One of the best places to see New York's bounty of dark, dense Russian breads is Brighton Bazaar, arguably the city's best Russian market. There you can buy aromatic, freshly-baked, glistening brown loaves coming straight from...Germany!?
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Gottscheer Hall, home to one of the largest Gottschee organizations in the world, dates to 1924 and appears unchanged since the Eisenhower administration. But the past doesn't merely persist here: it thrives.
For New York's German community, the rarest holiday tree on the market this December isn't a plant but a cake. In Germany, baumkuchen, or "tree cake," is a Yuletide fixation ubiquitous in bakeries and holiday markets. It's made by coating a spit with layers of batter and baking them layer by layer in a special oven, and you can find it at Stork's Bakery in Whitestone.
To many, the bucolic tree-lined neighborhood of Glendale, Queens is known as 'Little Germany,' although, as is want to happen in New York, it's changing. "You used to walk the streets here and everybody spoke German, old ladies scrubbing the stoops outside, that kind of stuff," Werner Lehner recounted one recent Friday morning outside Stammtisch Pork Store and Imports on Myrtle Avenue. If you're looking for that old German feel (and flavor), Stammtisch is where you'll find it.
Although you may not immediately think "vegetarian" when you think of German food, lots of vegetables are used as side dishes. True, sometimes the potato salad contains bacon, but at Hallo Berlin in Hell's Kitchen, they make sure that the vegetable sides are actually vegetarian.
Stork's Bakery is a vestige of a dispersed community. Queens was once home to a thriving German-American population dating back to the mid 19th century. But Stork's still stands, a tribute to the stubbornness of its owner, Anton Duke, who bought the business from the Stork family back in 1990.
In addition to breads, pastries, and sausages, German newcomer Landbrot offers an array of house made sandwiches.
For the last quarter century or so, much of New York City has been a German bread desert. The only way to get a loaf of freshly made bauernbrot was to trek out to Central Queens, where neighborhoods like Ridgewood and Middle Village still cling to vestiges of German ethnic tradition. Luckily, however, tastes change, and that's where David Rothe and Volker Herrmann saw their opportunity.
This German restaurant on Staten Island crosses Middle America with Mitteleuropa. The result offers a warm, homespun atmosphere and yeasty, meaty staples.
What can I say, I'm a sucker for mildly hard-to-pronounce German sweets (see pfeffernüsse and zimtsterne), especially when they come in a holiday tin. Lebkuchen can be added to the aforementioned list. But if you don't have a sweet German grandma baking them for you (sadly, I don't) then it can be pretty absent from your life. Thankfully the NYC-based Leckerlee is making these traditional German gingerbread sweets, which originated in the Bavarian town of Nuremberg way back in the Middle Ages.
One of the Silver Bell Bakery's customers is so addicted that every week he drives 10 hours round-trip from Saratoga Springs just to get his bread. By the end of the summer, Silver Bell is going to move out to the suburbs, following its customer base. So get it while you can.
The East Village brunch crowds may not have discovered Heartbreak Restaurant yet, but that's their loss. I'll be heading back soon for another plate of the German-style Pancake with Wild Mushroom Ragout ($14). It's more like a blintz than a pancake, quite delicate and tender. Each is stuffed with a creamy thyme-flecked mushroom sauce. While we would have preferred a stack of grilled asparagus alongside (two spears as a garnish seems miserly) the dish hit the spot; it was rich without being overly heavy, and the different mushrooms retained their shape and character.
Lederhosen? Colossal steins of Hofbräu? Drunken renditions of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver? What could very well be Oktoberfest is actually the newly opened Bierhaus, an Alpine-inspired beer hall styled in the spirit of Germany's favorite holiday.
Heartbreak in the East Village serves Swiss-German food that's dense, rich, and a little heavy, but also really delicious and not too pricey.
[Photographs: Brian Yarvin] Every time I heard an excited comment about the Alpine Deli, somebody was bound to ask what other store could compare with it. The problem, though, is that there are two unrelated shops called the “Alpine...
Currywurst is that unique combination of steamed bratwurst slices bathed in a sweet, curry-spiced ketchupy sauce that Germans are so crazy about, they have a museum devoted to it. Andre Wechsler opened Wechsler's Currywurst to bring a taste of Berlin (he's originally from Hamm) to the East Village.
Craving Kaiserschmarren for brunch? Look no further than Klee Brasserie in Chelsea to satisfy your sweet tooth for these Austrian pancakes on weekend mornings. We got an taste of these torn (literally) pancakes at chef Daniel Angerer's cooking demo...
It's really interesting to find out what you learn when you dine at the same restaurant two days in a row. You begin to see what it's like to be a restaurant critic at a serious publication like the New...