Pork Loin – Guglhupf
Whenever I visit a new area, I like to check out the local favorites. If you ask around in Durham, it is very likely that Guglhupf will frequently come up as a recommendation. Problem is, unless you speak German, it’s tough to spell, and every time you look at the name, it’s easy to forget how to pronounce it! This makes it challenging to research. “Dear Google, please show me the menu for Jigglypuff.” Oops, I mean, “gargoyleshuff,” or “glughoof,” or “gudjslkfjaerf.” Soon, it becomes frustrating. “What do you mean ‘no results??!’ I’m looking for that one German restaurant/bakery, whatever it’s called. Why can’t Yelp just read my mind! ugh!”
Eventually, I did manage to figure out the name again. It’s located next to Foster’s and has its own parking lot, though very limited. I was seated upstairs in a beautifully decorated room with several paper lamps and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. You would think that it’d be blinding with all the lights, but it’s actually not! The lights make the place feel elegant, definitely a date night type of atmosphere.
Even the waiter couldn’t tell me the correct way to pronounce “Guglhupf,” nor could he tell me the correct way to pronounce some of the menu items! I had to resort to a lot of pointing on the menu to indicate which items I was interested in. Did not like the hard complimentary sourdough or wheat bread. Started off with Schwäbische Maultaschen – good luck pronouncing this to the waiter! Two sausage and spinach filled maultaschen, served in beef broth with sautéed onions, $12. Essentially, they’re ravioli. Loved both the moist skin of the maultaschen, as well as the flavorful broth that they are bathed in. What a tease to serve only 2 pieces!
When I first saw this on the menu, I immediately associated it with the fast food place that specializes in hot dogs, Wienerschnitzel. As a result, I assumed it would look like a sausage. However, when it arrived at the table, I was almost certain it was the wrong order because it looks AND tastes like chicken katsu! Nonetheless, just as I enjoy katsu, I enjoyed this popular dish. Guglhupf changes their menu regularly, but this is one of the selected items that remains on the menu. This dish is composed of pork cutlet, new potatoes, seasonal vegetables (cauliflower and collards), spätzle, and lemon, $18.
I don’t normally eat much pork, but it seems to be a common choice of meat for German dishes. Thus, I decided to order the green button farm roasted pork loin that comes with braised local greens (collards), Gruyère spätzle, and black garlic jus, $24. It’s a wonderfully massive, tender chunk of juicy meat (with bones), but I didn’t like the sour collards that accompanied it. The mushrooms in the sauce are good. Love the spätzle, which are long, thin, twisty dumplings that resemble gnocchi that has been stretched out.
Strawberry Fromage Blanc Bavarian
I was confused when I saw this on the menu. “Fromage” means “cheese” in French (I learned this from watching the cartoon “Dexter’s Laboratory” – clearly cartoons are educational). Combining strawberries with cheese doesn’t sound like a very good idea, but the waiter explained the concept to me. It’s supposed to be a light version of strawberry cheesecake. I suppose the translation for “cake” was lost in the naming process, and it became “strawberry cheese” instead. Anyway, this is creatively presented with swirls of white balsamic-strawberry reduction, fresh strawberries, and adorable heart meringues (Valentine’s Day was the following day), $8. Definitely lighter than the average cheesecake, so I didn’t feel as full as I would have after eating a cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory, but it’s just as satisfying. Loved it!
Alesmith Speedway Stout Float
For all you beer lovers out there, this one’s for you! Dark chocolate layer cake, salted caramel, spiced candied peanuts, and a glass of dark beer with ice cream, $8. I’m not much of a fan of this dessert. The cake is tiny. The ice cream with beer is supposed to mirror the idea of a root beer float, but I’m not a fan of dark beers, so this was awful for me, despite the ice cream.