Let's face it: the best part about ordering schweinehaxen is the excuse to pronounce it in the thickest German accent you can muster. Say it right and you’ll be rewarded with a massive hunk of roasted pork knuckle gift-wrapped in golden crackling.
Get your pork knuckle on by putting the top down and cruising past the palm trees that welcome you to Beverly Hills 2209. Rhinedorf is towards the end of the main strip on King Georges Road - a blip of Germanic respite in a sea of Chinese restaurants. Inside you’ll find a kitschy slice of Bavaria crammed with every stereotyped knick knack you can think of: alpine prints, hanging pot plants, wine barrels and wagon wheels mounted on the wall. The wooden tables are covered in green-and-white checked tablecloths and yes, even the waitresses get around in traditional German dirndl dresses. The crowd is a mix of local families and large groups of friends, especially on weekends when Rhinedorf is often fully booked.
The schweinhaxen ($23) is a meat-lover's challenge. Here, the stump of pork knuckle is served with a pile of sauerkraut, a scoop of pan-fried potatoes and a lake of thin gravy. The portion size is big enough to share but you’ll probably still end up squabbling over the generous skirt of brittle crackling. Where the schweinhaxen is all crunch, the Berliner eisbein ($24) is its polar opposite - a pork knuckle boiled until soft, like a mellow ham-on-the-bone.
Mains are big enough on their own, but it’s hard to resist the lure of entrees, especially when they include deep fried camembert ($10.50) which are triangles of crumbed gooey cheese served with sweet cranberry sauce. The kohrouladen stuffed cabbage rolls ($9) are fair, if a little greasy, but you’re better off avoiding the roesti potato cake ($10.50), which is more like a dense hash brown.
If the salt-crusted pretzels ($4) make you thirsty, then a stein of bier will make it all better. The bar has a huge range of German beers on tap, including golden kölsch, bitburger, DAB lager, Erdinger dark and cloudy and the coffee-tasting köstritzer dark lager (all $4.50 for 0.3L or $7 for 0.5L).
The dessert menu has all the usual suspects, like Black Forest torte and apple strudel (both $8.50). But we reckon the Bienenstich, or bee sting cake ($8.50), is a good way to finish. How could you lose with a light sponge cake sandwiched with custard cream and topped with flaked almonds and honey?