Ann Arbor has been home to several German restaurants - most notably Metzgers, the Heidelberg and the Old German. The only one that remains as it once was is the Heidelberg - the other two were victims of the sky high rent in downtown Ann Arbor. Metzgers closed and reinvented itself in a strip mall halfway on the freeway between Ann Arbor and Dexter, and the Old German became Grizzly Peak Brewery. However, many Ann Arbor townies fondly remember the Old German as their favorite. And a favorite dish from the Old German is the kartoffel salat, or potato salad. A party store in town still makes it for sale in their cooler.
I wrote a post a couple years back about the demise of the Ann Arbor News Food Section, and their wonderful "Kitchen Mailbox" feature. Readers could write in and ask for their favorite recipe from local restaurants. I could never find a recipe for the Old German Potato Salad in the Ann Arbor News, but they often featured other recipes from the German restaurants. A reader of my blog posted in the comments of my blog post about how much they wanted the Old German Potato Salad recipe. So I went on a quest to find it.....and I finally did!
About 12 years ago, a waitress from the Old German self published a recipe book of restaurant favorites., and I finally laid my hands on a copy of it. I found the recipe for the famous potato salad and there's really nothing to it - I improved upon it here because the one on the book is a little vague and made it a little tangier....the vinegar to oil ratio was a bit too lackluster for my taste.
Old German Potato Salad
8 medium potatoes, unpeeled and whole
1/4 c sliced white onion (thinner is better - use a mandoline or food processor if you have one)
3 T. vegetable oil
1/4 c cider vinegar
3 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 can chicken broth
Cook potatoes whole until just tender. After they have cooled enough to handle, peel and slice potatoes about 1/4 inch thick. In another bowl, mix together remaining ingredients and pour over potato slices. Let stand for 30 minutes until serving and stir gently - serve at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.