The nicest hardware store I’ve ever seen… and more Italian hospitality!

Now that we’ve settled in somewhat, Bill has decided to try to fix the holes in the wall where the curtain rod is in our living room.  The holes were left by the previous occupants, who apparently hung heavy drapes that pulled the screws out of the wall.  Once he fixes that, I can hang my drapes and raise the Rolladens.  Actually, I’m trying to decide what we can put in our big living room so it doesn’t look so empty.  It’s like we have two living rooms now and one side has art, a rug, and our Bose speaker.  The other side has the couches.

So anyway, we needed to go to the hardware store to pick up some stuff with which to fix the holes.  In our old town, we used to go to the hardware stores in Herrenberg or Nagold.  They weren’t bad hardware stores.  In fact, they reminded me of slightly upscale American big box stores.  Our Toom in Herrenberg even had a small restaurant in it.  Germans are very civilized.

I didn’t have especially high expectations for the MS Holz Fachmarkt.  I figured it would be like all the other hardware stores I’ve been to.  I see by Google reviews that this store gets average ratings.  People seem to either love it or hate it.  I enjoyed my visit today…

The front facade.  Apparently, this is a new location with a nice big parking lot.  Check out the cool kids’ play equipment.  No, they aren’t for your kids to play on, but you can build one for your house.

As soon as I walked inside, I was greeted by the cashier.

All of your garden needs… even Crocs and hats for your kids.


I found Bill and a friendly staffer, who spoke English, showed Bill what he needed to fix the hole.  Bill had helpfully taken a picture of the hole, which was useful to show the man so he could advise us of the right product.  The guy even explained the directions to us in English, since the packaging didn’t have them translated.

Then I noticed this “wallpaper”.  In both of our German houses this time, I’ve noticed the walls have this texture on them.  I saw that it looked like wallpaper, but was curious if that’s what it really is.  Sure enough, my curiosity was satisfied.

There were a couple of things I was hoping to find… the kind of things you might find in a Lowe’s or a Home Depot.  Unfortunately, Germany doesn’t embrace one stop shopping quite as much as the United States does.  Still, it was interesting to walk around the store, which was clean and quiet and had some very attractive displays.

Ideas for when the weather improves.

A lounger with a shade!

Isn’t it beautiful?

This was a cool looking door, with the shattered look.  I think it was selling for about 1500 euros.

An artist who makes furniture with trees…


I loved the chair, though I don’t know how comfortable it is.  It was made with a cherry tree.


Then I spotted a most impressive sight!  This store has a slide in it.  Your children take off their shoes and slide down to the bottom, right next to the coffee bar.  Didn’t I tell you Germans were civilized?

Weee!  My German friend Susanne says that there was a shoe store in Stuttgart that had a slide that went to the children’s section (smart thinking) and a drug store in her little town also had one.  As an American who was denied such coolness as a child, I now feel deprived!


When we were finished shopping, we decided to search for lunch.  We drove around a bit, noticing the Hofladens near our house.  We eventually ended up in Hofheim am Taunus, where I spotted a pizzeria called Amici.  It looked promising.

Bill is ready for lunch… and we had a big one!

A little local water in a bottle that reminds me of perfume.

They brought out some bread and olives, and poured generous glasses of Primitivo.

We split an avocado salad that was made with tiny shrimp, pineapples, and garnished with cherry tomatoes, walnuts, and balsamic vinegar.  This was about 13,50 euros and I’m glad we shared it.  It was a lot even for the two of us, but it was very nice.


There was an older couple sitting near us and they were obviously regulars.  The very pleasant waitress took excellent care of them, joking and laughing.  Another couple of ladies brought in an adorable six month old baby and a toddler with red ringlets.  They were easily chatting with the older couple, who appeared to be having a great time.  I can see why they’re regulars.  The waitress was super nice and the food was great.

Bill had Rigatoni 435, which included beef and “Stein Pilze” (stone mushrooms).  He loved it, but that plate reeked of fungus!  It was a bit overwhelming for me, especially since I hate mushrooms.

I went with Linguini Scolo, which was basically linguini with “fruits of the sea”.  I couldn’t finish it, because that was a lot of protein.  It was yummy, though… shrimp, “crevettes” (little shrimp), mussels, and vegetables– tomatoes, peppers, and leeks.

Naturally, we had dessert.  Bill had creamy panna cotta, which came with caramel and was probably the best I’ve tasted in a long time.  Panna cotta is often like Jello, but this was a lot creamier.  

I had zabaione with vanilla ice cream.  We had this at Little Italy in Wiesbaden back in October.  To be honest, I liked the way they did it better.  This dessert is really more like a beverage the way it’s served at Amici.  At Little Italy, it was more like a thin pudding.  It’s basically a liquid custard made with Masala wine.  We also had a round of espresso.

As we paid the check, we enjoyed a house shot of Limoncello.  We could have also had grappa or another digestive.  I think it’s a nice touch when European restaurants do this.  It kind of softens the blow of the bill.


Hofheim am Taunus isn’t far from where we live, so I can see us going back to this place.  Maybe we’ll even be regulars.  I think that would be alright.  If we’d taken the first house we looked at when we were househunting, which was too small for us, we would have been really close!

Out front…  They had a nice display of wine in the front window, too, with multiple bottles of “Why Not” Primitivo.

And someone’s artistic rendition of Yosemite Sam…  There’s a large train station in this town.  We’ll have to explore it more when the weather improves.


All in all, we had another nice afternoon in our new area.  It may soon be time to start a new “Good eats” post, like the one I made for Stuttgart.


Leave a Reply