Just another Saturday morning in Unterjettingen…

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I’m writing a second post this morning because Bill is out of town and I need to fill up my time doing something constructive.  I thought I’d write a quick post about some of the shopping in our town.  I know some people read my blog for information about daily life in Germany, as well as the “contractor” lifestyle.

Jettingen is blessed with a Real, as well as several other handy stores.  We needed to visit the pet store yesterday because our dogs’ beds were falling apart and we wanted to replace them.  Jettingen has a pretty nice pet store and we managed to find what we needed.  But while we were waiting, I caught myself reading the signs.

I was impressed by everything the store had.  They had a great line of premium dog foods, as well as pick and pay dog treats.

I learned the word for collar, which kind of makes sense.  “Halsband” literally translates to “neck band”.  That describes a collar perfectly.

 

After we bought the new beds, some treats, a couple of new toys, and shit bags, we went to the Real, where I was shocked to find an honest to God Coinstar!

This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I know we always have a huge load of coins at our house.  I’m glad to see this handy machine in Germany, at long last!

I kind of got a kick out of the “quiet zone/rest area”.  Basically, it’s a wooden bench in the middle of the bustling, big box store.  It has a water cooler, a trash can, and someone’s discarded package of toilet paper.  I don’t go into the Real very often myself.  It’s too crowded for me.

Someone’s graffiti on the Waschstrasse sign.  Bill says that’s been there for a couple of weeks already.  It’s not quite as funny as the word “penis” that was painted on a sign on A8 a couple of years ago, though.  I wish I’d gotten a photo of that.  What can I say?  I have a very juvenile sense of humor.

 

The dogs are enjoying their new beds.  One is a very fancy leather trimmed one that is quite well padded and comfortable.  The other is one that allows burrowing.  I’m not sure my dogs will get the hang of it, but they’ve already tested them out and seem to approve of the new bedding.  Of course, that doesn’t stop them from sleeping in our bed at night.

 
 

We finally see the inside of the Sindlinger Hof and eat Greek food!

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Bill and I have lived in Unterjettingen for almost four whole years.  Unterjettingen is just on the edge of Böblingen County, but feels pretty far removed from the area near Panzer Barracks.  We feel like we’re pretty much out in the country… more like we’re in Calw, the border of which is maybe two or three kilometers away.  When most Americans think of Böblingen, they probably think of the downtown area, which is very built up.  Where Bill and I live, it’s pretty rural.  There’s a tiny village called Sindlingen just next to us, where there’s a farm that sells fresh produce, there’s a Christmas tree lot, and a horse farm owned by a former Olympian.  I’m not sure, but I think the horse farm is a castle that doubles as a B&B.  Every year, there’s also a large horse show that I can’t bring myself to watch.

I must confess that my heart kind of breaks every time we drive through tiny Sindlingen.  I grew up riding and showing horses and I haven’t been in the saddle in decades.  I really miss having horses in my life; I would rather hang around them and dogs than most people.  I usually catch myself looking wistfully at the horses who cross the road as their riders take them on a lovely hack in the beautiful countryside.  Dammit, I miss that so much!  Someday, when Bill finally retires, maybe I’ll have a horse again… and a smart alecky donkey, too.

Another thing that has always intrigued me, at least until tonight, was the large Sindlinger Hof restaurant.  Ever since 2014, Bill and I have passed this impressive looking facility that always seemed to be closed.  After awhile, we got the sense that it only opened for private events.  So, since September 2014, we’ve been passing this restaurant, wondering if we’d ever have the chance to try it.  Well… tonight, we finally got the opportunity.  Apparently, the Sindlinger Hof was taken over by a Greek restauranteur.  Although it says “Sindlinger Hof” outside, the restaurant is now called “El Greco”.  Bill noticed a sign indicating it was going to be open, so we decided to try it tonight.

The first thing to know about El Greco in Sindlingen is that it’s got plenty of parking.  Right next to the restaurant is a country lane where I’ve seen many riders and horses… and tonight, we did encounter some evidence that horses had been near the restaurant.  Having cleaned my fair share of stalls, I know what fly picked manure looks like.  Not that I fault the restaurant for that, of course.  I find horse manure a lot less offensive than dog poo, and there was no sign of that tonight.

When we approached the very attractive and busy terrace, we were told that all of the tables were reserved.  We decided to eat inside.  I’m glad we did, even though it was a bit warm this evening.  The inside of the restaurant is very attractive.  There’s a long row of nice booths alongside wide windows, and plenty of comfortable tables and chairs.  The bar area is especially nice, although it doesn’t appear to be set up for drinkers.  I didn’t see a lot of different libations there, just beer and wine and extra dishes.

Bill prays Mormon style as he looks at the menu, which offers both German and Greek dishes.

