Germany, restaurant reviews, Stuttgart

Post dental delights at Kikuya Japanese Restaurant…

Today was the day of my biannual dental cleaning.  Bill came home early from work and we dutifully showed up at Dr. Blair’s office in downtown Stuttgart to get our teeth cleaned and polished.

A new hygienist looked after me.  She’s from Italy and it’s her second week on the job, having discovered that dentists in France and Luxembourg don’t use hygienists.  Her boyfriend works in France, but she could find no work there, so now she stays in Stuttgart during the work week and goes “home” to France on the weekends.  I figure she must be multi-lingual if she can work in Italy, Germany, or France, and she also speaks English.  Very impressive… and she did an extremely thorough job on my teeth, too.  I don’t think they’ve ever been so clean.

Dr. Blair found nothing wrong with my teeth, but was concerned about a reddened area below my bottom teeth.  He asked me if I have issues with Crohn’s Disease or Celiac Disease.  I have issues with neither.  But because he’s a very concerned dentist (who once lectured me about the need to see a gynecologist and lectured Bill about his need to wear hats), he wants me to come back in a month so he can see if the area is still red.  I have a feeling that if it is, he’ll have someone in mind to send me to for tests.  Dr. Blair is a very conscientious dentist who is concerned about his patients’ overall well-being.  He’s by far the best dentist I’ve ever had.  He did an excellent job on my dental implant and, if we’re here for much longer, I’ll probably have him do another one.

In the heart of Stuttgart on Calwer Strasse.

Anyway, after our cleanings, we made a short appointment for me to see Dr. Blair next month.  It’s never a bad thing to see him, since I get the chance to try new restaurants in Stuttgart.  Today, we tried a Japanese restaurant we’d never been to before called Kikuya.  To be honest, I almost walked past the place until I noticed a couple of staffers standing outside looking bored.  They have lunch from 11:00am until 3:00pm.  It was just after 2:00, so we ventured inside.

Tempting sandwich board.

 

Sweet Bill poses for an obligatory photo.

Soft new age-y sounding piano music was piped in over the sound system.  We had a choice of sitting at the bar, at one of the pub tables for two, or at the very long communal table.  We decided to sit at the big table, so the waitress asked us to remove our shoes, a first for me.

Eating barefoot!  I noticed the lone guy sitting at the bar was not asked to remove his shoes.

 

Long table where you must remove your shoes.  I didn’t mind.

She handed us menus and I was tempted by the number of appealing choices.  They had sushi, as well as a number of very enticing cooked dishes.  They also offer lunch deals, of which Bill took advantage.  We both had Japanese beers.  I had an Asahi and Bill had a Sapporo.

They also had Tiger lager and Heineken on draft, as well as an array of wines, teas, and non-alcoholic drinks.

I decided to have a Dragon Roll, pictured below…

The Dragon Roll was eight large pieces of sushi with salmon, tuna, and avocado.  It was delicious and felt nice against my inflamed mouth.  The pieces were kind of big, but tasted so good.

 

Bill went with a lunch deal.  It came with miso soup and a variety of fried delights…

 

Miso soup… made with tofu, green onions, seaweed, and soy.  It was a little bland, but comforting.

This main course had fried chicken, fried shrimp rolls, fried veggie rolls, a sweet chili sauce, sushi rice, and a cucumber and tomato slice.  I loved Bill’s dish!  I like fried stuff, though.

 

We both really enjoyed our lunches.  I was surprised by how quiet the restaurant is and the somewhat low ratings on Trip Advisor.  Bill and I both thought today’s lunch was a refreshing change of pace.  I’m sure we’ll be back, too.  The total bill for today was 34 euros before tip.  After we paid, Bill bowed and thanked the ladies who waited on us.  Sometimes, he’s such a geek.  I love him.

The front door… it’s right next to the Calwer-Eck Brauhaus.

On the side street, there’s another entrance, probably used for takeout pick up orders.

I keep meaning to have sushi on a more regular basis.  Now that we’ve discovered Kikuya, we may be enjoying it more often!

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dental, Germany, restaurant reviews, Stuttgart

The making of my new tooth! And… tapas at Desiree…

This afternoon, I visited Dr. Blair, the dentist extraordinaire, to get my dental crown fitted.  This day has been a long time coming.  My ordeal started in the fall of 2014, when I noticed the gum above one of the two baby teeth I had left from childhood was badly inflamed.  We visited Dr. Blair for the first time in January 2015 and he told me that I had an infection.  He said it was possible he could try a root canal, but that it would probably be best to remove the tooth and either get a bridge or an implant.

