anecdotes, Germany, restaurant reviews

This weather makes me want to hibernate…

I was in the mood to go out last night, but we didn’t feel like going far.  It was so dark outside and cold.  We ended up at Taverne beim Griechen, the Greek place in a sportsplatz near where we live.  We have another Greek restaurant we could walk to, but when it’s really cold and dark outside, I can’t be bothered to walk.  Besides, we really like the food at Taverne beim Griechen.  I wanted dorade in the worst way.

We were greeted by the Greek lady who always waits on us.  She speaks no English, but our German is slowly improving.  In fact, just this week, I finished Duolingo’s German tree again.  I can still practice all the lessons, since I am far from fluent, but I’m not acquiring new lessons until they add to them.  I suppose I should just sign up for a class, but that would require me to go out and mingle.  As I said, this cold, foggy, dark weather makes me want to hibernate and be antisocial.

Anyway, we had a nice meal last night.  I had the dorade and Bill went with salmon steaks.  I have had the dorade at Taverne beim Griechen before, but I think this might have been the first time either of us ordered salmon at Taverne beim Griechen.

We had a bottle of Greek wine, along with our usual water.  

This fish was delicious!  One thing I love about living in Europe is getting to eat dorade a lot.  I’m sure it’s available in the States somewhere, but I have never eaten it there.  Here in Germany, I get it fairly often.  Taverne Beim Griechen does a good job with it!  They serve it with a garlic sauce that isn’t too potent.

Bill’s salmon steaks.  He said these were good.  The skin was pleasantly charred and the flesh was not too dry.  


Service and food, as usual, were great!  It was nice to go back after the new year.  I noticed a lot of people were enjoying a Friday night dinner there along with us.  Someone brought what looked like an adorable bichon frise with them.  I wish our dogs were well behaved enough to go into restaurants!

The weather is rather schlecht looking this morning.  Maybe later, we’ll venture out, though.  In a few days, I will be having dental implant surgery and a sinus lift, so I may not be up to any restaurant visits next weekend.

Germany, restaurant reviews

Dinner at Pizzeria da Vito in Tübingen, Germany

Bill and I decided we wanted to go out to dinner.  Unfortunately, we weren’t all that sure where we wanted to go.  We thought about staying local and going to a place here in Unterjettingen, but changed our minds when parking turned out to be complicated.  So then we decided to go to Herrenberg, where we know of some good places to eat.  But we ended up driving around for awhile, because we couldn’t decide where we wanted to go.  The Greek restaurant we usually love to go to looked like it was very full… and then there was the parking issue again.

I had told Bill I wanted to go to Tübingen, but he said he didn’t want to drive that far.  But it turned out we had driven so much around Herrenberg and its environs that he might as well have just driven straight to Tübingen.  It would have saved us some time.  I finally reminded him that in Tübingen, there’s lots of parking… and plenty of restaurants, too.  Finally, Bill relented and we went to Tübingen, which always makes me feel kind of bittersweet, since we used to live very close to there and miss it.

We were going to go to Die Kelter, but it was packed and there weren’t any tables available.  So we went a little further and ended up at Pizzeria da Vito, which is a little Italian place we used to frequent five years ago when we lived here last time.  It’s a small, family owned restaurant and obviously popular with locals, since there were only a couple of tables free when we sat down.  When the weather is nice, they usually offer a lot of tables outside, too.

Bill waits for meat.

Bill ordered a carafe of Primativo and a bottle of San Pellegrino from the black sequins wearing waitress/hostess who was helping us.  I knew from experience that the pasta at this restaurant is excellent, but I had ziti for lunch.  So even though the pizza and pasta smelled wonderful, I opted for a dorade which was cooked in foil and garnished with tomatoes and cucumbers.  Bill had a steak with gorganzola cheese sauce and a side of fried potatoes.  The meal was served with a basket of bread.

My fish all wrapped in foil.  Bill’s steak in the background.

To be perfectly honest, I have had better dorade elsewhere.  But the price for this fish was right.  It was 12 euros and cooked competently, even though I think I prefer it grilled rather than baked in foil .  Fresh basil was stuffed in the fish, which gave it a zesty essence.  It was also served with a couple of slices of lemon, which made a positive difference in how it tasted.

Bill pronounced his steak “satisfying” and finished the whole thing.  His steak was priced at 13.50 euros.  Next time we visit Pizzeria Da Vito, I’ll probably go back to pasta, since I know it’s very good there.  The pizzas are good too, and they are very reasonably priced.

Not the best photos because it’s nighttime.  This restaurant is basically on the main drag into Tübingen as you’re walking away from the Altstadt Konig garage.

