When commuting going home, I always take a bus so that I can have more time to think about things and see some sights. Usually, these not-so-easy to access areas are the ones that usually have a hidden wonder in them. Everyday, I always pass by this store named Treffpunkt which I first mistaken as a car machine shop but at one time when the bus slowed down, I was able to notice that it was store or restaurant of some sort. What interested me are the crates of wines that I see from the store window. Doing some research, Treffpunkt is actually a Austrian-owned shop specializing in German and Austrian meat products with authentic imported big name beers from Germany. As many people say, the best delicatessen and beverage experience is with the Germans. I enlisted the help of my friend, Paolo Abdon, in exploring this European culinary wonder at out-of-nowhere, Cubao.
From the outside, the store looks ordinary but the interiors are quite lovely. In fact, the living room that greets the customers offers a charming break from the outside hustle and bustle.
Along the receiving area, we found a curious stack of wines and what do you know… German Beers! This bit of curiosity led us to have a conversation about the origins of beer.
According to research, it was the monks who first brewed beer as a daily supplement to food. Barley spoils when stored for a long time but there certainly is one way to preserve their nutrients, turn those into a drink! A drink that can supplement the daily need for energy and beer played that role in cold winters for these monks. Voila, you now have your beer from the steps of the monasteries to your local pubs. Sure enough, one of the beer kegs have the image of a monk to confirm what I have read before.
Apart from the kegs of beers, we also take a look at the different hams, sausages and other cold cuts being sold at the counter. I love meat and the culmination of this love for meat is the German way of preserving them.
I was already curious with the difference between Spanish or Chinese cuisine that I am accustomed to and the German one. Feeling hungry, we consulted the menu on what to much on and which of the German beers to taste.
We got a platter of various sausages, hams, dried meat, sauerkraut and a potato side dish to complement our simple meal. While waiting, we got into talks about various matters about God’s glory, grace and faith. Never forget, Deutschland is the great Reformer Martin Luther’s homeland. Pretty great, huh? We did not have to wait that long and ponder upon philosophical thoughts before we could savor our simple meal.
This platter was simply a delight! The sausage has the classic sourness, unlike their spicy Spanish version which appeals to my palate. The sweet ham had an obvious taste of freshness in it as I can taste the full flavor of meat it was made from., as well as the cured meat cooked like bacon. The sauerkraut is not that sour but has enough sourness to make my mouth water for more of the sausages and ham. Look at Paolo enjoying his own platter.
For a classic finish, we ordered two bottles of German beer to complement our German meal. Our choice is Warsteiner beer which I noticed has a label “In Accordance to German Beer Purity Law”. This meant that this beer was made from pure barley, just how German beer was made for hundreds of years.
Upon first sip, the difference between locally made beer and this German beer is obvious. According to Paolo, it’s like you are sipping wine, only with a pleasant bitterness of beer and taste of barley. Of all local and imported beers I have tasted so far, this is the best while it is the cheapest of them all. Maybe, this is the taste of genuine beer that follows the German Beer Purity Law. If that is the case, we wonder how the other selections would taste like? All I know that it was good to flush down all that processed meat.
If there is one lesson for the day that I can share, it would be the classic “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Indeed, this little-known German store is overflowing with wonders you may not expect of something located out of nowhere.
Treffpunkt Cubao is located a block from Col. Boni Serrano St. at EDSA cor. Liberty Avenue, across from Santolan Flyover and a few meters from AFPSLAI – Camp Aguinaldo.