Saturday, December 14, 2013

Restaurant Review: Hans im Glück

Once upon a time, in a not-so-far-away place (aka Munich), there were small havens of silver tree-lined establishments tucked away, scattered throughout the city. You've heard tales of delicious burgers being served at these locations, so you take a gander in.
As you enter the doors, your eyes adjust to the dim light and you are greeted with bursts of chatter and the surreal sensation of being in the midst of a great forest. This is the fabled Hans im Glück.

Hans im Glück is a burger establishment based on the Germanic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.

Hans, or "Lucky Hans" as we will call him, has worked and worked for seven years. Feeling a little homesick and missing his mum, he asks his employer to pay him his wages. Lucky Hans gets a lump of gold the size of his head as payment, and he sets off on his way.

Predictably, the lump of gold gets heavy, and when a traveling rider rides by, Lucky Hans proposes a barter: the lump of gold for the horse. "A horse has legs and can carry me," he thought. The gold thus traded, Lucky Hans continued on his way. However, the horse turned out to be unruly and unresponsive, so when a nearby farmer offered Hans a cow for the horse, Lucky Hans thought, "milk, cheese, and maybe eventually beef? Great deal!" After some time, Lucky Hans and the cow paused for a milk break on the side of the road, but woe is Lucky Hans, for the cow was dry and incapable of producing milk. Lucky Hans sees a merchant with a pig and does a quick barter, thinking a pig could be butchered for meat. Unfortunately for Lucky Hans, a traveling bard advises him to get rid of the pig, as it was recently stolen from a high ranking official in a nearby town. The traveling bard offers his goose as trade, and Lucky Hans, grateful to be rid of stolen goods and thinking if a nice goose roast, promptly makes the switch. 

Lucky Hans goes through a village along his journey and he chats up the local smith master with his tale. The smith master scolds Lucky Hans for thinking so short term, asks him what he will do for money once the goose is eaten, and generously offers his grinding stone for Lucky Hans to be able to make a living. Lucky Hans happily agrees to the trade, and lugs the stone along his way.

Alas, the stone is getting heavy and Hans is getting hungry! He stops at a river to take a drink, and as he bends down, the grindstone falls into the river! "Lucky me!" he thinks. "I don't have to carry that heavy stone any longer!" Free of all his burdens, Lucky Hans happily goes on his way and after his arrival to his mother's house, tells her his lucky tale. 

The story is essentially a reverse "rags-to-riches" tale, reminding us: "mo' money, mo' problems".

The menu at Hans im Glück features the cow, the pig, and the countryside roots and leaves. No horse, goose, grindstone, lump of gold, and- most importantly- no Hans are featured on the menu. The nonexistent cow's milk makes an entrance, though, in the form of cheese. A special kind of hay-fed cow's cheese, if you please.

Everything is wooden. The benches, the trestle holding the comdiments, the little bit of leafy green at every table, the plethora of slender silver-bark trees artificially placed indoors to create a forest-like (or jail-like, depending on your perspective) atmosphere.


The condiments deserve special mention. They have housemade specialty sauces for your fries and burger, and beside the traditional ketchup and BBQ sauces are the Lucky Sauce (a mayo-based sauce) and the orange-mustard sauce (my personal favorite). They also have a nose-tinglingly good wasabi mayo sauce that is delicious with the fries, but you'll have to ask the waitres to bring you some.

Another item of note: their offering of extensive vegetarian patties. Delicious alternatives like the olive-tomato patty with hay milk cheese, Gorgonzola and Parmesan make you forget it's vegetarian!

But by this time, we already have our firm favorites. This is the Caesar burger and fries.

I always alternate between two amazing burgers. Option 1 is the Hans im Glück burger that comes with the meat patty, Parma ham, rocket, luxurious slices of Parmesan cheese, and balsamico, lettuce, and a tomato slice. Option 2 is the Glücksschmied, which has the meat patty, hay-milk cheese, lettuce, and tomato, all smothered in the most delicious red pepper sauce. I get the toasted whole grain bun but you can opt for the white buns, or go completely bunless.

I like to get a small Caesar salad instead of fries as my side because the bean sprouts in the salad make this unbelievably crunchy and delicious. They are always generous with the cheese slivers, too.

A peek into my version of heaven.

There are multiple locations throughout Munich, with different phone numbers, so take your pick when going to the website!

Reservations are ALWAYS necessary, sometimes well in advance. All the Hans im Glücks are buzzing and packed every time I go. The burgers are not only delicious, but the prices are incredibly low, which are excellent reasons why reservations are recommended. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks DELICIOUS!!!!!! And they did a really nice job with the decoration and setting!

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