Wednesday, May 16, 2007
German Food, Fast. After a few days of Marin, have your out-of-town relatives ever started making cracks about wheatgrass snorting, or left their nasturtium and green garlic salad untouched? Or more telling, upon hearing of the glut of non-native deer at Pt. Reyes developed a certain eye-twitch and volunteered to help out by bringing some 'fresh' meat to the table? These are obvious MAPE (meat and potato eaters) withdrawal syndrome signs. Outsiders need time to get accustomed to our flora and grass imbibing ways, and may need a quick MAP infusion. Luckily, I have found the perfect place to take relatives suffering from MAPE withdrawals before it's too late.
Unapologetically carnivorous, the first thing that hits your senses upon opening the door to the Roast Haus - Hof Brau, is the smell of freshly roasted meats of all kinds, but especially red. There is a kind of cafeteria line, beginning with the meat section, where friendly young men are awaiting right by the door with gorgeously roasted meats and big carving knives ready to take care of you and your relatives with all haste - no not THAT kind of 'take care of' - but with a MAP infusion. (Yes, those big carving knives ARE a bit spooky). Standing at the head of the line, if you look immediately to your left and straight up you'll see a boar's head mounted mouth-open and tusks sharp on the wall above. Your relatives already look better, they are just not quite ready for the usual Marin lifestyle.
Not feeling like big hunks of meat, after all I've been living in Marin nearly 10 years, I chose to go with the French Dip sandwich for dinner. I was the only person at around 6:15 p.m. in the restaurant, and got some friendly attention from someone who was supposed to be retired, Otto. He greeted me so charmingly, in an old world polite way - with an accent, and quizzed me on the method that the young men used to carve my meat. He seemed to want to be sure that they used proper technique on the correct piece of meat, and he was satisfied with my description, and that I was enjoying the sandwich. Yes, although I'm not a big MAP eater, I did enjoy the lean and succulent meat encased in crusty French bread and the salty au jus which was given in generous portion. Don't expect fancy here, just robust well-flavored simple fare, in well-worn surroundings. They also open at 8 a.m. for breakfast!