One of the biggest perks in living in German Village is the local eateries. It is obscenely easy for me to pop into world-class bakeries and restaurants. Our last-minute food decisions often yield the type of food that people plan weeks in ahead for. It’s just too easy here!
Last week was a perfect example. After discussing options for a quick meeting, we settled on Pistacia Vera. Lucky me! I love the space they’ve got there. Those big windows looking right out on Third with all its foot traffic and charming brick houses. And of course, the food’s not bad either.
For Valentine’s Day this year, husband picked me up an assortment of their famous macarons. Forgive the faux-artsy photo, but the colors and the packaging make the gift a perfect subject for Instagram. (Follow me at alexishatte, but only if you like pictures of skylines, landscapes, and photo after photo of Indiana Bones!)
Adorable, right? Well, believe it or not they sell other things here, too. Frankly, if you’re not branching out, you’re missing out. Every time I go in, I always ask the poor people working for a sermon on each of the treats. What’s new? What’s especially good today? What’s your favorite? They are always very patient, and very well-informed. For this trip, they recommended their new plum frangipan, and I was quickly sold. I paired mine with chamomile tea, and husband picked up an americano (what kind of nutjob has that much caffeine at 6 pm?), and we settled in.
The frangipan was delicious. I may have mentioned I don’t enjoy fruit on a regular basis (You have to wash it, which is annoying, and there is so much opportunity for a wonky taste or texture. Just stay away, fruit. Especially you, banana.) but this was delightful. It was part shortbread, part cake, with plum and a lot of almond flavor. I’m recently obsessed with almond (almond extract in everything, jeeves), so this hit the spot.
Though truly singular, Pistacia Vera isn’t my only local favorite. I, like many people in and around Columbus, come to pay homage to the institution that is Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. I didn’t know I loved German food until this place (honestly, what kind of dope wouldn’t — have you seen all their beers?!).
We met up with some family on Friday night, hoping the rain would keep the lines shorter and the wait-times brief. IT WAS NOT TO BE. People packed the entrance waiting for their name to be called, and more than once we contemplated identity theft to get to a table sooner. But like good citizens, we waited our turn. The first thing we ordered were these.
Yes, 32 ounces of delicious, German-inspired, locally-brewed, week-capping beer. Everybody looked at me like I was crazy. They said, “You can’t finish that!” Oh ye of little faith. You’d bet on me, wouldn’t you, readers?
And so on to dinner. My family is a big fan of the Autobahn buffet, but I prefer the more traditional sauerbraten dish. I’m a sucker for spaetzle, and of course, I get two sides of sauerkraut. Apparently, I like all things sauer.
The place itself has quite a lot of charm. The night we were in they had live music. Apologies for the poor quality picture, but you should still see it!
These gentleman were so friendly and so enthusiastic.
You can’t leave without drooling over the pastry case, packed with their cream puffs.
You can also buy their famous Bahama Mama sausages to go and prepare on your own. My parents live in Michigan, and we’re not welcome for a visit unless we’ve got a package of Bahama Mamas for my father. Sometimes I cook them in the skillet for husband, or when it’s nice out, we grill them too. I’m not a big fan of sausage in general, but these I can get behind.
Every visit here is a good one. The beer is huge and the food delicious. Though, this last time, I have to say my favorite part was the “music” playing in the bathroom: Famous movie quotes followed by their translation in German. I’m not sure when I’ll have to say May the force be with you, in German, but when I do, I’M READY.
Pistacia Vera is located at 541 S. Third Street. Open everyday from 7am-7pm.
Schmidt’s is located at 240 East Kossuth Street. Sun-Thurs, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-11pm.