Lunch at Pizzeria Permesso in Ludwigsburg…

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We had yet another beautiful day here in Germany.  I was somewhat tempted to take a hike to a waterfall.  But then I remembered the large collection of empty beer bottles sitting in our pantry and how they’ve been collecting dust for months now.  It had been ages since our last trip to Heinrich 3000, a drink market in Kornwestheim, which is a town near the city of Ludwigsburg.

Since we had all of those bottles and I was jonesing for some kind of beer other than German, Bill and I decided to have lunch in Ludwigsburg and then visit the drink market.  We walked to the main square in Ludwigsburg’s center and noticed an Italian restaurant called Pizzeria Permesso.  As we approached its outdoor seating area, a very pleasant gentleman kindly welcomed us to sit down.  We happily obliged.

We were seated under a large canopy, shaded from the perfect May weather.

Pizzeria Permesso has a wood fired oven for making pizza.  I saw a couple of pizzas going by that looked very good.  Their calzones also looked pretty excellent.

Bill ordered a glass of Primitivo for himself an a glass of Montepulciano for me, along with our usual sparkling water.  I was pretty impressed with the water came with slices of lemon and an ice cube!  I don’t think I’ve ever had ice in a drink in Germany unless I was at a fast food place on post.  It was a nice surprise!

Ice in the water! 

For lunch, Bill ordered Spaghetti Bolognese– spaghetti with meat sauce– and I had Tagliatelle Salmone.  We were both very happy with our dishes.  I especially enjoyed mine.  Not only was the dish made with a cherry tomato sauce instead of a cream sauce; it also had the most perfectly cooked pieces of salmon I’ve had in a very long time.  It was absolutely delicious!

While we were waiting for our lunch, we noticed some really cute children playing nearby.  They didn’t have a care in the world!

Bill’s Spaghetti Bolognese was a hit!  It came sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

But my Tagliatelle Salmone was even better.  Not only was I impressed by how this dish tasted, I also thought it was beautifully presented, complete with a couple of mint leaves.  I saw several other dishes going by, mainly salads, that were also beautifully plated.  And again, the salmon was cooked perfectly.  It practically melted in my mouth because it wasn’t too dry or overcooked.  Next time, I’m going to have to try a Lachs (salmon) filet.

 

We took our time finishing lunch and our wine.  The wait staff was professional and unhurried, which was nice to see.

I took this picture right after two adorable little girls, both wearing ponytails and maybe about five or six years old, who were holding hands and playing in the square, came over to talk to Bill.  He patiently explained to them that he doesn’t speak much German.  I’m not sure if they got the message, but they did eventually say “Tschuss!”

Bill asked for a double espresso, but they brought him a single.

I had a hefeweizen because the guy sitting near me had one and it looked refreshing.  I probably should have had one of the very beautiful desserts they had on display instead.  Maybe next time.

A cannon went off and sparkly stuff sprayed into the air as a newly married couple emerged from the church…

The Saturday market was also freshly cleaned up.

Pizzeria Permesso is conveniently located in the Marktplatz.  I’m surprised this was our first time visiting.  I’m sure we’ll be back, because I liked their food more than what I’ve had at La Signora Moro, another Italian place on the square.

After Bill paid the check, we headed back to the car by way of the Sparkasse that sports a large metal Sparschwein out front.  The first time we saw that piggy bank, Bill made an inappropriate comment.  Actually, it was an unintentionally inappropriate comment.  The pig reminded him of a metal bull that was once used as a torture/killing device.  On some days, the bank opens the pig so people can see inside.  Bill said he didn’t want to go in there because he was afraid someone would close the door and turn on the gas.

The Sparschwein, whose name is “Louise”, is the largest piggy bank in the world.  The above video offers a risk free look inside.

He clearly forgot he was in Germany…  We laugh about it now, but I’m pretty sure I gave him one of my patented horrified looks.  Talk about black humor!  But I know my husband, and it was definitely an honest faux pas.

We passed a book store that was advertising games, including “Klug Scheisser”.  Klug Scheisser is a game Bill often hears on German radio.  It literally translates to “smart shit”, but colloquially means “smart aleck”, “smart ass”, or “big mouth”.  I see it’s also usually spelled as just one word.

 

We enjoyed a brief shopping expedition at Heinrich’s and came home with lots of Belgian and Icelandic beers to try until our next trip to Ludwigsburg.  It’s a very pleasant town.  We should definitely visit more often.

Leisurely Ludwigsburg and unexpected fests…

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Stormy skies hung over Unterjettingen this morning, altering my plans to hit a spa this afternoon.  We had a large collection of empty beer bottles that had been sitting in our pantry since our last Ludwigsburg beer run.  I asked Bill if he thought maybe today would be a good day to get rid of them.  He agreed, so off we went to the pleasant city for a little brew shopping at Getränke Heinrich 3000.

A lone poppy blooming on yesterday’s walk route.  Poppies always remind me of England, when we lived near a huge field of them.

