« Blooper Reel | Main | Midnight At Colony Records »
Friday
Mar022012

Rolf's German Restaurant

Every Christmas season I go to Rolf’s German Restaurant and check out their over the top Christmas decorations and I’m sure I’ll go again this year. While Googling around for bars to go to on Casual Free Food Friday here at TWM, I found out that from 5 to 6 PM, Rolf’s serves free finger sandwiches at the bar. That’s when it dawned on me that I’ve never been to Rolf’s in the off season, so today’s the day. And I’ve never had finger sandwiches, I’m hoping to try an index finger, I’ve heard they taste like chicken.

It's a gray old day out here today. It's only a little after four in the afternoon and Rolf's is just about a fifteen minute walk from my apartment, but I want to be there when the finger sandwiches come out. I've been obsessing about them all day long. Why am I obsessing over finger sandwiches? Only my therapist knows for sure and I stopped going to him decades ago, so I guess we'll never know. All I do know is I want to be there when they first hit the bar.

There's a lot of cops and barricades on Broadway. I asked a cop what was going on and he told me the President was going to be traveling through here this afternoon. I had my camera in my hand and as I walked away he said, "You're not going to stick around to take pictures?" I told him I couldn't, the finger sandwiches were coming out at five. He looked at me like I was nuts. I was tempted to tell him my name was Henry Krinkle, but didn't feel like getting shipped to Guantanamo Bay, so I just moved along.

And here we are at Rolf's. Wow, sure looks different when it's not Christmas time.

The Christmas decorations may be gone, but there's still a lot of cool things in here, like the indoor street sign that greets you as you walk in.

Since it was early in the afternoon, there was plenty of seats open at the bar. I took a seat and got a beer from the owner of Rolf's, who was bartending. He's a little camera shy and didn't want his picture taken. I asked him when the finger sandwiches would be coming out and that's when I was hit by the sad news that they stopped doing this a few years ago. This was devastating news, now I'll never know if an index finger tastes like chicken.

There was a glass of pretzels in front of me, so all was not lost on this Casual Free Food Friday. I had another beer and vowed to find a place that has finger sandwiches in the future.

Martha and Peter were at the end of the bar and I had a nice conversation with them. They're regulars at Rolf's and told me that they've been coming here for years. Rolf's has been on the block since 1968.

As I was talking to Martha and Peter, Patti came in and heard me talking about my blog and said she had heard about it. It turns out she's a regular reader of EV Grieve and had seen a link that he had posted about TWM. It's a small internet world out there in cyberspace!

Here's the back dining room of Rolf's. Even without the Christmas decorations, it's still a festive looking room.

Luckily all the headlights are outside, so this guy is nice and calm on the wall.

Polished wooden booths line the outer wall and add to the Bavarian feel of Rolf's.

Colorful and ornate glass chandeliers hang overhead.

I love the stained glass in here.

There's a trifecta of Marilyn Monroe photos in here. Here's the first one in the back of the dining area.

And here's one tucked away up near the ceiling.

And the third one is this classic Marilyn photo up by my seat at the bar.

A bar that has coat hooks is a sure sign of a bar that has class.

As is a tin celing. As I was taking the photo of the ceiling, Patti told me to take a shot of Chuckie and pointed to the left of where I had just shot this photo...

And heeeere's Chuckie, suspended up in the air in an antique baby carriage.

A shot of the other end of the bar.

And I've polished off about half of the pretzels and I've drained several beers, so it's time to hit the road.

Out the colorful door we go...

And night has fallen on Manhattan...have I ever mentioned I love it when that happens?

Rolf's
281 Third Ave. (@21st St.)
212-473-8718

Further Reading: Mitch Broder’s Vintage New York, EV Grieve and Tasting Table.

 

I always thought our house was haunted,
But nobody said boo to me,
I never did get what I wanted,
Now I get what I need.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!

-----------------------------------------------

P.S. I'm Going To Be On The Radio Today!

My friend and fabulous DJ Gidget has invited me to call in to her afternoon show today on Woody Radio! I'll be calling in at 2 PM EST, and you can hear what a nasally, whiny voice I have compared to Gidget's radio friendly octaves. It's going to be a lot of fun and I hope you can tune in and listen on your computer, just click here at 2 PM, today: Woody Radio.

Reader Comments (42)

Holy Hansel & Gretel, What a cool place, now I don't have to go to Bavaria. Must be great to go during Octoberfest.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the Freelancer

God. I hope I'm not the first commenter again. Clearly I have too much time on my hands. Speaking of which, maybe you could play that song on your big radio debut.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

Phew. I guess I wasn't

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

Looks like a nice place. No finger sandwiches, I would be crushed by disappointment. However I would have opted for the Weiner Schnitzel (sp?).

