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As the weather warms and Bavaria awaits the return of local beer gardens, let us consider Brotzeit, the traditional snack of cold cuts and bread that pairs well with a cold glass of beer.

Literally translated to “bread time,” Brotzeit covers a spectrum of savory snacks typically eaten as a light and leisurely meal in the early afternoon. Its first cousin might be the Bavarian Weisswurst breakfast, which combines veal sausages with a pretzel, sweet mustard and a hefeweizen, or wheat, beer.

In the Oberpfalz region of Bavaria, home to the U.S. Army garrison at Grafenwöhr, Brotzeit puts a bit more variety on the plate, including sausages like Knackwurst; headcheeses like Pressack and Sulz; Obazda, a kind of creamy cheese spread; and Leberkäse, which resembles bologna.

For a good introduction to Brotzeit in the Grafenwöhr area, the Troglauer Hofcafe & Brotzeitstube, an eatery with a distinctly Bavarian atmosphere, is worth a visit.

Here, in a well-kept building on the edge of farm fields, locals of the small community of Troglau gather to socialize and snack. Look around and you’ll find couples catching up over coffee and cake, friends nursing beers and larger parties enjoying heartier Bavarian fare, sometimes with a brass band playing the standards.

Hofcafe’s Brotzeit plate (5.90 euros) offers a small spread of deli meats and delicacies including Sulz, Pressack and Mettwurst — a creamed meat spread — on a traditional wooden plate, with a basket of dark bread on the side.

Headcheese, for those who don’t know, is a sliceable loaf of meats suspended in a savory gelatin. Sulz is the pickled version, with the meats suspended in a clear gelatin with a vinegary taste, while Pressack resembles blood sausage, with a richer, more marrowy filling. Both are worth trying.

For the less adventurous, the Hofcafe Brotzeit menu includes a plate of smoked sausages, called Geräuchertes.

Other small dishes worth a venture include Dotsch (3.20 euros), fried potato cakes that come with a side of applesauce; and the Lauchcremesuppe (1.70 euros), a creamy soup with leeks. Standard fare such as schnitzel is also available.

Beer prices are good, starting at 2 euros, and the cafe offers a variety of juices and coffees, as well as a wide selection of teas. As the days get warmer, an outside beer garden should open, making for an even better experience.

Hours: Wednesday through Friday, noon to midnight; Saturday, 2 p.m. to midnight; Sundays and holidays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Food: German/Bavarian; coffee, tea and desserts.

Prices: Dishes are on the small side and hover around 3 to 7 euros. Beers are slightly cheaper than restaurant prices, between 2 and 2.50 euros.

Menu: German.

Dress: Casual.

Information: Phone: +49 (0) 9644 918905


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