12 October 2009

Raiders of the lost liver-cheese

From back in Munich:

There are some things Arthur gets so, so wrong. Take this section of E5D as an example:

I envy anyone their first trip to Munich. Even now, the memory of Bavarian cooking lingers in both my mind and taste-buds. . . . I urge you, strenuously, to taste the "Leberkas" (literally, "liver-cheese") at the Imbiss Cafe in the railroad station--for what may turn out to be the most delicious snack of your life.

This is wrong for two reasons:

(1) Please read that last sentence again. He's gotta be messing with us, right? Liver-cheese? Most delicious snack ever? Did he skip Italy and France and Belgium (mmm . . . waffles) and hire someone else to write those chapters? Mind you, I wasn't a big fan of German food to begin with, and that hasn't changed. The memory of Bavarian cooking will indeed linger in both my mind and taste buds, but not for the right reasons.

Nonetheless, I felt obligated to find this cafe and--oy--try the damn leberkas.

Which leads me to the second reason that quote is wrong.

(2) It's also incorrect in a more objective sense.

Any German speakers out there? Anyone know what "Imbiss" means, as in "Imbiss Cafe"?

There were several listed on the map at the train station, much to my dismay.

"Craaaaap," I muttered softly. "Of all the places to still be open. . . ."

"Spirit of adventure, my friend," Lee said, although his tone betrayed a tangible sense of frustration and dread.

Seriously: liver-freaking-cheese. Arthur has got to be the only person on the planet to find that delightful.

We walked to one location and couldn't find the cafe--not an Imbiss sign in sight. Nothing at the next supposed location, either, or a third. Baffled but not altogether disappointed, we found a more detailed map, which we scanned for the word Imbiss.

There it was, next to a Subway logo, and again by the Golden Arches. So what the hell did that word . . .

Oh! Lee and I figured it out at the same time and burst out in relieved laughter: "Imbiss" means . . . take-away. Food to go. As at the Miller Lite Restaurant in Berlin, Arthur had apparently misinterpreted the sign.

May I just mention, once again, my relief?

Still, it was possible that there was still liver-cheese to be had, and we are nothing if not bold, determined adventurers. Yeah, I said it: Bold. Determined. Adventurers. In that spirit, Lee and I split up, resolving to each go to a nearby imbiss restaurant to scout out the liver-cheese situation and, if available, to--oy, again--buy some.

We re-grouped, each holding a small package of food.

Doug: How's your liver-cheese?

Lee (slurping on what the unsophisticated observer might mistake for a banana-strawberry smoothie): Excellent. Yours?

Doug (brushing croissa--er, liver-cheese crumbs from my mouth): Delicious, as promised.

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