One or two of the very busy servers appeared to be a little bit nervous.  I don’t know exactly how long El Greco has been operating, but it kind of had the feel of opening night.  There were a lot of people there.  I noticed that the staff was competent, but seemed like they weren’t quite in sync.  I’m sure that will come in time.  Since it was our first visit, we decided to have some tried and true choices.  I went with gyros and Bill had souvlaki.

We each enjoyed salads, which were very good.  I especially liked the dressing, which was kind of a light mustard vinaigrette.  Then, some time later, a cook brought out our main courses.

Bill enjoys his souvlaki, which was delicious… tasted like it came right off the grill.

 

And I had gyros that were better than usual… I even enjoyed the pommes, which tasted fresh.  I finished half of this and brought the rest home for later.  Takeaway was no problem.

A look at the bar area.  It’s very nice!  I’m sure this facility was built for the horse events that take place across the street, but we rarely saw it open.  It’s out in the country, so maybe it doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves…

 

There’s a lot of seating, although most people preferred to sit outside.  

 

Dinner was very good, although it took some time to get our plates cleared and the check presented.  Bill had to ask again for the bill.  Again, I think it’s because they just opened and had a lot of business.  The service itself was professional and friendly, if not a bit harried.  I think once they get into a groove and aren’t so new anymore, it’ll be a nice place to have Greek food.  And… bonus is that it’s within walking distance of where we live.  It’s not as close as Dimi’s was, but it’s certainly reachable by foot if the weather is nice.

 

Bill enjoys a house shot of ouzo.  I give them props for not giving me fruit juice!  Both the pepper and the ouzo had a kick, too.

And this is the view you get on the way out…

 

Not a great shot of the terrace, but I didn’t want to be too obvious.  

Total bill for tonight was 35 euros, which Bill rounded up to 40.  The waitress thanked us for coming in and said she hoped we’d be back.  On a side note, I had one of those thrilling experiences of actually understanding a lot of what was said to me tonight.  I call that a big win!  Hopefully, this place will stay open awhile so we can go back and try some of their other stuff.

Edited to add:  My German friend has provided a link to an article about the people running this restaurant and another they have in Horb.  Open the link in Google Chrome to get the translated version.

Holistic healthcare for your pets in Germany…

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Every once in awhile, I write about things I see when I walk my dogs.  Bill and I happen to live right next to a large nature park.  It’s a great area to live in if you have dogs.  There are a lot of dog owners in our town and they’re pretty friendly and helpful.  Case in point, about a month ago, my dog Arran escaped from our house and several locals were instrumental in helping us bring him back to safety.

Lately, I’ve noticed a woman parking a car advertising holistic medicine for pets.  I don’t know her and have never talked to her, but I see her and her son walking their Maltese dogs several times a week.  She drives a SUV with decals on it advertising her services as a naturopath.  I’m actually kind of interested in what she does, since I have been exploring natural approaches to veterinary care with my dogs, Zane and Arran.  Both of my dogs have had mast cell tumors since we’ve been in Germany.

I already belong to a great Facebook group that offers advice for natural approaches toward caring for dogs with mast cell tumors.  In that group, there’s information about how to feed dogs with mast cell cancer, hot to use CBD oil and other essential oils for healing tumors and lesions caused by the cancer, and nutritional advice for overall wellness.

To be honest, I’m not as much into “woo” as some people are.  I do think natural approaches can be helpful and are often not harmful.  I can personally attest to how much CBD oil has helped Zane and Arran, but I also give them Benadryl to discourage the histamine release that can cause tumors to develop.  I give Zane Tagamet or Pepcid to help him with the upset stomach he gets sometimes and also to help discourage new tumor growth.  It’s been over a year now and this approach seems to be working well for both of them.

Still, I wonder if there’s more I could be doing.  That’s why I took notice of the SUV advertising holistic services for pets.  The other day, I looked up the woman on Facebook.  Her name is Sylvia Fiedler, and according to her official Web site, we were born at around the same time in 1972.  She charges 60 euros an hour in cash for her services.  It appears that she comes to your home, although I see she’s located in Oberjettingen, which is just up the road from where Bill and I live.

It appears that most of Fiedler’s training is very recent, although she started in the field in the late 80s.  I can relate, since my very first job was working for a veterinarian, too.  I quickly determined that as much as I like animals, I didn’t want to work in the veterinary field.  However, my dogs have pretty much demanded that I learn more about how to take care of them.  Our local vets have been surprised by what I know.  One of them thought I was a nurse, but actually, I have a master’s degree in public health and used to work as a technical writer for a public health agency.  I think that’s why I know more than the average person about some of this stuff.