We bought less beer than usual.  Much of it came from England, with a few from Bury St. Edmunds, a place in Suffolk that will always have a warm spot in my heart.  My dad’s last duty station in the Air Force was at R.A.F. Mildenhall, which is very close to Bury St. Edmunds.  Someday I’ll learn to stop being tongue tied when someone asks me in German if they can help me.  An employee did just that and I answered in English… and then he switched to perfect English.  Man, I wish I’d studied German in high school!

After our shopping excursion, we headed into town and parked in the Rathaus garage.  As we emerged from the underground part of the garage, I spotted what appeared to be the makings of a fest.  Evidently, it’s time for Ludwigsburg’s Brew Days (Brautage).  There were only a couple of stands open as we passed, so we continued to the main square, where someone had just gotten married.

The stage was set for music…

And a few people were drinking beer.

And there were places to stand, drink, and smoke.

The skies were still blue when we arrived.

I wanted to use my big new camera, but forgot to charge the battery.  The iPhone had to suffice.

Wedding party…

Complete with drones!

And a roving band… these guys were pretty good.  They worked their way around the square and played a couple of numbers for the bride and groom.  

But then the clouds darkened the skies.

The smell of shrimp and garlic lured us to outside seating at La Signora Moro, an Italian place we sometimes visit when we’re in town.  I don’t actually love this restaurant.  The menu is kind of limited and consists mostly of pizzas, which I will admit usually look good.  But Bill has decided to take a new job here in Stuttgart instead of Vicenza, so we figured we’d eat Italian again today.

I catch Bill smiling sometimes.

 

It was a busy afternoon, so service was a bit slow.  It took a few minutes before anyone acknowledged us and a few more before they took our order.  Fortunately, I wasn’t hangry today, so I didn’t mind the wait at all.  One thing this restaurant has is a great view.  You can sit there and watch Ludwigsburg in action to your heart’s content.

The good natured waitress was saying something about how she needed a light cart to carry all of the food and beverages.  The people at the table next to us started joshing with her about that, just as her colleague, a very good looking young blond guy came out with a small dolly.  Everyone laughed at the coincidence.  Even we Americans were in on the small joke.

Bill ordered the antipasti.  He was not expecting it to be this huge.  It really is a feast intended for more than one person.  It came with salami, prosciutto, olives, octopus, grilled peppers, Parmesan cheese, and rucola.  He didn’t come close to finishing it.  There was a whole lot of octopus and I think it was a bit too much protein!  I will admit that it was an attractive dish, though.

I had risotto with asparagus, salmon, a single olive, and two cherry tomatoes.  It took awhile to get this dish and I wasn’t able to finish it.  It wasn’t bad, but I think I’ve had a version of this dish before with shrimp and liked it better.  

 

We each had different glasses of white wine and shared a bottle of San Pellegrino.  I might have lingered a little longer, but it looked like it might storm at any minute.  We paid the tab, which came to about 44 euros before the tip.  Then we headed back to the parking garage.

I do think the ambiance at Signora Moro’s is charming.  And one of their signs doubles as a bike rack.  Clever!

Bill talked about how much he enjoys watching people just hanging out…  Ludwigsburg is a great place to do that.

Off in the distance, you can see weird art depicting what appears to be a snake draped over a pole over the road.

By the time we got close to the parking garage, the fest had gotten underway.  We decided to stop for a beer.  The one brewery was serving small glasses of a few styles including “Indian Pale Ale”.  Bill likes IPAs, so he ordered one.  I had a Maibock.

“Indian” Pale Ale?

The band had arrived.

I couldn’t resist taking this picture.  No, he wasn’t posing.  

There was salmon being grilled and chickens were rotating on spits.  I was kind of sorry we’d eaten in town.  It might have been better to eat at the fest.

 

I’m glad we won’t be saying goodbye to Germany just yet.  There’s always a good reason to have a fest somewhere.  This one in particular will be going on tomorrow, too.

 Hopefully tomorrow, we’ll go somewhere we haven’t already been.

A trip to Ludwigsburg and lunch at the Emporio Bar…

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Bill and I needed to visit Heinrich’s 3000 drink market in Kornwestheim today to drop off some long emptied beer bottles and pick up some full ones.  After we loaded up on lots of Belgian beers and a few from other exotic locales, we headed into Ludwigsburg and searched for a restaurant without a midday pause.  I thought maybe we could go to Towers Irish Pub, but we were just a little too late.  Their kitchen closes at 2:30pm on Saturdays.

One of the beers we picked up today at Heinrich’s.  No, it’s not a description of our day.

I like how Heinrich’s has rearranged their craft beer section.

We rounded the corner and walked down the main drag, where we spotted the Emporio Bar, which was still swinging at 2:45pm.  Emporio Bar runs non-stop from 11:00am until midnight.  We entered the large, airy dining room and a friendly waitress invited us to sit anywhere.  We picked a two top in a corner next to large windows facing Wilhelmstrasse.  It proved to be a great place for people watching, although the four top table next to us was a bit close.  It was empty when we sat down, but became occupied about halfway through our lunch.

