I’ll Go With Carolina, Thanks

Usually I don’t watch the Super Bowl, because there’s always something about the game that reminds me, deflatingly, of the ongoing dismal state of the Cleveland Browns.

PrintWhen the AFC representative in the Super Bowl is the New England Patriots, I recall that Bill Belichick once was the head coach of the Browns.  When the AFC representative is the Baltimore Ravens, I remember that the Ravens once were the Browns, before they abandoned Cleveland and then promptly won two Super Bowls.  When one of the teams in the game is a newer franchise, like the Seattle Seahawks or Carolina Panthers, I’m reminded, again, that we have reached Super Bowl L and the Browns have never made to the Big Game — not once, in 50 years.  It’s an amazing, seemingly impossible record of ineptitude and futility that saddles Browns fans with an overwhelming weight of despair and crushed hopes.

So, normally I wouldn’t watch the Super Bowl.  I’m not sure whether I will or not, this year, but it’s not hard for me to say who I want to win.  I’ll take the Carolina Panthers over the Denver Broncos any day, for one reason:  John Elway.  He cut the heart out of Browns fans, two years in a row, and if I have to see his chiklet-toothed grin as he hoists the Super Bowl trophy I’m sure I’ll throw up or hurl a shoe at the TV screen.  Besides, the Carolina Panthers have a lot of ex-Buckeyes on their roster, and all of those players have been big contributors to their success this season.  Ted Ginn, Jr., Philly Brown, Kurt Coleman, and Andrew Norwell will remind me that there is at least one Ohio-based football team that I root for that knows what the hell it’s doing on the gridiron.

Go Carolina!  Make John Elway suffer!

Valter’s At The Maennerchor

Last night we checked out the latest restaurant to grace the German Village venue:  Valter’s at the Maennerchor.  It’s a new food option at one of the oldest, most iconic locations in Columbus — the Columbus Maennerchor (German for men’s choir) building.  The Maennerchor itself has been a part of the Columbus arts community since 1848.

IMG_0443It’s not surprising, then, that the restaurant has a strong German theme, from the Maennerchor plaques on the walls, to the cozy rooms, to the excellent beer selection, and finally to the menu options themselves.  (Although, when we where there, a bagpiper and drummer from the Columbus Shamrock Club stopped by to treat us to some music before enjoying a few pints at the bar, and when they left they departed with a heartfelt rendition of Carmen Ohio, The Ohio State University’s familiar alma mater.  I can now attest that Carmen Ohio sounds pretty darned good when played on a bagpipe.)

We started our meal with the sauerkraut ball and potato pancake appetizers.  Both were very good, but the potato pancakes are worthy of a special note because they were prepared in the preferred way:  crisp, well-crusted, and served the traditional way with dark mustard and applesauce.  For my entree I got the weinerschnitzel and spaetzle, which is the acid test for any German restaurant.  The schnitzel was tender and flavorful with a very nice breading, and the spaetzle was as light as spaetzle can be — after all, German cuisine is of the stick to your ribs variety — and had an excellent, peppery flavoring.  The portions were abundant, too, which is another German trademark, and the prices were very reasonable.

During our meal we met Valter himself, who made the rounds of the tables and later graciously treated us to some very tasty mini cream puffs.  He suggested that we stop by for brunch some weekend, and showed us a picture of a pancake concoction that made having brunch at the Maennerchor look like a very wise decision.

It’s nice to have another fun German food option in German Village.