Frankfurt, Bottrop, Germany

  • Date
  • 2 February 1999

Met up with Helmut Mader, a great German guy who is darned smart and loads of fun, who took us to far and away the best beef restaurant (Steineres Haus). I ordered rump steak, which was covered in coarsely ground pepper, and the beef arrived slightly seared sitting on a hot stone. I cut into the rump aiming to cook the raw meat a little more via the heat from the stone. Our waiter hurried over and motioned for me to stop. He then cut the meat into small pieces (eight perhaps) and the meat cooked evenly on the heated stone. After a few seconds, the waiter turned each piece of beef over and voila – the meat was cooked to perfection. The stone plate was made of lava and heated in the oven for eight hours. The restaurant has 400 stones and each one can be used only once a day.
The beef, flavored by a delicious marinade (the waiter would not share the recipe), came with a garlic, cocktail and curry sauces. A salad accompanied and the produce tasted so fresh you’d think the garden was just out back. I ate every mouthful and shared one piece with Jim who had ordered Bratwurst – peasants’ sausage according to Helmut. As we headed out of the Steineres Haus, I wished my father were there to share this meal with me, since beef is his favorite dish and this was the best I’d ever eaten.