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eG Foodblog: Chris Hennes - Pork and chocolate, together at last!


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Lunch today was at Herwig's Austrian Bistro:

gallery_28660_5872_128159.jpg

Herwig's is staffed by kind, gentle human beings who will cater to your every whim:

gallery_28660_5872_7367.jpg

This is the interior:

gallery_28660_5872_140264.jpg

And the menu (sorry for the fuzzy shot):

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It is fairly clear that Herwig and I share some food philosophy:

gallery_28660_5872_28213.jpg

When I complained about the price of the cat I was treated to an in-depth diatribe on the difficulties inherent in farming cats...

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Everyone at Herwig's is a member of the "clean plate club"... or else!

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On to the food: I ordered the Racherschmaus (spelling?)---a smoked bratwurst, smoked pork loin, their phoenomenal sauerkraut, and a dumpling:

gallery_28660_5872_23752.jpg

I didn't get dessert, but one of my colleagues took one for the team: here it is--

gallery_28660_5872_71548.jpg

This place is awesome. Everything is homemade, they are all very, very funny people, and food comes out fast, and the menu changes frequently. I have never been to Austria so I can't comment on how authentic it is, but as far as I am concerned, if there were ever a reason to come to State College for the food, Herwig's would be it.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I wanted to add a little background on Herwig's from their website:

In 1982, Herwig, Gundi, Bernd and Uta Brandstatter left their hometown of Igls, Austria to open a European bakery near Brisbane, Australia. They stopped in State College, Pennsylvania to visit friends of the family and fell in love with the Happy Valley area. Originally, the patriarch Herwig "Brandy" Brandstatter ran Herwig's Edelweiss, an Austrian restaurant outside of State College near the local ski area. Later, Brandy utilized his expertise in world travel to open a travel agency which he still maintains to this day.

As the travel industry declined in the post 9/11 climate, Brandy once again turned to the culinary world. Teaming up with his son Bernd, a graduate of the same Austrian hotel/restaurant school that he attended in his youth, Brandy decided to open Herwig's Austrian Bistro.

The family is in the restaurant every day, cooking, taking orders, and waiting tables, and they take a lot of pride in the place. They really are friendly (despite occasionally threatening to beat you with a large stick :smile: ), so next time you are here, stop by!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I agree fully with these people.

Bacon is an herb, condiment, side, main, and seasoning.

As well as a cosmetic (give me a woman greased up in bacon fat.....)

Have you tried that one yet from the Raw Bar in Calgary, where they do a bacon foam on their cocktail?

:biggrin:

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Those are funny signs! The lunch looks terrific. In light of their insistence on the clean plate club membership, it's a good thing you had an appetite.

Great blog, Chris.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If you are following along at home, please note that the eGullet forums will be down for most of the day tomorrow, so there will be no foodblog updates until they are back up. Details in this post. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled foodblog...

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Looks pretty authentic to me! The bratwaurst looks great, but I've never been able to resist schnitzel...do they have good schnitzel? Yum.

That looks like some kind of nut-based cake, ja?

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Looks pretty authentic to me!  The bratwaurst looks great, but I've never been able to resist schnitzel...do they have good schnitzel?  Yum.

Yes, yes they do. :smile: There are only a few things on the menu that I don't care for: I once had a goulash sort of dish that was far too bland, for instance.

That looks like some kind of nut-based cake, ja?

Yeah, something like that. I would never think of getting dessert there since the portion sizes are so large (and the price is pretty high for a cash-only place). But I hear some people coming in and just ordering dessert, so I bet it's pretty good.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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OK, as promised, here we go with the cabinets: I'm not quite at eje's "Stomping through the Savoy" level, but my wife and I like to try new drinks pretty frequently. Thus our liquor cabinet:

gallery_28660_5872_128615.jpg

Nothing really exciting in there, but I'm partial to single-malt Scotch, so I've got two different bottles of that right now (Pebble Beach and Caol Ila). The row of dropper bottles are mostly bitters:

gallery_28660_5872_117386.jpg

I've been meaning to join the bitter-making party but I haven't gotten around to it yet, so I've pretty much just got the standard stuff there. I also keep some Pernod in a dropper bottle since a little goes a long way and it's a fun accent ingredient.

