Parlament

Rathausmarkt 1 – 20095 Hamburg, Germany • +49 40 70383399 • parlament-hamburg.de

Located in one of the coolest, most stunning and historical buildings in Hamburg, Parliament is a wow on the eyes from approach to table (pictured). And that’s about the only nice thing I have to say. The service is atrocious and about as attentive as a sloth in a coma.

 

And speaking of lifeless things, the food is flavorless. Worst schnitzel I’ve ever had. The potato salad that it comes with was slightly better, but it came about 30 minutes later, so to say that it came “with” the schnitzel is being generous. The other it ACTUALLY didn’t come with is the lingonberry jam. I had to ask for it special. And trust me, it needed it. Sad day when Milwaukee bests Germany at Schnitzel.

 

On the plus side, the hefeweizen beer was very tall and very good. Sadly not tall enough or good enough to get me so drunk that I didn’t care about the fact that a calf was tortured for nothing.

Holborn Dining Room

 

Rosewood Hotel • 252 High Holborn London WC1V 7EN United Kingdom • +44 20 3747 8633 • holborndiningroom.com

Behold! The answer to the age-old question. You heard it here first folks. The world’s first definitive proof that the egg came before the chicken. Well, at least as it pertains to the chronology of my meal.

For my starter I had an amazing scotch egg of Ultimate proportions. Served over a bed of mushroom risotto to sweeten the deal, and by that I mean savory. The only dish of its equal for me would be The Rumpus Room in Milwaukee.

To follow, I ordered the chicken (obviously) pot pie with mushrooms served over a bed of English peas. Sadly, the presentation outshined the flavor, but it was still a solid good. Just an awfully steep step down from the egg that preceded it.

For dessert, the chocolate volcano with ginger ice cream is a really strong get, made with really strong ginger, like sushi grade. Not that sweetened cutesy stuff. It’s real McCoy and it makes the dish shine.

The other thing that shines is the exceedingly cool and expansive industrial décor. Every bit as tasteful as the food- after all, it is a Rosewood hotel… in London. Regrettably the service lacks the energy of the crowd, at least in terms of speed of service.

*** In a follow up visit, the fish and chips also proved damn skippy. That’s Yankee for good.

The Ultimate Schnitzel

chicken-schnitzel

The Rumpus Room – Milwaukee, WI

Truth be told, I tend to find the high water mark for schnitzel rather low. I mean, even great schnitzel is only just “good” by comparison to so many other dishes I’d rather have. But that was until I ate at the Rumpus Room. They showed me the light. And this is how they did it.

First, they start with a pork-based schnitzel as opposed to veal, which I don’t think made the difference and if anything added to the level of difficulty, because veal usually trumps pork in my book. But I do believe it is local, hormone/antibiotic free pork, which does make a difference.

Then, they obviously bread and fry the thing, but the breading they use seems to be pretty standard as schnitzels go. What isn’t standard is how moist it turns out. And how they top it, with a mound of spicy arugula, a local aged gouda and a farm fresh, sunny-side egg, all culminating in a perfect storm of schnitzel bliss.

Edi & The Wolf – New York, NY

What makes this schnitzel sing isn’t the schnitzel itself, it’s the accoutrements that surround it. A sweet lingonberry jam, a refreshing cucumber slaw and a creamy, mustardy potato salad that when paired with a bite of the heritage pig schnitzel or any sub-combination thereof, you are met with a complexity of flavors often woefully absent from the realm of schnitzel.

The Rumpus Room

1030 N Water St. Milwaukee, WI 53202 • (414) 292-0100 • rumpusroommke.com

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I was stranded in Milwaukee on a business trip after a huge storm hit NY, shutting down the airports. So, we decided to turn lemons into lemonade and stay downtown as opposed to near the airport. And we also decided to hit the Rumpus Room… And SOOO glad we did.

This place is awesome. A hip gastro pub with excellent service (props to Emily May), cool decor and an awesome beer selection, both draught and bottled. For example, I got myself a Staropramen- one of my favorite beers on Earth, but VERY hard to find in the states as it is a Czech beer and Pilsner Urquell seems to be the more common find in the USA.

But the beer is just the beginning. For appetizers we had the Scotch Egg, which I highly recommend. And we also had the wings, which were good. Spiced with harissa and served with a creme fraiche bleu cheese dip.

And then the Schnitzel came in to my life, and all was right with the world again. I forgot all about the fact that I was stranded and basked in the glow of the best Schnitzel I’ve ever had. Made with pork, breaded to perfection, then topped with spicy arugula, a rich, local aged gouda, mushrooms, and a fired sunny side egg.

On a roll, we pushed through, even though we were full, because after such an impressive showing, we had to try dessert- And that’s when Rumpus fell short of 5 stars, because the bread pudding was unfortunately lack luster. Thankfully we quickly made up for that with a few glasses of port. 🙂

4 teeth