Thursday, May 31, 2012

Viktualienmarkt - Luiginos

As I mentioned in my Design*Sponge city guide, if you're looking for quick, cheap and delicious grilled sandwiches made with generous slabs of French bread and ingredients like prosciutto, figs, mozzarella, goat cheese and more, head to Luiginos, an organic cheese stand that boasts the production of “World Champion” Emmentaler cheese (the sandwich board displaying this fact wasn't out there the day I took this picture).  Look for the yellow awning toward the eastern border of the market.

Besides sandwiches there are also all kinds of tasty treats like heaping balls of Scamorza (smoked mozzarella). Like a fool, I once thought 'Wow €1,95 for a ball of Scamorza!', that's per 100 grams, dummy. Still totally worth it.

Goat cream cheese, rucola and dried tomato sandwiches. These will be put into the panini machine and smashed down into a half-inch-thin slice of hot gooey goodness (except for the goat cheese, blech!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

That Black Voice! That Teutonic Sound!

Those are the words David Bowie used to describe the awe he felt when he first heard Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love'. He said this to Brian Eno after he came running into the Berlin recording studio where they were working together and said "I have heard the sound of the future... this single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years."

Why do I mention this here? Not only to mourn the sad passing of the Queen of Disco last week, but to point out a little known fact. Donna Summer was a Wahlmünchnerin! Her early break out hits, including 'Love to Love You Baby' were recorded here in Munich, where she happily lived for many years. For a time she was married to an Austrian, Helmuth Sommer, so she went from 'La Donna Gaines' to 'Donna Sommer' and when she started to become famous she anglicized 'Sommer' to 'Summer'

During one of my first lonely winters as an expat here, I went through a biography phase. I read biographies of anyone; highbrow, lowbrow, didn't matter. I just wanted to see how notable people had lived their lives. One of these books was Ordinary Girl, Summers' autobiography. I was a little girl when the Disco era was in full swing and I can clearly remember admiring the purple double-spread image of Donna sitting on a 40s style radio console. It was an almost eerie finding out that not only was her birthday two days before mine and the LAST thing I expected to find in her book were references to Leopoldstrasse, Schlager Musik (which she sang for awhile) and the declaration that she felt Munich was her 'spiritual home'.

From one Wahlmünchnerin to another, may I say: Danke Donna Summer; for the music, the memories and kicking off the disco and dance music epoch from the Weltstadt mit Herz.

Image adapted from Wikipedia

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fraunhofer Wirtshaus

Okay. Let's bring it back to Bayern. Last week's post on Mexican food generated a few comments (a lot for this blog!) so I will be sure to revisit the topic. Fraunhofer Wirtshaus was one of the first places I remember meeting friends at when I first moved to Munich.

The Wirtshaus is, of course, a standard establishment in Bavaria, the majority of which rank high on the 'yodelay-hee-hoo' scale. Not the Fraunhofer. It's a meeting place for people young and old, hip and unhip and the atmosphere somehow manages to strike the right balance of Gemutlichkeit and urbane city buzz. Part of the reason for this because of the theater located behind the restaurant, which attracts more of a 'city' clientele, and it is also right smack-dab in the middle of the trendy Glockenbachviertel.

The food is also good. On a scale of 1-10 of Bavarian food, I would give it a 7 or 8.

Anyone have a favorite Bavarian restaurant or Wirtshaus in town? Share in the comments unten....

Fraunhofer Wirtshaus
Fraunhoferstraße 9
80469 München
089 / 26 64 60

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Taco Libre...And the Search For Good Mexican Food in Munich Continues.

I Shouldn't complain, really. I live in a great city full of fun things to do, lovely people to look at, plenty of green space and lots of good food. But I want it all. One can't live on Gelato, Bratwurst and Bier alone, and sometimes the California girl in me just wants some good Mexican food.

I had heard about Taco Libre and last week, before heading over to Art Babel for Creative Nite, it seemed like the perfect place to stop and get a bite to eat. Despite all of the relatively good Qype ratings I read beforehand, I left disappointed.

Although the pico de gallo was pretty spicy, and the corn chips were...okay, the rest of it was uninspiring. I ordered 2 'original chicken street tacos'. Each taco was served with only one corn tortilla, if it was really original it would have had two. They're served this way so that the whole thing doesn't immediately break when you pick it up (which is what happened.) On top of that, there were huge dollops of a very tomatoe-y salsa on top of each one which caused the whole taco to become very, very soggy, no bueno! My husband had carne asada tacos, and true to some of the more negative reviews I came across, the meat was very tough and rather flavorless.

I am trying to keep my expectations low. I don't expect to be transported into mid-town L.A. in carne asada heaven via downtown Munich, but getting the basics right; fresh ingredients, normal salsa, tasty meat, enough tortillas would be a good start.

On a brighter note, the atmosphere was festive and the staff was nice, and that does count for something.

Can anyone tell me where to get good Mexican food in Munich? Or am I asking too much?

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

2012 Dok.fest

I love Munich, I love documentary films, so it follows that I'm pretty excited about the DOK.fest, Munich's annual international documentary film festival*.  Having said this, I've gone to a couple of showings in years past that were kind of clunkers.  So I'm being a little more selective this year, here are the films I'm planning to see:

A chronicle of hip-hop's early forefathers, by Michael Rappaport (remember him?)

I had the opportunity to hear the woman who runs BISS speak a few years ago. She was totally inspirational as was her vision for Hotel BISS.

Missed the exhibit at the Haus der Kunst when it was in Munich. Everybody raved and I want to know more.

No German film festival is complete without a Hitler/WWII/Nazi documentary.

An undercover look at the Neo-Nazi rock scene (should be a double feature with the one above).

I'll see anything by Werner Herzog.

So those are my picks. How about you? Any must-sees that I should add to the list?

*Although for the life of me, I can't figure out why this is scheduled in May, right when the weather gets nice, how about November instead?