In the bottom of the liquor cabinet we keep the "house wines":

gallery_28660_5872_94470.jpg

We have some nicer stuff stashed away on top of the bookcase for special occasions, but these are the "everyday" selections, plus my contribution to the "Make your own vanilla extract" thread:

gallery_28660_5872_15951.jpg

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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About half the magnets on our refrigerator date back to our undergrad years in Ames, Iowa, at Iowa State University:

gallery_28660_5872_100758.jpg

Some of the more interesting entries on our fridge door pertain to my wife's coupon-clipping hobby:

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And her fondness for the Pilsbury Dough Boy:

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Plus the list of what we ate for dinner last week:

gallery_28660_5872_20032.jpg

I don't generally come up with an order for the week's meals, so I have to write them all down and then go through the list every night to decide what we want to eat that day. Last week was a little strange as well because it was the first week my wife was back from her job interviews, so I was a bit scatterbrained about dinners: that list is actually several weeks old, and was just updated based on what I had in the fridge. This week's list is a little more involved:

gallery_28660_5872_22556.jpg

I doubt I will get to all the confections listed there, but no harm trying!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Does CI stand for Cook's Illustrated?

Yup. I have the highest "hit rate" with their recipes of any of my sources: not 100%, but definitely over 75%. I also really enjoy reading the procedures they follow in their articles. I just recently started a subscription of Fine Cooking but I have only tried a dozen or so recipes, so it's too early to tell how they will fit into my cooking habits.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris:

Where do you purchase your lovely dropper bottles? I've been looking for those and haven't been able to find them. I love the neat laboratory aspect of the bar. I'd love to have the same at home. Droppers are so much more efficient than dashers.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Chris:

Where do you purchase your lovely dropper bottles?  I've been looking for those and haven't been able to find them.  I love the neat laboratory aspect of the bar.  I'd love to have the same at home.  Droppers are so much more efficient than dashers.

I get the bottles at Specialty Bottle---they are really cheap, so I have ordered a ton of stuff from them. I love the way they look, and definitely agree that they are more efficient: it is much easier to keep track of the size of your dash using these.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Does CI stand for Cook's Illustrated?

Yup. I have the highest "hit rate" with their recipes of any of my sources: not 100%, but definitely over 75%. I also really enjoy reading the procedures they follow in their articles. I just recently started a subscription of Fine Cooking but I have only tried a dozen or so recipes, so it's too early to tell how they will fit into my cooking habits.

I am a scientist too. When my husband sees me with CI he asks if he is having a factorial design for dinner.
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As you can see, I don't always have time to make french pressed coffee, and a new Dunkin Donuts opened across the street from my office just a few months ago. I'm sort of indifferent to their coffee, but when I have to walk past them from where I park, they are the best option (Starbucks is  a block out of my way... :smile: ).

Today, "Starbucks introduces coffee," the company proclaims, offering free 12-ounce cups of its new Pike Place Roast, every Wednesday through May 28.

When a company has to reintroduce its core business, it's time to question the grounds.

There's more where that snippet came from:

As fine coffee became more bountiful, consumers noted that Starbucks overroasted the beans, then stopped grinding them altogether. The people behind the counter aren't baristas. They're button pushers.

And I thought it was just me. Generally, if I'm in Starbucks, I'm either drinking tea or one of their frou-frou coffee-candy drinks. I think DD did you a favor by opening closer to your office.

As for craving breakfast foods for dinner: first, bacon is not breakfast food, bacon is anytime food! :laugh: Second, I do eat breakfast on the weekends sometime: I make killer buttermilk pancakes, if I may say so myself :smile: .

It is a shame you won't be a neighbor. Like Lindsay Ann, I like your attitude too -- and I would have loved to go mano a mano with you on pancakes. :wink:

I wanted to add a little background on Herwig's from their website:
In 1982, Herwig, Gundi, Bernd and Uta Brandstatter left their hometown of Igls, Austria to open a European bakery near Brisbane, Australia. They stopped in State College, Pennsylvania to visit friends of the family and fell in love with the Happy Valley area. Originally, the patriarch Herwig "Brandy" Brandstatter ran Herwig's Edelweiss, an Austrian restaurant outside of State College near the local ski area. Later, Brandy utilized his expertise in world travel to open a travel agency which he still maintains to this day.