Anyway, it looks like Fielder’s practice centers around feeding a raw diet, laser therapy, acupuncture and acupressure, Bach flowers, and even leeches.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever be calling her… although it may get to a point at which I might decide to give homeopathy a whirl.  Some people do swear by it and it’s kind of cool to know that it’s available in my current “hometown”.  It’s also kind of cool to know that the lady who offers it walks the same routes I do with Zane and Arran.

I’m mainly just writing this post because I know I have some local dog lovers/owners who read my blog.  Perhaps some of them are looking for a naturopath/holistic practitioner for their dogs.  Hopefully, this information might be helpful.

Jettingen is a great place for dog owners… not just because there are so many trails, but also because we have a resident naturopath.

 

Big Greek dinner in Jettingen and lovely lunch in Nagold… Luz Bistro strikes again!

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Last night, Bill and I decided to have Greek food at Taverne beim Griechen, which is a restaurant in a local Sportsplatz.  We both had fish and I didn’t quite finish mine, which seemed to piss off the proprietor.  He was concerned that I didn’t enjoy my dorade.  I did enjoy it; I just couldn’t finish it.  I probably should have had him wrap it for me.  Next time, I’ll do better.  I only got through about half of it, though, which seemed to really upset our Greek friend.

Bill had grilled Wolfbarsch (branzino), which was just the right size.  He managed to finish his fish.  

I had a grilled dorade.  This was delicious, but so much fish!  And the rice was a lot, too!  I need to remember to be hungry when I order dorade.  This fish had lots of bones in it, but came with a very nice garlic sauce.  The tomato rice was tasty, but filling.
 
It seems like German restaurants are more willing to wrap leftovers than they were last time we were here.  It makes sense, since Germans, especially in Swabia, tend to be very frugal folks.  I found myself apologizing to the proprietor of Taverne beim Griechen for not having a hollow leg!
By lunchtime today, I was hungry again, so we decided to go to Nagold for lunch.  We stopped by Luz Bistro, because it’s one of my favorite local restaurants and because they have a dessert there that I was dying to have today.  We got there at 1:30pm, which was about 30 minutes before they stop serving and have their pause before dinner.
Bill’s customary pose before dining.
 
Because I wanted dessert, I decided to go light.  I had a salad.  You see it pictured below.  It was quite enjoyable, with watercress, pinenuts, bacon, light dressing, and roasted duck breast.
I don’t usually love salads, but I did love this salad.  It was delicious.  Bacon makes anything better, though.  Actually, my favorite part was the duck, which was cooked to medium rare perfection.  I also loved that there wasn’t a huge load of dressing on my salad.  I like my salads lightly dressed… same way I like my men.  I washed this down with a lovely primitivo.

Bill went a schnitzel with cognac cream sauce and potatoes that were kind of like latkes.  Again, the dish was well sized.  It wasn’t too much and he was able to enjoy the whole thing.  We had fresh bread, too.

 

It was just after 2:00 when we finished.  I asked the waitress/bartender if I could have dessert.  She said she had to check with the kitchen.  Fortunately, they were agreeable and made me the dessert pictured below.  Truth be told, I went to Luz Bistro expressly for that dessert, which is a true cure for PMS.  My mother in law had it when she visited in December and I’ve been wanting to visit again ever since so I could get it.

Rich chocolate tart with vanilla sauce, and the most sinful salted caramel ice cream I’ve ever had.  That was the best part of the whole thing… and I’m usually a sucker for anything chocolate.  Bill had an espresso.

 

Our bill came to about 74 euros.  It was worth it, just for that tart and ice cream.  It was so good!  After lunch we went to the Wein-Laden store and picked up a couple of wines for later.  I took note of the ad for energy.

I like it when bucks are used to advertise energy.

If you’re ever in Nagold and need wine, this shop is a great place to stop.  

 

I’m not sure what tomorrow has in store for us.  As the days get longer, I start thinking it’s time to break out of hibernation and get back to enjoying life in Germany.  We won’t be here forever.

Two Americans at a Schlachtfest…

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About a year ago, I found out from our local weekly paper that our town was having a Schlactfest.  It was being held by a local evangelical church.  I asked my German friend Susanne about it.  She told me it’s an annual thing.  It’s strictly to raise money.  There would be no religious pressure, which was a concern Bill had.

Well, we went to the Schlachtfest, but by the time we got there, it was really crowded and we were overwhelmed by the process.  We ended up walking around looking at what was going on, but we didn’t actually eat.  This year, when I found out the Schlachtfest was going on again, I told Bill we should go early and actually try the food.  So that’s what we did.

