Yesterday, we decided to go to AAFES to pick up a few things and visit Bijan, a local craftsman who makes tables out of wine barrels. Bijan, who is a member of my wine group on Facebook, says he is going to stop making tables because of an injury he had. Now he’s making jewelry. After we bought some personal care items at AAFES, we stopped by Bijan’s table, tried some wines, bought a few bottles, and picked up a couple of Bijan’s bracelets for Bill’s daughter and granddaughter. I’ve been making a care package for younger daughter as a morale booster. She’s halfway through a difficult pregnancy.
We had beautiful weather again yesterday, and Noyzi had really wanted to come with us on our quick trip to AAFES. Of course, dogs aren’t allowed in American stores on post, so he had to stay home. But once we got home, we decided to visit XXL Restaurant Waldgeist, a local restaurant near a sports park that specializes in humongous burgers. They also have a great Biergarten with comfortable tables and umbrellas, although since we didn’t have reservations, we didn’t score an umbrella.
Noyzi was very excited to be with us, because there were a lot of dogs at the Waldgeist yesterday. He’s getting better at going to Biergartens, although it takes him a little while to settle down. Bill and I decided to have lunch/dinner, which you can really do at Waldgeist. The portions are huge. Bill had the smallest Schnitzel they offer– 250 grams. It was still too big to finish. I had a Haxe, of which I managed about a third. I suspect I’ll be eating it for the rest of the week. I saw a couple of people ordering the huge burgers. They were the size of a small pizza! Waldgeist also has huge steaks, although I didn’t see anyone order one of those.
Waldgeist is a very kid friendly place. They have a playground for children, as well as children’s portions on the menu. We watched several little kids having a ball while their parents enjoyed food and each other’s company. It struck me how much I enjoy these weekend excursions, watching people enjoy themselves with their families and friends.
I think Waldgeist is a popular venue after sporting events, too, as it’s located very close to several playing fields, as well as a dog park. One thing to note if you visit the Waldgeist is that they only take cash payments. But, on the positive side, they’re open every day! Warm food goes from noon until 10:00 PM, and the restaurant is open from 11:30 AM until midnight.
Below are a few photos from our afternoon.
Later, we hung out in the backyard, listened to music, and enjoyed some wine, along with cheese that I bought for Bill at Henri Willig, a Dutch chain of cheese purveyors. I don’t eat most cheeses myself. I only like cheese when it’s a very specific kind, prepared in specific ways. I can’t just eat it cold, for instance. But Bill loves all cheeses, especially goat cheese. I can’t eat goat cheese at all!
Looks like I made good choices this time. I wish I’d gotten a picture of Bill’s face when he first tried the goat cheese. It has garlic and herbs in it, which is a favorite combination for Bill. The other cheese is made from cow’s milk and includes Mediterranean spices. I also got some Baby Gouda cheese, but that’s pretty normal stuff, so he didn’t try it yesterday.
Pretty soon, this beautiful weather will be a thing of the past until the spring. I’m glad we managed to venture out yesterday. We probably should visit the Waldgeist more often. It’s a really nice place to spend a couple of hours outdoors, especially with our Noyzi.
We had great weather over the weekend, so I told Bill that, in no uncertain terms, I wanted to venture out and do something fun and unusual. Originally, I had given thought to visiting the Kubacher Kristallhöhle (Crystal Cave), here in Hessen. It’s about an hour’s drive from our home in Breckenheim. I love visiting caves, even though they can be hard work to explore. Touring the Kubacher Kristallhöhle is potentially a strenuous activity, as it requires going up and down a lot of stairs.
I don’t know if it’s as hard as the Laichinger Tiefenhöhle, a cave near Stuttgart that we visited in 2017, but I do know I’m six years older now, and not as fit. ;). The Laichinger Tiefenhöhle legitimately kicked my ass. I got sick with a cold after our visit and spent the week in bed. Since Bill has to go away this week, I thought it might be better to do something potentially less taxing. Plus, again, we had beautiful weather. That’s when I decided we needed to visit the beautiful vintner town of Rüdesheim am Rhein.
