Our very first lunch at Osteria da Gino in Nagold… and another visit to see “The Mad Scientist”.
It’s been a big week here in Unterjettingen. The biggest thing that has happened is that my husband was unofficially offered a new position in Wiesbaden. That means that unless something really crazy happens, we will be packing up and moving about 100 miles north in a couple of months.
I have mixed feelings about the move. First off, I HATE moving with a fiery passion. We’ve done it many times over our sixteen years of marriage and, now that Bill is retired, it’s been nice to stay in one place for awhile. As of this month, we’ve lived in our current house for four years, and the Stuttgart area for a total of six years. That is the longest we have ever lived in one place. I like the area where we live. It’s far from the drama of the city and being close to the military posts, yet close to a lot of great places in the Black Forest. We’re also near several really cute towns. Nagold happens to be my favorite of all of them and it’s the closest to Unterjettingen.
On the other hand, I look forward to new experiences, new scenery, and a newer toilet that doesn’t take multiple flushes to empty. I look forward to a much larger kitchen with a real refrigerator instead of a dorm sized one. I can’t wait for my husband not to have to take marathon flights to Africa for business trips. There’s even the attractive prospect of my getting to join him on some of his journeys.
Most of all, I am grateful that Bill is going to remain employed in a country I’ve come to love. I have a feeling we will enjoy the Wiesbaden area as much as we’ve loved having lived in Stuttgart for two stints. I also think there’s a good possibility that we’ll come back to Stuttgart, mainly because of what Bill does. It could be as soon as two years from now. On the other hand, there’s no telling what might happen in two years.
Anyway… since we know we’re probably going to be out of here by December, we decided to visit a couple of our favorite restaurants. Hopefully, we haven’t visited them for the last time, but I did want to make sure we got at least one more visit in with each. Both Agais in Entringen and Osteria da Gino in Nagold are special haunts for us, mainly because we’ve always managed to have a great time there. The proprietors of both restaurants are excellent hosts and have given us a lot of great memories. I thought today, I’d write up our latest experiences at both places, even though I’ve written about them several times already. Here goes…
Agais on a Friday night
Agais in Entringen has the distinction of being the one restaurant still in business where Bill and I used to dine frequently during our first tour. From 2007-09, we lived in a little town called Pfäffingen, which is in Ammerbuch. Two kilometers from our old town is a little hamlet called Entringen. We used to pass through Entringen to get to and from A81. On the main drag is a Greek restaurant called Agais.
When we lived in Germany the first time, we used to eat at Agais all the time. The owner is a very friendly Greek man who worked in Canada for many years as an engineer. When we were here the first time, he spoke perfect English. I think while we were gone, he must have had a stroke, because his ability to speak English diminished significantly. Nevertheless, when we visited him again in 2014 after having been gone for five years, he still remembered us. His English has come back somewhat over the past few years.
Last night, we decided to pay him a visit, mainly because neither of us felt like cooking. Agais is now probably about a twenty minute drive from where we live, but the weather was nice…
I got a kick out of this sign reminding people to use condoms. Such a quaint old building for such an important PSA… I see there are several versions of this, including one for gay men.
When we walked into the familiar eatery, the couple who own it were waiting for customers to arrive. I think we were their first. The wife, who is German, does the cooking and her husband, whom we’ve nicknamed “The Mad Scientist”, waits tables. They lit up when we walked in and welcomed us. Bill ordered our usual Nemea dry Greek red, which has the essence of sour cherries, and we had our usual sparkling water.
We also ordered the flatbread, which comes piping hot and drizzled with olive oil and garlic salt. I love this, even if it’s very simple.
We both had the gyros platter, which comes with either fries or oven baked potatoes. Bill had the baked potatoes and I had pommes. I also had a green salad instead of the kraut salad that usually comes with this dish.
I cracked a filthy joke to make Bill smile… and our old friend smiled, too.
