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…

 
 
 

Sam Kullman’s Diner… for when you want German style American diner food…

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German style American diner food…

We were originally planning to go to a Schlactfest in Jettingen today, but thanks to Gerhard in our local Facebook group, Bill and I went to Ludwigsburg, instead.  Gerhard recommended Sam Kullman’s Diner, a German chain restaurant that specializes in American style diner food.  I’m generally more amused than impressed by German interpretations of American food, but the pictures I saw on the restaurant’s Web site won me over.  Bill would prefer ribs over bratwurst any day.  We made reservations for noon on OpenTable.de, a move that was totally unnecessary.  There were plenty of booths open when we arrived right on time.

Kullman’s Diner has a wide variety of choices for the discerning palate.  We could have had breakfast, which included American staples such as pancakes, scrambled eggs, and steak and eggs.  We could have had a club sandwich, a burger, or a wrap.  They have snacks like onion rings and cheese sticks.  They even have salads and some vegetarian selections.

We came for the ribs.  Right now, Kullman’s has several winter specials, one of which is smoked pork ribs.  They also have Hickory BBQ ribs that come either sweet and smokey or hot and spicy.  There are BBQ platters and steaks, too.

Bill is excited!  He loves his ribs and we’ve been missing them lately.

Gazing over at the bar area, I noticed a folded American flag.  I wonder if the owner is American.

Kullman’s offers a full bar, as well as a lot of gooey desserts.  It looks very kid friendly and there’s something for everyone… or at least most people.  I do have a certain Italian friend who would turn his nose up at Kullman’s or any other American restaurant.  But he’s a snob.  We decided to have two large hefeweizens on tap, though we could have had Miller if we’d wanted to.

I do love a good draft wheat beer.  

I ordered the special: smokey pork ribs.  They were like spare ribs that came with a side of very mild barbecue sauce.  I really enjoyed these ribs, although I have had better ones in the States.  I would say for Germany, these are among the best I’ve had and the closest to what we’re used to.  These ribs were very lightly sauced, so it was necessary to dip the meat in the ramekin.  

Bill had the hickory smoked ribs, which were more like baby back ribs.  He went for the hot and spicy barbecue sauce.  I am a wimp when it comes to spicy stuff and I wouldn’t say the sauce was all that hot.  It reminded me a little of Asian inspired chili sauce.  But Bill liked the ribs a lot.  They were succulent and he managed to save some for a snack later.  I think I liked my ribs better than Bill’s.

Both of our dishes came with fries and cole slaw.

I was somewhat tempted by dessert, but knew I’d regret it if I ordered it.  Bill asked our very professional waitress for the check.  She spoke English quite well and switched to German when Bill spoke German.  All told, we spent about 35 euros for our lunch today.  I would go back, although next time, I might try one of the many burgers offered.  I might even try a shake.

There is a lot of parking near the diner, but for some reason, the big garage closest to it was closed.  We had to drive to the other side of the bahnhof complex and park over there.  I was actually a little worried about parking there, since the lot was empty and I was afraid it might be privately owned.  Fortunately, my fears were unfounded and we had no issues.

Overall, we liked Kullman’s Diner and would probably go back if we had a hankering for American food done German style.  I have a feeling it’s a place where people go when they’re drunk and need greasy protein… or maybe women at a certain time of the month who are in the mood for something sweet and salty.  It’s very handy for anyone waiting for the train.  It also seems popular with kids.  It’s definitely not bad for a German style greasy spoon.

Booze! A guide to wine shops in the Stuttgart area of Germany…

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Hello folks.  Every once in awhile, I like to write posts that are comparative in nature.  Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to try out a few wine stores near us and I thought it might be interesting to write about the pros and cons of each.

Naturally, you can always buy wine on post (if you have access and/or purchasing privileges) or at your favorite grocery store like Edeka, Aldi, or Real.  Those locations are givens.  I wanted to highlight stores that specifically focus on wine.  I’ve written about each place before, so I will link to my first posts about them so those who are interested can read about my first impressions.

Vinum!  Our favorite wine store.

Probably my all time favorite wine store in the area is Vinum in Tübingen.  I will admit that I mostly like that store for sentimental reasons.  We used to shop there all the time when we lived in Germany the first time.  I still like to go there and will go out of my way to visit for several reasons.  First off, they have a great selection of wines.  It’s not a huge store, but there are plenty of wines to choose from and quite a few are available for tasting.  They also have wine on tap and, as long as you have a bottle (you can buy one there if you want), you can load up on cheap, good quality wines.

Secondly, Vinum offers more than just wine.  They have a small selection of gourmet foods.  They also sell exotic beers and fine liquors and liqueurs, as well as nice booze related gifts.  Their staff is very helpful and speak English.  Sometimes they host events on the weekends for wines and spirits.  I also think their building is very cool.  It reminds me of a cave.  Bill and I have shopped there extensively, both times we’ve lived in Germany, so we’re very familiar with the store.  In fact, it may be time to pay them another visit soon.

