This was really a second choice for a goose today. Unfortunately, when I called the place I planned to visit originally (Restaurant Selitsch), they had no place left. Well, this was a fully expected result of calling at 11am and trying to reserve for 3pm. “Zur Alten Kaisermühle,” on the other hand, took the reservation readily, their only warning being that they don’t accept credit cards (they always warn about it). Knowing the place for its rather good spare ribs in summer, I was looking forward to trying the goose.
The first worrying sign was to find the restaurant almost empty. This was despite today being a rainy Saturday and several invitations for the Ganslessen in that restaurant that I saw in various papers. I started with a pumpkin soup, which was acceptable if a bit uninspiring. That did not concern me much, because I was really waiting for the goose. So I waited. And waited. And waited. With almost no other customers around, it was taking far too long, some horribly monotonous music playing in the background did not make the waiting easier.
There could only be two reasons for such a delay, I told myself: either they could not finish cooking the animal due to my late reservation (I’ve heard it takes about four hours to prepare one), or they were busy unfreezing and warming up a pre-cooked goose. Unfortunately, when the dish finally arrived after at least 20 minutes, it turned out to be the latter. To give them credit, the goose looked very good: sufficiently big, well-grilled and nicely decorated with some orange slices and herbs.
Well, maybe I should have order a picture of the goose instead of the goose itself. Under the crunchy skin I found some of the toughest and driest meat I’ve ever seen on a goose. And it was seriously under-salted. I genuinely suspect that the poor bird died of old age, got roasted and spent a few days in a freezer. The Knödel was oversized and dull as only a Knödel could be. The red cabbage was the best part of the mix, having a slight taste of Glühwein.
Overall, the visit was a disappointment. I wonder if a place that serves good spare ribs is guaranteed to have poor geese. I don’t have any other proof yet, but it certainly sounds like a good rule.