Karim’s Brasserie for New Year’s Eve!

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Well, we made it. 2020 is over. We had a pretty typical New Year’s Eve, except we didn’t have as many fireworks. One thing we did this year that we don’t usually do was order dinner. As a matter of fact, in 2020, we ordered takeout on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. It’s not unusual for us to dine out on Thanksgiving, but we usually cook on the other days. This year, we decided we preferred to help out the local restaurants and spare ourselves from cooking and cleaning.

For New Year’s Eve, we went a bit more casual and didn’t break out the china. Karim’s Brasserie, a Moroccan restaurant in Wiesbaden, was offering a New Year’s Eve menu. They had a couple of options available– chicken or lamb. Bill likes lamb, but I don’t, so we went with chicken. For 36,50 per person, we could eat for days. Seriously, they really loaded us up with great food! Here are some photos!

We started at about 7:00pm with the appetizers. I was, of course, very familiar with the hummus, since we are big fans of it. Karim’s version was very light and creamy, yet delicately flavorful. The Zaalouk, otherwise known as Moroccan eggplant salad, was a nice change of pace for us, since we rarely eat eggplant. Neither Bill nor I are big fans of eggplant, but this was pretty good. Bill loved the Moroccan carrot salad, which was slightly sweet and offered a contrast to the spicy M’hammara, paprika cream with pomegranate syrup and walnuts. Bill especially loved the M’hammara. He likes spicy foods. The Laban by Khyar was basically a Moroccan version of t’zaziki. It consists of yogurt, cucumbers, and mint.

The chicken was delicious! It was very tender and juicy, and fell right off the bone! It was such a pleasure to try it prepared in a different way. There was a time when Bill wouldn’t eat apricots because they are supposedly bad luck for “tankers”, which is what Bill was when he was in the Army back in the early days. I love apricots, having gotten acquainted with them in Armenia, where they are very popular and delicious! They went so well with the chicken! Glad we have leftovers!

After a bit of time digesting, we tried the desserts– typically nutty and fruity, but not too sweet or heavy. It was a good way to end a fabulous New Year’s Eve repast. We will be grazing on the leftovers for days. I think we got a lot for our 73 euros. I look forward to the day when we can dine at restaurants again. Bill and I ate at Karim’s Brasserie once when we were moving to Wiesbaden and liked the food very much. We probably ought to go there more often, or at least get takeout. This was a great change of pace for us. I think it was my favorite of all three of our holiday takeout meals of 2020.

I learned about a German tradition yesterday when someone in the Pets of Wiesbaden Facebook group posted that they had come into possession of a female piglet who was wandering around Clay Kaserne, one of the two U.S. military installations in Wiesbaden. I had never heard this before, but apparently in Germany, it’s good luck to encounter a pig on New Year’s Eve. Typically, Germans give out pigs made of marzipan with a penny or a four leaf clover in its mouth. Alternatively, sometimes people put a freshly washed piglet in a basket and pass it around. Anyone who touches it will have good luck and a “happy year”.

I can’t be sure, but it sounds like the piglet who was found yesterday might have been intended to participate in this custom and somehow escaped. She was found on the Army post and advertised on Facebook, as none of the surrounding farms would claim her. Eventually her rescuers found her a farm to go to. I’m not absolutely sure, but it sounds like she’s headed to a sanctuary. I sure hope so, anyway. Anyway, a lot of people got a kick out of seeing her, and I learned something new. I’m sure the military police are now checking the fence around Clay Kaserne to see if there are any breeches. It’s more likely someone brought her on post, but it’s possible there’s a hole somewhere.

According to the link I shared earlier in this post, we violated German tradition by having chicken on New Year’s Eve. Evidently, it’s verboten to eat poultry in Germany, due to a very old superstition. However, people in the Rhein area apparently didn’t get the message, as a lot of people do eat goose on New Years’s. I am not in the habit of eating goose, anyway… but I never turn down chicken unless it’s prepared with the food I never eat– mushrooms.

Toward the end of the evening– later than he’d intended, since he’d forgotten– Bill called his mom and we visited on Skype. It was great to talk to her. I also chatted with a cousin. I probably should call my mom today, too.

Bill brought our landlords champagne and a bag of lentils, which are also considered good luck/good health promotion on New Year’s in Germany. We had a very short fireworks show that lasted about twenty minutes, since fireworks weren’t on sale this year due to COVID-19. It suited us fine, since Bill was struggling to stay awake. We also had some snow, although it was all melted by the time we got up today. It was kind of strange watching fireworks go off as it snowed. This morning, we slept in… it was the first time in a long time I woke up after sunrise!

So far, 2021 is off to a good start. I pray that it’s a better year than 2020 was! Happy New Year, everybody! Keep the faith, and stay healthy and sane!

Whirlwind trip to Wiesbaden– our quest to find new dog friendly digs… Part four

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Once we had visited the two houses, we headed back to the hotel.  It was time to feed the dogs and Bill and I were both hungry ourselves, since Bill neglected to plan a time for lunch when he made our appointments with the prospective landlords.  I suppose we could have stopped for fast food on the way, but that’s usually an exercise in disappointment for us.  Not only is fast food really bad from a nutritional standpoint, we also usually end up with sandwiches that are drenched in condiments.  Neither of us are fans of tons of mayo or ketchup.  A little dab will do us… and really, I’d prefer to skip the mayo on a lot of things.

We were in luck, though, because the Town Hotel in Wiesbaden is surrounded by shopping and restaurants.  Besides our two breakfasts at the hotel, we had three other meals in Wiesbaden and all three were outstanding.  The first place we tried was Karim’s, a Moroccan restaurant just catty-cornered to the hotel.  The weather was perfect, so most of their terrace was reserved for dinner.  However, the very kind waiter let us have a two top as long as we’d be finished by 8:00pm.  No problem!  That gave us three hours.

Feast your eyes…

I got this photo yesterday morning.  During service hours, there are four large umbrellas up that provide shade.

I had the Mazza Arabica, a sampler plate of treats.  This vegetarian delight included falafel, hummus, m’hammara, tabouleh, laban bi khyar, batendjan makmour, and fennel salad.  Although there was no meat on this plate, I was pretty full by the time I’d eaten half of it.  It was delicious!  

And it came with a side of lavash.

Bill went with a lamb stew tajine that came with a saffron and cumin sauce and a side of saffron rice. I don’t like lamb, so I didn’t taste his dish, but he was raving about it.  It was also a very manageable size, which he appreciated.  We’ve never had bad Moroccan food before, but we have gone to a couple of places that serve huge portions!

Obligatory shot of Bill… you knew there had to be one.

 

This meal was reasonably priced.  My dish was 12,50 euros and Bill’s was 17,90.  We both had two rounds of beer and left feeling very satisfied.  Service was friendly, competent, and efficient.  I take it as a good sign when a place has so many reservations for dinner.  I look forward to eating at Karim’s again sometime.  Guess I’ll have to start a “good eats” list for Wiesbaden, now.