“To a German restaurant.”
So one Friday evening we drove to Mesa, AZ to visit with Chuck’s Aunt Evie to see her new apartment and to enjoy dinner at Zur Kate German Restaurant. (The name Zur Kate translated, means “to the old smoke house.”)
“For sixteen years, Günther and Irene Krause owned and operated the original Zur Kate, located in Hamburg, Germany and then managed the Thalia State Theatre Restaurant for the City of Hamburg for six years. While in Germany, Günther earned his certificate as a butcher and Irene trained…to develop her culinary skills. In the fall of 1983, the Krauses came to Arizona from Hamburg to open the current Zur Kate German Restaurant.
In addition to the German décor, the waitstaff were dressed in German attire.
Zur Kate offers specials on weekend evenings and on the night of our visit it was pork roast stuffed with bratwurst. That didn’t appeal to any of us, so we studied the regular menu. All meals come with a choice of French fries, home-fried potatoes, potato dumpling, German potato salad, or spatzle. There’s also a choice of red cabbage or sauerkraut plus rye bread for the table.
As you would suspect, there was a long list of “wursts” including Hausmacher Bratwurst (coarse ground grilled bratwurst), Feine Bratwurst (fine ground grilled bratwurst), Weisswurst (fine ground boiled white sausage), and Polnische Wurst (spicy and smoked grilled sausage).
And, of course, there is schnitzel—Wiener Schnitzel (lightly breaded and tenderized pork loin), Zwiebel Schnitzel (lightly breaded and tenderized pork loin with onions), Jaeger Schnitzel (lightly breaded and tenderized pork loin with mushroom gravy), Schnitzel Cordon Bleu (with ham, Swiss cheese, and cordon bleu gravy), Rahm Schnitzel (with sour cream gravy), and Schnitzel Holstein (with a fried egg).
From the menu section titled Other Entrées that included Sauerbraten, a burger with fries, and a Cornish game hen, Evie selected the Kassler Rippchen—smoked and grilled pork chop with the red cabbage and potato dumpling.
Now I have been known to joke about German food. I remember making comments like “The Germans should have stopped when they invented the sausage.” (Actually, the Germans didn’t invent the sausage. The original sausages were invented by Sumerians who are the current occupants of Iraq.) But I may have to reconsider. The schnitzel was moist and tender and the frying left it crisp, but not oily. And the mushroom gravy was “the bomb.”
To top off our meal, the three of us shared a large slice of Black Forest Cake—chocolate cake with cherries and an icing that reminded me of the “cooked” icing that my mother (German) would sometimes make when I was a child.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.