Emporio has a very large and rather impressive looking bar.  They also have a full range of Italian dishes, everything from pizza and pasta to regular fish and meat dishes.  I was tempted by a couple of specials, but decided on grilled chicken breast with rosemary potatoes.  Bill went with a very nice pasta dish of chicken and pepper cream sauce.

We both had glasses of wine.  Bill had Primitivo and I had Sangiovese and, of course, San Pellegrino mineral water.

Bill checks out the menu, as usual…

I got a kick out of the sign for the bathroom.  I want one of these for my house.  

Grilled chicken breast with “krauter butter” and rosemary potatoes.  If I had wanted to, I could have had salad or vegetables instead.  I like my starches, though.  It was refreshing to have grilled chicken instead of pork, beef, fish, or pasta.  

But you know, I think I liked Bill’s paprika pasta even better than my dish.  The tagliatelle came with a light cream sauce with roasted red peppers and chicken.  It was delicious.  

A shot of the front door.

 

I think the folks sitting at the next table were curious about us.  They were checking us out and the man gave me sort of a cheesy smile as I squeezed between our tables.  There’s no telling what ran through his mind when I said “Entschuldigung”.  I imagine he was thinking anything from “I hope she doesn’t knock over any wine glasses with her fat ass…” to “Those people probably voted for Trump.”  to “Thank God they’re leaving so I can have some elbow room.”  I’m totally kidding, of course.  They were perfectly polite.  I’m just being snarky.  The guy did give me a cheesy smile, though.

We paid 48 euros for lunch, before the tip.  We liked Emporio Bar enough to try it again sometime, especially if we’re in the area during the traditional pause.  It wasn’t the most exciting meal I’ve ever had, but it was pretty decent.

We parked at a different garage today.  It was very close to the big square.  As Bill was paying, I noted these two fold up seats pictured below.  I wonder how often they get used.  The garage close to the mall closes at 6:30pm on Saturdays.

Easy peasy parking pleasy…

 
 
 

Our first visit to Jacques’ Wein Depot in Ludwigsburg

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For several reasons, Bill and I had occasion to go to Ludwigsburg today.  First, we had a hail and farewell to attend for his company.  It was held at the very nice MWR run Stuttgart Golf Club in Kornwestheim.  Bill was originally supposed to get there early for a round of golf, but he was too tired after yesterday’s festivities at the Canstatter Volksfest.  He’s also not a golfer and knew that if he played today, I’d be sitting home alone all day.  We compromised and showed up at 1:00 for a nice lunch with his work buddies.

A shot of the golf course.  It’s pretty nice.  Maybe it’s time Bill learned how to play.  The club in Kornwestheim has a nice restaurant along with a biergarten.

After lunch, we stopped by Heinrich’s drink market to drop off some empty beer bottles and pick up some more suds.  On the way out of Heinrich’s, I realized that it was still before 4:00pm, which told me that Jacques’ Wein Depot was still open.  We had passed this location of the small wine store several times, but we’d never had a chance to stop.  Usually, we’re in Ludwigsburg too late in the day on Saturdays.  Today, thanks to the hail and farewell, we got there with 45 minutes to spare!

I’d been curious about Jacques’ Wein Depot for awhile, especially since I started the Stuttgart food and wine lovers Facebook group.  I wanted to see if it’s the kind of place I’d like to recommend to others.  Now, having had a chance to drop by, I can say that this chain store is definitely a great place to visit if you like your wine.  Here’s a link to their main Facebook page, though individual locations also have pages.

The first Thursday of every month is Weinabend at the Wein Depot in Ludwigsburg!

 

First thing’s first.  Bill and I were (and still are) pretty tired because we partied hard yesterday.  Consequently, when we first entered the store, we noticed they had a couple of tasting stations set up, but we couldn’t find clean glasses.  We felt pretty dumb when the sales guy pointed the the racks of glasses hanging over the stations.  I tried a few wines and determined there were a few I wanted to take home with me.  Had I wanted to, I could have dropped a serious load of euros in that store.  Behind the wine tasting stations, there were more bottles of wine that had obviously been tested.  A whole rack of them!  And they were being sold at very reasonable prices.

Taste away!  They make it easy at Jacques’ Wein Depot.

I was intrigued by this Chilean white.  I ended up bringing home a bottle.

 

I kind of wish I’d gotten some of this Chilean red.  I think I was put off because it was being sold in a box.  My parents used to buy Franzia wine in boxes all the time and I always thought it was kind of lowbrow.  I know now that’s not the case, but old prejudices sometimes die hard.

 

They even had little snacks to try.  I noticed that there were several gourmet items for sale, like pastas, oils, and sauces.

There are quite a few locations of Jacques’ Wein Depot in the Stuttgart area.  The one closest to us is in Böblingen, which means I may have to break down and visit sometime soon.

Now that we’ve found Jacques’ Wein Depot, we’ll surely be back.  But that’s one of the nice things about living here in the Stuttgart area.  There are so many places to buy nice wines at good prices.

