A little lunch and shopping at Eselsmühle…

Some time ago, I read a review of what sounded like a great place to enjoy lunch.  The man who wrote the review mentioned cute donkeys and low prices.  He seemed the most impressed with the prices, but I was more interested in the donkeys.  I bookmarked the site and then forgot about it, mainly due to the inclement weather that is so common in these parts.  This morning, I realized we had a beautiful day in store, so I asked Bill if he wanted to try a new place.

All roads lead to the donkeys…

The donkeys and their pony friend were enjoying some time in their pasture.  I had to use the zoom to get this photo.

Eselsmühle im Siebenmühlental (Donkey Mill) is located in Leinfelden, not too far from the Schwabengarten Biergarten and the airport.  Bill had warned me that there’s construction being done on A8 (when isn’t there?), but we had no problems reaching it today.  There’s a large, free parking lot at the end of the road leading to the cafe and shop, where you can buy fresh bread made in a wood oven, cakes pies, cheeses, and fresh fruits and vegetables, among other things.  Below are some photos from our outing there today.

Charming, flat, paved walk to the cafe and shop.  It’s maybe five minutes from the parking lot to get to the cafe, which feels far removed from the busy suburban area on the priority road going past here.

First glimpse of the yard.  There’s a converted barn used for hosting events as well as a shop, geological museum, and the garden/cafe.

I was charmed by the Schweine… I probably should have taken one home.

There was lovely produce being offered…

And these were today’s specials.  They also have a brief daily menu that includes typical items like schnitzels, sausages, and salads.  I was kind of thinking this place should offer sandwiches made with their hearty wood oven baked breads.  But then, I’m an American and I think about these things.

Cows napping in the paddock.

And a mama duck with her many ducklings lunching in the creek.


We were a little confused about what to do once we got to the cafe.  There’s an outdoor bar area on first floor, where you would order if all you wanted was a drink and cake.  If you want lunch, you go upstairs and order.  It appeared that if you sat upstairs, they’d take your order and bring your food.  If you want to eat in the garden, it appeared that you needed to order and pick up the food.  They gave us a little beeper to tell us when our order was ready.  We sat upstairs anyway and noticed that people up there were getting table service.  Either way, we got fed.  If you get a drink in the downstairs bar area, you have to return your glass to get your Pfand (deposit) returned.

Idyllic view from where we were sitting.

Upstairs cafe area.  There’s limited indoor seating upstairs.  We noticed this place is very dog and kid friendly  An adorable retriever was sitting at the table in front of us.

We enjoyed Bio beers.  The Donkey Mill is big on organic, fresh, and healthy… even in its beers!

I had a schnitzel.  I liked it because it wasn’t huge.  It came with fresh potato salad, a small green salad with a light mustard vinaigrette, and delicious cous cous flavored with red peppers.  I think the cous cous might have been my favorite part of the meal.  It was very interesting!  The vegetables were very fresh, too.

Bill had sausages with sauerkraut.  That kraut was really strong!  Bill loved it, although the sausages reminded me of very large Slim Jims.  

Large garden area… very pretty and casual.  I really enjoyed our lunch here.

The drink area.

This is a picture of the donkeys and pony without the help of a zoom lens.  They weren’t feeling very social today, but I did meet a very friendly cat.

The trucks came through… I think they were at the Saturday markets, selling their delicious wares.

Another shot of the area outside the barn, where it looks like they host private parties.  This might be a good thing to keep in mind if you’re ever looking for a place to have an event.


After we ate lunch and looked at the donkeys, we went into the shop and picked up a few items.  I was impressed with all that was available in the cute little shop, which had everything from fresh eggs and cheeses to soaps and shampoos.  Below are some pictures of what you can find in there.

Lots of grains, including their own flour.

Baked goodies, breads, cookies shaped like donkeys, cheeses, and a very friendly shopkeeper who speaks excellent English!

Wines, mostly German but a few from Austria and Italy.

Eggs and dairy…


Jams galore and honey…


Teas, juices, soft drinks, and beers.

Cosmetics and even things for the home, like dishes.

In the back of the shop, there’s even a small geological museum.  It costs nothing to see the collection of crystals and stones collected by the proprietor.

I only took a few photos because it’s not a very large museum.  But it’s still pretty interesting, especially if you like rocks.

If you didn’t bring a bag with you, never fear.  We did come prepared because I noticed on their Web site that they had a little store and figured we’d want to bring some stuff home.

Adorable donkey cookies made with hazelnuts or almonds.