The Schlachtfest started at 11:30am and we got there at about noon.  We spent a couple of minutes looking bewildered as we tried to figure out what to do.  Finally, Bill told me to go save us a couple of seats and he went and bought tickets, which was the right thing to do.  There were three options today.  A Schlachtplatte was the biggest and most expensive option.  It consisted of two sausages, a very large piece of bacon, and sauerkraut.  There was Schnitzel, which came with green salad and potato salad.  There was also Bratwurst, which came with a green salad, potato salad, and bread.  I was intrigued by the Schlachtplatte, but then I got a look at it and decided to stick with the Schnitzel.

So, Bill bought the tickets and we took seats across from a young guy who was enjoying a Schnitzel. I think he was getting a big kick out of us, because we’re clearly not really locals.  Food runners came up to us and asked what to bring us.  Bill handed him our tickets and they brought us our food.  Then a guy came through with a cart laden with beer, wine, water, and soda.  We gave her our tickets for two beers (they also had alcohol free radlers), and received two room temperature beers.

As I explained last year, a Schlachtfest is a festival dedicated to meat.  It typically involves the ceremonial slaughter of a pig, which is then used to make sausages and schnitzels.  Our fest here in Jettingen also involves the sale of cakes made by the a local women’s club.  I would have liked to have tried them, but they were going to be brought out until 1:30pm and we were both too full to think of eating cake after all we got.  Seriously… this has been a weekend of cheap eats.  My schnitzel and Bill’s bratwurst and two beers cost just sixteen euros.  But it was a lot of food.

When you walk in, you buy your tickets.  I see the Schlachtplatte is one euro more expensive this year.

Then you search for a place to sit.  We were there early enough to easily find a spot.  When the food runner comes up to you, hand them your ticket and they will bring you your food and silverware.

Big table where the food was coming out.  It was all very well organized.

A little beer…

Salad.

Sorry, I had to laugh at the bratwurst.  It was a little obscene looking!  But Bill said it was delicious.  After trying it myself, I have to agree.  It was very good sausage and obviously fresh.  The young guy across from us was laughing, probably because he could tell what I was thinking.  I have a dirty mind.

My schnitzel, of which I only finished half.

 

We weren’t the only ones who were confused about the process.  A German lady approached Bill and asked him what to do.  I was very proud to hear him tell her in German what the process was.  As I looked around, I noticed that everyone seemed to be in a really good mood.  Neighbors were enjoying each other’s company.  In fact, we saw one of our neighbors, as well as the mayor of Jettingen.  It’s a very well attended event.

We were smart to get there early, though.

The above two pics were what I could get of the Schlachtplatte, which is no doubt very popular with the locals.  I don’t like sauerkraut, though, and I tend to be leery of certain types of sausage.  I will eat haggis though, so go figure that one.

Another shot of the crowd.  If it’s like last year, there will probably be a concert later.

They even had games for the kids out in the lobby.

Chances are good that if you’re living in Germany, there’s a Schlachtfest near you, too.  You can go with the family, enjoy some cheap food and local camaraderie, and maybe even take in a concert if you hang around long enough.  I’m kind of tempted to send Bill back there for cakes to go.  They also had a waffle station and a book table, which Bill originally thought was a “butcher table”.  I had to remind him of the German words for book and butcher.

If we’re still here next year, we’ll have to go again with more of an appetite.

Dinner at Restaurant Bei Stefan in Jettingen…

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Last night, Bill came home from work in a great mood because he managed to do something very good at work.  Add in the fact that we didn’t have much in the way of dinner fixings available and you have a situation that calls for dinner in a restaurant.  There’s a Greek place at a sports club in Jettingen that we hadn’t tried before last night.  Although we are fairly regular visitors to Taverne beim Griechen, which is at a sports club in Unterjettingen, we had never been to Restaurant Bei Stefan, which is a Greek restaurant at a club very close to Jettingen’s Real store in Oberjettingen.  I’m always up for finding new places to review, so off we went.

It’s funny that we’ve lived in Jettingen for almost three years now and we’d never dined at the sportsplatz near the Real.  It’s located right next to a roundabout on the other side of the road from the big store.  You drive down a road into a lovely wooded area and can pretty much forget how close you are to Jettingen’s shopping mecca.

These were the specials last night.

A good shot of the sign.

The small building where the restaurant is.  It’s right next to a soccer/football field.

 

I approached the restaurant cautiously and was taken off guard when a gentleman sitting on the terrace said “Guten Abend” to me.  I probably came off as rude as I mumbled a response.  I’m always a little timid when I approach people or places I don’t know.

We entered the restaurant and were welcomed by a friendly guy who shook our hands and invited us to sit anywhere.  We sat at a two top and started checking out the menu.

Bill in his usual restaurant pose.

 

Bill went with the souflaki, which was one of the specials last night.  I went with the Rodos Teller, which was gyros with calamari and t’zatziki.

