What could be a German tavern stands behind a small courtyard on Soi 20, where they offer a remarkable selection of sausages, sauerkraut and other homemade delicacies with little grace but with an efficiency and authenticity that is unmatched in Thailand. It’s a great place for friends and family to gather over sumptuous grilled platters washed down with plenty of German beer.
For your fix of rural German atmosphere and food that seems to have been designed with beer in mind, Bei Otto has no equal. What could be a medieval German tavern stands at the end of a small courtyard on Soi 20, where they offer a remarkable selection of sausages, sauerkraut and other homemade delicacies with little grace but with efficiency and authenticity that is unmatched in Thailand. Pretzel-like balls of bread are served warm, and cracking them open reveals a soft interior that just begs to be reunited, in your mouth, with the grains of salt set upon their crispy golden crust. The light creamy butter is equally well paired with the dark black pumpernickel and dense wholewheat breads. The menu is a thick, impeccably clean and bourgeois-looking wedding album-like book filled with salty meat-centered dishes, many of which are perfect for sharing, as are the three-liter towers of Erdinger or Furstenberg beer. The Black Forest Farmer’s Brunch offers generous portions of “bear sausage,” pate-like liver “sausage,” gelatinous sülze (a.k.a. “head cheese”) and Black Forest smoked ham. Another firm favorite is the Bavarian Platter, a huge plate of crispy pork knuckle, assorted homemade sausages, gravy, mashed potatoes, superb sauerkraut, and a bland gluey ball called a “bread dumpling” that you shouldn’t feel obliged to eat. The entire affair is set on a specially designed slab of warmed metal, thus ensuring that the food stays warm till the very end, which really heightens the enjoyment. Save the dumpling, the only serious misstep in a recent meal was a “traditional” weiner schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet) with fries that was chewy and heavy with disagreeable oil. When it comes to atmosphere, you’re in the Black Forest, not edgy Berlin. The friendly and helpful waitresses are laced into black dresses that reveal white bouffant sleeves. One wall is a giant bucolic painting of watermill and it feels like everything else, from the lamps to the cartwheels on the walls, is made of wood. We wish they’d reconsider their soundtrack of annoying Euro-trash dance music, but it’s worth bearing for the chance to eat solid comfort food like this.