We did buy a few pieces of cake and a loaf of bread, as well as strawberries and blueberries, cheese, wine, and soaps.  The lady who waited on us spoke German until Bill started having trouble understanding, then, with a big smile, she said “We can speak English if you like!”  I loved that she was willing to speak German at all.  A lot of times, as soon as English speaking Germans hear the American accent, they switch to perfect English, dashing our hopes of practicing German!  So kudos to her for indulging Bill and for being so pleasant and welcoming.  She asked us if we were here “on holiday” and we said we live here.  She said, “Oh, so that means you can come back!”  I love that!  Once we’d spent about 40 euros in the shop, we decided to go home.  I made a quick stop in the ladies room first…

I got a kick out of this sign.

This place is also very bike friendly.  If you wanted to, you could also take a hike.  The area nearby offers many walking trails.


I love these guys.  I’d rather hang out with ponies and donkeys than most people.

We really enjoyed visiting Eselsmühle im Siebenmühlental today.  I would recommend it especially for ladies who lunch and want to purchase high quality organic products.  If you’re lucky, you might even get to pet one of the pet donkeys.


Alsace and Burgundy… Animal farm and animal parts! pt. 6

I think my favorite part about our stay in Saint Marcelin-de-Cray were the animals on the farm.  I could tell they were all happy and well cared for.  I grew up riding and showing horses, so it was a particular treat to get to hang out with the donkey and horses that live on the property.  The donkey and the nanny goat both stole my heart, but I was especially fond of the donkey (whose name I think was Anton).  If you check the video below, you’ll see why.  I went around and took footage of most of the animals, but the first part of the video is probably the most entertaining.

The sights and sounds were at the farm, while the music is by a wonderful harp guitar player named Stephen Bennett, who used to play during my many dinner shifts at the Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia.  I will post a link to the albums the music came from, for those who want to check them out.


This donkey was my best friend!

These two were good sports when Zane and Arran came over to meet them.

Llama parents.

My dogs are not used to seeing livestock, so they barked a lot at the donkey and his Friesian horse friend.  Much to my delight, the donkey cut loose with a sassy response, which I managed to catch.

I loved this friendly goat!

Mama and baby!

Rabbits everywhere!

On our first morning at the farm, we had yet another collision with French culture.  Jean Pierre told us we could leave Zane and Arran alone in the gite if we wanted to, so we took the opportunity to go to the nearby town of Cluny.  Cluny is a very charming place, but we were there for lunch.  We made the mistake of stopping at the very first restaurant we came to that was open.  It was called Brasserie du Nord.

I shouldn’t say it was a bad place, per se.  It really wasn’t.  I did see one person leave a comment on a review in English that only the French could mess up French food.  Things got off to a shaky start when Bill misunderstood the waitress and we ended up ordering two half liters of wine.  An English speaking waiter came over to clarify and we only kept one bottle.  In retrospect, we should have definitely kept them both.

I had entrecote and frites there and they weren’t horrible, although the steak was a bit grisly and fatty.  It was also cooked well-done when I asked for medium.  But at least I wasn’t grossed out by it, which is more than I can say for Bill and his meal.  I hasten to add that it’s not the restaurant’s fault that Bill got grossed out.  You see, he fell victim to not knowing what he ordered.

Bill is a fan of spicy, smoked, cajun style Andouille sausage, which is found in Louisiana and was brought there by French people.  He thought he saw a dish with that sausage in it and was psyched that he’d be getting a treat.  He was a bit puzzled when his lunch came out and it had a very distinctive odor.  Although Bill’s people come from Arkansas and have eaten their share of exotic meats, he had never been faced with what he ordered in France… andouillette.  Andouillette is also sausage, but it’s made of chitterlings.  I should mention that in France, Andouille is also made of chitterlings.  In the USA, it’s made of pork shoulder roast.

I was pretty proud of Bill, though, because he gamely ate most of it.  And he didn’t complain too much, either.  He also ate dessert!

Cluny has a very impressive abbey.

We should have ordered more wine in light of Bill’s lunch.

Andouille… otherwise known as chitterlings.

My steak was not as scary.

Bill’s expression when he realizes what he’s eating.

I think he needed to recover.  Over Bill’s shoulder, you can see a guy wearing a hat.  We saw the same guy two days later eating at the same restaurant.  He’s obviously a very colorful regular.

I had tiramisu for dessert.

Bill had the apple tart of the day.  I think it came with butterscotch ice cream.

If you see this sign in France, take heed before you take the plunge.

Cluny offers a nice diversion.

After lunch, I think we needed to go back to the gite and process things.  So we went back and rested for awhile… and Bill digested his pig intestines along with lots more wine.