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Bei Otto

As has become de rigueur on Southeast Asian vacations, I ate at a German restaurant in Bangkok. Indulging in a little pork shank and sauerkraut doesn't make me feel guilty in and of itself, but I shudder at being pegged as a homesick tourist (that's what Sizzler is for). German food isn't any less foreign than Thai food to me; it’s the double-foreignness that makes it perversely fun. The sickest thing about German fare in the tropics is how heavy it is for the climate. On our stop early into this trip, I couldn't bear to sit in the front beer garden (we sat inside). By my last night in Thailand, two weeks later, I was drinking outside in the elements (at a Thai bar, thank you) like a pro.

Bei otto pretzel rolls

These pretzel rolls were amazing. Why have I not encountered this warm, chewy bread before? They were also the first non-airline food I'd eaten in over 22 hours so my judgment could've been clouded.

Bei otto pork shank

Welcome to the pork shank. From this angle, the porcine hunk almost resembles a beige heart. Some of my favorite crispy pork preparations are Thai, so I knew they would get the tender-crusty contrast right. The dense, spongy potatoes had to have been instant (I have a fondness for instant potatoes but realize this isn’t a selling point for most). Luckily, they were the only dud and this meal was about the meat anyway. 

Bei otto

I don't generally recommend eating non-local food unless you're going to be in a country for at least two weeks. I couldn’t resist seeing how double-foreign food will turn out. There were no obvious Thai twists, the cuisine was very traditional. If I had more time to spare, I would've gone to Tawandeng, a brewery/entertainment center outside the city center that is more of a hybrid. They serve their deep-fried pork knuckle with a chile dipping sauce (and the requisite mashed potatoes and sauerkraut). I like my fatty meats cut with hot, sharp condiments like this. Now that I think about it, Bei Otto probably had sriracha sitting around—it’s not as if they don’t get Thai clientele.

Bei Otto * 1 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Bangkok, Thailand

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