We last visited Rüdesheim in early April 2019. I remember it was a chilly day, and there weren’t a lot of tourists there, although it was clearly a very touristy place. I wish I had read my earlier blog post about this town before we went there yesterday. I see that we, once again, missed seeing the torture museum. 😉 But Google tells me it’s closed now, anyway. Oh well. Interestingly enough, I see there’s a very primitive looking Web site for the museum that still lists prices in Deutsch Marks!
We arrived in Rüdesheim at about 1:00 PM or so, just in time for lunch. When Bill headed for the Seilbahn, the reason we visited, I said I thought it might be a good idea to eat first. Although I felt pretty sure there would be food on the hillside where the “skyride” ends, I figured there would be less choice. And I know from too many prior experiences that I need to eat before I try to do anything ambitious. 😀 I saw an inviting looking menu at the Wirtshaus Drosselmüller, a no frills place on the main drag.
We walked into the restaurant and had a seat on the rear balcony. A waitress in a Dirndl took our order– Hefeweizen and fried chicken with pommes for me, and a Helles and Bierbrat with beer sauce, potato dumplings, and cole slaw for Bill. After a leisurely lunch and potty break, we were ready to fly.
Off we went to the Seilbahn. By the time we got there, it was about 2:40. The attraction closes at 7:00 PM, which meant that we probably didn’t have enough time to do the most expensive “tour”, which at 22 euros a person includes a round trip ticket on the skyrides, a visit to the castle, and a short Rhein River cruise. You can buy your tickets at the office, or at an automated machine. The cars only take two people at a time, but you can also bring your dog. I’m not sure Noyzi would fit too well in the Seilbahn, as big as he is! Bikes cannot be transported on the Seilbahn.
Next time, we’ll have to arrive earlier to do the “Romantic” tour that features the works, because after yesterday’s ride on the Seilbahn, I am sure to want to do it again. Yes, there was a line, but it moved fast and was such a fun and relaxing ride, soaring over the grape laden vineyards. I got lots of pictures. I also got a short video, which shows the magic of the Seilbahn and the beautiful views of the Rhein Valley.
When we got to the other side of the field– the Niederwald– sure enough, there was a snack bar and restaurant. There was also an overpriced toilet… one euro! What a rip off! 😉 Nevertheless, there’s a beautiful view of the Rhein River and Rüdesheim, as well as the majestic Niederwald Monument, which was built between 1871 and 1883 to commemorate the Unification of Germany. It’s a very impressive statue that overlooks Rüdesheim and makes for a great photo opportunity.
As we were strolling around the Niederwald, we passed a little souvenir stall where they were selling signs with names on them. Bill quipped that he doubted he’d see one for one of his three grandchildren. Just then, I opened up my phone, and noticed a “Happy Labor Day” greeting from Bill’s daughter. In the email there was a photo of her, smiling and pregnant. She’d been keeping the secret all summer that her fourth child is well on the way and will arrive in February! I told Bill, who immediately got emotional. Somehow, getting that news in such a lovely place made it all the more special. The funny thing is, we’d both had a hunch that she might be expecting again.
On the way back to the Seilbahn, we stopped for a celebratory glass of Riesling…
After about an hour of walking around the Niederwald, we decided to head back. We definitely could have spent more time there, though, had we planned better and arrived earlier. The forest offers plenty of opportunities to wander, and like any good German tourist activity, it’s very well appointed with clean (but overpriced) toilets and refreshments. I’m so glad we decided to visit yesterday and finally try the Seilbahn. Below is a video I made of our day… It includes the Seilbahn and a pass through the famous Drosselgasse, where there is a Glockenspiel.
It was definitely a lot more crowded yesterday, during our visit, than it was when we last came to Rüdesheim in 2019. There were plenty of souvenir shops, restaurants, and tourist activities open. I also saw lots of hotels. I mused to Bill that it didn’t seem like the town should be able to support so many hotels, but I guess with so many cute hamlets, Vinoteks, and the Rhein River, people find plenty of stuff to do. I know cruise ships often pass through Rüdesheim. I think I saw a tour yesterday, which is kind of weird to me. It’s strange to live in an area where cruise ships frequent. Anyway, a lot of people were out and about and having a good time!
