‘Beda’s Biergarten’ A German Neighborhood Pub
A common German saying is, “It never rains in a pub.” The relaxed atmosphere, abundant food, and wonderful libations represent a refuge from daily concerns.
Beda’s Biergarten is a new, Old World sanctuary and those who love genuine German food celebrate it.
Beda’s is owned by Beda and Helga Schmidthues, who fell in love with California and moved their family to San Luis Obispo from Germany. I was lucky on my first trip to sit next to the enigmatic Beda and listen to tales with his deep, contagious laugh. This proud papa talked about his life’s dream of owning a neighborhood pub that represented “Gemütlichkeit.” Meaning a special place where people can come alone, with friends or meet new ones.
Gary started with the Black Forest cake that is house-made. Six layers of cake, soaked cherries, and frosting with a dusting of coco powder on top filled the dessert seeker with joy.
Looking through the window, I was pleased to see a female chef, and Beda told me how he imported a real German chef to train everyone in the kitchen for the first six weeks.
I was impressed with the wine list, a few local, but excellent selections that go perfectly with this type of cuisine. Many offerings from Wolff, a dry Gewürztraminer from Claiborne & Churchill and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Ancient Peaks to name a few.
But the hero of this bar is the beer. Authentic German beers are imported to the delight of everyone around me. I started with an Erdinger Weisse that paired perfectly with my Bretzel, an outstanding soft pretzel made by Breaking Bread Bakery in San Luis that is served with an Obatzda. This is one of my favorite childhood dishes; it is prepared by mixing aged soft cheese and butter, paprika powder, salt and pepper, along with a small amount of beer and garnished with parsley and diced red onions. I was in heaven and ordered another.
I moved on to the Köstritzer Schwarzbier, a dark beer with coffee and malt flavors at the suggestion of bartender Adam, who was a delightful host and filled with the life, knowledge, and vivaciousness you look for in a tavern artist.
We moved to the Reibekuchen Mit Apfelmus, (three potato pancakes) served with house-made applesauce that tasted like my Nana was in the kitchen. Gary tried the Frikadellen spiced meatball with mustard, and we all stole bites.
We came back the next night, and I inhaled another Bretzel (and took one to go) and then moved on to the Jägerschnitzel. Thinly tenderized breaded pork pan fired and covered with brown gravy with mushrooms served with Spätzle red cabbage salad. The Spatzle is pasta made with potatoes. It was beyond comfort food and every bite delectable.
Our companion had the Wurstplatte sausage plate, that was so delicious and huge we took the remaining home, and they completed our scrambled egg dish the next morning.
Gary started with apple strudel that was a perfect combination of tart apples, sweet cinnamon, and flaky crust. His favorite recipe from his youth is Gulasch, and Beda’s took him back to the memory of his grandma’s kitchen. The marinated beef in spiced brown gravy with mashed potatoes warmed his bones and soul.
I asked Beda how he liked being in the restaurant business? He smiled wide, a twinkle in his blue eyes, as told me he doesn’t want to wake up from this dream.
Beda’s and Helga’s favorite place to go to in Germany was Käte’s, a neighborhood pub where they met with friends or made new ones, as they shared tables in the busy establishment.
Beda’s Biergarten has emulated that and succeeded. It is a family owned and run pub, with the staff attentive and knowledgeable about the food. Beda’s is a real community supported neighborhood pub, and I am working on getting my own bar stool.
Beda’s Biergarten is located at 3230 Broad St., Ste. 130 in San Luis Obispo, call them at (805) 439-2729. They are open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed Mondays.
‘The Shape of Water’ — A Cold War ‘Free Willy’ meets ‘Amelie’
The Shape of Water is set in Baltimore in the early 1960s, boasting the lonely and mute Elisa Esposito (played by Sally Hawkins). She is the janitor of a secret government laboratory where she works in the nightshift with her friend, Zelda Fuller (Octavia Spencer).
She lives in an old apartment above a movie theater, and she usually watches television with her other friend, and next-door neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins), who is a gay artist.
These relationships are so grounded and breaking all stereotypes, it is magnificent to watch. Writer and director, Guillermo del Toro, tells the story of the shape of love that it can look any way you can imagine. His screenplay along with co-writer Vanessa Taylor tells the poignant tale of feeling alone in the world, and the possibility of love that we all deserve.
The story unfolds when the deaf maid (Hawkins) stumbles upon a secret. The malevolent guys (Michael Shannon) are pure evil, and the comic sidekick (Spencer) is everything you want her to be.
The Shape of Water is my favorite picture of the year for its imagination, heart, intelligent story and a perfect script and characters. Now and then a work of cinema arrives in theaters that completely challenges one’s perception of what a film can be.
A ground-breaking technical and thematic masterpiece, del Toro accomplishes something that on paper seems impossible; what is mostly a comedic-Cold War-body-horror-musical-romance between a mute woman and a mermaid. It is entirely executed and did not step the line into a mush romantic comedy or become too much of a fantasy.
The characters are fully flushed, and it is so well acted that it’s breathtaking.
Only del Toro could pitch, “It’s a monster romance picture that feels like Free Willy meets Amelie in the Cold War era.” But you know what? It works.
More than that, it is absolutely beautiful and enchanting. It was an un-apologetically monster fairy tale. If you want it to be something else, you will be disappointed. If you let it be what it is, you will enjoy every minute. The ending is a flawless piece of storytelling. Everything about this move is perfect.
Teri Bayus is the Host of Taste Buds, shown on Charter Cable Ch. 10 and on Central Coast Now TV. Teri’s culinary erotic book, “Consumed,” is available at: www.amazon.com/Consumed-Teri-Bayus-ebook/dp/B016DW85PA. Dinner and a Movie is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.