March 18, 2013

Birthday Celebrations !

This post is really long overdue.  Back in February when it was PC's birthday weekend, we headed to El Matador Beach as the weather was particularly nice.  On the actual day of his birthday, the weather wasn't so great so we spent the afternoon having coffee and cupcakes at Akasha. They do the best cupcakes that I've tasted in LA and have lots of flavours to choose from.  They also do smaller sized ones so that you can sample a few without feeling too sick afterwards.  On this particular visit, I had a carrot cupcake and PC had a peanut butter chocolate cupcake (his favourite).  Since visiting Broome St General Store I have been in love with properly made cappuccino coffee.  I usually opt for a quick hit of espresso but when it's afternoon cakes a long cappuccino is the perfect accompaniment.  

See below for more about what we did in the evening

In the evening we went Downtown to Wurstkuche: a gourmet hot-dog restaurant that also specialises in Belgian and German beers.  My favourite happen to be the most simple of the varieties available: the classic bratwurst (pork sausage seasoned with coriander and nutmeg).  Both PC and I got one of these to start with.  We had already tried the fries at the Wurstkuche restaurant in Venice but they weren't my favourite so we had two hot-dogs each instead of the fries.  For my second choice, I had one from the 'gourmet' selection: the Louisiana hot link (beef and pork, onions and hot spices)  All the sausages are served on a soft baked roll and I opted for caramelised onions and sauerkraut for the toppings.  I love spicy foods and the Louisiana sausage definitely packed a punch as did the Austin Blues (hot and spicy, tri-pepper and hardwood smoked pork) that PC had for his second hot-dog.  But as much as I enjoy branching out and trying a new one each time, nothing can beat the brat for me.  I think it's the subtle hint of spiced nutmeg that perfumes the mouth and the feeling of the casing snapping as you take the first bite.    

It's a really relaxed environment with long canteen style wooden bench tables with brown paper 'table-cloths'.  It enables a more sociable dining experience.  There are squeezy bottles of different flavoured mustards and ketchup that are lined up in the middle of the tables.  I usually go for American yellow mustard and ketchup on my hot-dogs.  The restaurant is set up so that you can choose where you sit and you order your food and drink before taking a seat.  All the sausages are lined up in a display fridge so you can see the varieties available.  Once you have chosen your dog and toppings and ordered a drink (my choice that night was the Franziskaner Heffeweisse and PC went with the Reissedorf Kolsch), you are then handed a red and white folded metal order number.  You are then directed down a dark corridor to the seating area.  The hot-dogs are made to order so are brought to you when they are ready.  Each individual dog is sat in its own folded metal tray.  It is quite dark inside but there is outside seating available.  The whole vibe is very much like a continental European beer garden and is great for social informal gatherings.   A visit is a must if you're in the area.

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