Our dishes came with salads.  These were pretty good.  I liked the yellow beans on the bottom.

My Rodos platter looked and smelled great and wasn’t too much food.  

But I was even more impressed with Bill’s dish, which included two skewers of succulent grilled pork and oven baked potato slices.

As we enjoyed dinner inside, we watched some guys playing soccer on the field and listened to the obnoxious pop music being played in the dining area.  We also talked about politics.  Fortunately, Bill and I have similar political leanings, so our chat wasn’t one to induce indigestion.

We were the only ones in the dining room.  All of the other patrons were sitting outside on the terrace.  We might have joined them except it was unusually chilly last night and I didn’t bring a jacket.  After about an hour, we asked for the bill.  It came to 41 euros.  Although we didn’t get a house shot of ouzo like we do at Taverne Beim Griechen, we thought the food was pretty comparable.

I noticed that Restaurant Bei Stefan offered an interesting array of dishes.  They have Greek food, but they also have rib eye steaks, roast beef, grilled salmon, and even an impressive list of burgers.  I am often a little cautious about burgers in Germany (they tend to like to use a pork/beef mixture rather than just beef), but looking on their Facebook page, I see what looks like a tasty burger.  We may have to go back and try one sometime.

I am continually amazed by the number of sportsplatzes near us with decent restaurants and Greek food is always a pleasure in these parts.  This one in particular offers convenient access to Real, so we took the opportunity to stop in for some ice cream for me and dog toys for our boys.  Friday night is a great time to shop at Real, by the way.

I don’t know what today has in store for us, but it looks like we’re spoiled for choice.  Stay tuned!

A Schlachtfest! And lunch in Nagold at Luz Bistro Bar…

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A flyer about our local Schachtfest.  It was held at Willy-Dieterle Halle, here in Jettingen.

Here in Jettingen, we get a weekly newspaper that tells us what’s going on.  I have only recently started paying attention to it.  I noticed a few days ago that the local evangelical church was having a Schlachtfest today after church services.  I was curious about it, but when I mentioned the prospect of going to the festival to Bill, he was a bit skeptical.  Bill has had a rather distressing history with organized religion and was worried about being proselytized.

I asked my local German friend, Susanne, what I could expect if we went to the Schlachtfest.  She posted a link to a newspaper article about last year’s fest.  She said it was strictly to raise money and there wouldn’t be any pressure to get religious.  She said the cakes would be made by the Landfrauenverein (country women’s club) and would probably be amazing.

A Schlachtfest, for those who don’t know, is basically a festival dedicated to meat.  Historically, it involves the ceremonial slaughter of a pig.  The meat from the pig is then used to make schnitzel, sausages, and other meaty dishes.  At the one hosted in our town, there was a two hour lunch followed by coffee and cake and a concert put on by the local music club.

I pressured Bill about going to the fest, but we were a little slow on the draw.  We didn’t get to the Schlachtfest until it was well underway.  The parking lot was very full and things were in heavy swing.  I took a few photos, but was a little overwhelmed by the crowds.

Check out those cakes!  They looked awesome!  I probably should have gotten a piece to go.  We noticed they had a waffle station, too.

Most of the seats were taken.  There were a couple of tables with religious literature on them, but other than that, it looked like a regular fest, complete with wine and beer and a couple of crosses on the stage.  No one tried to help us find Jesus.

The menu on the wall.  It looked like you’d pay, get a ticket, and then present the ticket to the ladies who were dishing out the food.  It smelled really good in there and I was tempted to partake, but it was after 1:00pm and the scene was a bit chaotic.  There were hundreds of people there having a good lunch.  I felt a little like I was in a school cafeteria.  So I told Bill I wanted to go to Nagold.

The parking lot was loaded.  Next time, we’ll come earlier.  They had games for kids in the lobby as well as a big coat rack.  I love how civilized things are in Germany.

 

We went to Nagold and had lunch at Luz Bistro Bar/Alte Post.  We’ve eaten at this restaurant a few times and have never been disappointed.  Today’s lunch was especially lovely.

Bill checks out the flyer on the table about Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, as well as wine dinners regularly hosted in Alte Post’s classy upstairs dining room.

We split a nice bottle of Barbera from the Piedmont region of Italy.

I had the Metzgerspiesse– basically pieces of pork on a skewer with barbecue sauce, lots of bacon, and sauteed onions.  A potato with sour cream completed the dish.

Bill had Schweinebackchen– basically braised pork with pureed potatoes and corn served in a copper pot.  I really liked my dish, but Bill’s was even better.  That pork was so tender and flavorful!  Bill was hesitant to order it at first, but he really enjoyed it.  Next time, I’ll probably go for this dish myself if they still have it!

We finished with a round of espresso.