Inside the Alte Brennerei in Herrenberg.

In second place, I think I’d put Alte Brennerei, a wine store Bill and I discovered just a couple of weeks ago in Herrenberg.  Alte Brennerei is a fairly small store in comparison to Vinum, but the proprietor is very friendly, speaks great English, and offers a good variety of wines.  She also has a small selection of gourmet items, though not as many as Vinum does, and will offer to do tastings for small groups.  She doesn’t have a wide range of liquors available or wines on tap, but she does have plenty of whiskys.  Since Bill and I like scotch, we like Alte Brennerei.  A bonus is that right across the street is a cheese shop and right next door is the adorable Lamm Gasthof, a great place for a bite to eat.

Jacques’ Wein Depot in Ludwigsburg.

In third place, I’d choose Jacques’ Wein Depot, a chain wine store that has locations all over Germany.  One advantage to visiting the Wein Depot is that there are a lot of convenient locations.  This store also allows patrons to try almost every wine they sell.

The reason I put Jacques Wein Depot in third place is because when we visited, the salespeople did not seem all that interested in helping us.  This is not such a big deal to us, since we pretty much know what we like.  It could be a problem for less experienced wine drinkers.  Also, I did not get the impression that the guys who were working at the Wein Depot spoke English.  Again, not a huge deal, but potentially less helpful for English speakers who don’t know what they like.

I also think the Wein Depot lacks the charm of of Vinum and Alte Brennerei, stores that have a personal touch.  Jacques’ Wein Depot is a chain; as such, it lacks a certain mysticism.  However, I did think the wines were probably better priced at Wein Depot as opposed to the other two stores.  Generally speaking, that is the advantage of visiting a chain store over an individual location.

Vom Fass.

Likewise, Vom Fass, another chain wine store is kind of similar to Jacques’ Wein Depot.  Although we visited one when we went to Ulm in August, I haven’t yet really had a chance to write a review of one.  Vom Fass also has several locations near Stuttgart and elsewhere in Germany.  It seems to be more of an all purpose store, offering wines, vinegars, oils, and other gourmet items.  Jacques’ Wein Depot, by contrast, appears to be all about the wine.

Wein Kreis in Stuttgart.

There are definitely other stores in the area we haven’t tried yet.  For example, there’s a wine store/ wine bar in Stuttgart we have yet to visit.  It’s right next to the Markthalle, though, and we usually load up on wines when we visit the Markthalle.  Next time we visit Dr. Blair, which should be next week for a cleaning, we will have to stop by the Wein Kreis store in Stuttgart and try it out.  I will definitely update then.

The lovely thing about living in Germany is that there’s always a place to buy great wine for not much money.  You don’t have to visit a wine store to find something good, though it sure can be fun shopping in one!  This weekend, I hope to find a few more wines when we visit France!

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.

Lunch at Towers Irish Pub in Ludwigsburg…

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This morning, Bill and I braved the rain to go to Ludwigsburg to pick up some wine we ordered from Le Clos du Breil.  We became familiar with this small, family owned vintner when we lived in Germany the first time.  We happened to run into them at the Tuebingen Saturday market.  At that time, no one in the family seemed to speak much English.  When Bill tried to speak German with them, one of them held up a French/German dictionary!

Anyway, we became fans of their wines and used to order them in bulk all the time when we lived here from 2007-09.  When we were back in the States, I used to get emails from them and wish I could pick up another case.  A few weeks ago, I got an email from them out of the blue, passed it on to Bill, and he ordered twelve bottles.  We had to search a bit to find them today, but once Bill did, the guy recognized him immediately, even though it had been seven years since our last order.

Gray skies in Ludwigsburg… as usual.

Bill pays for our vino.  I thought it was pretty cool that the wine guy remembered us.  Bill didn’t even have to pull out his order form or tell them who we were.  He addressed Bill by name.

The vintner told us that there’s a French doctor who lives in the area and brings cheese whenever Le Clos du Breil comes to town.  He brings an entourage with him and they have a tasting.  That was going on when Bill showed up to pick up our wine.

We picked up our wine with an extra two gratis, bought a couple of Italian reds from another vendor, and decided it was time for lunch.  Today, we tried a place we’ve never been to before, Towers Irish Pub.  Tucked into a corner in Ludwigsburg’s big market square, the pub has a pleasant outdoor area where people can sit if they want to.  Bill and I decided to go inside because it looked like it was going to start raining any second.  I’m glad we went inside because the pub is actually really nice.  It turns out all of the beautiful oak woodwork in the pub came from churches in England.

An accordion player was performing some impressive classical pieces nearby.

 

A pleasant woman was behind the bar.  She must have spoken English fluently, because I noticed a Help Wanted sign asking for fluent English speakers.  But she only spoke German to us until it was time to pay the bill.

Funny sign.

I took an opportunity to steal a few photos while no one was in the bar.  A few folks were sitting outside despite the clouds and stiff breeze.  

The pub is full of impressive woodwork and carving, as well as some cool art.