Since I wasn’t interested in ruining the two teeth on either side of my abscessed baby tooth, I determined that I wanted an implant.  However, I am a big chicken when it comes to medical and dental procedures.  Also, before we got started on my expensive dental implant odyssey, I wanted to make sure Bill would still be employed after his first year in Germany as a contractor.  It took until September for me to go see Dr. Blair to have the tooth extracted.  I will admit, I was extremely nervous about it and didn’t have the benefit of drugs beforehand, but Dr. Blair is a pro.  He pulled the tooth out, noted that it had a vertical fracture in the root, and told me we were right to go the implant route.  A root canal would have definitely failed.

In January 2016, Dr. Blair did a sinus lift.  I went in and took a couple of Ativan, mellowed out, and Dr. Blair did a procedure that would allow more bone to grow so that my jaw would handle the implant.  He also put the implant in my upper jaw and I spent the next few months healing.  The sinus lift took about an hour and I’m glad I took Ativan beforehand, because it wasn’t a very pleasant procedure.  That part of the dental implant process cost about 2000 euros, which Bill has paid for.

In May, I went in and Dr. Blair uncovered my implant that had been ossifying in my bone.  Again, I opted for medications for that procedure, but I probably didn’t really need them too much.  He just exposed the implant, then put a “healing cap” over it.  Then in June, I went in and got impressions made for the lab to make my crown.  The impressions were not painful, but the process of making them wasn’t a whole lot of fun.  Fortunately, Dr. Blair’s got a great staff and is himself a very kind and competent doctor.

On my birthday, which was June 20th, we went to the lab and had many pictures taken of my teeth.  Then a few days later, I went back and tried on the new crown.  I was amazed by how real it looked.  We spent about a half an hour shaping it until it fit perfectly.

Today, I went in and had the new crown installed.

Before… you can see the healing cap on my top tooth.

Another shot.

Now the implant is complete.  Can you tell the difference between my natural teeth and my new fake tooth?  I can’t.  

 

I have to go back next week for one more appointment.  Dr. Blair is going to check to make sure the implant is okay.  Then, it’ll be back to normal until my next dental crisis.  We haven’t gotten any bills for the work that has been done since the implant was installed, but we’re expecting another 2000 euros or so.  We do have insurance, which we will have to file ourselves.  I think it covers a maximum of $2000 per year.  Since we have tickets to see Van Morrison on Wednesday, we will stay two nights in Stuttgart.  I will be travel blogging a lot next week!

After we visited Dr. Blair, we went to the Markthalle and picked up some wine, ham, tuna, cherries, cheese, and chocolate.  I love going there.  Someday, we are going to have to visit the Markthalle and load up on a whole lot of delectable edibles.  After we finished shopping, we visited a tapas bar called Desiree.  It’s located in the Markthalle and I had been curious about it for awhile.

These were the specials today.  I wanted to order one, but because it was only 4:30pm, we were there too early.

Bill being cute.

We each had a glass of wine.  Bill had a rioja and I had a tempranillo.

A shot of the sign.

And the charming downtown area…  It was a great day to sit outside.

We decided to share a plate of tapas.  Desiree has a deal where you can get five tapas for 12,50.  It comes with bread.  You can also get three tapas for 10,00.  On Fridays, they have paella.  Tapas are offered all day, while more substantial dishes are only offered at certain times, which I didn’t see listed in the menu.  The tapas were very good.  I especially liked the spicy chicken wings, olives, and meatballs.  When we were finished, we had another glass of wine to let the horrendous traffic on A81 die down.

All told, we spent about 32 euros for our little afternoon repast.  I think I’d like to go back to Desiree for paella or one of their big dishes.  At the very least, the tapas are fun, especially when the weather is nice and you can sit outside.

We stopped at the Shoppette on Patch on the way home.  Bill gassed up my car.  Has anyone ever tried “Perky Jerky”?  Is it worth the trip?

 

I’m already used to my new tooth and delighted with the end results.  I highly recommend Dr. Blair if you need a dental implant.  He does great work.  And it’s great to be rid of that big hole in my smile, too!  Edited to add:  The grand total for this procedure was approximately 4,750 euros or just over $5200 by today’s exchange rate.

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Germany, pets, restaurant reviews

A fabulous Friday!

Yesterday started off with Bill and me visiting the dental lab in Stuttgart.  I am in the end stages of getting a dental implant done for a baby tooth that abscessed last year.  There was no permanent tooth under my baby tooth, so I’m replacing it with an implant.  Last week, we went to the dental lab to allow them to get pictures and measurements for the new tooth.  The crown has now been fabricated.  Yesterday, I tried it on and got it adjusted before it gets permanently installed on Wednesday of this week.

Though it took some time to get the crown right, we finally got it to a point at which it’s pretty much perfect.  I was very excited to see the new crown, especially since it looks completely natural.  I will take a picture of my new smile next week as I write a detailed post about my whole experience of getting a dental implant in Germany.  I can hardly wait to get the big hole in my smile filled in!