And I had to take note of the unisex bathroom.  Don’t worry.  There are two rooms with stalls, but everyone washes their hands in the same place.  

 

Our bill for today’s sumptuous lunch was almost 80 euros.  It was well worth the price.  We definitely need to get to the Alte Post for a formal dinner.  I’ve enjoyed every meal I’ve had there and the service is always welcoming and professional.  If you are ever in Nagold, I highly recommend stopping in for a meal.

A nice shot of a Nagold church…

On the way back to the car, we passed Osteria da Gino’s, which is probably our favorite Nagold restaurant.  We always end up getting the degustation menu, so we never know what he has or the prices.  I took a picture of the menu posted outside (we are usually there after dark).  We haven’t been to see Gino since my birthday in June and are long overdue for a visit.

 

All in all, we had a nice afternoon.  Now we’re enjoying quiet time with another nice red.  Hope your Sunday is just as peaceful.  On another note, isn’t Schlachtfest a great word?  It ranks right up there with Stau and Schmutz in descriptiveness!

Our first visit to da Enzo in Jettingen… Great Italian food! (now closed)

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I was in the mood to try something different last night for dinner, so I told Bill I wanted to visit da Enzo, an Italian restaurant near our home in Jettingen.  I am ashamed to admit that last night was our very first visit to da Enzo, despite its proximity to where we live.  However, in my defense, the restaurant is located on a main drag through town that we rarely use because we take a different route to get to where we’re usually going.

One of the reasons I decided I wanted to try da Enzo is because I noticed that people have given it great ratings in reviews.  Then I took a look at the Web site and noticed how good the food looked in the pictures.  And then I noticed that this particular restaurant is in possession of a large pizza oven that appears capable of putting out some good pies.  Hot damn!

It’s actually been a pretty long time since I last had good pizza, even though I’ve been to Italy a couple of times within the last year.  We have at least one other Italian restaurant in our town, but I don’t care too much for their sauce because it tastes like they use a lot of onions.  Of course, there are also a couple of Turkish run doner places nearby that also have pizza.  But their pizzas are unsatisfying because they have really thin crust and scanty toppings.  It’s more like a snack than a meal.  I’d almost rather Bill come home with something from Pizza Hut on Panzer, which I know really sucks.

So anyway, I noticed on the Web site that da Enzo had a good pizza oven and the pictures of the pizzas looked awesome.  Then I noticed all of the other pictures of food and realized that if I felt like

having something else, I could.

A picture of the sign out front.  It’s not a very interesting looking building, but that says nothing about the food.  Out front, there’s a small outdoor seating area that a few folks were enjoying as the hour got later.  There were several free parking spots outside.

We showed up at the restaurant at about 7:00pm.  There was one other table being served.  It was a family and they had a little girl with them who was obviously having a good time.  I also noticed a pretty blonde who appeared to either work there or was a member of the family.  She had a little boy with her who looked to be about three years old.  He was “helping” the waiter, following him around with a plug in his mouth, carrying a tray and menus, and helping him light our candle.  The kid was adorable!

Obligatory shot of Bill, right after the cutie pie kid brought us our menus.

 

At the front of the menu, there were some chef’s specials.  Some of the prices seemed a little high.  Flipping through the rest of the menu, I noticed regular dishes that were a bit more moderately priced.  They had pizzas that came in 30 or 36 centimeter sizes and ran about 7 or 8 euros.  There were also pasta dishes, fish, meat, and a few vegetarian dishes.

I decided to try one of the recommended dishes.  It had an Italian name starting with an S that escapes me right now– Strolla-something.  It was priced at 19,50 euros.  I must have forgotten the name because of the generously poured red wine we enjoyed.  Bill was also going to have a special, but decided to try the pizza instead.

Our waiter brought out some piping hot pizza bread that tasted like it came straight from the oven.  It was excellent.

This was my dish.  It consisted of fresh pasta, Italian sausage, buffalo mozzarella, and a basil leaf.  The sauce was like a creamy tomato.  The pasta was fabulous.  It tasted like it was made that morning.  The sausage was mild and tasty.  And the mozzarella melted into a creamy bliss.  In all seriousness, I think this might have been one of the nicest Italian dishes I’ve had outside of Italy.  Sorry this photo turned out a little blurry.  

Bill was equally pleased with his pizza.  The crust was perfect; not too thick or thin.  It was served piping hot with spicy sausage and a delightful layer of cheese.  The sauce was also perfect.  We won’t be buying crappy snackbar pizza anymore.  From now on, Enzo gets our pizza business!

 

I was actually thinking about having dessert, but then more people started to come in.  They were distracting our waiter.  Several folks appeared to be regulars who were treated very warmly by the staff.  I also noticed that this restaurant was very kid friendly.  The little girl who was sitting with her family got some gelato that was presented to her with much fanfare.  I also noticed a number of kid made works of art hanging on the wall.