As the travel industry declined in the post 9/11 climate, Brandy once again turned to the culinary world. Teaming up with his son Bernd, a graduate of the same Austrian hotel/restaurant school that he attended in his youth, Brandy decided to open Herwig's Austrian Bistro.

The family is in the restaurant every day, cooking, taking orders, and waiting tables, and they take a lot of pride in the place. They really are friendly (despite occasionally threatening to beat you with a large stick :smile: ), so next time you are here, stop by!

I know a few people who would want to go to Herwig's because they'd get beaten with a large wooden stick, but that's not important now. Their sense of humor rings through loud and clear, and I suspect that the food there must taste all the better because of it. Usually people who have fun doing what they do do it very well.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Plus the list of what we ate for dinner last week:

gallery_28660_5872_20032.jpg

chris- love the lists. now since we have a fidge magnet for a public library can we see the 641 area of that library? or at least the list of what you are borrowing?(the portion you would be willing to share)

suzilightning - librarian goddess

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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chris-  love the lists.  now since we have a fidge magnet for a public library can we see the 641 area of that library?  or at least the list of what you are borrowing?(the portion you would be willing to share)

Alas, that library magnet is for a library 1000 miles away from me! Ames is a city in Iowa where I did my undergrad. I have a handful of books checked out from the university library, but they all have titles like "Numerical Methods for the Euler Equations of Fluid Dynamics" --- probably not that exciting :smile: .

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris, just want to say I'm enjoying your blog. As others have mentioned, your photos are spectacular. And yay to Cooks Illustrated dinners -- they're popular around here, too.

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

DianaCooks.com

My eGullet blog

The Renegade Writer Blog

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I love the vibe and the humor of that Austrian cafe. I have to say, I have only a very small sample size of Austrians I have known personally, but they have both been total characters, leaving me with an (admittedly anecdotal) impression that Austrians are some wild'n'crazee folks ... and that restaurant's signage is only confirming my impressions. And oh yeah, the food looked amazing too! :laugh: I think I could make a whole meal out of just the sauerkraut (though I probably wouldn't stick to just that...)

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I think I could make a whole meal out of just the sauerkraut (though I probably wouldn't stick to just that...)

You really could: it is the most substantial sauerkraut I have ever had. The stuff is amazing.

Chris, just want to say I'm enjoying your blog. As others have mentioned, your photos are spectacular. And yay to Cooks Illustrated dinners -- they're popular around here, too.

Thanks! And thanks for the segue into the next topic: dinner! Naturally, using a Cook's Illustrated recipe, from January 2007: Sichuan Green Beans.

It's a pretty simple recipe, but here's the whole procedure in images:

gallery_28660_5872_17836.jpggallery_28660_5872_6694.jpggallery_28660_5872_13251.jpg

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Action shots!

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And the finished product:

gallery_28660_5872_86631.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Hey Chris I am loving the blog!

So you are taking the plunge and going down here okie way! Congrats!

Yes, we are in region 7 and the gardening here is good I will admit.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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OK, as promised, here we go with the cabinets: I'm not quite at eje's "Stomping through the Savoy" level, but my wife and I like to try new drinks pretty frequently. Thus our liquor cabinet:

gallery_28660_5872_128615.jpg

Nothing really exciting in there, but I'm partial to single-malt Scotch, so I've got two different bottles of that right now (Pebble Beach and Caol Ila). The row of dropper bottles are mostly bitters:

gallery_28660_5872_117386.jpg

I've been meaning to join the bitter-making party but I haven't gotten around to it yet, so I've pretty much just got the standard stuff there. I also keep some Pernod in a dropper bottle since a little goes a long way and it's a fun accent ingredient.

Nice bar setup/selection there, Chris. Certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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The interior of my refrigerator (anything you see that would be unimaginable for a food-lover to have in their home is my wife's, I swear :unsure::biggrin: ):

gallery_28660_5872_35205.jpg

gallery_28660_5872_66397.jpg

And freezer:

gallery_28660_5872_21970.jpg

gallery_28660_5872_58051.jpg

Super Pretzels, Tater Tots, and frozen fish sticks?!? Mon dieu! :shock:

You win back points for keeping your Kitchen Aid food grinder attachment in there. :cool:

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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