Last week we finally made it to Schmidt’s to try out their Autobahn buffet. Schmidt’s is a restaurant in German Village (Columbus, Ohio). They are famous for their Bahama Mama sausages and their huge cream puffs. If you’re starving for accordion music, I’ve read that they have live performances certain nights of the week. We decided to try to avoid the crowds and save money by visiting during lunch hours. We missed out on the live music, but save $3.50 each on the cost of the buffet. The waitress led us to a 2-seater booth. It was in the corner, and I had the seat facing the wall, so I didn’t really get to look around the dining area while we ate. The buffet has a salad bar with cold creamy potato salad, “watergate salad”, as well as your normal lettuce, toppings and dressings, as well as what seemed a cold & sweet kraut. A basket of rolls stands beside a pot of potato soup. The main island has 3 choices of sausage, a spicy stew, chicken & rice, green beans, red cabbage, another kind of cooked cabbage, a strong sauerkraut, and hot German potato salad. We each filled our plates at least twice; the food was good, but we’re learning when to stop so as to make it a pleasant experience.
Several weeks ago, the church ladies were talking about recipes for German potato salad. Unfortunately, none of those recipes have made it onto Facebook, so I decided to try another internet source. Of course, there are plenty of recipes to choose from, and many of them claim to be authentic or from their great-great-great grandmother that was born in the Black Forest, or some such fairy tale. The following recipe lists the ingredients that I used in my first attempt which was successful in my Zartman husband’s opinion.
real bacon bits
6 potatoes, peeled ( I had Meijer “round, white potatoes” on hand)
1 big yellow onion, chopped
1 T vegetable oil
1/3 cup potato water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar (you could probably cut back on the sugar, it turned out sweeter than I prefer)
salt & black pepper to taste
green tops of 2 green onions, snipped with kitchen scissors
Boil the potatoes for about 25 minutes; they should be tender, yet firm enough to slice without crumbling. Drain the potatoes, reserving 1/3 cup of the liquid. When the potatoes are cool, cut them into thin slices.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pan. Sauté the chopped onion in the hot oil. Add the bacon bits, sugar, salt & pepper. Continue stirring until the sugar granules melt. Add the reserved potato water and the vinegar. Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the potatoes and allow to cook until all is heated through. Serve the hot potato salad sprinkled with snipped green onion.