We mentioned dessert to the waiter as he took our dishes to be wrapped up for later, but the little girl from the other table came over and stole his attention because she was saying goodbye.  Da Enzo really is a very kid friendly place! When the waiter didn’t come back to finish talking to us after the little girl interrupted, we decided to have wine instead.  You can see him drawing it out of a barrel dispenser in the background.  On the shelf over the wine barrel, there appears to be a trophy sporting an aardvark.  Bill is watching one of the two TVs on the wall.  They had one tuned to the news, but later turned on football.

Generously poured wine makes me forget about panna cotta.

Stacks of firewood in the restaurant.  The dining room is very workable.  I was impressed by the restroom, too.  It was very clean and updated, with several stalls.  It looked like they spent some money on it.

 

All told, we spent about 47 euros on dinner before the tip.  The food was outstanding, so we will definitely be back.  I have a feeling we could even become regulars.  The very friendly chef bid us a cheery “Tschuss!” as we walked out and I was still raving on the short drive home.  I know Jettingen isn’t close to many local readers, but I have to admit, our town has a couple of great places to eat!  Enzo’s restaurant might be worth the trip for some folks.

Flooding!

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Yesterday, I made an ill advised comment about how I hoped it would rain a lot.  I made the comment without thinking.  I wasn’t in town when Baden-Württemberg got drenched by massive rains and my allergies have been driving me crazy.  On Tuesday, I went as far as taking a Benadryl, which led to my having to take a two hour nap.  I figured a good rain would wash the allergens out of the air and help me get rid of my stuffed up nose, itchy eyes, and gunky throat.

My German friend, Susanne, reminded me that there’s been a lot of flooding in these parts recently.  This morning, she even shared a news article about the area where Bill and I used to live.  We were even saying last night how we now live at a high elevation as opposed to in a valley, like we did when we lived in Pfäffingen, which is in Ammerbuch.  Last weekend, we went to see our old friend The Mad Scientist in Entringen.  I see in Susanne’s link that Entringen was flooded last night; there’s a picture that shows how bad it was/is.

This morning, as I was walking my dogs along our regular route, I heard the rushing of water.  Sometimes, water flows through drainage ditches.  I thought they were for irrigating the fields near our house, but I think they may also be for dealing with flooding.  I didn’t think we had much up here, but as you can see by these photos, we did get some…

It looks like it goes into the forest…

 

I didn’t take the dogs in the woods today, but it looks like if we’d gone back there, we would have run into some flooding.  I can’t even imagine what Pfäffingen must look like today.  On a related note, I kind of like it when the ditch has water in it.  It makes me feel like I’m at my Granny’s house in Virginia, which has two creeks running through the property.  Sadly, the ditches up here are usually dry.

A lovely spring day in Herrenberg!

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The weather was so nice this morning that I told Bill we had to get out.  Since it was about noon when we made the decision to venture out, we decided to go to Herrenberg, which is maybe a ten minute drive from where we live.  Herrenberg is also about ten or fifteen minutes from where we lived during our first tour in the Stuttgart area.  We used to visit Herrenberg often during our first time here, but we don’t go nearly as often since we moved back in 2014.

We decided to walk around the town and look for a place to have lunch.  We poked our heads in Osteria da Gino’s, a traditional pizzeria different from Osteria da Gino’s in Nagold.  Since Herrenberg’s Osteria da Gino’s was full, we walked away from the main square and happened upon a typical German restaurant.  While Bill was studying the menu, I happened to make eye contact with an adorable Asian child who came out of the newly opened Asian place on the other side of the street.  The boy, maybe four years old or so, grinned playfully at me and was very charming.  Since the place was empty and it had been a long time since we last had Asian food, I beckoned Bill into the newly opened restaurant.

The guy running Asia Gourmet Imbiss did not speak any English, so I was forced to use my terrible German skills.  I’m not sure if he quite understood that my German is terrible.  If he did, he paid it no mind.  We managed to successfully order lunch, though.

We were the only ones in the restaurant at 12:30pm.  The friendly proprietor beckoned us to sit and Bill ordered us a couple of Singha beers from Thailand.  Singha is a pleasant pilsner.

Bill checks out the interior of the small dining room.  

I started with some very tasty fried shrimp with sweet red chili sauce.

Bill had a spring roll.  Both appetizers tasted good and were served piping hot.  

 

We had tried to explain that I don’t like mushrooms, but somehow that information got lost in translation.  I ordered Cantonese duck, which was basically crispy duck with peanut sauce.  It wasn’t very spicy, but there were indeed a couple of mushrooms in it.  Fortunately, I only found two and Bill was happy to take the off my hands.

