Merry Christmas everyone!
One of the fun things to do around our area during the holiday is a trip to Leavenworth — our own Northwest Bavarian town.
Yes, some may say it is a little cheesy, and certainly a tourist trap; yet it is one of the most wonderful way to get into Christmas spirit especially with a group of friends.
Leavenworth is about 2-hour drive inland from Greater Seattle area.
It usually snows before the coastal Seattle area, adding another winter whimsical feel.
The town is super small, and honestly does not have much to do.
The main attraction during the month of December is the Christmas lighting in the evening.
We did a day trip; and found ourselves hungry for lunch when we arrived — promptly filled our tummies with German sausages at Leavenworth Sausage Garten.
There were many sausages to choose from, and I loved the colorful display of all the available mustards ranging from traditional deli, yellow to exotic flavors of curry and cranberry.
All the sausages are made locally at Leavenworth; in fact, the shop Cured, was only 2 stores down from the sausage Garten.
I had the currywurst with a glühwein, or mulled wine.
The sausage texture was excellent with soft meat and crunch casing nesting in a nicely toasted bun.
My only gripe was that it was not “curry” enough.
One of the best feeling on earth was holding a cup of warm and fruity liquid in my hand when it was really cold out.
I swore that the heat in the glühwein made me drunk faster than I normally would!
We went into Cured after lunch and I bought the Bockwurst (veal and pork) and Keilbasa home, along with 2 sticks of salami: molé and porcini.
The salamis were moist and excellent, nice mushroom flavor in the porcini, and lovely orange and garlic flavors in the molé.
With plenty of time after lunch and before Christmas lights, we wandered around more: eating fresh roasted chestnuts along the way,
stopping by Blue Spirit Distilling for some vodka and whiskey tasting,
and taking in the Christmas spirit along the way.
We also had Kringle, a rich ring-shaped flaky pastry filled with custard, from Danish Bakery.
We decided to have early dinner before the Christmas lights, and we went to Andreas Keller.
The place offers many German dishes, we got the pork hock, goulash, schnitzel and herring to share.
Tender, fatty, sour herring side by side with the rich deep flavors of goulash and buttery spaetzle.
The simply salted pork hock was tasty with a crisp and chewy pork rind.
I loved the 2 weinkraut that was served with the hock, utilizing both red and green cabbage, they were sour and great with the hock.
The schnitzel was thicker than I was used to but crispy enough with a side of cold potato salad.
Food was not wow, yet it certainly brought the mood of a Bavarian town.
My German friend said that the town actually looked authentically Bavarian; but when they tried to order food with proper German pronunciation, they got a blank look — completely expected!
When we left the restaurant, lights were on and it was just wonderful.
I was properly “Christmas-tized”!