You'd think with the last name of 'Spohr" I would've experienced German food before I turned 30. But my mom's Italian cooking was the predominant cuisine in our house. I was always turned off by names of German food.
If our Asian friends can give their dishes American-friendly names like 'chicken and cashews," why can't my fellow Germans follow suit?
I recently went to Blue Heron Bistro for lunch with Ron Thayer, The World's advertising director. Ron knows German food; he grew up with it, and he cooks it himself.
I had read online reviews of Blue Heron that complained of brusque service and Nazi paraphernalia hanging on the walls. If you ever needed a reason to ignore anonymous online reviews, head over to Blue Heron.
The service was fantastic, even though the lunch crowd kept our waiter pretty busy. More importantly, the food was delicious.
Ron had a bratwurst sandwich and I had the wienerschnitzel. Blue Heron's menu describes the dish as a 'large pounded and breaded, crisp-fried tenderloin." It's what my mom would call a pork cutlet. It came with garlic mashed potatoes and gravy.
I quickly realized that if this was German food, it and I would get along just fine.
As I perused the menu, I was surprised by how many dishes sounded appealing. I couldn't pronounce half of them, but I wanted to try all of them.
Ron pointed out it's hard to hate German food.
'Everything's fried in butter," he said.
It took three decades and a move 3,000 miles farther away from the homeland of my great-grandfather, Adolf Spohr, but I finally got to experience German food. If my first foray into it is any indication, German food will earn a place in my usual dinner rotation.
Executive Editor George Spohr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.