After Bill dropped me off at home, I took the dogs for a walk.  We have a “dump” for yard waste in the forest area near our home.  Next to it is a locked area that I think is used to dump discarded bricks and lumber.  To be honest, I’ve never taken a long look at it to see what all gets left there.  This dump is located at about the midpoint of our usual route.  As we were about to pass it, we ran into a German guy with a tractor.  He was unlocking the gate to the dumping area.  It’s near a field we usually walk through when we’re exercising Zane and Arran.

As we were about to pass, suddenly a huge European hare bolted out of the gate, only to be confronted by my two hounds.  Both dogs were eager to chase the hare and it was all I could do to hang on to Arran, who was barking furiously and lunging at the scared creature.  The hare then spun around to go back the way it came, only to be confronted by the guy with his tractor.

The poor thing was confused and terrified and spent several seconds going back and forth in an frenzied attempt to escape.  I looked up at the German guy and met his eyes for a split second.  It was like we were both amazed and amused at the sight of this poor wild hare running for its life.  Finally, the hare figured out that it needed to go in one of the other two available directions.  It dashed to the left and made its escape.  I was finally able to drag the dogs away, though not without some effort.  I wish I’d been able to film that scene.  It was the kind of close encounter with nature you don’t see every day.

Bill got home from work early, so we enjoyed a couple of beers.  Then we went to Taverne bei Dimi, which is a Greek restaurant in our neighborhood.  We’ve been there quite a few times in the almost two years we’ve lived in Jettingen, though our last visit was a couple of months ago.  Dimi was happy to see us and had clearly upped his culinary game.  I have already reviewed his restaurant a few times, but thought I’d include a few photos of new stuff he offered last night.  I think he has someone new cooking.

A nice green salad and ouzo.  I prefer to skip the kraut because it gives me gas… ūüėČ  Dimi also brought out an amuse, which is pictured on the salad plate.  Basically, it was a fried zucchini and cheese fritter.  It was delicious!  

Our usual gyros with an unusual dusting of paprika…  I brought about half of this home.

And then Dimi brought out a little surprise dessert for us.  This was a little piece of cake with a dollop of yogurt, some honey, and cinnamon.  It was an unexpected treat.

 

We came home and chatted a bit over beer.  Then we had a good sleep.

Today, we have plans to go to Ludwigsburg to their market.  We have to pick up a case of wine we ordered from a vintner in France.  Last time we lived here, we ran into these folks at the Tubingen market and liked their wine enough that we’d buy it regularly.  I got an email from them out of the blue a couple of weeks ago letting us know they’d be in Ludwigsburg today.  So we ordered the wine and will pick it up.  I was thinking we might visit Tubingen later, but it’s raining now.  We’ll see what happens.

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dental, Germany

Update to my dental implant saga in Germany…

I decided a few months ago to post about my experiences getting a dental implant in Germany. ¬†I’ve been on this journey for well over a year, when I discovered one of my two remaining baby teeth had abscessed. ¬†After visiting Dr. Blair in Stuttgart, we determined that it would be best to remove the tooth and replace it with an implant.

The process has not been without some anxiety both over cost and the procedures required.  But I think I will soon have a new smile and Dr. Blair has been great to work with.  So each time a new procedure is done, I write a post about it.  I had a fairly big sinus lift and implant procedure in January of this year.  After allowing the implant to heal in my bone, I went to see Dr. Blair today.  He cut away some tissue to expose the titanium screw that has been there since January.

I was told today’s visit wasn’t going to be nearly as bad as the sinus lift had been. ¬†I requested calming drugs anyway. ¬†Dr. Blair gave me two Ativan, which I took in the waiting room and I sat there for about an hour, waiting for them to kick in. ¬†Once they did, I felt really mellow and calm, but not high or giddy.

I went into the procedure room and Dr. Blair and his assistant got to work.  First, I got two injections of numbing medications.  Both shots were uncomfortable.  One was going on the outside gum near the area getting the implant.  The other was on my palate.  There was a sting, then lots of pressure before the odd sensation of anesthesia set in.

I felt Dr. Blair get to work, but felt little pain. ¬†His assistant kept suctioning out debris, but seemed to miss one side. ¬†Or, at least that’s what it felt like to me. ¬†The whole thing took about twenty minutes and ended with Dr. Blair putting in more stitches. ¬†The worst part was sitting up. ¬†Because my palate was numb, it was hard to feel my nose. ¬†It felt like I was going to choke and/or throw up at the same time. ¬†Dr. Blair reminded me to breathe through my nose, which was much harder than you might expect it to be. ¬†I had to sit for a couple of minutes to get the hang of it.