I don’t know when we’ll get to this town again, but it’s definitely worth a visit… even if the public toilets weren’t working, and even if the birds used our car as a toilet. Pro-tip, don’t park under the trees in the parking lot!
Bill has to leave for Bavaria today, so I will be hanging out alone this week. Hopefully, next weekend, we’ll have good weather and good health. I look forward to another exciting excursion in the Rheingau and its environs. It’s time we did some more exploring, before it’s too late.
After the tough week I endured, Bill decided that we needed a nice Sunday lunch. He decided to book us a 1:30 PM reservation at Landhaus Diedert, which has become one of our favorite fine dining restaurants in Wiesbaden. We have been there a few times now, and we have never been disappointed any time we’ve dined there. It’s become a favorite place for Sunday lunches, although we have a few other go to establishments we frequent.
We arrived a few minutes before our reservation to find their main parking lot full. I got out and waited for Bill to find a place to park, which turned out to be on the other side of the Biergarten/park area for kids. The weather was perfect today, so everyone ate outside under the massive oak trees. And what a divine lunch we had… feast your eyes!
I started with a glass of Sekt. Bill had a non-alcoholic sparkling drink made with cranberry juice. We had a round of their wonderful bread, with salted and unsalted butter, and a red pepper hummus.
For our first courses, I had burrata, which was very fresh mozzarella and cream with candy sweet cherry tomatoes and basil pesto. Bill had a colorful green salad with bacon and fried Pfifferlingen mushrooms. I normally get a little freakout out eating cheese and fresh tomatoes, but burrata is different. German cherry tomatoes are so beautiful and flavorful. They married perfectly with the basil pesto.
For our main courses, I had roasted Barberie duck breast with Asian inspired vegetables and Dim Sum. The vegetables were carrots, beans, and edamame. Bill had shrimp served in a sizzling Le Creuset frying pan, with olive oil and peppers. We washed it down with a locally produced Pinot Noir.
I got a video of the shrimp sizzling away… I almost got the shrimp myself, since it was clear they had no mushrooms. But I ended up with the duck, which was also a very good choice.
Naturally, we had dessert. I had a cherry filled chocolate eclair with chocolate mousse, cherry sorbet, and sliced cherries. Bill had warm lemon cobbler with sour cream ice cream and citrus fruits. Since he takes medicine for his high blood pressure, I ate the grapefruit.
And a few final photos…
We definitely love dining at Landhaus Diedert, which has a long and storied history in Wiesbaden. It’s definitely a great restaurant to visit if you need some culinary style pampering!
The drive to and from there isn’t too shabby, either… Wiesbaden is a very beautiful city.
Total damage before tip was about 200 euros. Yes, it’s a lot, but it was so worth it after this week. I definitely want to bring Bill’s mom there sometime. I think she’d love it as much as we do!
A few days ago, I asked Bill if he might like to go out to dinner on Saturday night. He was agreeable to my suggestion, so we went on OpenTable.de to see what restaurants were available. One of the very first suggestions was Riesling Stuben in nearby Hochheim, an adorable wine town located about twenty minutes’ drive from Breckenheim.
When I mentioned the restaurant to Bill, he said he’d seen that place recommended a bunch of times. However, we haven’t gone to Hochheim very often, because parking in the town can be a challenge. The first time we visited there was at Christmas time in 2018, just after we moved from the Stuttgart area to Wiesbaden. Bill’s former boss, who had lived in Hochheim, had arranged for a wine tasting and company Christmas party at a hotel literally steps away from his rental home. I remember thinking the town was absolutely adorable, but we had a terrible time finding a place to park. We never did get around to visiting the town again the following summer.
Then came the pandemic, which kept us pretty close to home for a couple of years. Hochheim is close to where we live, but we didn’t have enough experience with it to just go there to look around. We didn’t actually do that until last August, when we randomly showed up there on a summer day and stumbled across a wine stand. We had a couple of glasses and walked around. Once again, I wondered where Hochheim had been all of my life and why we weren’t hanging out there more often.