I catch Bill looking like he’s plotting trouble.

We had a round of Guinness.

 

The menu at Towers is pretty much straightforward bar food.  They have nachos, mozzarella sticks, spare ribs, burgers, wraps, chili, and fish and chips.  There are a number of Irish and German beers, cocktails, and some interesting shooters on the menu.  They also have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks.  Irish music is piped in to the dining room, but we could barely hear it.  Too bad.

I decided to try the fish and chips, which came with a big tub of tartar sauce.  The fish and chips were excellent.  The batter was not too heavy or greasy.

Bill had a cheeseburger.  It wasn’t bad, though I have definitely had better.  It came with a “hamburger sauce”, which was probably akin to Thousand Island dressing.  Bill liked his burger, but I’m glad I had the fish and chips.

A photo of the front.  Funny how such an unassuming looking facade can hide such a delightfully ornate inside.  I think this pub is worth a visit if only for the beautiful English carved wood.

 

With the tip, I think we paid about thirty euros for lunch.  A children’s menu is available. We will definitely go back again.   It’s always a pleasure to visit Ludwigsburg.

Our haul from France!

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.

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.

Cafe-barON in Ludwigsburg…

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This morning, Bill convinced me to go with him and the dogs on a walk.  While we were walking, we ran into a huge black squirrel that got the dogs going.  We marveled at how where we’re from, we see a lot of big gray squirrels.  Here in Germany, they tend to be smaller and black or brown.  The one we saw this morning was a biggun, though.  I actually thought it was a rabbit at first.

When Bill asked me where I wanted to go this afternoon, I said I wanted to get rid of the huge backlog of beer bottles in my kitchen annex.  So we decided to hit Heinrich’s 3000 drink market in Ludwigsburg.  Usually, when we go beer shopping, we stop at Heinrich’s first.  But I noticed the time and realized that we were getting close to the 2:00 witching hour.  I wanted to try a different restaurant in Ludwigsburg and didn’t want to end up hangry.   So we parked in a lot near the train station and walked into town…

On the way in, we passed the world’s largest piggy bank.  It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records and everything.  I got a kick out of the German word for piggy bank (which is on the sign by the pig). As we passed, Bill made a surprisingly black humored and somewhat inappropriate joke that I probably shouldn’t share here.  We had a good laugh, though.  Sometimes his smart assedness shocks me, not because I’m offended, but because he’s usually so mild mannered and kind that when he gets snarky, it’s especially funny.  I get a kick out of Bill when he catches me off guard.

We ended up at Cafe barON, which is right on the main square.  Lots of people were sitting outside because the weather was nice and the Saturday market was shutting down…

 

Today’s menu.  The actual menu has mostly drinks and breakfast stuff in it, though you can order salads and a very limited selected of ciabatta sandwiches and pasta dishes.  I got the idea that they have daily specials.

 

We were served two hefeweizens reasonably fast, though it took a long time to put in our food order.  That wasn’t entirely the wait staff’s fault, though.  There were three of them handling a very large crowd of people sitting outside.  A few of us sat indoors where were able to watch the busy bartenders, but were a little neglected.  I did at least get a chance to see some of the dishes as they came out of the kitchen, which helped me make up my mind about what I wanted for lunch.  I thought about ordering a special that had shrimp and a baked potato, but I surmised (correctly) that the potato would be smothered in sour cream.  I like my potatoes with a little butter and salt.  I could have asked them to hold the sour cream, but figured I could use a break from shrimp.

So I ordered the lentil, spatzle, and wurst dish.  This was advertised as Linsen, Spatzle, und Saiten.  Bill looked up Saiten and Google translated it to mean “strings”.  I had a feeling it would be served with wurst.  I was right.  But we were momentarily confused.   This was a lot of food.  I wasn’t able to eat more than half of it.  I noticed the guy at the table next to us ordered it and finished maybe two-thirds.  I have a feeling the fiber is going to kick in big time.

Bill looks adorable with his spinach tortellini and gorgonzola sauce.  I was tempted by this, though I have to be careful when it comes to cheese.  This was verging on too strong for my tastebuds, but he liked it.  Another reason it would have been a bad choice for me is that I need protein or I get super bitchy after a sugar high.

 

The bill came to 23,50 euros.  I thought that was pretty reasonable.  The food was good at Cafe barON and it was fun to people watch, even though we were sitting inside.  They were playing some cool contemporary music, too.  I get the sense that their desserts are a hit.  Had I not been so full of lentils, maybe I would have tried one myself.  But we needed to get to Heinrich’s and offload our bottles.

On the way to the car, we passed a travel bureau.  I was interested in all the places being advertised… most of them were former Soviet countries.  Perhaps someday I’ll go back to the USSR for a visit…  

😉

After a brief shopping excursion, we drove home.  I ranted the whole way, mainly about cellphone etiquette.  I will have to rant in written form about that on my main blog in awhile.  For now, I’ll just say we liked Cafe barOn fine, though it was pretty busy today.  I’m sure we’ll have the chance to try it again.