 

All in all, it’s been a busy and productive day.  I think tonight, we’ll sit back and watch CHiPs on iTunes.  I am a child of the 70s and 80s, after all, and that Frank Poncherello looks great in his tight pants.

My second stop at Patrick’s Stop! Great Jamaican food!

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A few months ago, I met with several local Facebook friends at Patrick’s Stop, an excellent Jamaican restaurant near Böblingen.  We all enjoyed fabulous Jamaican Jerk Chicken, with the exception of one person, who had fried chicken.  To be honest, I prefer my food less spicy, so I was envious of my fried chicken eating friend.  I knew that Bill, on the other hand, would love the jerk chicken because he loves food with a kick.

Ever since that first experience in April, I’ve been trying to find an opportunity to get Bill to Patrick’s Stop.  We did visit one Saturday a couple of months ago, but the restaurant was inexplicably closed for some reason.  I later read on Facebook that they’d had some kind of plumbing problem that day.

This afternoon, we were on our way to the Ludwigsburg area to return oodles of spent beer bottles.  It was getting a little late for lunch and I was feeling hungry.  As we approached the big exit for Böblingen, I asked Bill if he wanted to try to visit Patrick’s Stop again.   He was game, so off we went.  For those who aren’t aware, there are a bunch of road projects going on in Böblingen right now.  We had to negotiate several detours before we finally reached our destination, but we were happy to find the place wide open for business.

Patrick’s Stop is located near a shooting club, so there’s plenty of parking.  There’s also a lot of noise from people firing weapons.  I was surprised Bill didn’t comment on that.  Ever since his time in Iraq, he’s been more sensitive to the sound of gunfire and other sharp noises.

Obligatory shot of bearded Bill waiting for beer.

Anyway, we walked into the restaurant and it was mostly empty, though there was great reggae music blaring from the sound system.  We sat down at a table and an adorable waiter came over to take our order.  Bill ordered an export and I had my usual hefeweizen.  Since today is Saturday, they had Jerk Chicken on the menu (they offer a couple of dishes every day and a special each day– Saturday is Jerk Chicken day).  Bill got the Jerk Chicken and I had the fried chicken.  Our waiter came back with two hefeweizens.  Bill is easy to please, so he just went with it.  If he’d wanted to, he could have had a Red Stripe like a couple of other gentlemen who appeared to be regulars.

My fried chicken.  This was soooooo good!  It came with a side of mild sauce that reminded me of barbecue sauce– or maybe the jerk sauce without the spicy kick.  I actually liked the chicken fine without the sauce.  I’m glad I tried it, though, and the sauce was on the side.  It was delicious!

I thought Bill was going to love the jerk chicken and he really did.  It was very smokey and the sauce had a nice kick to it.  Actually, it was a little too spicy for my taste (I’m a wimp), but Bill said it was rather mild.  Both dishes came with coconut rice and beans, plantains, and a tasty slaw.

 

It’s hard to believe there is a dearth of decent Mexican restaurants in the Stuttgart area, yet we have the fabulous Patrick’s Stop for Jamaican food.  Bill was still licking his lips as he finished his lunch and said, “That was outstanding!”  I have a feeling he’s going to want to go back on a different night– maybe we’ll come one night when they’re serving curried goat.  Lunch was reasonably priced at about 26 euros for both of us before the tip.

We went on to Heinrich’s to dump our bottles and pick up a few more.  We bought less beer than usual today, though I did pick up a few bottles of wine– two from Washington State and two from Italy.  I also noticed, as we were checking out, that Heinrich’s has genuine ginger beer.  They do have the alcohol free soda kind, but they also have the alcoholic kind used in Moscow Mules and enjoyed by Brits.  They also had some interesting liquors produced by Rogue Dead Guy (the beer company)– flavored gins and vodkas.  I was shocked to see Tito Vodka from Austin, Texas also for sale.  Alas, Bill has tasked me with doing some online liquor shopping from Master of Malt, so that’s what I’m going to do right now.

Check out the ginger beer on the shelf!  Should have bought some.

Spotted in the toilet…  Good to know Heinrich’s has one.

Another delightful African meal at Jambo

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Last August, Bill and I visited Jambo African Restaurant in Ludwigsburg for the very first time.  The place was recommended by my Facebook friend, Jennifer, who raved about how good the food is.  We did indeed enjoy a great meal last year and I reviewed it on this blog.  Unfortunately, that particular post did not get much exposure because I wrote it during my infamous Facebook Stuttgart groups hiatus.  Since I really believe Jambo is a great place to try something different, I am going to write about it again.  This time, I hope I can give it more exposure.

Our visit to Jambo was brought on because I wanted to visit Heinrich’s drink market to get rid of some empty bottles that had been taking up space in our pantry for months.  We usually visit Ludwigsburg early in the day, but because the weather was so yucky yesterday morning, we put off going until late afternoon.  That worked out great for us; on Saturdays, Jambo doesn’t open until five o’clock.

