The secret Schnitzel Society convenes at Paulaner Bräuhaus.
Erica took another look at the title of the paper. Satisfied she had reached the right place, she paused to take in the big building. It was the eye catcher of the neighborhood. Situated on the corner of the crossing of two busy streets, it loomed high and large over the by passers. The soft yellow light of the lanterns hanging on its façade gave the house a cozy feeling, a place of comfort and tradition in a modern neighborhood. She ignored the stone gate leading to the Biergarten and made her way to the main entrance.
Uwe adjusted the knife until it was meticulously positioned next to his plate. “They’re late”, he mumbled. He glared at the other tables where most people hung over big plates of steaming food. The waiter had given him a table in the first and largest part of the restaurant. High windows dominated the room and lead up to a curved vault supported by pillars. The white walls and ceiling along with the old fashioned windows gave the place an authentic atmosphere. As if you walked into a 19th century rural dining room. A few red and yellow roses adorned the simple wooden tables and, apart from lanterns, the walls were left blanc. Uwe adjusted his tie and straightened his slightly crumpled shirt. His eyes followed a man hurrying through the lobby to the entrance where a new guest had arrived. The income hall was part of a small side room called ‘the sudhaus’. A few guests leaned on thin, high tables and sipped their beers as they waited to be led to their dinner table. Above them, a long row of beer glasses on a metal shelve stretched all the way to the eye catcher of the Bräuhaus, two large beer tanks, remnants of the old Paulaner brewery. The newly arrived guest, a woman, talked briefly with the maître d’ after which he pointed to Uwe’s table. “Finally”, he snapped when she arrived, “I’ll have you know I also have other appointments”.
“There, that was a delicious starter”, Hans bellowed when he finished his third beer. He stretched, wiped of his sweaty hands on his lederhosen and nodded goodbye to his friends at the table. Both tourists and locals, people had shown up numerously despite the fading of the spring warmth in the evening. A small platform surrounded by trees, the biergarten was a comfortable and quiet place in the busy city center and Hans frequently visited it when he was nearby.
The off tone singing of a group of fraternity students escaped the half opened windows of a side room of the Bräuhaus. It reminded Hans of his own youth where he too frequented these almost ceremonial but equally bacchanal evenings. He entered the building through the back entrance and walked towards the kitchen. The maître d’ assisted a waiter balancing a few plates of food and shouted something towards a cook. A large hole in the wall, clearly indicated with a big ‘Küche’ above and written culinary quotes aside, provided a look into the contrastingly modern kitchen.
Through a small hallway, Hans sauntered into one of the main dining rooms. With red and white colored table sheets and green chairs and walls, it was the most traditional looking of the two. A waitress, neatly dressed in dirndl flew passed him, bearing three large plates of schnitzel. He followed her into the second hall and spotted his dinner table. A man in suit tapped his finger while the girl next to him looked up with what Hans only could describe as hopeful desperation. The waitress presented them both with a schnitzel and placed the third plate on an empty spot. “Servus”, Hans bellowed. “We already ordered”, the suited man interrupted, “let’s start”.
Erica, Uwe and Hans
Fifteen minutes later all three put down their cutlery. Hans suppressed a burp and washed down the remains of the schnitzel with a gulp of beer while Erica grabbed three envelopes. Silently she passed a paper and a pen to her two companions. Each took a few moments before they set their pens to work. Erica collected the envelopes, opened them and wrote down some words on another piece of paper. After a few moments, she looked up at the other two and dictated in a solemn voice. “It is on the 8th of April, 2018 that three anonymous and ad random chosen members of the Secret Society of the Schnitzel gathered to test the schnitzel of the Paulaner Bräuhaus. Hereby the order aims to maintain and preserve the quality of the schnitzel in Munich and surroundings. After counting the scores of the three members, we have come to the conclusion that the Bräuhaus serves a dish worthy of the name Wiener Schnitzel. Gentlemen, I will send these envelopes to the headquarters of the Society. I thank you all for coming.” The three got up and left for the exit. Only Hans hesitated and looked back at the big beer tanks in the corner of the room. “Hmm, maybe a little dessert”, he smiled and walked back to the table.