Aside from the mushrooms, this was a very good dish.  The vegetables were fresh and the duck was delicious.  I noticed the restaurant also offers sushi.  It’s been ages since I last had sushi.  We might have to go back for that.

Bill had a spicy chicken dish with vegetables.  The weird expression on Bill’s face is not a reflection of the quality of the food.  He actually really enjoyed his lunch.

 

While we were enjoying lunch, two more parties arrived.  One group appeared to be English speakers who spoke much better German than I can.  Total damage for our lunch was 24,80.  As we paid the check, the proprietor sent us off with a couple of house shots of plum wine.  We’ll have to go back sometime soon.  That was a nice change of pace for us.

A shot of the front of the restaurant.

Herrenberg was alive with people today.

Everybody was enjoying the cafes and outdoor seating.

We walked up to the big church on the hill.  We had visited once when we lived here from 07-09.  I was almost tempted to try a walk to the berg, but I needed to go to the bathroom and didn’t feel like walking uphill.  Maybe when the weather is a little warmer.

The views from the church level were pretty tantalizing.  Someday, when I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll venture higher.

Under the window is a cute little play area for kids.  How progressive!

Inside the church.

One of the bells on display.

We can see the road to Haslach from here…

A view of the countryside.

 

We decided to get some ice cream and headed to the Cafe Gelateria La Piazza, where we used to go all the time during our first tour in the Stuttgart area.  As we walked into the place, I noticed an older couple sitting close to the door.  They recognized me even sooner than I noticed them.  I heard them say, “Jenny?”  At first, I thought they were our current landlords, but as I got closer, they said the magic word “Pfäffingen”.  They had been our neighbors!  I guess I haven’t changed much, because they knew me even though we hadn’t seen each other since 2009.  The wife bears a strong resemblance to our current landlady, which is part of the reason I was initially so confused.  They could be sisters.

Much to my embarrassment, I don’t think they ever told me their names when we were their neighbors, so I didn’t know what they were today.  However, when we lived here the first time, I often used to talk to their daughter, Claudia, who’s about 7 years younger than I am.  She and her husband and young son, Robin, lived in her parents’ house.  It took them a long time to talk to us when we were neighbors, mainly because the parents speak no English and in those days I spoke zero German whatsoever.  Claudia could speak some English, but was not so sure of her skills (which were pretty good, in my opinion).   The ice finally broke when my dog, Flea (RIP), whined when he saw Robin.  He wanted to play with the little boy so badly.  It was very cute and Flea charmed them enough that they decided to talk to us.  After that, we were on friendlier terms.  It took months, though.

Anyway, my German is still terrible, but I can at least form simple sentences now and understand a lot more than I used to.  I managed to tell them we live in Jettingen now and Bill is out of the Army.  They asked about my dogs, Flea and MacGregor, both of whom have gone to the Rainbow Bridge.  I told them we had two different dogs. They told us Claudia and her husband, Holger, have another child, a girl named Julie.  I tried to tell them to say hello to Claudia.  My guess is that they will tell her hello and mention to our old landlord that we’re back in Germany.  The funny thing is, yesterday I told Bill that I had a feeling we were going to eventually run into our previous landlord.  Instead, we ran into our neighbors!

I have an uncanny knack for running into people.  A few years ago, when Bill and I lived in San Antonio, we went out to dinner one night and ran into a guy I worked with at a tiny summer camp in Star Tannery, Virginia.  I hadn’t seen him since 1994.  He and his wife, who had been a counselor in training at the same camp that summer, were out for pizza.  It boggles the mind that we ran into each other.  San Antonio is a big city and there are a lot of restaurants there.  Yet I ran into him and his wife.  Another time  during our year in Texas, Bill and I were eating at a restaurant in San Antonio and we ran into my dentist.

Years prior to moving to Texas, when I was waiting tables in Williamsburg, Virginia, I waited on people from Belfast, Ireland who happened to be next door neighbors to another guy who worked at that same summer camp in Virginia.  This kind of thing happens to me all the time, though.  Twice, I went to Washington, DC to visit the Peace Corps headquarters and ended up running into people I knew when I was a Volunteer in the 90s.  One was a guy who had served in Armenia with me and the other was a Volunteer in Bulgaria who had let me and a friend crash in his apartment in Sofia for a week.  What are the odds we’d be visiting there on the same day?  Crazy coincidence, I’d say.

Bill looks for ice cream.

I went with a chocolate sundae.  

Bill had Eis Cafe.

 

I’m glad we decided to go into the konditorei instead of sitting outside or going to the other Eis cafe that wasn’t so busy.  And I have no doubt that we will run into other people who used to know us.  The world is small.  So those of you who think I’m an annoying blahger better brace yourselves.  😉