A detail to ponder

Hi, readers. Yes, I am actually posting something that isn’t about food.

I have a little question and I would love everyone’s opinion. In recent discussions, I have become increasingly aware that when I am talking about the country I’m from, I refer to it – without fail – as ‘the United States.’ I have ever since we got here – I remember clearly asking in my German class how to correctly decline ‘I come from the United States.’

How do you refer to my (and possibly – but not necessarily – your) home country when mentioning it in conversation? No right or wrong here – just my own curiosity.

Cold, Wet, Jazzy Sunday

Ham PieUnfortunately, the music today was also pretty terrible. You could tell the motivation just wasn’t there, because so many people weren’t there, because it was just so insistent with the rain. We’d intended to get brunch at Vitus, since a zippy-looking band was scheduled to play there, but when we got there, the sky had already opened up and everything inside was absolutely packed. So we mosied over to the Hotel Orphée instead. After a little bit of confusion with the waitress (we didn’t know they had a special Jazzfest Weekend menu and she didn’t know we’d been looking at the ordinary one), huddling together under a drippy awning outside we enjoyed a lovely couple of Milchkaffees and Quiche Lorraine — known to the likes of Po fondly as “ham pie.”

So, without further ado, today’s audio samplage:

p7133731 p7133732 p7133735 p7133737

p7133727And just for good measure: here’s a couple of Döner spindles. I guess the one on the left is in the process of thawing.

p7133739Oh, and a THINGpad? (Click it and look closely.) I guess, for many around here, “sink,” “think,” “thing,” and “think” are all mutually indistinguishable.

Big Cuke / Chess Fest 2008 opening night

First the interesting part — check out this cucumber we spotted at Edeka today while shopping!

Big Cuke

Next, a sampler from Chess Fest 2008’s opening night last night:

Locals: wondering why Sarah’s not to be found outside the apartment this weekend? Here’s why. To be fair, the weather was positively awful. The wind noise at the beginning of the track was that of wind getting amplified through the salsa band’s microphones and speakers, not my MD recorder. It was pouring. So I gotta give ’em credit for gumption inspite of the weather, at least.

I’m hoping for some less whitebread-sounding stuff this evening. Stumbling upon something as cool as the Jazz Police like at last year’s Bürgerfest would be redeeming.

Jazzfest Jazzfest Jazzfest

Has he had a talk with Steve?

So I’m chillin’ here at home after a hard day at work and checking out some tunes I purchased recently and I came across Beck’s Dark Star from the album The Information. Seemed pretty familiar pretty quickly. Take a listen; the first 30 seconds are my man Steve and the second are Beck. Is that an out-and-out ripoff?


what is that god-awful medley?

So I’m lounging comfortably with all the windows open enjoying the breeze, for the first time in days, I might add, where there’s been breeze and no rain, having worked all day from home.

Suddenly a piano-y folky terribly offkey uptempo version of Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Going to Take It which medley’d into the Proclaimers’ 500 Miles from the not-very-groundbreaking album Sunshine on Leith (ZOMG why do I know that?) .

Oh, crap. It’s Gassenfest.

Oh Lord, now it’s a gospel version of Midnight Oil’s Beds Are Burning.


The Joint

Drei-Mohren-Str. 11
93047 Regensburg

Tel: +49 941 5956550


Mais oui, c’est tres charmant!

We didn’t do our annual (?) Frenchy (road) trip this year. I have been missing something all Spring and unable to put my finger on it. I’d been trying to fill that hole void with imported cheese (ask Sarah, she’ll vouch): in casseroles, appetizers, even straight. It was all very tasty, but none of it was hitting my Gallic spot. Last night, I think I got a little closer to it. Mirabelle did the trick.

This place was hard to get into on our first attempt — we called one afternoon and asked for a reservation later that evening and were regretfully and politely, yet resolutely, turned down. On our next attempt we booked about a week in advance. The maitre d’ who took our reservation considerately asked whether there was a particular occasion we were celebrating. “No no, just four friends having dinner” was my answer. “Na, prima. Bis Dienstag, 19:00 Uhr dann. Vielen Dank!” Even the reservation-making was pleasant (to be fair, she was quite nice when turning us down, too).

I didn’t sample the wines, but did appreciate Alte Liebe — my favorite brand of dark wheat beer which is a little hard to find around here, even though it’s brewed in a nearby town. It’s in no way French, but I know what I like, and none of the non-German beers on my list are French. I thumbed through the menu and oohed and ahhed at the beef and lamb offerings…but in the end I opted for the menu: smoked salmon salad, pork tips with a side of ratatouille, and some kind of carrot/potato mash thing followed up by Bayerisch Créme* in a fresh berry sauce. All very good — even the carrot/potato mash thing.

My only suggestion for improvement (and I freely admit this is really picky of me): the waitress seemed a little less…fitting to the atmosphere. In contrast to the setting, the telephone experience and the food itself, she seemed just a little off in terms of timing: finding the opportune moment to clear the table or the pause in our conversation to offer drinks, etc. Or even reaching across the table to grab empty dishes where I would have expected her to walk around and retrieve from the proper side.

I am glad our friends were pleased with the place, especially since it was new to them too. It’s nice when “locals” (to the extent that we don’t yet qualify) thank us for our local gastronomic joie de vivre.


Très charmant, indeed. I was impressed from the moment we set foot in the joint. Honestly, the décor struck me as a little dark for summer dining, but we were led out to a lovely little terrasse – which Cliff didn’t specifically ask for in the reservation, so that was encouraging. I had a glass of Riesling (yeah, I know it’s not French – don’t you judge me) which could have been a little colder, but was light and really fresh tasting without being overly dry. Kerstin, one of our dining companions, had an equally lovely Grüner Veltliner.

The food was the impetus for our visit, though, and it was enough to help stave off regrets of not making it to France this year. I had the rolls of goat-cheese-stuffed roasted eggplant, dressed with vinaigrette, marinated tomatoes (think bruschetta topping) and pesto. These are all ingredients that I love, so I was pretty much in heaven. Plus, this was a cold, antpasti-type of thing and it’s been pretty hot and miserable here, so it was a great seasonal offering. The main course was a stuffed red pepper, filled with ground lamb, ratatouille, roasted cauliflower and the same mashed potato/carrot thing that Cliff had. It was all very good and prettily presented, but it wasn’t particularly innovative or surprising, like some of the meals that we’ve had in France. Dessert was a mixed-berry crème brulée – small, but creamy and potent.

I was, like Cliff, a little puzzled by our server. This place was so unfailingly professional and polished on all other fronts that her bad timing and chilliness (polite, but seemingly on the edge of irritability) was almost jarring. Maybe she was having a bad day. But we didn’t! We were so looking forward to our dinner at Mirabelle – it’s nice when things live up to your expectations.