Last night, Bill was a little worried about parking, but it turned out to be a non-issue. There’s at least one lot where it’s free of charge to park. It’s on the edge of town, and maybe a five or ten minute walk from where we were going. The weather was gorgeous last night, so it wasn’t a hardship to stroll through the quaint village. We passed Bill’s ex boss’s former home, past the hotel where we had our Christmas party, and the winery where we had our tasting, and soon easily found Riesling Stuben. We were about twenty minutes early for our 7:00pm reservation, but decided to show up anyway, since I was hungry.
Below are some photos from our walk around before we got to the restaurant. As you can see, this is a place where German wines are produced and sold. It’s also very stylish, with lots of beautiful homes owned by people with money. I don’t think I would have been sad to find a home in Hochheim when we were looking!
When we got to Riesling Stuben, we noticed a couple sitting in the adorable courtyard. A large chalkboard with the word “Cheers!” greeted us, along with grape vines, and a string of lights. I easily spotted our table, as there was a sign with our name on it and the time of our reservation.
Bill went looking for someone in charge, but the proprietor found me before he saw Bill. I told him we had a reservation and pointed at the table. We sat down, noticing that there were faux fur outdoor blankets on each chair. We sure didn’t need those last night, although maybe they were provided to make the metal and plastic chairs slightly more comfortable.
It looked like the restaurant had a lot of reservations, as I took note of the signs on the tables. Not everyone seemed to show up, though. The 6:45pm table near us was never occupied.
On OpenTable, it said the suggested dress at Riesling Stuben was casual. Bill wore jeans and a t-shirt. I wore shorts and a t-shirt. We noticed the couple near us was similarly dressed. However, we noticed an upper deck, where more people were sitting. Some of those folks were dressed with a bit more flair. I mention the dress because the food turned out to be fancier, and frankly much better, than I was expecting it to be!
I read that the Riesling Stuben used to have different owners and its reputation had slipped somewhat since new people took over a few years ago. I once worked at a rather famous restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia whose chef owner was very well-known and liked. When that restaurant was sold, but the new owners kept the old name, a lot of people complained about how the quality had slipped and everything had changed. It looked like Riesling Stuben might have had the same issue; people who had been used to the old owners hadn’t liked the way the restaurant had changed with new people running it. But, since Bill and I had never been to Riesling Stuben before last night, we had no preconceived notions. And, as it turned out, we had a wonderful evening. I’m glad I didn’t read about the restaurant’s old reputation before we actually visited.
A young and sweet looking server greeted us and took Bill’s order of our standard sparkling water and a bottle of locally produced Riesling. Then, when she came back with our water and wine, we were ready to order food. I don’t often bother with starters nowadays, since I usually don’t have room and I don’t need the extra calories, anyway. However, I couldn’t resist the cold apple-cucumber soup, which sounded perfect and refreshing for a warm evening. And, since it’s now the tail end of “Spargel” season, Bill had the asparagus soup.
For our main courses, I ordered the smoked pork cheeks with herbed risotto, strawberries, and balsamic vinaigrette. Bill went with Parmesan encrusted corn fed chicken breasts, served with Romaine salad, smoked tomatoes, and tarragon “Schmand” (sour cream). While we waited for our food, we enjoyed bread with butter and Spundekäs, a locally produced cheese spread usually served with pretzels.
The server didn’t do a formal wine presentation. Instead, she just brought the wine out, opened it, and served me first. She looked like a teenager, so my guess is that she doesn’t yet drink wine herself. She might not yet know to offer guests the opportunity to taste the wine before it gets served. However, in spite of her youth, I thought she was very charming and did a very good job serving everyone.
A few minutes after she brought us our wine, the proprietor came out and checked out which wine we ordered. He spoke English to us, which was much appreciated, and apologized that he didn’t have menus in English. We didn’t need English menus anyway, thanks to years of dining out in Germany, and the availability of smartphones with Google Translate! Besides, although my ability to speak German is extremely limited, I do understand a fair amount of it when I’m paying attention. Bill can speak basic conversational German with confidence.
Here are some photos of the food… It was a real hit with us!
