Germany, Schwarzwald

Baiersbronn… a sleepy town with many stars… (Michelin, that is)


Just like Hollywood?  Not hardly… but there’s good eating in them there hills…


Although Bill and I usually enjoy taking day trips on Saturdays and Sundays, we decided not to go out yesterday because it looked like it was going to rain.  Sure enough, it did rain… and then I got hooked on Call the Midwife on Netflix.  I seem to be among the last of my friends to discover this wonderful British series set in the 1950s and based on memoirs by midwife Jennifer Worth.  I started binge watching the show and, sure enough, wasted the day.  On the other hand, maybe it wasn’t too wasted, since Bill watched with me.


When it was time for dinner, Bill went to our local chicken man and picked up a couple of doner kebabs.  I don’t like a lot of the yogurt sauce on my doners, so Bill asked for “klein Sauce”.  The Turkish guy who runs the place knows Bill isn’t German and speaks English, but is good enough to do business in German with Bill.  His buddy took it a step further and gave him the right word for “little sauce”.  I’m sure we’ll never forget to say “weniger Sauce” from now on.

Today, we were determined to get out and see a place we haven’t yet been.  We decided to visit Baiersbronn, mainly because I had heard it was a noted place for haute cuisine.  Baiersbronn is just about 45 minutes from where we live in Unterjettingen.  It’s kind of a sleepy little town very close to Freudenstadt that has a lot of hotels and makes a lot of its money from tourism.  I was expecting it to be bigger than what I saw today, especially since I know there are eight Michelin stars in Baiersbronn.  Two restaurants have three stars and one has two stars.  Here’s a link to a 2013 New York Times article about Baiersbronn, posted when there were only seven stars there.  If you like gourmet food, it’s definitely a town you need to know about.

Baiersbronn was formed in the 1960s and 70s when five municipalities were formed.  It’s a well known spa town and there’s even a “natural pool” nearby, perfect for youngsters, called Naturbad Mitteltal.  It was a little cold for swimming today, but this does look like it could be a hit with kids who like to swim.  Bear in mind that if you’re not a member of the pool, the hours for you will be different than they are for card carrying members.  Check out their Facebook for more information.

We did not dine in any Michelin starred restaurants today, but now that we know how close the town of Baiersbronn is to where we live, we will definitely make some plans to visit one or all of them soon.  Instead, we drove through Freudenstadt (still going through major construction right now) and took a short stroll around the main drag before we finally stopped for lunch at Cafe am Eck (Corner Cafe), a cute little Konditorei heading into town.  They serve a breakfast buffet on Sundays, but we arrived too late for it.  However, they did serve a variety of snacks– Wurst salads, Flammkuechens, Toasts, and even Quiche Lorraine, which is what I had.  I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Quiche Lorraine in Germany, although we’re close enough to France in these parts to have it.

Here are some pictures from today’s jaunt.


I never get tired of the beautiful flower arrangements in the smallest German towns.


The Murg River passes through…


It reminded me a little of the little town where I went to college, Farmville, Virginia.  The Appomattox River passes through Farmville, though, and I don’t remember pretty flower arrangements there.


A couple of cool old buildings.


An incentive to visit on a weekday or a Saturday.  I spotted at least one gourmet shop and a beer shop.  I also saw lots of construction hats like the one above.


There’s even a red telephone booth with an actual phone in it!


We probably missed the main part of the town today, although according to the New York Times piece I linked, Baiersbronn isn’t known for being especially beautiful compared to some other Black Forest towns.  It seemed like we were in the wrong part of town for tourism… although we did hear lots of English spoken by Americans, including at Cafe am Eck, a cute little establishment with decor that reminded me a little of an old style Howard Johnson’s restaurant of my youth.  You younger folks have probably never had the pleasure of dining in a HoJo’s, which were known for ice cream and family friendly dishes.  Cafe am Eck is definitely not a full scale restaurant, although during the work week, they do have a lunch dish of the day.  The waitresses all wear Dirndls and the one who took care of us was very nice, if not slightly scatterbrained.


Another construction hat, this time hanging from the grapevines over the terrace.  I have to admit, the terrace was pretty much what attracted me.


This was an okay Quiche Lorraine, priced very economically at about 3 euros.  However, I could tell it had been chilled and microwaved, since parts of it were hot and parts were ice cold.  I didn’t care… it tasted good.  Also, instead of bacon, I could see they used shredded wurst.  


Bill had Black Forest ham toast.  It was made with wheat bread, slices of ham, tomato slices, and cheese.  The toast wasn’t very toasty, but the top part was good…


I have a feeling most people come to this cafe for dessert anyway.  They have ice cream, candy, liqueurs, cakes, and pies.  Bill had a really lovely slice of cheesecake that was smooth and creamy and a little sweeter than usual.


And I had my usual Schwarzwaldtorte (Black Forest Cake).  It was very good, although I’ve had better.  I liked that it wasn’t too sweet or heavy.


A shot of the exterior of Cafe am Eck.


We really should have toured around a bit more, but it looked like it was going to rain and I felt like going home and drinking wine.  So that’s what I’m doing now… drinking wine, listening to a live recording of Carole King, and writing this blog post.  However, we will make plans to try some of Baiersbronn’s highly esteemed restaurants.  It’s also a town with some very nice looking hotels, making it a good option for a staycation.  Right now, just like in Freudenstadt, there is a major road project going on.  Maybe that’s what all the construction hats were about.

Below are a few more pretty photos from our drive home.  We feel so fortunate to live in an area right next to the Black Forest.  It’s really awesome to be able to escape there on the weekends and enjoy so much of what Baden-Württemberg has to offer.


Near where we parked.  There was a nice looking Freibad there, too.


Lucky stop here, as the train was passing.


Lots of sunflowers… there are a few fields of them on the way to Baiersbronn.

Now that we know the way, we will have to go back to Baiersbronn and its environs.  The area is very pretty and it’s so close to Freudenstadt, which is also a nice place to visit, although it’s nicer when the main drag isn’t torn up due to construction.

Edited to add: as of January 2020, one of Baiersbronn’s three Michelin starred restaurants has burned down…  The Traube Tonbach went up in flames on Saturday, January 4th.  There are plans to rebuild.


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