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Recently, one of my husband’s colleagues told him about a grocery chain called Mix-Markt.  Mix Markt specializes in foods, wines, beers, and spirits from the former Soviet Union and eastern European countries like Poland and Romania.  Bill’s co-worker knows how much we like Georgian wines and Armenian brandies, so he hooked up Bill with a link and an idea for today’s excursion.

There are 297 stores all over Europe, though the chain was founded in 1997 in Örlinghausen, district Lippe in North-Rhine Westphalia.  Locally, Mix-Markt has outlets in Böblingen, Stuttgart, Tamm, Reutlingen, and Nagold.  We live very close to Nagold, but decided to visit the Böblingen store because we figured it would be more convenient to most of my regular readers in the Stuttgart area.  We were also hoping to try a new restaurant for lunch.  Below are some pictures from our little field trip.

The Mix Markt is in a rather busy area of town.  Right next to it is a Turkish market that we didn’t explore.  The Mix Markt has a lot of Turkish products, anyway.  Parking is a bit scarce in the area and the store is in what looks like a weird German incarnation of a strip mall, only instead of it being a strip, it’s more like a doughnut… shops in a circle with a small courtyard in the middle.

Impressive selection of beers from Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic.  Sadly, I didn’t see any Kotayk, which is an Armenian beer.  But we came for wine and wine we found!

Mix Markt has a lot of Georgian wines, which are uniformly excellent!

And they also have Armenian brandies, although none by Ararat, which is probably the most popular Armenian brandy.

They even had Polish bison grass vodka, although I don’t think this is the stuff you can get in Poland, which actually has a blade of grass in it.  Many places, including the United States, don’t allow authentic bison grass vodka because the grass contains trace amounts of warfarin, which is a blood thinner.  This vodka was probably artificially flavored.

Armenian brandy can be purchased in fancy bottles.  You’d see these in Armenia, too.  They make interesting gifts.

Ukrainian Sekt.  I haven’t tried this, but I do remember Russian bubbly to be very sweet and cloying.  I doubt I’d enjoy this… but I might try it sometime.

Russian candy!  You can mix your own!  I never got into Russian chocolate when I lived in Armenia because I preferred the occasionally smuggled German chocolate.  But there must be Russians in Germany who miss it very much.  It smelled delicious.

Want some fish?  Mix Markt has you covered with lots of salmon and smoked fish.  You can also buy meats and sausages there.

And there’s even Uzbek canned meat called Plow.

Sausages galore, from all over…  Next to this case is one full of pretty cakes.

And there’s also Russian pop music for your collection.

There’s an entire aisle devoted to sunflower seeds, which are a very popular snack in former Soviet countries.

You can even get glass AK-47s full of booze– Polish vodka or Armenian brandy!  This might make a fun white elephant gift for your next Christmas party.

I found this candy bizarre…  It appears to be a gummy type confection, but it’s supposed to look like burgers.  Weird concept.  Who wants to eat a gummy candy that tastes like a cheeseburger?  I’m sure these are actually fruity… but maybe burgers are more fun than fruits are.  Reminded me of Bubble Burgers from the late 70s.

 

This wasn’t in the Mix Markt– I just remember these from when I was a kid.  Bubble Burgers were bubble gum “burgers” that came in little plastic cases.  I don’t think I ever tried one, but they probably didn’t taste like burgers, either.

They even had melons from Uzbekistan…

And brochures about trips to Russia.

This is just across the breezeway, if you’re wanting more Turkish choices.

 

After we picked up our haul, we headed to downtown Böblingen, parked at the Marktplatz, and had lunch at the Seegärtle Restaurant-Cafe-Bar.  This eatery overlooks the manmade lake in Böblingen.  It has a nice Biergarten, which was open today, but we decided to eat inside because it was a little chilly outside.

Bill looks at the menu, which mostly consists of burgers and sandwiches.  They also have soup, salad, and a few Swabian specialties.

There’s a bar and they played VH1 Classic videos, which I really enjoyed.  I’d rather see that than football.

I had a pastrami sandwich.  It was pretty good, with its pastrami, cheese, kraut, lettuce and “special sauce”.  I was full after half, though, since this also came with some excellent fries.

Bill had a cheeseburger.  It was supposed to be made with 100% beef, but he said it was “gemischtes”, meaning it was beef mixed with pork.  I was glad I didn’t order the burger, although he said it tasted fine.

The fries were the bomb, though.  Service was fast and friendly, too.  Total bill was 32 euros.

Outside…  

If it had been slightly warmer, we would have enjoyed outside dining.  I was liking the 80s era videos, though… at least until Kiss played.  Gene Simmons and his flickering tongue aren’t exactly appetizing.

As we were headed back to the car, we passed this Croatian “Feinkost”.  It’s maybe two doors from the restaurant.

We went inside and bought three more bottles of wine, this time from Croatia.  They had some interesting liqueurs, too.

This is the rest of the store.  There’s not much to it, but the lady who rang us up was super friendly.  I was glad to give her business.  They also had Croatian football fan gear.

This was today’s haul.  Lots of wine, some brandy, juice, and some mustard from Russia…

I can’t wait to see Bill try this.  I have a feeling it’s going to blow his brains out.  I once gave my Armenian neighbors quite a laugh when I tried Russian mustard for the first time.  It’s extremely hot stuff that will clear out your sinuses.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing the Nagold Mix Markt.  There’s also one located in our new location of Wiesbaden, so we should be well set with Georgian wine when we move north.  If you live in Europe and want a little something different, you should drop by Mix Markt for a visit.  You might find some new treats!

     

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