Bill tried to use the online reservation application, but his query was never answered.  It was no big deal, though, because he called the restaurant after we finished our beer run and reserved a table that way.  Then we spent some time trying to find parking.  Ordinarily, there’s plenty of street parking near the restaurant, but there was some kind of carnival going on in Ludwigsburg.  I actually felt like checking it out myself; it looked like a great opportunity to people watch.

On the way to Ludwigsburg, I had to take a photo of the beautiful valley.  The weather was so odd yesterday.  On Bill’s side of the car, there were heavy, low hanging, dark grey clouds.

 

We arrived at the restaurant a bit early for our 6:30 reservation.  I could see that several tables were reserved, but quite a few weren’t.  We would have been okay simply showing up last night.  As it was, there was only one other party when we arrived.  They were a group of Germans and they had a baby with them.

Bill strikes a pose in the doorway at Jambo.

 

We checked out the menu, still all in German like it was last time!  I wouldn’t mention that the menu is entirely in German, except that there are a few items on the menu that might seem exotic to some American diners.  On occasion, Jambo serves springbok.  Both times we’ve visited, they’ve had ostrich.  If your German isn’t up to snuff or you are concerned about trying something outside your comfort zone, you might want to check out the menu ahead of time.  The music was very festive and fun and the dining room smelled wonderful, like exotic spices and savory meats.

Obligatory shot of Bill.  They have pretty embroidered tablecloths on the tables, covered in plastic. 

 

I really wanted to try something new last night, but ended up going with the Sierra Leone platter again.  It was a very good choice.  

The Sierra Leone platter is chicken served with a mildly spicy peanut sauce, spinach, plantains, vegetables, and rice.  This was really delicious, but quite rich.  I couldn’t finish it.  

Once again, Bill went with ostrich (Strauß).  It’s served with injeera, a spongy bread you tear off and use to pick up the meat and vegetables.  Last time we visited Jambo, Bill didn’t get the concept.  The proprietor came out and explained it to him in German.  For the especially aware, there’s also a pictorial at the front of the menu!

 

We enjoyed this meal over a bottle of South African Syrah, specifically Golden Kaan, which Bill tells me is available at the Real.  I think we may need to get some of that for our house.  It’s a very nice South African table wine with bold spicy flavors.  I am partial to spicy reds.

I was going to try one of the African beers advertised on the table.  Last time we visited, I noticed them and wanted to give them a shot.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have any available last night.  I got the sense that some items at Jambo are very hit or miss and may not be available frequently.

I settled for a hefeweizen as I watched the restaurant start to fill up.  I noticed several parties ordering the platters offered at Jambo.  Basically, they’re big family sized dishes meant for the whole table to share.  Maybe next time, Bill and I will go for that.

We finished up with a house shot.  Bill had grappa and I had a Williams pear digestive.  All told, the bill before the tip was under fifty euros.  Jambo is a kid friendly restaurant.  They have a children’s menu and besides the baby who was doing a fair amount of shrieking, I noticed a family with several children enjoying a nice meal.  They also offer options for vegetarians.  The proprietor also told us that the small outdoor biergarten opens on Monday.

Next time, I think I’ll venture outside my comfort zone and try something different.  Maybe I’ll even have ostrich.

Lunch at Triple B’s… Great burgers in Zuffenhausen…

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Today’s review is brought to you by my friend Rick, who suggested Triple B Burgers in Zuffenhausen as a potential lunch spot a couple of weeks ago.  Rick said Triple B’s burgers (Triple B stands for Beef Burger Brothers) were among the best in the area.  I have come to appreciate Rick’s taste, since he recommended Christophorus at the Porsche Museum to me a few months ago and Bill and I had a great meal there.  After that, I figured the man knows his food, and Bill and I are always looking for good places to eat.

We needed to go to Ludwigsburg to drop off empty bottles at Heinrich’s, so I suggested that we stop in Zuffenhausen for lunch.   Bill was game, despite the crappy weather today.  We loaded up the ol’ SUV and headed north, arriving in Zuffenhausen at about 2:30pm.  As we passed Triple B’s, I could see there were many people in there.  Generally speaking, if a place is booming, especially when it’s not during prime meal hours, the food is going to be good.  On the other hand, I’m not really a big fan of crowds.  I glanced nervously at the busy looking restaurant as Bill circled around looking for parking.  There are spaces available on the street near the restaurant, but it was kind of tricky to find one.  We finally lucked into a spot right across from the U-Bahn, which is located just steps away from the restaurant.  If you are coming just for the burgers at Triple B’s, I would recommend taking the U-Bahn rather than trying to park.

When we entered Triple B’s, it was positively bustling with business.  There were no tables to be had.  I told Bill that maybe we should get our order to go and eat in the car.  He agreed, but while he was in line, a table near the Coke cooler opened up.  I grabbed the spot while Bill waited for his turn.  He ordered me a 200 gram cheeseburger and himself a 200 gram chiliburger and a portion of fries to share.  If 200 grams is too much food, you can order 100 gram burgers.  They also have veggie burgers.

