Germany, restaurant reviews

Luz Bistro for dinner!

Last night, Bill and I decided to take his mom, Parker, to Luz Bar & Bistro in Nagold.  I have written about Luz Bistro at the Alte Post in Nagold several times.  We usually go there for lunch on the weekends, but last night we decided to have dinner there.  I chose Luz because I knew the food and service would be excellent.  I also had a feeling we wouldn’t need reservations.

We arrived at the restaurant at about 7:00pm.  The bar area was pretty busy, as was the small dining room to the right.  I had never seen that dining room full.  Fortunately, there were still a few empty tables in the dining room to the left, which is where we usually sit if we aren’t outside enjoying Nagold’s city scenes while we drink wine.  Bill, Parker, and I took a seat at a four top and Bill ordered a bottle of Rioja and our usual sparkling water.

I was intrigued by a couple of the choices on Luz’s dinner menu last night, but I needed Google translate for a few things.  For instance, I had forgotten the word “Topinambur”, which is Jerusalem artichoke.  I also didn’t know the word “Saibling”, which is German for “char (a type of trout)”.  Parker chose a trout dish that was served with a citrusy pickle cream sauce.  I don’t know how I stood being in Germany without Google Translate.  It’s saved me a few times.  Anyway, below are the dishes we enjoyed last night.

I was originally intrigued by a dish that featured shrimps, onions, bacon, and mashed potatoes.  Since I was really hungry, I opted for a rib eye.  Luz has several steaks, a couple of which come in a “lady’s cut”.  The rib eye is one size only, 230 grams.  I ordered a side of fries, although I probably should have had a salad.  The fries at Luz are nothing special, although they arrived hot.  The steak, on the other hand, was juicy and delicious and beautifully complimented by a chilled garlic spread that was delicious.  It really married well with the beef.  

Parker’s dish was trout with a pickle and cream sauce.  I didn’t taste it, but she said the sauce was citrusy.  This dish came with a simple preparation of potatoes and greens.  I probably would have enjoyed it.  Maybe next time.

Bill had a very hearty plate of goulash made with venison and served with cranberry sauce and spaetzle.  I could tell he enjoyed this dish, based on how clean his plate was.  It was very satisfying.  I don’t routinely eat venison, but I might have liked this dish, too.

After our sumptuous main courses, Parker and I decided to have dessert.  I think our waitress might have been a little “weeded”, handling the rest of the crowd in the bar area and the other dining room.  She brought our desserts before she brought drinks.  I could see the ice cream was melted, which makes me think it sat for a few minutes.  But anyway, it still tasted good… especially Parker’s dessert.  I must have it next time I go to Luz Bistro.  It was a real hit!

My creme brulee came with red wine ice cream, blackberries and blueberries, and a crisp cookie.  It was a pretty standard incarnation of creme brulee, which I would have liked more had the ice cream not been so soft.  But… having waited tables myself, I am willing to cut the waitress a break.  She was working hard.  About halfway through the dessert, I had the prosecco I ordered.

Parker’s dessert was my favorite culinary treat of the evening.  She had a dark chocolate tart with sea salt ice cream, berries, whipped cream, and a vanilla sauce.  I swear… next time I have PMS, I hope I can get my hands on that dessert.  It was absolutely delicious.

 

Last night’s dinner came to about 159 euros before the tip.  I think had it not been a little busy last night, we would have had an almost flawless meal.  The good news everything tasted great and we were together, enjoying each other’s company.  Luz and the Alte Post remain another of my favorite local restaurants and it’s always a good bet for a weekend lunch of when company is around.

We are headed to Berlin later today, which excites me because it’s the first time any of us has been there.  It’s a blind booking on Eurowings, which we haven’t done in the past five years.  It should be fun.  I look forward to seeing some sights and writing more travel articles.  Berlin has been on my “must visit” list for a long time, especially since I’ve been to so many other European capitals in countries where I don’t actually live.

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anecdotes, German products, Germany

Our first Hello Fresh meal…

As promised, Bill and I prepared the first of our three Hello Fresh meals last night.  We opted to cook the steak, broccoli, and potatoes dish.   Here’s how it went.

Bill peruses the recipe.  It was in German, but the Google Translate feature on his tablet was a big help.  He hovered the camera over the recipe card and Google Translate instantly turned the German words into English.

I paused for a beer break.  That is a Chimay Gold, which I ordered from www.saveur-biere.com.

A closer look at the translation process.

Boiling the potatoes, which would eventually be mashed with chicken broth and roasted onions.  I usually do this with butter and milk or cream, so the mashed potatoes were probably a bit less fattening last night.

Washing the broccoli.

Chopping the broccoli into florets.

 

We put the broccoli into a small casserole dish with a little olive oil (which we provided) and salt.  This was the first time we cooked broccoli this way and Bill said he liked it.

At about this point, the kitchen area was getting too crowded, so I waited in the living room while Bill made the red peppercorn cream sauce and cooked the steaks.  I will mention that the steak portions were very small; however, they did appear to be about the size recommended for adults (about the size of a deck of cards).  Bill and I already eat too much meat, so the small serving size wasn’t a bad thing for us.  For other people, it may not have been enough.  Also, we had to provide bullion/chicken stock for the potatoes.  For some reason, that was not included in the box.

There were a lot of steps in the cooking process and at one point, the smoke alarm went off.  That’s good.  At least we know it works.  I will say the food smelled good and it was definitely a change from what we usually eat.

This was the end result…  It took about 40 minutes to prepare and was pretty edible, though Bill did overcook the steaks a bit.  Next time, he won’t put them in the oven to keep them warm after he cooks them.

Looks pretty close to what’s on the advertising…

I note that this is a dish that most likely would appeal to Germans.  I didn’t think this was bad at all, but when it comes to mashed potatoes, I am a purist and like them plain with a little salt and butter.  I don’t think we will do the mashed potatoes with roasted onions again, though Bill said he was glad to get the chance to try them a different way.  He does plan to oven roast the broccoli again and we both liked the peppercorn sauce that went with the meat.  With a little practice, we could probably get that down pretty well.

Part of the reason we’re doing this is because we want to expand our experiences with different foods rather than cook the same things all the time.  If we recreate last night’s meal, we will definitely add our own touches to it.  But overall, Bill and I were pleased with the process of making this first meal. It was plenty of food, though the portion sizes included more potatoes and broccoli than beef.  We do have plenty of leftover potatoes.

Tonight, we will try the chicken breast with sweet potato wedges and carrot-yogurt salad.  I am not really a sweet potato fan, though I have heard they are very good for you.  I will try my best to give them a fair shot tonight and will report on our efforts tomorrow.

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