We both really enjoyed our dinners. I hadn’t been expecting the food to be as good as it was. Since the restaurant was called Riesling Stuben and the dress was casual, I was expecting more traditional, stereotypical German fare. I was pleasantly surprised, both by the originality of the dishes and the way they were presented. They tasted good, too, although I think some of the reason we enjoyed everything so much had to do with the weather and the cool “cocktail” music they were playing– think old school jazz, from people like Desi Arnaz, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra. Yes, I did a lot of “Shazaming”. In fact, I even downloaded an album while we were eating.
As you can see from the second set of photos, we did get some clouds, and a few raindrops. One party moved into the restaurant. Another paid up and left. We waited out the very short rain spell, along with the couple who was there before us. They were drinking a lot, and it was soon pretty obvious that they were friends of the owners, who even joined them for a couple of rounds. I felt like we were watching a dinner party.
After we were finished with dinner, we decided to order dessert, but told the proprietor that we would finish the wine before it was time for the Nachtisch (dessert). He took our order and left us to enjoy the rest of the Riesling. About ten or fifteen minutes later, we were finished with the wine. The waiter came out with what looked like dessert for us, but then he walked out of the courtyard to– I’m not sure where!
This was where dinner became a little strange, as the service went off the rails. We sat in the courtyard for a long time, with no sign of anyone in charge. I didn’t mind it at first, because the weather was nice, and the music was entertaining. But, after awhile, it did get a little bit awkward and weird. I was wondering what was going on. Finally, the guy came back and asked us if we were okay. We reminded him about dessert, and he smacked his head. He had forgotten! And he had noticed me noticing him with the desserts he carried out of the courtyard, but it didn’t occur to him that we were waiting for ours.
He gave us a round of dessert wine for our troubles, which was much appreciated. The dessert wine went well with my chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce, and Bill’s apple “Kuchle”, which was basically slices of apples dipped in batter, fried, and dusted with sugar and cinnamon, then served with vanilla ice cream.
I have had better chocolate mousse, but I really liked Bill’s dessert. The mousse would have been improved with less raspberry sauce, which overwhelmed the chocolate somewhat. I didn’t even taste the chocolate at first, until I got past the intense raspberry. I noticed that raspberry was a prominent ingredient at this place. All three of my courses had elements of it. I think if we went back, I’d have what Bill had. Unless, of course, they have the lemon tart listed on the menu available again.
I visited the ladies room while Bill handled the check. It gave me a chance to take a couple of photos on the interior, which is very cute and cozy! I got a kick out of the ladies room. I will warn that getting to the restrooms could be a challenge for those who have limited mobility. They are located up a creaky staircase.
We enjoyed an on the house round of wine liqueur as Bill paid the 112 euro check with his credit card. As we were about to leave, the people at the next table asked if we were on vacation. I said, “No, we live in Breckenheim. And we’ll be back!” They laughed and wished us a pleasant evening. We really enjoyed ourselves, in spite of the wait for our desserts. The waiter handled that situation with grace. Fortunately, we weren’t in a hurry, and the weather and charm of the place made waiting less irritating.
On the way back to the car, we passed a wine stand being held at one of Hochheim’s many Weinguts. I got a kick out of the vending machine, which sold wines and wine glasses. Sadly, though, one needs a German “Ausweis” (ID card) to make a purchase. I guess that machine is only for true locals! Oh well.
We were raving about the evening all the way back home, promising to spend more time in Hochheim, not just for dinner at the Riesling Stuben, but also to try other restaurants in the town and, of course, buy some wine!
Well… I can’t say our dinner at Riesling Stuben was perfect, but we did have a wonderful time. And it is a very unique and cute eatery. Atmosphere and presentation count for a lot. I do think the weather helped a lot to make last night so special. Regardless, we left Hochheim smiling, and promising ourselves to return sooner, rather than later.
I’m not sure Bill was remembering what today is, when he decided he wanted to go out for lunch. It’s Mother’s Day in Germany, just as it is in the USA. Having been a waitress in a prior life, I knew what that could mean for those who wanted to go out to eat. But Bill was gone for eight nights, and we were hankering for a date somewhere, so he decided to book us lunch at Rocco’s Italian Grill & Bar in Bad Soden.