While we were eating, a couple came in with their son and the family dog. They asked the proprietor if it was okay to bring the dog in. I remember from our first tour that the proprietor isn’t a big dog fan, but I think he needed the business. So he granted permission and they brought in their very sweet border collie who behaved like a perfect lady. After a lovely dinner, which cost 51 euros, and a couple of glasses of wine for me, we enjoyed a house shot of ouzo and were on our way. I hope we can stop in again before we move. Last time we were here, we didn’t get to say goodbye when the time came.
Lunch at Osteria da Gino for the first (and possibly the last) time…
This morning, we were rewarded with wonderful late summer weather. Although Nagold is having a Street Food Fiesta right now, we decided to have lunch at Osteria da Gino. We have eaten there several times, but until today, we have always gone for dinner. Osteria da Gino is kind of a special place for us. Gino is kind of an Italian version of The Mad Scientist, with more upscale food. Also, Gino doesn’t speak English and neither does his adorable wife, who waits tables. The wife helped us today when we showed up at around noon, sans reservations for once. We had a fantastic meal.
Goofy Bill as we wait for white wine. We just told them dry white and that’s what they brought us… good stuff.
Antipasti! Grilled vegetables, orange and fennel salad, prosciutto with cheese, bread, and octopus… You’d think this would be enough…
But we also decided on the pasta dish, too. I had spaghetti with clams. These were very fresh and lightly seasoned with cilantro, red pepper, and onions. As the waitress put it down, she said, “Hier, keine Käse!” (No cheese here!) I guess it’s not kosher to use Parmesan cheese on your clams! I saw another couple enjoying mussels. Gino does have a menu, but we have never once used it. We just take what they recommend.
Bill had fettuccini with Steinpilze and a fresh tomato sauce. I hate mushrooms, so I didn’t try his, but he said the pasta tasted homemade.
When we come for dinner, we often have a main course, which is usually either fish or meat. Since the pasta and antipasti filled us up, we decided to take a brief pause and then have dessert.
Which today, was delicious tiramisu and cups of espresso…
I’d say we spent about two hours enjoying the food and each other’s company, as well as the other diners who love Gino’s brand of hospitality. This is one place where your four legged friends are also welcome. A well behaved Golden Retriever was lying under a nearby table with a bowl of water. I didn’t see Gino today, but I know he loves dogs. He also likes children, although I wouldn’t necessarily call his restaurant “kid friendly”, per se. Kids are definitely welcome there, but in the cold months, everybody eats in the tiny dining room and sometimes you have to share a table. If you have young ones, it might be best to go when the weather is good so you can have more room outside. Total cost for today’s meal was about 95 euros, which isn’t cheap, but I’ve never once been disappointed at Osteria da Gino. I will truly miss it when we go. A bonus is that you can buy a bottle of wine to take home with you if you want to.
After lunch, we took a walk around Nagold, which is a really lovely little town. It’s been such a pleasure living so close to it for the past four years. I will miss it.
Osteria da Gino is not open on Sundays, so if this review has tempted you, make plans to visit on a different day. If you’re coming at dinner time, you may want to make reservations.
Tomorrow, Nagold’s Street Food Fiesta continues, which we will probably attend. There will also be a Grill Off, where you can enjoy steaks by self proclaimed grillmeisters. And… if you have a dog who loves to swim, you may wish to bring them to Nagold for the last day the pool will be open. They are going to let dogs swim tomorrow. There’s also the river, where dogs are always allowed to swim.
I don’t look forward to the painful process of moving, but I do think my blog will get more love, since I will be exploring a brand new area (to me) right in the middle of wine country! If I have to move, it’s not a bad thing to move from the Black Forest to the Rhein River! Last time we moved from Germany, it was to Atlanta, which started off a string of moves to three states before Bill retired. At least this time, we can drive to where we’re going and we can always come back to visit our old stomping grounds down here…
And again, I think we could be be back at some point. We’ll see…