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The first time we visited Wiesbaden, back in October of this year, we stayed at the Town Hotel Wiesbaden, which is located in the heart of the city.  While we were there, I noticed an Italian chain restaurant called Vapiano.  Last time I visited Stuttgart, I noticed that Stuttgart has a Vapiano outlet, too.

I was weirdly attracted to the Wiesbaden Vapiano when we were downtown for our first visit.  I’m not sure why.  I usually prefer individual restaurants to chains.  Saturday afternoon, we were hungry and not wanting to search for a particularly special place.  We stopped by Vapiano in Wiesbaden and had a rather different restaurant experience.

The view from the parking garage at the theater in Wiesbaden…  They had the ice skating rink set up for the Christmas market…

The first thing that happened when we walked through the door is that a smiling woman behind a desk– the cashier– handed us each a plastic card.  Having never been to Vapiano before, I didn’t know what the hell was going on.  Then I saw that people were ordering at a counter.  You get into the line that corresponds with what you’re eating.  If you want pizza or lasagna, you get in one line.  If you want pasta, you get into a different line.  Salads are in still another line.

Bill decided he wanted pasta with spicy tomato sauce.  I wanted lasagna.  Since we didn’t know how things worked, I stood next to him while a line cook prepared his dish for him.  You can actually watch the guys boil the pasta and put sauce on it for you.  They scan your item on the plastic card.  If you want a soft drink, they’ll get that for you, too.

Bill an I wanted wine, so after we ordered my lasagna in a different line, he went to the bar and got us a couple of glasses of Montepulciano.  This is also where you get your desserts.

Bill’s pasta was ready before my lasagna was, so he was about halfway through his lunch when the beeper went off for my lasagna.  In retrospect, we should have ordered the lasagna first… not that I think we’ll be regulars at Vapiano.  It was a little too busy and noisy for my liking, although I noticed the workers were good about picking up plates and keeping things reasonably clean.  If I were about twenty-five years younger, I probably would have liked it a lot more.  The food was good and reasonably priced, but I’d rather eat at a place where there’s table service and less noise.  Vapiano is very kid friendly, so it has that going for it.

As we were leaving, we stopped by the cashier, handed her our cards, and paid.  This is also where you can leave a tip, if you like.  I’m pretty sure Bill paid with a credit card and I did notice they were equipped for that.

Below are some photos…

Vapiano has outlets all over the world, including in the United States.  This was our first visit.

 

Go up to the counter with the plastic card they give you.  Get in the appropriate line.  Order what you want and have the cook scan it.  They’ll cook your food and you’ll take it to your table.  You pay at the cashier as you leave.

Go to the bar for your adult beverages and desserts.

Bill’s ravioli with meat sauce.  It wasn’t bad, though it was done a lot sooner than my lasagna was.  Bill liked that the portion size wasn’t huge and the sauce was spicy.

 

My lasagna.  This was very cheesy and it took some time to actually get to the pasta.  My first few bites were all melted cheese, not that I minded.  It wasn’t a huge serving, which was a good thing.  I have had better lasagna, but this wasn’t too bad.  I just felt sorry for whomever has to wash the lasagna dishes.  A lot of the cheese was stuck to the pan.

Bill had cheesecake for dessert.  It wasn’t very sweet or creamy, but it kind of hit the spot after the pasta.

I went with their version of “Death by Chocolate”.  I used to work at a restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia had a far different and vastly superior “Death by Chocolate”.  Vapiano’s version is basically a rather dry, plain, chocolate cake.  I wouldn’t get it again.

On the way back to the car, I took some pictures of Wiesbaden’s holiday finery…

I am kind of tempted to ice skate, but it’s been about 40 years since my last trip around the rink.  I’m not sure why I never noticed the ice rinks in prior years.

We stopped by our local Rewe for provisions.  I was surprised to see a whole lot of condoms on sale…  As a former public health worker, I’m glad to see them selling condoms.  I just think it’s funny that they do it so openly.  I don’t remember seeing a display like this at an American grocery store.  Not that I mind, of course…

For when you’re feeling festive…

I think we’re going to like living in Wiesbaden.

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