Right around New Year’s 2018, Bill and I were invited to a murder mystery party in Böblingen. The couple who was hosting the party live at Flugfeld, which is a new apartment complex built on Böblingen’s old air field. I admired our new friends’ beautiful, modern apartment and the hostess, named Donna, told me about Check Inn Foodport, a hot restaurant on the Flugfeld grounds. Donna said the food there was excellent, some of the best she’s had in the area.
I’m always interested in finding great restaurants to review, so I made a note of Donna’s suggestion. Bill and I kept trying to visit Check Inn Foodport, but situations always came up that prevented us from visiting. We finally got our chance to try the restaurant last night. Bill got home from work slightly early and we had beautiful weather. Neither of us felt like cooking and we have something planned for today. Check Inn Foodport also isn’t open on Sundays, although they do offer lunch on weekdays (but not on Saturdays). Off we went back up A81 so we could finally try what appears to be a very popular restaurant in Böblingen. You can very easily reach the Foodport by train, too. It’s right next to the train station.
A few pictures of the area at Flugfeld. There’s a very large parking lot there, as well as paved pathways for people who wish to visit Motorworld or try one of the restaurants.
The Flugfeld area itself has a very interesting history. During the first World War, German pilots were trained at the site. By 1925, the Flugfeld boasted one of the most modern airports of its time. In 1929, the airship Graf Zeppelin made its first visit to Böblingen’s airport and was a great draw for visitors who enjoyed watching the airship. Then, in 1938, it was time for World War II and the airfield was once again used for military purposes.
After World War II, the U.S. Army took over the air field, but it was given back to the federal government in 1992. In 2002, the cities of Sindelfingen and Böblingen bought the land and by 2006, plans were made to turn the area into a place where people could live, work, and be entertained. In 2008, Sensapolis became the very first business to open on the property. Bill and I were living in this area from 2007-09, so we saw the start of the construction going on there. Today, in 2018, the site hosts Motorworld, as well as several restaurants, a health center, a school, and a day care center.
When you visit Check Inn Foodport, you will see many references to the Flugfeld’s history in aviation. There are photographs of people from a bygone era, excited about the future of aviation in Germany. The restaurant itself has an aviation theme, referring to guests as “passengers”, at least in the menu and on its official Web site. Personally, I’m not a fan of these cutesy concepts coined by corporate cronies, but I understand that some business minded people think these kinds of themes are fun for visitors. I’m probably just being crotchety in my old age.
The front door to Check Inn Foodport.
We arrived a the restaurant at about quarter to seven. A friendly lady was at the hostess stand. She asked if we had reservations. We said we didn’t. I noticed a slight look of what appeared to be disapproval on her face, but it was still early and plenty of tables were open. She seated us and asked if we wanted English or German menus. Bill said it didn’t matter, but I piped up and said “English is fine.” She brought us the menus, along with a list of specials which she apologetically explained were only available in German. That turned out to be no problem.
I caught Bill at the wrong moment.
But I have to include an obligatory shot of him for all his fans. He usually gets noticed by local blog readers before I do.
An interior shot of the bar area from where we were sitting. It’s pretty nice in there, although you have to be careful not to sit at the wrong table as the sun is going down. I noticed the tables near the front door were getting hit with extreme sunlight.
The inside of Check Inn Foodport is really attractive. The chairs are very comfortable and stylish and the bar area is inviting. I noticed dance music playing at a low volume and it looked like they were going for a younger crowd. It reminded me of some of the restaurants I’ve seen in the United States in urban areas that have been rezoned similarly to the Flugfeld concept. It’s very mod– long on style and shorter on quaint character.
Bill decided on a nice spicy Rhone wine to go with our dinner. This was a very pleasant selection that went well with my duck and Bill’s beef. We also had our usual sparkling water, which was brought out to us with a small bag of fresh bread. The table has olive oil on it for dipping the bread.
Last night, Check Inn Foodport was offering specials that included tuna steak, duck, and raviolini made with black truffles. The regular menu had salads and German fare including schnitzels and Maultaschen, as well as Pinsa Romana, which appeared to be kind of a like a crispy styled pizza– lighter than the usual pizza, but not really like a Flammkuechen, either. The people sitting at the table next to us ordered it. A children’s menu is also available at the Foodport.
This was my duck, which came with red cabbage, and a side of gnocchi stuffed with ham and asparagus. The duck was a little overdone, but it tasted good. I liked the orange sauce that came with it and the sweet red cabbage.
Bill had the chuck shoulder, which was U.S. prime beef served with mushrooms, bacon, and sauce. His dish came with a side of sweet potato fries. The beef was cooked perfectly.
My gnocchi side. These were surprisingly good. I don’t usually like gnocchi much because it’s a little too heavy. These tasted pretty good, though they were an interesting choice to go with duck.
Bill enjoyed the sweet potato fries. I don’t care much for sweet potatoes, so I will take his word for how good they were.
As we were finishing up our meals, a bunch of other people started showing up. Very soon, the dining area was jumping. I only saw two women waiting tables, a bartender, and a manager type who appeared to be talking business at a nearby table. The ladies were working very hard and I was suddenly reminded of my own days as a server. I give them a lot of kudos for not freaking out, because it looked like they were taking care of a lot of people.
When our waitress cleared our table, she asked if we wanted dessert. I was actually thinking about it, since they had a tempting chocolate creation on the specials menu. But then she got really busy and never got back to us, and Bill and I were enjoying the last of the wine. By the time she came back to our table, we had decided to just head home. Bill paid the check, which came to 89 euros.
Before we left the Foodport, we visited the restrooms. You have to go down a flight of stairs to get to them and pass a flight simulator called simINN. When we got home, Bill looked up the flight simulator online and it appears to be a really cool activity, albeit somewhat pricey. Tickets start at 199 euros for one person, but they have some fun looking packages that allow you to try “flying” a 737 and/or a Cessna 172. I never thought I’d want to try flying a plane, even with a simulator, but I could see us giving this activity a whirl at some point. I know I’d enjoy writing about the experience. Anyway, I know our area is chock full of Air Force folks who might get a kick out of the flight simulator, so I’m including what very little I know about it in this post. If anyone does get the chance to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes.
A photo of the old airport, which has now been repurposed.
All in all, I liked Check Inn Foodport and would visit again. Next time, I think we’ll make a reservation and show up a little bit earlier. We’re getting a little too old for the nightlife.