Thoughts from the desk of MATHIAS EICHLER

Bavaria, or Not

Not to be an ass here:

Seattle’s Capitol Hill has had a German style beer hall now for a few years: The Rhein Haus. The place is trying to evoke the fabled Bavarian beer halls and I love that, but I haven’t been there and so I can’t judge them on that. It all hangs on the pretzels, man!

But, here is the funny part: The ‘Bavarian’ beer hall was originally named after an ‘Austrian’ family who were made famous in the movie Sound of Music. The owners ran into some naming dispute with the original Van Trapp family (not surprising, really, the family wasn’t just a figment of Hollywood imagination). They decided to rename the new place Rhein Haus, after Germany’s longest river… which doesn’t run through Bavaria, sadly.

So, let me put this in perspective:

I open a restaurant, celebrating classic Californian cuisine, in Germany named after a famous Canadian family and then decide to rename it Mississippi, serving scrimp tacos and Californian Sushi rolls with Zinfandel.

Yeah, that would be weird. But who’s counting. At least we got the continent right and didn’t accidentally name it after a Australian family, right?