A Really Big Beer
Oktoberfest is six months away, and when you're a fan of German beers, that seems like forever. To help tide me over, I often head to Cafe Mozart, a German deli/European pantry/bar/restaurant tucked into a nondescript office building near the intersection of New York Avenue and 13th and H streets NW.
Cafe Mozart's German grocery store is a big draw, filled with such treats as Ritter Sport's Knusperflakes (milk chocolate squares with a layer of corn flakes inside) and creamy Kinder Bueno bars, Viennese coffee, strange mustards and a deli case laden with every kind of animal part you can imagine.
The bar, which was redone with new tables and booths last year, still feels like an unsentimental throwback to the '80s -- a room with white walls and dark furniture. Doesn't matter, though, because the attraction is the all-Germanic draft beer lineup. Selections rotate frequently; but when I stopped by last week, they offered the dark, dry Kostrizer Schwartzbier (black beer), the hoppy Austrian Eggenberg pilsner, and a hefeweissen (wheat beer) made by Weihenstephan, the oldest brewery in the world. Most are served in the dimpled liter and half-liter mugs that Oktoberfest fans know so well, though the pilsners have special glassware designed to enhance the flavor of the beer.
Tuesdays, oddly, are the best time to go; the night's specials include $4 half-liters and $8 liters of draft beer -- the latter is a whopping 33.8 ounces -- and $3.95 bratwurst "platters." I'll put that in quotes because, really, you just get a sausage on a roll and a side of German potato salad (kartoffelsalat) or sauerkraut. Though the roll is sometimes bigger than the bratwurst, it's still a delicious snack. (If you don't need a full sausage, ask your bartender for a free basket of pretzels and brown mustard.)
For entertainment, there's no television -- just recorded polka and oom-pah tunes, unless you visit on a weekend, when there's live piano or accordion music. Cafe Mozart is a strange little place, but it's well worth a visit.
Posted by: karis | February 18, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse
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