Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oktoberfest and Grüner

I think that the weekends my mom comes to visit result in the best Princeton Eats Portland posts, and I know that is because my mom and I do some damn good eating. This past weekend was no different.

Friday night, a friend of mine and I picked up my mom and headed straight to Gustavs/Rheinlander for Oktoberfest. Not one of the three of us expected the festivities that were occurring in the tent covered parking lot adjacent to the restaurant - long tables packed with people guzzling beer out of 1.5 liter steins, a German band playing all the latest polka hits, sausages, pretzels, and fondue galore. Above are some pictures to give you an idea of how awesome it was.

We may have indulged in a bit too much beer, and had it not been for the sausages, pretzels, bread and fondue we ate, it might have been a rough Saturday morning. Instead, my mom and I hopped out of bed around 7am to run 10 miles. "Hopped out of bed" is not really what we did, but we did run the easiest 10 miles either of us have ever run. We agree that perhaps we hadn't yet metabolized all the alcohol from the night before making the run a bit easier. Who knows.

After the run, we wiled away the day eating and drinking and watching football, basically wasting time until dinner. Not to downplay the eating and drinking we did; we had a wonderful breakfast at Bakery Bar, beers at Migration, lunch at Pambiche, then more beers at Migration. Oh, and a hunt for remaining Missoni for Target stuff resulting in a THROW PILLOW for me! And my mom scored an adorable zig zag bikini bottom for $6.  Why it was marked down is a mystery.  A fantastic mystery.

Thank you to whoever returned this to the Mall 205 Target:

Then, the next event: dinner at Grüner. I have been hearing hype about Gruner for many months now, but this was the first chance I got to dine there. We started with a charcuterie plate consisting of, from top right moving clockwise, country pate, rabbit mortadella, salame gentile, liverwurst canapes, speck, spicy coppa, and house made pickles and mustard.

The speck was the star of the show. I have never had speck served like prosciutto. And, yes, I know speck is smoked prosciutto, but I usually see it diced and used in small amounts. Thinly sliced and served alone is a marvelous way to eat it.  Who knew?  The liverwurst canapes and the country pate came in a close second.

Next was frenched green beans, duck breast, blackberries, goat cheese, hazelnuts, black currant vinaigrette, and crisped shallots.  Absolutely delicious.

For the entree, we split grilled golden trout with a white corn ragout, crayfish sauce, and crisped speck and a mixed grill of sudan farms rack lamb chops and cevapcici - spicy slovenian lamb & beef sausages, cherry tomato-parsley salad, and cucumber-yoghurt salad with mint.

And this wasn't all the great food we ate.  Stay tuned for the rest of our eats!

Bon appetit.

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