For beautiful European-style cold cuts -- say, a smoky and rich stuffed bacon roll -- it's hard to beat the 47-year-old German Gourmet market on Lee Highway in Falls Church.
But the owners, brothers Michael and Clifford Haene, have done just that with a second, more spacious location near Baileys Crossroads that opened in early August. With nearly 4,000 square feet, it stocks more than 1,500 German products, including a larger wine and beer selection, a broader array of desserts and an aisle of chocolates. Parking is easier, too.
For a casual party, this is the place to build a cold-cut tray with that bacon roll ($8.49 per pound), surrounded by folds of the mild pork and pistachio jagdwurst ($8.49 per pound) and the silky wurzburger roll, a mosaic of ham, pork tongue and lardons ($8.47 per pound). For a hot meal there are six kinds of bratwurst, served on a warm roll with toppings ($5.15).
Among the side dishes, we liked the beet salad ($3.49 per pound), with its crunchy mustard seeds and a hint of onion. The carrot salad ($4.25 per pound) is particularly well thought out, made with plump raisins, chopped walnuts and a hint of parsley. The fleisch salad ($6.25 per pound), julienne cold cuts mixed with bits of onion and an herb-laced mayonnaise, is delicious spread atop a thin slice of the chewy light rye bread ($3.69 per pound). The bread is baked in Canada in a wood-burning oven.
Next time, we'll pass on the ho-hum spaetzle with Swiss cheese and the bland red cabbage; instead, we'll choose the refreshing, dilly cucumber salad ($6.99 per pound), the vinegar kick of the sauerkraut ($3.69 per pound) and the sweet, mellow potato salad ($3.59 per pound), made with bacon.
In the pastry case are five kinds of house-made strudel ($6.25 per pound); our favorites are the spicy, chunky apple and the poppy seed.
The Haene brothers have planned a grand-opening party, with wine and beer tastings and product samplings, for Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-- Walter Nicholls (Oct. 17, 2007)