Robert, Trivium’s pal from Warsaw had flown in to visit us all in Oberhausen, and he found just the kind of dinner spot we needed. Gdanska is a very traditional Polish place in Oberhausen; having just returned from Poland right before being in Oberhausen, I felt as if I were warped directly back to Warsaw. The same newspaper-menu, flyers advertising Polish concerts and artists adorned the walls. The place felt as if Grandma’s long-tabled dining area was somewhat punk-rock-ized. It felt traditional and semi-modern-underground-kid Polish – a good vibe.
My love for Polish beer even after the glass-eating incident (see the Warsaw episodes) should be a stern indication of the severe delectability of Polish brews. I start with a Zywiec (the very beer that was partially responsible for my scarred up gums) and we began ordering our feast. We order a Polish “Test Plate,” a Gdansk plate (3 kinds of meat, chips, dumplings, cabbage with mushrooms, red cabbage, salad), Polish dumpling plate, and bratkartoffeln (a German fried-potato dish and a personal favorite of mine).
All the food here was without a doubt in my mind certainly Polish (well… the fries (let’s call em what they were) were not very Polish) and certainly good. The dumplings reminded me of Mama B’s dumplings from a week back; meat and cabbage is always a theme when talking Polish food. When it comes to the spectrums of food-goodness on tour, catering is at the bottom, then restaurants, then home cooked. Of course the home cooked food I had at Magda’s mother’s pad would reign supreme over all Polish food I’ll probably ever eat in my life again – but this place was definitely “aiiight” (as Rob, one of my food soul mates and singer of Koufax would say when regarding something pretty good and not mind blowing).
We finished our meal with a shot of some Polish vodka (there is always Polish vodka being consumed by the typically not-vodka drinking me when at a Polish spot) and were off across the street to a cocktail bar Extrablatt.
The place was… sorta aiiight. When talkin cocktails – I’m a fan of the proper cocktails. Speakeasy style. Words like pre- and post- usually precede “prohibition” in the kind of cocktail place I’ll be frequent. I had a decent Caipirinha, then we were off to whatever bar we’d hit on our trek back to the hotel.
Here came the Lynch-moment (a term I’ve dubbed during a David Lynch film when all the sudden everything turns… well – insane). We found a random, quiet little bar – unmarked, un-filled. We ordered some German beers at a table – Robert, Paolo, Ella, and myself at a four-person booth, Dennis sitting at a stool at the head of the table; in walks a random drunk guy (this happens everywhere in the world right?) – then he sorta gets in Dennis’ face/ear.
Whether you spoke the language or not, it was clear the dude was talking shit – trying to either start a fight or start kissing Dennis. We kept a close eye in case it was about to get Roadhouse up in that bitch… but it didn’t quite escalate to that point. The dude heiled Hitler… HEILED… talked a quick line of shit and stumbled off. Craziness. Yeah – that kind of ignorance and belligerence can (and does) happen anywhere on the planet – but dude… let us not forget the atrocities our planet has suffered over stupidity. It was an insanely rare occurrence; of all the years I’ve been touring Germany I’d never seen that before… but let’s face it – the dude was a drunk… and wanted Dennis.