Dr. Blair walked me out to Bill, who was waiting in the lobby, and told me to go home and take up to 600mg of Advil at a time. ¬†Not one to question doctor’s orders, that is exactly what I did. ¬†Bill put me in the car and drove me home on one of the most relaxing trips I’ve had on the Autobahn thus far. ¬†I took a couple of Advil PMs and enjoyed a nice two hour nap.

I’ve been enjoying some really yummy Thai peanut soup Bill made me from scratch. ¬†We go back to see Dr. Blair next Tuesday. ¬†Bill will get a filling replaced and my stitches will be removed. ¬†I’m guessing there will be new impressions made, too. ¬†With any luck, I’ll have my smile back in no time.

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dental, Germany

I survived the first big dental procedure… Dental implants in Germany

I got up early this morning, as usual, and did my regular Tuesday morning cleaning.  Bill heard the shower running and wondered if something was wrong.  I told him I was cleaning it, which is my usual Tuesday chore.  I added that I needed to do something to be useful.

Bill said, “You don’t have to do that.”

“If I don’t do it, who will?” I asked.  “It won’t get done if I don’t do it.”

Bill said, “I can do it.”

I said, “No, I have to do something useful.  You don’t have to earn all the money AND do the housework.”

So he went downstairs and made me a nice breakfast.  I told him I wanted something substantial because I didn’t know when I’d be up to eating once the procedure was finished.  We had eggs, biscuits, bacon, and grits, along with juice and coffee.

Then we went to the dentist, where I was given two Ativan tablets about an hour before the procedure started.  They were glad I’d had breakfast because the Ativan supposedly causes upset if it’s taken on an empty stomach.  I had been expecting Valium, but I guess Ativan was considered a better drug for this particular procedure.

The Ativan made me feel very calm.  Not high or silly, but just very even keeled and calm.  Dr. Blair took an x-ray of my mouth, then led me into an exam room, where he started shooting me up with numbing agents.  That was a rather uncomfortable part of the experience, because a couple of the shots were in my palate and they hurt.  Once I was numb, the assistant put a large blue drape with a hole in it over my face, positioning it so my nose and mouth were exposed.  They offered me a blanket if I wanted it.  They also offered to make the hole in the drape larger so I could see more.  I kept my eyes closed for most of the procedure, which took about an hour or so.

Because the tooth being replaced was in an upper area near my sinus, Dr. Blair had to do a sinus lift, which involves, cutting into the gum and raising the bottom of the sinus so that the implant post has more room.  Since no bone was taken from my body, my guess is that Dr. Blair used some kind of bone graft material to build up the bone in the area where the implant is going.  I was thinking he was going to place the implant today, but I honestly don’t know if he did.  He did use a drill, which was very noisy and rather unpleasant as it made a hole in my bone.  There were a couple of times when it felt like he was screwing something in, but I didn’t ask him what he did.  I’m sure he’ll tell me what’s next when we get the stitches taken out.

At one point, I had some trouble managing all the crap in my mouth and I had to sit up and catch my breath.  I had started gagging and was afraid I was going to be sick.  Dr. Blair said it was because my nose was partially numb and couldn’t feel the air coming through it.  He and his assistant kept telling me to breathe through my nose.  I had to sit up and spit out some blood, despite the assistant’s attempts at suction.

There was a little more drilling and then I could feel Dr. Blair placing sutures.  This was the first time I’ve ever had stitches of any kind, so that was a strange experience.  I could feel the thread against my nose, but not him placing them in my gum tissue.  Finally, he was finished and I had another panoramic x-ray taken.   He asked how the Ativan was for me.  I said it made me feel fine.  Very calm and not nervous at all, yet not euphoric or anything.  He indicated that he doesn’t use it very often in his practice.  I guess many Germans are more stoic than we Americans are.

Bill and I went into his office and Dr. Blair gave us detailed post op instructions, along with prescriptions for 600 milligram ibuprofen, antibiotics, and a mouth rinse.  He advised me to use cold packs and look out for excessive swelling and bleeding.  I go back next week to have the stitches removed.

Bill had the car prepared with a pillow.  He helped me into the car, ignoring all the people lurking for our spot, strapped me in, and drove me home.  I went to bed and slept for a good portion of the afternoon after waking up for some soup and water.  The dogs slept with me.

I’m now up and feeling a little groggy and there’s minimal discomfort where the work was done.  Otherwise, I’m feeling pretty functional.  I’m glad I had Bill with me, but I have a feeling that if I’d had to, I could have made it most of the way home via train.  The worst part about today’s procedure was the noise of the drill and the feeling that I was going to gag.  Dr. Blair and his assistant handled it well, though.  I’m feeling somewhat better than I expected.

I like Dr. Blair.  He’s a very nice man and treated me with a lot of kindness, concern, and compassion.  When he mails us the bill, maybe I’ll feel less magnanimous.

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