I took a trip to NYC over the weekend and spent an evening hanging out with a grad school buddy who is from the city (Brooklyn to be precise, and he is). He told me to meet him at Zum Schneider at Ave C and East 7th in what I learned was Alphabet City (I thought that was DC) to enjoy a Bavarian Beirgarten. It's a pretty small place, but a solid beer selection and after a few Reissdorf Kolchs we decided to head across the street.
So we went catty corner to Edi & The Wolf named after shortened versions of the chefs names for dinner and more beer. Edi & The Wolf is an Austrian restaurant that doesn't have a biergarten feel, but certainly a lot of crossover appeal in the beer department. At this point I relinquished beer drinking decision to my buddy and was not disappointed. He'd been there before and knew the lay of the land.
For dinner we started with an ode to pork, getting the cured pork belly and the baby back ribs. The pork belly was as expected, little delectable bits of cured bacon with diced apples to cut through the salt. It was good. But the ribs, they were great. Fall off the bone tender with a sweet glaze and house made mustard with that potency that distinguishes real mustard from yellow mustard, they were fantastic. After the ribs were gone I may or may not have just eaten some mustard on its own.
By the time the ribs were gone I had consumed about 2.5 liters of beer (those handy lines on the glasses helped me keep track) and what would have otherwise been enough food felt lacking so we moved on to entrees. My buddy got the organic chicken, while I got the veal wiener schnitzel. His chicken was this perfectly wrapped and cooked mini chicken roast. Meanwhile, my wiener schnitzel was outstanding. It came with potato salad, cucumber with dill, and lingonberry jam. Everything just worked. These were classic Austro/German flavors at their finest. The potato was great with the schnitzel, as was the jam, and the cucumber was a great side to go with a fried piece of veal.
I also have to say the service was fantastic. My buddy has a reputation of being a bit loquacious with wait staff, but our waitress and the hostess both parried back and forth with him. Our waitress warned me about the good, not great-ness of the pork belly, but I didn't listen. Suffice to say I asked her opinion for my entree. After all that food and a fair bit more beer we decided to head to Brooklyn to see a friend of my buddy's band play. This was my first time in Brooklyn.
Now as a consequence of having at this point an indeterminate number of liters of beer, I don't know where we ended up. In fact, I don't think the place had a sign, it was just a small venue with a narrow concert space, stage, and a small bar in a side room back into the building. It was a cans only kind of place, but we made do. Meeting up with a couple of my buddy's friends we were greeted with shots of I think Jameson (my true friend and downfall of late) and more beer, and then more shots, and some conversation, and then more beer, then one last shot...or two. Having started this drinking at about 5:30, but midnight I was pretty much done and so we wandered to look for a cab and thus my NYC adventure ended. Great beer in some cool little neighborhoods. Excellent food, but mostly awesome people. From the waitress we harassed to the excellent folks I met in Brooklyn some quality people all around, and that's what drinking, cooking, and eating is all about.