We would have had dessert, but they didn’t have anything available tonight.  Our bill was 39.50 euros.  Service was competent and basically friendly, though our server seemed kind of tired and ready to go home.  Having done that work myself, I couldn’t really blame her.

I do recommend Pizzeria da Vito.  I’m not sure I will get dorade there again, at least not prepared in foil as it was tonight.  That’s not because the fish was badly prepared; I just like it grilled and they don’t offer it that way.

On another note, next time I get a hankering to go to Die Kelter for dinner, I will make sure to reserve a table!


France and Germany… a send off from the Army– Part 6

I have a good friend named Audra who lives in Nimes, France.  I first met her at the high school in the small town where we grew up.  She is a year younger than I am, but we had classes together.  I used to chat with her during our journalism class, which turned out to be one of my favorite high school classes.  For some reason, I didn’t take the second year of journalism.  I probably should have.  My friend also graduated from Longwood University, which in our day was called Longwood College.  We didn’t really hang out when we were in college, so I hadn’t seen her in many years.  Facebook got us reconnected.

Since we were in France, Audra invited Bill and me to come down to Nimes and help her and her family celebrate her son’s 11th birthday.  I had never been to Nimes before.  It turned out to be a wonderful city, famed for its bullfights and Spanish feel.  We got off the train and walked right into a great farmer’s market that included displays, exhibitions, animals, and agricultural goods.  One native said to us in English that this market thing they had going on was not something they had every day.

The air smelled of livestock and the fecal by-product that comes from livestock.  There were goats, pigs, horses, rabbits, birds of every kind, and sheep.  Kids were taking donkey rides and adults were tasting wines, cheeses, and beers.  It was a fun scene.

I booked us at the Majestic Hotel, a two star establishment near the train station.  This hotel is very quirky and there’s no elevator.  We had kind of a funny incident with the lady who checked us in, who spoke no English.  I asked for the WiFi password.  She said what sounded like “D O’s.”  I tried several combinations.  It never occurred to me that what the lady had actually said was that we had to type ten zeros.  “Dix” is French for ten!

We got in touch with Audra, who came with two of her three kids to pick us up at our hotel.  We drove to a very cool village about an hour outside of Nimes where there was a great bar.  Audra, her boyfriend, Cyril, and Cyril’s parents had arranged for “charcuterie”, which is basically a huge pile of meat and bread.  The guy who ran the bar had a great selection of beers and played great music.  Audra and I wasted no time getting caught up while the birthday boy and his friends hung out.  Audra’s younger son and daughter were also in attendance, along with Cyril’s friend– whose name I can’t remember now!  It was a great time and Bill and I were so grateful to be included, especially since we never would have found that great bar on our own!

Big pile of meat!  I actually tasted a couple of sausages that required some bravery… I was rewarded for the effort!


Besides the cool bar, this town was very fortified…

The next day, Audra invited us to spend Mother’s Day with her family.  That, too, was a great treat, since Cyril’s family lives just outside of Nimes on a beautiful tree lined plot of land.  Audra and Cyril are building their own house next to Cyril’s parents’ house and, I have to say, Bill and I were very envious of what they’re about to have!

I think this may have been my favorite part of our trip.  Not only was it wonderful to see Audra and meet her kids, boyfriend, and his family, but we really got an authentic taste of France.  Had we not caught up with my old friend, we would have done the usual tourist things or just wandered around town (which is really more like what we tend to do on our trips).  Thanks to Audra and Cyril and Cyril’s parents, we got to see how the locals live… and from what I can see, they live quite well!

We might have wanted to stay an extra day in Nimes, but my eye was on the calendar and we knew we needed to start thinking about getting back to Germany within a few days so we could get a flight back to the USA.

My new scarf!

After Audra dropped us off during the afternoon, we wandered more around Nimes and I bought a scarf at the farmer’s market that was handmade by a local lady.  We saw a pair of Mormon missionaries who seemed to be having trouble finding things to do.

These three pieces of meat mysteriously fell before us as we walked around Nimes…

Then, for dinner, we stopped at a very charming little bistro that seemed to be a one woman show.  We were the lady’s only guests at about 7:00pm and she served us a fine meal.  I had dorada, which is one of my favorite fish dishes.  Bill had steak.  Then, when it came time to pay, he tried to use his credit card and it didn’t work.  So I had to sit in the restaurant and wait for Bill to get cash to pay the lady for our meal.  She was very gracious about it… I’m sure she’s run into this issue with American patrons more than once!

Awesome French dinner at this restaurant in Nimes…

Our next stop was Nice… but getting to Nice wasn’t all that nice!  Stay tuned!

Bill and the bull fighter! 

Scenes around Nimes…