One thing I miss from the pre-lockdown times is the ability to simply walk into a restaurant, eat a goose and leave with the only remaining memories of me being the paid bill and the tip. When ordering geese to take away, exposing my name and the telephone number to the restaurant is unfortunately unavoidable. (Of course, I can give them absolutely any name, but the trick is to remember it afterwards, so I prefer not to risk.)
Luftburg’s online reservation system was a breeze to use. Such a breeze, actually, that it took me a few minutes to realize that something was highly unusual. I selected the dish, clicked on the shopping card button, added the tip, chose the pick-up time, entered my credit card number, left the optional e-mail address fields empty, clicked on “Confirm,” and that was it. “Thank you, your order has been placed.” All good, except how is the restaurant going to know that it was actually I who should get the goose at the agreed time? Puzzled, I even sent an e-mail to the restaurant’s address and – to my great surprise – received an answer five minutes later that yes, my order had been received. This is the first truly anonymous online ordering system I have seen. I am still perplexed how it can work.
Yet it worked. When I arrived at the restaurant’s doorstep seven minutes before the agreed time, I was greeted by a friendly guy asking me to wait a bit while the goose was “being finalized.” Seven minutes later I had a bag in my hand, and the bag’s content smelled amazing. I was quite lucky not to meet any dogs on my way back, because I am quite sure I would have lost my dinner in seconds.
It is hard to believe, but the restaurant really cooked the goose fresh for me, as its taste confirmed. Being an “organic goose,” according to Luftburg’s web site, the bird must have spent the whole summer running around, growing muscles and generally enjoying his life, for the meat was tough in a pleasant way and had nearly no fat. The cook also managed to get the sauce right: it was thick and salty, and enlivened the taste of both the goose and the dumpling without being over-present. As for the red cabbage, it was the best one since quite a while: sweet but not exceedingly so and a perfectly good dish on its own.
The only peculiar thing (apart from the web site) was the packaging: while the dumplings, the cabbage and the sauce came in tightly sealed microwave-ready containers, the goose leg itself came wrapped in a simple white sheet of paper, which got quite oily by the time I was back at home. An hour more and I would have had to perform surgery to separate the paper from the goose’s skin. I suppose the cook simply could not find a container of the appropriate size. As a compensation, perhaps, I’ve got my order in a restaurant-branded bright red fabric bag. Much appreciated!