|Bei Oma Klinemann's unassuming exterior.|
|Our first round.|
It was my first time drinking beer!
My friend and I were privileged to be in Cologne during the World Cup match between Ghana and Germany. I knew I wanted to watch the game at a nice bar or pub like most of the residents of the city. In fact, game day appeared to be a holiday. Shops closed early and people took the streets singing fight songs and enjoying beer hours before the match began.
Before we arrived in Germany, I planned ahead of time and looked for a good pub where we could enjoy the game. When browsing Google Maps, I came across Bei Oma Klinemann. Conveniently for us, I discovered the pub is also known for its schnitzel, the quintessential German comfort food. We definitely wanted to try schnitzel while in Germany, so going to Bei Oma Klinemann was a no-brainer.
I made reservations for us through email on their website. When we arrived, we discovered our reservation was lost, but the issue was quickly resolved and we were seated at a table marked "reserved".
Our waitress for the night was friendly, warm, and engaging. As we were clearly non-German tourists, she did her part to take care of us for the night and was highly attentive without coming off as fake. This is an attitude I noticed from nearly all service staff I encountered while in Cologne; they had a genuine desire to help and were earnest. Conversely, in Tokyo, I found waitstaff to be kind yet a little robotic and insincere. And I think those of us from the States have encountered quite a few waitstaff with attitudes — but I digress.
We quizzed our waitress about the best beer options, and she selected one which she felt would be the most refreshing on a warm summer night. At around 2 euros (~$2.20) a glass, the beer was certainly worth a try. For me, it was an interesting experience because I had never tasted beer. Yes, that's right; I went 24 years without beer passing my lips! I'm not much of a drinker since I don't like being drunk and I am not too fond of the taste of alcohol. However, the beer was refreshing; my friend and I had a total of four rounds! No, we weren't drunk at the end of the evening.
|Our kiddie schnitzels.|
I had so much curry sauce I ended up sharing it.
Our waitress also held our hand through selecting our schnitzel. We were going to order adult sizes, but our waitress warned us not to as the adult size is colossal. Skeptically, we took her advice and reluctantly ordered the child size. We were quite hungry, so we were nervous that the portions would be too small. However, when our food arrived we were pleasantly surprised; the "children's" size was definitely good enough for a hungry adult! Later in the evening, a couple at the table next to our's ordered the regular-sized schnitzel and it was nearly as big as their heads!
I ordered the veal curry schnitzel which came with a large helping of curry sauce. Every part of my meal was delicious, and there was no sign of grease from the schnitzel or fries, which were perfectly crisp. It satiated my hunger and complemented the beer beautifully. If you find yourself in Cologne, I highly recommend Bei Oma Klienmann for your schnitzel fix!
|All eyes on Ghana vs. Germany!|
The exciting game made the food and beer even tastier. It was fun watching Ghana and Germany duke it out with so many other football/soccer fans. It was funny how after Ghana's goals, several of the patrons eyed my friend and I with friendly rivalry; they clearly believed us black girls were rooting for Ghana on their turf! In reality, my friend was pretty neutral and I have been a Germany fan for several years. Nevertheless, I was glad the game ended at an even 2-2.
|Fans taking the streets and having|
a good time.
After the game, we downed another round of beer and made our way back to our apartment which was luckily only a couple of minutes away by foot. Every street in the neighborhood had been taken over by pedestrians who partied into the early morning hours. Of course, the mess left behind was cleaned up by the city and locals before mid-morning — a display of typical German efficiency!