We also got two bottled Cokes.  Besides Coke, Triple B’s offers Sprite, Fanta, beer, and a variety of other non alcoholic drinks.

We waited about twenty minutes or so for our sandwiches, watching in awe as more and more people came in.  I noticed there was a nice mix of Americans and Germans in the restaurant.  Bill tried to order in German, but the guy behind the counter immediately switched to English as soon as he heard Bill’s accent.  A friendly waitress brought us our order packed up in styrofoam containers and stacked into a plastic bag.  Since we had a table, Bill told her we would eat in house.  She kindly brought us a couple of paper lined trays.

Obligatory shot of Bill.

My cheeseburger came with tomatoes, lettuce, red onions, cheddar cheese, ketchup, mayonnaise, and German pickles (more like cucumber slices).  This burger was juicy and delicious, but it was a bit of a challenge to eat it at the tiny bistro table.  I was awkwardly balanced on a stool and people were kind of standing over our table as they waited in line.  It made me feel self-conscious because other diners were clearly checking out my burger.   Maybe it’s a girl thing, but I don’t like feeling like people are watching me stuff my face.   

 

These pommes were like steak fries, which I really like.  I also liked that the table had ketchup and mayo (pommes sauce) on it.  It’s such a treat to have ketchup with fries in Germany.  One portion was enough for both of us and we had leftovers.

 

I tried this to see if it tasted different than mayo.  It didn’t to me.  I still prefer ketchup.

 

Bill’s very messy chiliburger.  Just so you know, the chiliburger doesn’t have chili on it (and I can’t imagine German chili would be that exciting).  This burger has jalapeno peppers and chili sauce.  It also had onions, tomatoes, German pickles, ketchup, and romaine lettuce.  The buns on both burgers were housemade.  The chiliburger is available with or without cheese.  Bill liked it very much, even though he went through several napkins.

 
 

You can also get a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

The crowd at 2:30pm.

I managed to get this shot for the couple of minutes those stools were open.

Big line.

 

As we were finishing up, the crowd began to disperse.  By the time we were ready to leave, there were a couple of tables open.  I think if we’d gotten there at 3:00pm or later, we would have had a more relaxed experience.  In the dining room, there are a few larger tables that don’t require sitting on a stool.  I noticed there were several reservation signs on the wall for this evening.  That tells me that if you want to go for dinner, you should probably book ahead.  Either that, or get your burgers to go.

A shot of the front of the restaurant.

Triple B’s menu.

 

Triple B’s has excellent burgers for a reasonable price.  Our order came to about 25 euros and we left feeling very satisfied.  We genuinely liked the food there and, when it’s not really crowded, it’s probably a great place to have lunch.  The huge crowds and lack of seating was a bit of a turn off for me.  However, I will admit that the place has a great reputation for good reason.  The burgers are delicious and probably as close as you’ll get to an American style burger in this area unless you make one at home.  I almost felt like I’d stumbled into the Krusty Krab with the way people were enjoying their patties.

After lunch, Bill and I went to Heinrich’s and loaded up on more beer.  I have already blogged plenty about Heinrich’s, but wanted to mention that they’ve reorganized the store.  And for the first time in over a year of shopping there, Bill and I ran across this mixed crate of beers.  I’m sure they’ve been doing it all along, but I was glad to find it today.  I love trying new suds as opposed to getting crates of 20 of the same kind of beer.  Aside from that, it takes forever to scan individual beers.  I know other Heinrich’s customers hate being behind us in the check out line because it takes us forever.  I like the way Heinrich’s has been reorganized.  I think it looks great and it’s much easier to find stuff without being overwhelmed.

Mixed beers!  Weee!

A shot of the sign.  The weather was too crappy to roll down the window.

Lavazza in Ludwigsburg!

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Bill and I decided to go to Ludwigsburg today and stop by Heinrich’s to drop off some old beer bottles and pick up some new suds.  Because we left our house at noon, we got to town at about 1:00, which is kind of close to the “witching hour” of two.  That’s when some places quit serving lunch.

We’ve been to Ludwigsburg enough times to know where we can get a bite to eat all day, but I’m always looking for new places to try.  Since it’s been awhile since my last local restaurant review, we decided to look a little harder than usual.  Today, we left the main square, which we hadn’t done in a long time.  I think we went that way some time ago and didn’t think there were any restaurants around there.  We were wrong.

I noticed the inviting smells of seafood and a sign that said “Mediterranean Grill”.  We turned the corner and ran into Lavazza, a Greek cafe/coffee bar/restaurant.  They were doing a pretty good business when we came in and sat down at a large table in their small dining room.  A friendly lady gave us a couple of menus and I found myself tempted by a number of different options.  They had some enticing specials available, everything from mussels made with wine sauce to chicken breast with oven baked potatoes.  They also had a nice looking regular menu with many different and appetizing dishes to choose from.

Obligatory shot of Bill, looking happy to be about to eat lunch on the town.

