Welcome back to Stuttgart… part 1– lunch at Mikomi in Vaihingen and rug shopping

About six months ago, Bill and I moved from the Stuttgart area to Wiesbaden.  We’ve lived in the Stuttgart area twice during our marriage– from 2007-09 and 2014-2018.  It has the distinction of being the place where we’ve, so far, spent the most time during our married life, followed closely by the D.C. area.  It’s starting to feel a little like home.

We wouldn’t ordinarily go to Stuttgart for a fun trip, especially since we just left there a few months ago.  On the other hand, it’s absolutely possible to have a lot of fun in Stuttgart, especially if you know where to go.  We needed to go down there for both business and pleasure.

On a whim, back in February 2018, I bought tickets to Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” concert, which took place last night at the Hans-Schleyer Halle in Bad Cannstatt.  It was the first of a string of tickets I’ve bought for concerts in 2018 and 2019.  I think I’m trying to make up for all of the years I didn’t have enough money to go to shows.  That, and a lot of my favorite artists are retiring and this is the last chance to see them.

I was really looking forward to last night’s concert.  Not only did I buy the tickets over a year ago, I actually had to wait a year to get them.  Although I have loved Elton’s music ever since I was a tiny child many years ago, this was the first time I had ever seen him perform live.  I’m glad we made it to the show.  Last night, I was beginning to think it wasn’t going to happen.  More on that later.

We also needed to go see Dr. Blair, dentist extraordinaire, to get our teeth cleaned.  I know we should probably find a dentist in Wiesbaden, but we really like Dr. Blair.  He’s the best dentist either of us have ever seen.  Besides, there’s every chance we’ll one day wind up living near Stuttgart again.

I had a bunch of wine corks to unload to a lady in the food and wine group I run on Facebook.  I always like to offer them to crafters before recycling them.  I also wanted to buy some more rugs for our house with the brand new floors.

The spring fest was also going on, and while I’m probably getting too old for festing, we decided we’d try to hit that, too.

On Thursday, May 9th, we loaded up our two dogs, Zane and Arran, and took off for Stuttgart.  On a good day, it takes about two and a half hours to get from Wiesbaden to Stuttgart.  Thursday wasn’t a good day.  The weather was crappy and there was a lot of traffic.  It ended up taking us about four hours, and we were racing against the clock, because Max at Dog Holiday closes his doors at noon to have lunch.  He’s pretty strict about time and Bill likes to be respectful of other people’s time, so he was getting pretty stressed out as we hit Stau after Stau.  There’s a good reason Stuttgart is often referred to as “STAUgart.  Traffic is often a nightmare there.  I had forgotten how bad it is, even though we haven’t been gone that long.

I really haven’t missed this shit.

After we dropped off the dogs at Max’s, we headed for the Schwaben Galerie, the mall every American affiliated with the U.S. military gets to know intimately.  We were hoping to find lunch before we went to Panzer to purchase our rugs.  Once again, I was feeling whimsical as we decided where we were going to eat.  I went to see if the pseudo Mexican restaurant “Chilli’s” was still there.  I reviewed it once in 2016, right after it took over the space from the defunct Neuer Ochsen restaurant that was there for years prior.  I had liked the Neuer Ochsen and was sad to see that it was supplanted by a pseudo German Mexican place.  If I recall correctly, I didn’t hate our meal at Chilli’s, but it definitely wasn’t authentic Mexican food.

As I turned the corner, I noticed that Chilli’s was gone.  In its place is a new sushi restaurant and grill called Mikomi.  Bill and I love sushi, so we decided to stop in and see if the new place was any good.

I learned that this restaurant has only been open for about a month.


A very pleasant Asian lady invited us to sit down.  I was taking note of the new decor in this restaurant space.  It’s been interesting watching it go from the Neuer Ochsen to Chilli’s to now Mikomi.  I like what they’ve done with it.  There are lots of comfortable booths and the ambiance is calming.

I really liked the look of these booths.  You could host a good sized party there.


They have regular tables, too.


Bill tries to figure out the menu.  There were a lot of choices.

A young English speaking waiter explained the restaurant’s Bento Box deal, where you can get a main dish, two sides, a drink, and a dessert for a low price.  Or, alternatively, you can order one of their sushi deals for an equally low price.  I was really thirsty, so I ordered a beer.  A small beer would have been included in the price of the Bento Box, but I ordered a large.  I ended up drinking both.  Bill went with a Japanese brew.

“Goldilocks and the three beers?”

I went with one of the sushi Bento Boxes.  This was very satisfying.  The salmon was especially fresh and tasty, as was the spicy tuna roll.

Bill’s Bento Box was a good deal.  He got noodles with vegetables, pickled cucumbers and carrots, and shrimp skewers.  I loved the noodles and had to steal a couple of bites.

After we finished, we were invited to partake of the dessert buffet.  They had little cakes like this or fresh fruit.  I also saw donuts.

All of this was priced pretty reasonably.  I think we got out of there at under 30 euros.

 I think Mikomi will be more successful than Chilli’s was.  I didn’t hate Chilli’s as much as some Americans did, but I definitely didn’t need a second visit.  Mikomi, on the other hand, I would dine at again, given the opportunity.  I would recommend it to those who like Asian food– especially sushi.

After we finished having lunch, we went to Panzer and loaded up on new rugs for our house.  Our new landlord just put in brand new floors, so we’re doing our best to keep them as nice as possible.  Also, I like having rugs on the floors because they help cut down on echoes and are nicer to walk on than cold parquet.  The Turkish guy who runs the carpet shop was playing Rabiz– a type of Turkish pop music.  I was telling him about my adventures in Turkey and Bulgaria back in the 1990s, and how I had gotten used to hearing it in Armenia.  He said I had been to more parts of Turkey than he has, probably because my trip took me through the east.  The northeastern part of Turkey is truly some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen.  It rivals Switzerland…  or, at least it did in 1996.  I’d love to go back to Turkey again someday, when it’s safe.

Once we dropped some euros on new rugs, we headed to our favorite Stuttgart area hotel, the Wald Hotel.  More on that in my next post.


Leave a Reply