the seats and espresso maker on the dash. It has even been tampered with by the guys from “Pimp my ride” so now it has a custom sun deck and spa…

It’s hard to tell where the sense ends and the dribble begins some days…

Cut it in half if you can't fit the beast in your face. I did it purely to show you what was going on in there...
Cut it in half if you can’t fit the beast in your face. I did it purely to show you what was going on in there…

WTF HOTDOG with sauerkraut, onion jam, cheese, pickled cucumber relish, tomato sauce & yellow mustard
Bratwurst sausages (you need at least one each, but definitely two if you’ve got a little booze flowing through your system)
Hotdog buns (a similar amount to the sausages would be good)
Home made sauerkraut, onion jam, tomato sauce and cucumber relish (recipe below), to serve
Store bought cheese and yellow mustard, to serve
• Get all of your condiments ready if you are making them yourself
• Get your bratwurst cooking
• Wrap buns in alfoil and warm in a low oven for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and leave buns in there until sausages are ready
• Grate cheese
• Warm sauerkraut or don’t. That’s up to you
• Put it all on the table and let everyone go crazy
• WTF!

Pickled cucumber relish
Jennee spoke of a relish they put on their hotdogs in America. I didn’t really know what she was talking about so I made this up… it worked just fine.
½ cup chopped pickles/cornichons/gerkins
½ brown onion, diced
1 jalapeno, chopped
• Put all of those ingredients in the food processer and pulse until you are happy with the consistency

*three sheets to the wind. To be drunk or inebriated.

Nothing new… But some really good old shit

This one week during which I didn’t really do anything new or unusual in the kitchen. Well actually, one night while the boys were asleep, Jennee and I got a tub of ice cream and a shit load of chocolate syrup and then we… got… hmmm. Not today methinks. No, we shall concentrate on the regurgitated recipes of days gone by.

I will start the story right… about… here.

I would marry this
I would marry this

I made dahl again… and some flat bread to go with it… and even some sautéed kale and chilli just to top that shit right off. The sautéed kale and chilli is the way of the future. Even by itself with a bowl of rice it would keep a Phillipino factory worker going for a week just so you can strut around in your new custom Nikes.

I have discovered that the kids will eat anything if it's on pizza. These had zucchini, kale and bacon. Seba added a pile of anchovies to his and Obi a pile of capers
I have discovered that the kids will eat anything if it’s on pizza. These had tomato, zucchini, kale and bacon. Seba added a pile of anchovies to his and Obi a pile of capers

The next thing I made again was a load of something that I can’t remember… but I’m sure it’s going to come to me soon… pizzas. We made pizzas. The boys and I make pizzas every week so there was no escaping that one. Plus I got some photos so even my memory couldn’t fail me.

'nuff said
’nuff said

One night I didn’t feel like anything except hammy baked beans for dinner, so basically that story ends with me eating hammy baked beans for dinner.

Bananageddon is upon us
Bananageddon is upon us

I made these bad boys at work. I like to call them “Bananageddon Pancakes”. Banana buttermilk pancakes, fresh banana, banana chips, pecans, home made mascarpone, butterscotch sauce. Effing A!

Pork knuckle. Damn
Pork knuckle. Damn

My Aunty came to visit me all the way from West Oz and, being that Germany was the place of her birth, I thought it legitimate that we should treat her to a classic Chateau le Stockdale German inspired spread… minus the beer wenches this time. Pork knuckle, home made sauerkraut, nana’s potato salad and home made chutneys galore. She left a very happy Aunty Chris.

Queenie working on the mis en place, me mooching around in the background like a gangster
Queenie working on the mis en place, me mooching around in the background like a gangster
I am hungry looking at this pic
I am hungry looking at this pic
The spread. Add some bread and let your face enjoy the good times
The spread. Add some bread and let your face enjoy the good times
Quick face, enjoy those good times
Quick face, enjoy those good times

To top the whole effing week off Queenie and I made coq au vin. But we didn’t just make coq au vin… we made COCK U VAN. This spread was a fricking cracker. The cauli cheese needs a separate write up just for itself. It was probs one of the best things on the table in my humble opinion. Granted, I did make it, but shit that stuff is good. I didn’t even put cheese in it just because I’ll do what the heck I want in my kitchen. No cheese. Nope. Just made a damn good béchamel with a bit of nutmeg in it and that was damn near enough to make a lesser man wet his pants in an entirely inappropriate manner… and by wet his pants I actually mean eat the fuck out of the cauli cheese (no cheese) and don’t stop eating until it exists no longer. That’s right – wipe it out. Tsunami Grazza and the lesser known Tropical Storm Queenie hit the table and sent many Asian villagers (who were actually cauli cheese) to the depths of our combined monsoonal bellies. Potato gratin and sautéed Brussels sprouts were the icing on the proverbial coq au vin cake.

And I will end the story right here.

PS Laura, I put the banana chips on those pancakes just for Azza.