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveW

If I were the owner, I'd have made you a quick grilled cheese or something. No knock on the bar, just what I woulda done! That old timey baby carriage freaks me out a little. I can just here it squeaking while slowly rolling down a dark corridor with no one pushing it! No one but evil spirits that is.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

@Danny the Freelancer: It's a great place and it's always nice and friendly in there. You really need to check it out at Christmas time, really over the top decorations going on and it's a one of a kind NYC thing!

@randall: Happy to have you commenting here, no matter what order you fall in! And we'll see if Gidget takes your request!

@DaveW: The Weiner Schnitzel is very good there, but I filled up on pretzels. The quest for a finger sandwich will continue!

@Spike: The carriage is a little freaky, but you need to check out the dolls in here at Christmas time, they are Twilight Zone freaky!

March 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

The last time I was in Rolf’s was the day of Steuben Day Parade, which is a big event in NYC for German-Americans, like my abstract artist friend Gerhard, who took me there back in the early 80’s. First we went to the parade and drank way too much German Schnaps, which reminded me a little of Grappa (I’m Sicilian-American). Then it was off to Rolf’s for lots of German food, and gallons of beer. Everybody was singing German songs and having a blast!

“And I’ve never had finger sandwiches, I’m hoping to try an index finger, I’ve heard they taste like chicken.”
The middle finger tastes like tuna.

“There's a lot of cops and barricades on Broadway. I asked a cop what was going on and he told me the President was going to be traveling through here this afternoon. I had my camera in my hand and as I walked away he said, "You're not going to stick around to take pictures?" I told him I couldn't, the finger sandwiches were coming out at five. He looked at me like I was nuts. I was tempted to tell him my name was Henry Krinkle, but didn't feel like getting shipped to Guantanamo Bay, so I just moved along.”
Marty, your POV kills me!

Also, that’s my favorite scene from Taxi Driver
Travis: OK. Why not? My name is Henry Krinkle. K-R-I-N-K-L-E. 154 Hopper Avenue.
Agent: Hopper?
Travis: Yeah. You know like a rabbit, hip, hop. Ha, ha. Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
Agent: Is there a zip code to that Henry?
Travis: Yeah, 610452. OK?
Agent: That's, uh, six digits.
Travis: Oh, well 61045.
Agent: OK.
Travis: I was thinking of my telephone number.

I checked out Rolf’s website. There’s a river behind Rolf’s on Third Avenue? Who knew?

I’m looking forward to Woody Radio!
Be there or Be “L7”

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

I want to go here too.. im gonna have to visit new york for a while to get all my Marty fixes in.
im very nervous for today..
and i'll try and get that song @Randall.
I'm not set-up for interviews..It's wierd i dont do them much so i never bothered to config for them. I am also too blonde to read the instructions on how ..
so i do the old school method.
as i call it pirate call ins..
speaker phone taped to the mic:)
its funner that way.
random and experimental:)
much like me ha!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Bah humbug. Sorry to be the Grinch here but, I believe the management and staff have changed hereform few years back and the only German one can find here is the name and its decor. Don't get me wrong I love it here during the holidays (best time is in the mid-week afternoons, before the tourists and newbies come). But for a casual drink out, esp. if one is looking for a German or Bavarian joint, I wouldn't come here outside of the Holidays. The drinks and food are overpriced methinks, plus I don't feel the "German" in this place. Zum Schneider in the EV and Heidelberg in the UES are better for that German experience and atmosphere. Not that anyone axed.

#shutupesquared

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteresquared

I'll plan to listen for your Midwest twang at 2, Marty. Hear ya then.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Davis

Since you've read my book, ('Two Fisted Cab Driving Tales', available at lulu.com) you know that I'm something of an authority on the subject of finger food, Marty. Oh, by the way, Two of the three teeth the dentist worked on yesterday were involved in my own finger food story. My right fang was completely reworked and looks better than new, but the one just behind it was pulled. My deadly jaws are a little less deadly than they used to be. Got plenty of vicodin and soup to see me through the healing process and am looking forward to more food posts on your part. Something tells me this blog would have gotten one hell of a lot more interesting had you followed through with the Henry Krinkle bit (assuming of course that they let you near a computer in Gitmo). Bwaaaaahahahahahaaaaa.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Martin: "The middle finger tastes like tuna." Ha ha ha! Good one, Martin! Great memories, as always! And that Henry Krinkle scene is one of my favorites too! Love the zip code part! Glad to hear you'll be tuning in Woody Radio and hear me make a phool out of myself!

@Gidget: Looking forward to the radio call in and I'm honored you asked me on!

@esquared: You should give it another try, the owner is a super nice guy and they do have a nice selection of beers and German food. Those other places you listed are great as well, always love Zum Schneider! And you're hashtag cracked me up!

@Bruce Davis: Glad to hear you'll be tuning in! I actually cut my nails for the interview, just for you!

@Jaws: Glad you made it through the toothy surgery! I hope you're feeling better now. Care to share any of that Vicodin?