 

I was really happy that we found a Greek restaurant.  It’s been too long since my last hit of t’zatziki.  Though I was definitely tempted by the fish, I ended up ordering plain old gyros.  The waitress, who spoke excellent English as well as Greek and German, asked if I wanted regular gyros or their gyros salad.  Not being an especially healthy eater, I went with the regular ones…

These were delicious.  The pork was very fresh, well seasoned, and flavorful.  I liked the way they did their t’zatziki, too.  And the pommes, while pommes, were thick and hot.  I paired this with a glass of Chilean sauvignon blanc because at first, I thought I was having fish.  Next time, I will have fish for sure!

 

Bill had one of the specials.  It was grilled pieces of chicken breast and olives served with baked potato wedges.  He had a glass of very nice St. George wine from Greece.  It was dry and tasted a bit like sour cherries.  Perfect wine for a nasty rainy day like today.  

I really enjoyed the atmosphere in Lavazza.  Though it was a little crowded in the small dining room, their bar area was a little more conducive to smaller parties.  There were pub tables in there.  I noticed they were playing sexy Spanish music on the sound system.  I even had to Shazam one or two songs because I liked them so much.  I also noticed the awesome looking cakes on display.  Had I not been so full after failing to finish my lunch, I might have tried one.  They offer breakfast, too.

The outside.  There’s an umbrella set up out front for those who want to smoke.  

Service at Lavazza was very friendly and competent.  I told Bill I hoped we could go back and have dinner there sometime.  They had some dishes that looked very interesting and were priced accordingly.  The bill for today’s lunch was 38,90 before tip.  It included a house shot of ouzo.

We parked near the train station.  On the way there, I noticed the ebikestation.  You can book one and ride all over town to your heart’s content.

And they have instructions in English, too.

Random graffiti shot.

 

After lunch, we went to Heinrich’s, bought some beer, and proceeded to annoy a bunch of Germans because I picked an item that wouldn’t scan.  We ended up having to leave without it because there was no way to pay for it.

Then, we visited some friends on Kelley and enjoyed a little gathering…  It’s been awhile since I last socialized.  I may need to make more of a habit of getting out and about.

Day o’ chores…

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Bill and I had big plans for our Labor Day that involved actual labor.  We had breakfast this morning.  Bill took the dogs for a walk while I ranted on my main blog.  Then we turned on the heat for the first time.  Yes, it’s September, which means fall is about here.  Hard to believe it was hot as hell here ten days ago.  After our morning chores were done, it was time to get down to business.

First, we needed to go to Böblingen to get Bill an international driver’s license.  Of course, we could take a chance and drive to Austria without one, but Bill is not the type to risk big fines and hassles.  So we went, getting a later start than advisable.  By the time we got to the appropriate government office, there was a big line of people.  We waited about two hours to take care of our business.  We had to stand for the first twenty minutes or so, because there wasn’t enough seating.  One thing I did like, though, was the lighting.  It wasn’t that harsh fluorescent lighting you find in the depressing American government offices.  In fact, I noticed they take advantage of natural lighting by way of large windows.  The lady who finally took care of us had a nice view of trees, too.

Like being at the DMV…

While we were waiting, I discovered that the office had free Wi-Fi.  I made the mistake of using it.  Who could blame me?  It was faster than 4G.  Unfortunately, I somehow ended up with a Net Nanny like program called “SurfGuard.eu” on my phone and it was blocking access to my blog.  I certainly couldn’t have that.  At first, I thought SurfGuard had to do with the Wi-Fi and my phone would go back to normal once we were out of the building.  I was wrong.

I went looking for information about SurfGuard and all I can find is that it’s some sort of malware.  Sadly, everything I found about removing it was for PC users, not iPhones.  And sorry, but nothing is going to block me from my blog on my phone.  Fuck that.  So SurfGuard had to go.

A shitload of Beck’s beer at the drink market.  Someone is going to have to drink it.  Not me.

We had lunch at the Schönbuch Brauhaus.  I had Fleischkaese, which is sausage loaf with onion gravy and served with potato salad.  It was okay, but reminded me of glorified Spam.  I probably won’t have it again, though it definitely stuck to my ribs.  I spent all of lunch trying to fix my phone.  Bill had the special, which was butterflied pork cutlets with fries.

When all my efforts to get rid of SurfGuard failed, I finally ended up erasing the phone and am now having to upload all my apps.  I lost all my photos, though fortunately they are all on my computer now, anyway.  It’s a huge pain in the ass.  I get that the government folks don’t want people looking at porn and shit while in their building, but I don’t appreciate having weird Net Nanny type programs installed on my phone without my knowledge.

I should have bought a mug…

After lunch, we went to Heinrich’s Drink Market and got rid of some empty bottles.  We picked up a few new brews, then headed for Breunigerland to pick up a vignette for our trip to Austria.  While we were there, I spotted Äffle und Pferdle mugs and bowls.  I wanted to buy one of the mugs, but resisted the urge.  Instead, we went to have coffee…  Actually, Bill had a latte and I had sekt.  Hey, where can you have sekt in an American mall?

A little afternoon morale booster.

So now we’re home and the dogs were glad to see us.  We’ll have a short week and be off to Austria on Friday.  I can hardly wait.

