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Franklin Square: A refined Plattduetsche pig out

Plattduetsche Park Restaurant Biergarten in Franklin Square is

Plattduetsche Park Restaurant Biergarten in Franklin Square is the largest beer garden on Long Island, with tables outside for food and beer, and dancing, often to live music. Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert, 2009

There are reports that this will be a chilly weekend.

And that means it's time to reconnect with Plattduetsche Park Restaurant, one of Long Island's few remaining bastions of German cuisine. Although the eatery traces its heritage to northern Germany, the place has a Bavarian spirit.

Oktoberfest gone and Biergarten closed, diners can focus clearly on the house's hearty, soulful porky stuff. Some should mark the calendar for the "Holy Schnitzel, it's Thursday!" menu, when chef Herbert Aigner adds 14 schnitzel dishes to those already available.

But my favorites at this veteran spot remain the generous, slowly roasted Bavarian-style pork shank, a genuine pig out from crackling skin to tender meat; the Bavarian platter combining loin of pork, a smoked pork chop and bratwurst; flaky sauerbraten; and the 10-inch pretzel with mustard that tops any dinner rolls.

Schnitzelers should consider the Wiener schnitzel a la Holstein, capped with a fried egg, anchovy and caper garnish; and the pork cutlet with double-smoked bacon to be sure you consume enough pig.

Obligatory: red cabbage, sauerkraut, spaetzle. First-class beer on tap, too.

Plattduetsche Park Restaurant, 1132 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square; 516-354-3131.

In warmer weather ...

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