March 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Boss has left for the day, so I'll be tuning in at 2pm. Thanks for the awesome Hiatt video!!! Made my day.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatrink

Marty - This place reminds me of the restaurant that Rat took Stacey to in Fast Times at Ridgemont HIgh. The waitress was straight out of a Wagner opera and he forgot his wallet and had to call his buddy Damone to bring it to him. Great looking place - I've got to vist.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArt

You don't have to be an Eisenstein to realize that the baby carriage is from The Battleship Potemkin
Well, not really.
Between the concerned cop, the important visiting politician, and the German restaurant, I couldn't help but think of this.
(translated)
Actually, Falco is Austrian.
Fuck, now I want Vienna Fingers.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@Katrink: So glad you'll be tuning in! And I love John Hiatt too!

@Art: Ha ha ha! I forgot all about that scene, a great one! I need to watch that again, so many great actors in that. Ray Walston as Mr. Hand ruled!

@csp: Holy shitballs, I forgot all about that! Thanks for planting that in my brain for the day! And now I want Vienna Fingers too!

March 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

It seems like a lot of these places keep dicking you over on the free food. OUTRAGEOUS!!! I DEMAND FINGER SANDWICHES FOR MARTY!!!!!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReggie Thistleton

Hey, Marty, I'm listening to your interview right now, and gotta say, your fingernails look fantastic !!!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Davis

Agree, the staff there is still nice, nonetheless.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteresquared

Sounding good! And hey, I Google myself too. So does my mom. Not that I don't call her often, she just likes to Google her kids.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatrink

@Marty and Gidget

Listening now.....very nice!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Marty, DJ Gidget has a great voice, Great interview. I have been listening to Woody Radio since 10am , Love the Music & I have never listened before today. Unemployment has it's good points, Hehe

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the Freelancer

Still laughing at "Farting in the meat aisle"

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Thank you Danny.. I hope you tune in again!
Marty is just awesome to interview...

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Martin me too... That is my biggest pet peave next to cell phones
@Katrink... googling myself now...I found my MYSPACE!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Reggie Thistleton: Ha ha ha! Thanks, but they were nice in there and I did get free pretzels, so it wasn't a total loss!

@Bruce Davis: Thanks, I did them just for you!

@esquared: We'll agree to agree on that!

@Katrink: Thanks! Good to know I'm not the only who Google's themselves!

@Martin: Thanks for tuning in!

@Danny the Freelancer: So glad you tuned in! Woody Radio, Gidget and "Boris" rule, glad you found it!

@Martin: Me too! Good one by Gidget!

@Gidget: Thanks for having me on, you're a great DJ and interviewer!

March 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Googling Gidget itself bring ups that damn taco bell dog.. i have to add bates.. and I am not the only gidget bates..hahahahah

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

When I Google "Gidget" I find a girl for (web) surfing.
Hardy (Boys) freakin' har.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

"No quiero Taco Bell!"

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget Chipperton

I missed the show. Is there a repeat podcast on this? Danke Schoen.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteresquared

"NO VICODIN FOR YOU!" - the Vicodin Nazi

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Gidget: At least Norman doesn't come up!

@csp: Great, now I've got Shaun Cassidy's version of "Da Doo Ron Ron" in my head!

@Gidget Chipperton: Pass me a quessadillla, will you?

@esquared: I'm not sure, I'm sure Gidget knows, oh Gidget?

@Jaws: Ha ha ha! Sorry your first comment got tagged as spam by my hosting site and it went up late, I wish they'd stop doing that!

March 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I messed up taping it.. maybe marty can call in again next month!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Awww Marty and Gidget! I missed it...screw Europe timezones lol....is there a way to re-listen it?

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuben Dutch

@Gidget: I'd love to!

@Ruben Dutch: Shit, sorry you missed it! It's not backed up anywhere. I'll give you advance notice next time!

March 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Wow, have never seen the place so empty. Usually there during the holidays. Pretzels look good, though.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEV Grieve

@EV Grieve: Excellent pretzels and a nice relaxing place to hit in the afternoon. I didn't know they had been there since 1968, glad to see them still allive!

March 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great interview today kids!
Thanks for the shout out and glad some others have now found 'The Secret Weapon'.
Like I say, it's 'Music That Deserves To Be Heard'.
For someone that never wears a hat, I wear many.

March 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@"Boris:" Thanks, Daddio! You do wear many hats and you wear them all spectacularly! Thanks for the friendship and help through the years!

March 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Any place with a tin ceiling is good with me and if they serve German potato sald it's even better, I love German potato salad.

March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeWayne

@DeWayne: I agree with the tin ceiling rule and I haven't eaten there for awhile, but I'm pretty sure they have German potato salad. I can vouch for the pretzels!

March 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I can't believe they actually take all those lights down! I just figured they turned them off. Anyhoo, it looks like a nice enough place - and you can't go wrong with pretzel rods - but that baby carriage is enough to keep me far, far away. Reminds me of "It's Alive." Eek.

March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>