The Hofbrauhaus is legendary. Almost everyone we met in Munich said to us, “You have to go to Hofbrauhaus!” Of course, this insistence was always tempered with “Don’t bother with the food, it’s a bit average…just go for the beer hall atmosphere!” I hate to say it, but that’s probably the worst way to recommend somewhere to us – I don’t drink, and K doesn’t have more than a handful of drinks in a week even while on holiday.
When we walked past the Hofbrauhaus, it further demonstrated how it wasn’t the place for us – rowdy drunk Americans and Australians were stumbling around outside the beer hall, reeking of stale alcohol. If you’re a drinker and you love tossing back litre mugs of beer with other tourists, the Hofbrauhaus is for you.
For our part though, we crossed the road to Augustiner am Platzl, a smaller Bavarian pub serving beer from Munich’s oldest independent brewery – Augustiner-Bräu. The atmosphere is a lot more relaxed in here – while it’s still busy with tourists given its location, they’re more likely to be sedate family groups or older couples. It’s also the type of place where older German gentlemen come in on an afternoon, buy a beer, and sit down to read the newspaper – so it is popular with locals as well.
Beer is still the primary attraction of the Augustiner am Platzl, with a full collection of the Augustiner beers. K chose the Augustiner Hefeweissbier – reportedly a very drinkable lighter beer which matches well with the heavier Bavarian style of cuisine. I chose to have the Apfelschorle which has become my drink of choice as it’s not quite as sweet as regular apple juice, and is infinitely more refreshing with its bubbles.
I chose the Traditional Bavarian Roast Pork for my meal, which came served in a thick pool of rich beer-tinted gravy. The pork was roasted well – possibly a bit on the dry side in some parts so the gravy came in handy to make it a bit more palatable. The potato dumpling was very thick and stodgy, and not as smooth, light and creamy as you would hope.
The white cabbage salad side that came with the roast pork was a lovely accompaniment – only lightly dressed, it acted as the perfect light side dish to balance out the heavier and richer flavours of the pork and potato. The little deep-fried bacon bits helped to add a bit of texture and saltiness to the salad.
K’s choice of the Butcher’s Grill Pannikin was a lot more disappointing. While the concept is good (a tasting of different German sausages), the execution was less well done. The sauerkraut was very sour, even for people like us who enjoy pickled and fermented foods. The sauerkraut to sausage ratio was off as well, with way too much sauerkraut and not enough sausage. Not a fantastic meal unfortunately.
Augustiner am Platzl won’t offer you the best Bavarian meal you can have in Munich – but it’s not a bad alternative to the Hofbrauhaus if you want a less rowdy atmosphere! You can still get a good range of beers here, and half-decent food for a good price. I’d recommend ordering one of their many pork dishes rather than their sausage-based meals though.
Augustiner am Platzl is located at 5 Orlandostraße, Munich.