We’ve been to this restaurant a few times, having discovered it, and the wonderful spa town it’s in, a few years ago on OpenTable.de. We love the bar in this restaurant, and when it’s nice outside, it’s pleasant to sit outdoors and people watch. Today, because of the clouds, I determined that I wanted to sit inside. I figured it would be packed… and it was very busy, but not fully booked.
Parking in Bad Soden is generally difficult. We made a few passes before Bill finally let me out so he could find a spot. He remembered where the relatively hidden parkdeck was. That was a blessing, as there were several spots open there. Lots of other people were trying to park at the same time we were and having no success. Bill said he saw a sign indicating that the parkdeck would be closed starting tomorrow through July. Guess we won’t be back to Bad Soden for awhile! 😉 We made today count, anyway…
We decided to eat indoors, mainly because I didn’t want it to rain on my new wool dress. Bill got dressed up, which meant I had to dress up, too. He wanted to see how his injured foot would do in dress shoes, since he’s going back to the office tomorrow. He seemed to do fine in his business casual attire.
As I mentioned up post, the restaurant was busy, but not totally full. Lots of families were out with their kids. A table near us was loaded with kids and a dog who protested a few times from under the table. At another table near us, I watched the young girl go to the bathroom about a half dozen times within the span of an hour. A couple of times, she took her mom with her. I won’t lie. That made me a little nervous, but it turns out there was no need. As usual, the food was top notch.
I had a 300 gram U.S. Prime Rib-Eye steak with a side of mashed potatoes. It was cooked to a perfect medium, and topped with rosemary. Bill went with veal spare ribs, which came with barbecue sauce and fries. We had a lovely Malbec and a bottle of sparkling water to help wash things down. Before we got out main courses, we had wonderful, hot, fresh olive bread with aioli and huge green olives with peppers.
If we’d wanted to, we could have had pizza or pasta, fish, burgers, or something vegan or vegetarian. But Rocco’s really seems to specialize in steaks and ribs. On prior visits, we’ve had other choices of ribs and steaks. They’re always outstanding.
I got some photos of our lunch, which culminated in delightful desserts. I had a red velvet lava cake with cream cheese frosting. Bill had an almond and cherry ice cream parfait. I normally don’t like lava cakes, but this one was different, as it wasn’t the usual chocolate.
I’d like to spend more time in Bad Soden. It’s a beautiful town, with nice restaurants and a lovely park. Parking can be quite a pain there, though, as we were reminded of again today.
I think lunch ran about 200 euros or so. We paid with a card. It was pretty noisy, mainly because of the young children who were dining. When the families near us left, the decibel level went down by about half. But everybody seemed to be having a very nice time. As usual, I can only recommend Rocco’s, although there are some other restaurants in Bad Soden I’m hoping to try.
Yesterday, Bill asked me if I might like to go out for lunch today, since, because of the weather, we didn’t go anywhere special on Saturday. I suggested Landhaus Diedert, an upscale eatery in Wiesbaden that we discovered almost exactly a year ago. On April 3, 2022, we visited this hotel/restaurant for the very first time and had an impressive Sunday lunch. It wasn’t planned in advance that we’d visit again on April 2, 2023. I simply remembered really enjoying our first visit, and thinking it would offer a pleasant midday repast. Also, Apple keeps showing me pictures from last year’s visit, and that reminded me we were overdue for another trip.
Bill booked our table through his trusty OpenTable.de app, and we showed up promptly for our 1:00 reservation. I think Bill was especially excited about the menu, which he studied before we arrived. Landhaus Diedert, which is located in an old Kloster, changes its menus regularly, and Bill noticed they had some rather exotic (for us) offerings. Today, they had rabbit, ox, halibut, and turbot, as well as Iberico pork steak with truffles. Bill is a more adventurous eater than I am, so he had a lot of choices.
The waitress brought out white and wheat breads, with butter and hummus. We also had aperitifs– Champagne for me, and a sparkling non-alcoholic sour cherry juice for Bill. I loved the cherry juice and would probably opt for that next time, should I have the opportunity. It was not too sweet, but light and refreshing.
