Thursday, January 17, 2013

Frohe Geburtstag! A German Birthday Celebration

For my birthday, my family went out to dinner at the most amazing restaurant that I always forget exists: Zum Rheingarten
It’s a German restaurant that is incredibly authentic, located in Stafford, VA, near Quantico Marine Corps Base. We passed by it in October or so when we were coming back from somewhere, and I decided right then and there that I wanted to go there for my birthday dinner. We had been there before (also for my birthday, I think!) when I was in middle or high school, but not again since. My mom made a reservation, we gathered up the troops, and we celebrated mein Geburtstag (my birthday) with one of the best meals I’ve had in a long, long time. 

After deciding twelve weeks before my birthday that I wanted this for my birthday dinner, I had German food on. the. brain. And I totally syched myself up for an authentic German meal. Zum Rheingarten did not disappoint! We started out with a round of drinks for everyone – hooray for gigantic German beers! I went with the Bitburger Pilsner, and it was delicious. Perfect accompaniment for my dinner selection: J√§gerschnitzel vom Schwein! This is a breaded pork schnitzel, served with a Hunter style sauce (meaning dark gravy with mushrooms). It came with bread dumplings and apple red cabbage on the side. You better believe I cleaned my plate! The schnitzel was perfect – thin, lightly breaded, and gently fried, with that dark gravy that is so deeply flavorful. The apple red cabbage was killer, too – perfectly tart and sweet. It was EXACTLY what I’d been craving!
I think that, between the 11 of us, we ordered 8 different dishes, and there was lots of sharing going on – forks and plates being passed so that everyone got a bite of everything. We tried so many different things off the menu, and everything was wonderful. I really think it says a lot about a restaurant to be able to have that many dishes that are just perfectly cooked – and have that many people completely satisfied with their meal. Hats off to the chef!

For birthday dessert, I went with a hazelnut cream cake, complete with a candle and a rousing rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song. I could not think of a better way to kick off my 26th year! 
I am so thankful for my family, my parents and sister and in-laws and husband and friends-who-are-like-family, and so blessed to be able to pull all those people together for a night of celebrating. I repeatedly tell C – I really don’t need birthday presents or anything; I’d much rather spend the evening out, surrounded by the people I love, enjoying fantastic food and great company. It was such a fun evening! 
I can’t wait to go back to Zum Rheingarten again – we definitely won’t let it be so many years between visits this time!

1 comment :

Maddie~The Whimsy One said...

Looks like you had a great time! I will have to check it out the next time I am in the area. Happy Belated Birthday:)