This weekend, Fougoo, Redneckhunter & I drove out to Hagerstown in western Maryland near the Antietam Civil War battlefield to have lunch at Schmankerl Stube, a Bavarian restaurant. Our friends, Olironstomach & Gubeen arranged this lunch with a large party of friends because of a certain dish made at the restaurant, the Knusperige Schweinshaxe, a Bavarian style pork shank, which needed to be ordered at least a day in advance to get.
When we arrived, the decor and atmosphere of Schmankerl Stube was Bavarian through and through. There was a bar with steins hanging on the ceiling, the waitresses wore German style dresses, and German music was playing.
We started with liters and half liters of Spaten Münchner Hell lager. We were given bread at the table: a dry sunflower seed rye served with butter and a cream cheese mixed with anchovy, capers & pickles.
We ordered several plates of appetizers. First was the Wurst sampler that came with a selection of strong mustards for dipping. It included Weisswurst, Bratwurst, Knackwurst, and Debrezinerwurst. Fougoo and I agreed that our favorite was the Weisswurst.
We got a plate of Herring a’la Hausfrauenart, or pickled herring with sour cream sauce and onion.
We also shared the day's Gefülltes Brot, a wintertime dish that was a crispy sourdough bowl filled with roast pork and Hunter's sauce.
After appetizers, they brought out the Knusperige Schweinshaxe. It was a massive piece of pork, about the size of my head. The pork was amazing. It had a wonderful crispy skin. The fat just under it was gelatinous and flavorful, and the meat itself just fell off the bone. It was served with sauerkraut, an apple flavored red cabbage, and a bread dumpling. It was such a large portion, I could only eat about a third of my plate.
Fougoo ordered the Herzhafter Sauerbraten, the sweet & sour pot roast. It was also quite delicious.
Our table passed around a side of their tasty Spätzle.
After so much fatty goodness, it was a relief to have a little digestif of gooseberry schnapps.
Certainly, we could not leave without some dessert. Our end of the table shared two items. The first was Schwarzwälder Kirsh Torte, or Black Forest cake.
The second was Apfel Strudel, or apple strudel with a vanilla sauce. Both were made in house and both were delicious.
After this impressive luncheon, I did not eat any more meals for the rest of the day, and I even felt full ths next morning.
I would love to go back to try other items off their menu.
58 South Potomac Street