I cut my hair last week… 

Eating African style at Jambo in Ludwigsburg…

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I’d like to dedicate this post to fellow Stuttgart area resident and new Facebook friend Jennifer, who recommended Jambo African Restaurant to me.  She told me about this great place in Ludwigsburg months ago.  Bill and I kept meaning to go, but we were never in Ludwigsburg at the right time of day.  Except on Sundays, Jambo is only open for dinner.  We go to Ludwigsburg every couple of months or so, but we’re usually there closer to lunchtime because we mostly go there specifically to buy beer at Heinrich’s drink market.  Since Jambo typically opens at five o’clock for dinner, we’re usually long gone by the time they start dinner service.  And we don’t usually go to Ludwigsburg on Sundays because the drink market isn’t open that day.

The sign is easy to spot on this main drag.

We had big plans to go to a local market yesterday, but the weather was kind of cloudy and we got up later than usual.  By the time we were finished with breakfast and our Saturday chores, it was kind of too late to hit the market.  I always like to do stuff on Saturdays, because that’s the one day of the week most things are open and Bill is not working.  But by two o’clock, I was starting to think our Saturday might be a bust.  Then I remembered Jambo and Jennifer’s suggestion that we try it.  I suggested it to Bill, who was definitely game.

We made a reservation online for six o’clock, but that turned out to be unnecessary last night.  When we arrived at Jambo near six o’clock, no one else was there yet.  We had our pick of generously sized two top tables.  We selected one in the back of the dining room, right by a window where I could see Jambo’s small outdoor area.

Bill checks out the menu.  It was entirely in German, but I had already checked it out online using Google Chrome.  There are also many pictures, which makes it easier to choose.

 

A quick shot of the biergarten.  I noticed the proprietor putting up a large umbrella for a few folks who sat out there.

I was really getting into the festive African music playing over the sound system as I decided what I wanted to order.  The restaurant’s decor is also very authentic.  There are carvings, paintings, and photos all over the walls.  I enjoyed the lighting, which was somewhat dim and kind of romantic, though the music made it seem more like we were at a party.

We ordered a lovely bottle of South African shiraz.  This one was priced at 18 euros.  It was very fruity and jammy and it went great with our meals.  Had we wanted to, we could have also tried some African (or German) beers.  There were three advertised at our table– mango, pineapple, or banana. If I had seen that before we ordered the wine, I might have given one a try… probably the mango one.

Originally, Bill asked for springbok, which he had once tried and loved on a trip to London.  Jambo did not have any springbok last night.  There was a note in the menu that Bill missed.  What they did have was ostrich!  Bill’s first taste of ostrich (Strauß) was at the Schwartzbach Sportsplatz near Vaihingen when we lived here last time.  The ostrich at the Schwartzbach wasn’t that great.  The next time he tried it was at 10 Degrees South, an African restaurant in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.  That time, it didn’t disappoint!  Bill decided to try it again in Germany, this time prepared by people whose kitchen was putting out aromas that told us they could cook.  The ostrich was 17,50 euros.  I took a look at 10 Degrees South’s menu and they’re selling ostrich medallions for $40.  I think you get a better deal in Deutschland!

I opted for the Sierra Leone Teller, which could be prepared with chicken or beef.  I ordered it with chicken.  It was priced at 12,50 euros.

Bill’s delicious ostrich!  At first, he didn’t know how to eat it.  The proprietor came over and explained that the rather spongey rolled up bread is meant to be torn.  Then you pick up pieces of ostrich with the bread.  

My Sierra Leone plate.  The chicken was prepared with peanut sauce and lots of peppers.  It came with sides of rice, spinach, beets, and fried bananas.  The menu said they were bananas, anyway… to me, they tasted more like plantains… bland and a bit starchy.  They went well with the peanut sauce, though.

Bill finally eating the ostrich correctly.  It was delicious!

I had to take a photo of the back of the bottle of wine.  It was imported through Great Britain, which is famous for its nannyish signs…  

 

We finished our meals with a round of single espressos.  We wanted to try the African coffee on the menu, but it wasn’t available last night.  I also didn’t see any desserts offered, though that was no big deal.  I didn’t have room for dessert anyway!

I had to take a picture of the vehicle parked across the street.   It looked like a speed boat on three wheels.

 

Although we were the first to arrive at Jambo last night, the place filled up quickly.  Service was leisurely, but professional.  Everyone appeared to be having a good time and I could tell the place is very popular with locals, including several kids.  We were the only Americans there last night.  If you plan to go on a weekend, I recommend making a reservation, though again, it wasn’t totally necessary for us last night.  There is a lot of street parking near the restaurant.

Our bill came to 55,10 euros.  It was worth every euro cent.  As we were about to leave, the kindly proprietor asked us how we liked his restaurant.  In a very typically enthusiastic American way, I said we loved it and we’d definitely be back!  Thanks again to Jennifer for the recommendation!  I am very happy to spread the word about this great place for eastern African food in southern Germany!