Even if they’re out of something, all of the German-style dishes are delicious at Burgschaenke
Dining recently at Burgschaenke, a German-style restaurant in a small village south of Kaiserslautern, I was disappointed to hear they were out of pumpkin soup.
It was one of those fall days where I really wanted pumpkin soup, so I pouted briefly before ordering Palatine garlic soup.
It turned out to be a fortuitous choice. Burgschaenke’s garlic soup was exactly what I needed.
The smell of garlic preceded the waitress as she walked to my table in the middle of the cozy restaurant with wood-beam ceilings and a large brick fireplace. After the bowl of piping hot, creamy soup that she set down in front of me had cooled enough to eat, I had an Anton Ego moment — the one where, in the movie “Ratatouille,” the humorless food critic tastes Remy the rat’s ratatouille for the first time and his eyes just about pop out of his head.
Unlike Ego, I didn’t have a vision of eating my mom’s homemade garlic soup as a child — we were a Campbell’s soup family — but I was utterly content, and the pumpkin soup all but forgotten.
Garlic soup is one of many options for soup lovers on Burgschaenke’s menu. It’s on the regular menu, along with tomato soup with feta cheese, French onion soup with parmesan cheese toast, fish soup, goulash soup and French truffle soup with puff pastry. Several reviews I’ve read raved about the truffle soup, but preparation time is about 25 minutes, so I passed. The pumpkin soup that they’d run out of was a weekly special.
Moving on to the main course, I decided to see just how well this traditional German restaurant did vegetarian fare. I ordered the chili pepper pasta, one of only three vegetarian options.
It turned out to be a delicious combination of roasted pine nuts, crisp sauteed vegetables and thick, buttery noodles with a spicy kick.
The other vegetarian dishes were also tempting: The Berner Roesti, a Swiss potato fritter baked with three types of cheese; homemade cheesy spaetzle with roasted onions; and potato pancakes with apple sauce.
For meat lovers, the menu offerings were plentiful and, in typical German style, dominated by pig. There was the cutlet of Iberico pork (Spanish pigs that eat only acorns, says the menu) served with plum sauce, potato gratin and green beans for 23 euros. Blood sausage and pig’s stomach, as well as various schnitzels, might also tempt carnivores.
Other meat options include chicken and lamb, and, at the high end of the price range, a double Chateaubriand filet steak for two, for 60 euros.
Seafood eaters can have salmon or, this time of year, Burgschaenke’s seasonal offering of mussels, which should be available for another month or so, a server told me in late October. Check the weekly menu, which complements the restaurant’s staples, for other fish offerings.
The day I was there, weekly specials included pot-au-feu, which is a French beef stew, with veal cheeks and tongue, vegetables and potatoes; and Arctic char fish with spinach pasta.
Prices are a bit on the high side but are backed by the quality of food. An express lunch is only 11.50 euros and includes a trip to the salad bar. It’s served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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Location: Schlossstrasse 1, Kaiserslautern/Hohenecken 67661Hours: Kitchen is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Lunch specials available Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant is part of a hotel.Prices: Most main courses range from 10 to 20 euros; a few items go higher. Lunch specials are 11.50 euros.Menu: In German and English; staff speaks some English. Weekly specials, seasonal specials such as mussels, and lunch specials, in addition to the regular menu.Clientele: Mostly Americans and GermansDress: CasualInformation: Call (+49) (0) 631 56041/351530/56301; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Online: burgschaenke-kl.de