Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weisses Brauhaus (Munich, Germany)

Before Weisses Brauhaus:
- The thought of beer at breakfast seemed foreign.
- The thought of boiled white sausage and pretzels at breakfast seemed unappetizing.

After Weisses Brauhaus:
- When in Munich, do as the Munichers do (drink beer at breakfast).
- There was nothing more than I wanted to eat every day than a typical Bavarian breakfast: I went with the dark beer (instead of the traditional wheat beer), the delicious white sausage, the freshest baked pretzel, and sweet mustard.
- Everyone has their own method to removing the sausage skin (I preferred to surgically remove it versus ripping it off by hand).
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St Stephan's Cathedral / Stephansdom (Vienna, Austria)

If there is one thing that Europe has tons of are beautiful cathedrals, imposing castles, and plenty of statutes/fountains (just look through all of my vacation photo albums).  For a non-religious person, I always find myself visiting churches in my travels (it combines history, art, and awe inspiring architecture).

If you've seen one church, you've seen them all was definitely not the case with Stephansdom.  From the outside, it was undergoing construction and the scaffolding was covered with a tarp of what the cathedral would look like if it wasn't there (there was a picture of the cathedral superimposed on the tarp).  I've seen stained glass before, but it creates a stunningly beautiful effect inside of the church (it looks like a color prism projection over the columns and statutes).  Its definitely a must see while in Vienna and there are plenty of shops/restaurants nearby.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hofbrauhaus Beer Garden (Munich, Germany)

How to act like a tourist at Hofbrauhaus:

A) You stand around waiting at the entrance as if a hostess is going to seat you.
B) After you realize that no one is going to sit you, you walk around the entire beer garden looking for a mythical empty table.
C) After finding a place to sit, you don't hang up your coat, but instead create a 'fort' of coats around you.
D) Instead of ordering a beer right away, you decide to ask for an English menu and delay the time it takes to get a beer exponentially.
E) After finally getting your beer, you decide to take a thousand pictures of you holding the beer, drinking from the beer, comparing the size of the beer to your head, holding 2 beers, etc.

This place is massive with different rooms, floors, and an outdoor beer garden area.  It has tons of atmosphere with the diversity of people drinking here (we witnessed a 7 year old girl drinking with her parents).  The food is ok (Weisses Braeuhaus has better white sausages/pretzels and Haxnbauer has a better pork knuckle), but let's be're not here for the food.  Good luck not getting hungry watching other people eating food at your table. 
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Haxnbauer (Munich, Germany)

Not all pork knuckles are created equal.  This is the place to go for a hunk of burning 'pork' love.

Sure, you can order a pork knuckle anywhere in Munich...but why ruin your experience and go with subpar knuckle?  Haxnbauer roasts their pork over a wood fire for 3 hours and it smells divine when you walk in (I thought I died and went to porky heaven).  If you order an entire knuckle (good for 2 people), the waiter will let you pick your own (with price tags included).  The skin was perfectly crispy and the meat was absolutely delicious (I didn't want to stop eating until there was just a bone left on the plate). It's definitely a must do.

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