As we were deciding on lunch, Bill ordered a bottle of local dry red wine, as well as a bottle of sparkling water. After a perfectly done wine service, our wine was “held hostage” on a nearby table full of liqueurs and digestives. I actually dislike this practice of wait staff insisting on pouring wine for clients, because sometimes they get super “weeded” (busy) and forget this part of service. You sit there waiting for them to notice you need a refill. And if you try to rectify it yourself, they get upset. Fortunately, this wasn’t too much of a problem at Landhaus Diedert today, as our servers were very attentive. I guess I should amend my comment. I don’t mind my wine being held hostage, as long as the wait staff doesn’t leave me wanting for long. 😉
For my starter, I ended up choosing an essence of tomato soup with basil oil, while Bill had the wonderful wild garlic soup with goat cheese. I was tempted by the wild garlic soup myself, but scared off by the goat cheese, which I worried would be too strong for me. I did taste the wild garlic soup and found it to be excellent, and not too strong. However, I’m glad I got the tomato soup, because it was lighter, and because it was different from the other soups we’ve been eating lately.
For our main courses, I had the fried halibut with flamed leeks and celery, chickpea foam, rhubarb, and tarragon. Bill went with the braised ox cheeks with Vichy carrots, pearl barley risotto, parsley root cream, and port wine shallots. Both dishes were beautifully presented and delicious, as well as filling. There are vegan and vegetarian options for those who would prefer to skip the meat. They also have a “healthy menu”, which offers lighter fare.
I noticed the restaurant was well attended today, with several couples and a couple of family groups. I always enjoy watching German families dining out. It makes me miss home a bit.
After we finished our main courses, we had dessert. I had Cocos Rocher with mango passion fruit seeds lychee espuma, and guava sorbet. Bill had an apple and walnut tart, with pistachio ice cream and mascarpone espuma. We were offered coffee and espresso, but we had to finish the wine!
All told, we spent about 185 euros for today’s marvelous lunch. It was worth every euro cent. And, as I looked at the Biergarten under the trees out front, it occurred to me that we really need to visit when the weather is good. Or, really, just more often altogether. I have some favorite local restaurants, but I think there’s easily room for Landhaus Diedert. Parking, by the way, is free– but the hotel kind of runs into a neighborhood, so it can be tricky to access.
Below are some photos from today’s excursion!
I’m really glad we decided to go out today. I think our Sunday lunch habit is about to resume!
On Friday, March 24, Bill and I made our way down to a very familiar city. We were both relieved to be on our way. The lead up to this trip had been very stressful, as our dog, Arran, was suffering from lymphoma, and we were very worried about the prospect of boarding him. He’d been physically healthy enough until the evening of March 16, when he suddenly had what appeared to be a stroke.
On the morning of the 17th, it was pretty clear that Arran was fixing to make his way to the Rainbow Bridge. We helped him on his way. While it was very sad to say goodbye to Arran, the timing of his passing was kind of fortuitous. It meant we wouldn’t be worried about him all weekend, as we were in the fall, when we visited Hotel Bareiss just after he was diagnosed with cancer.
March 24th was a rainy and chilly day. Noyzi was delighted to get to go to the Tierpension Birkenhof, though. He hadn’t been there since the fall, when we last went to see Dr. Blair. In November, we had our 20th wedding anniversary holiday, in Ribeauville, France. We took the dogs with us for that trip. For this trip, we needed to board Noyzi. I booked the Wald Hotel’s suite, and though the hotel is very dog friendly, the specific room we were staying in wasn’t, as it is carpeted. Luckily, Noyzi LOVES the hundepension. Arran used to like going there, but as he got older, he made it clear that he’d rather be with us. It was good that he didn’t have to endure a last stay there.
I got a video of Noyzi on his way to the “dog hotel”. He absolutely loves going there– as you can see! I was surprised to see that they’d done some renovation since we were last there, too. But Noyzi also likes coming home. Bill is going to go get him in an hour.
Once the dog was dropped off, we continued our journey south. I had suggested to Bill that we should stop for lunch in the town of Besigheim, a hamlet known for its wines. It’s just north of Ludwigsburg, a city in the Stuttgart area we used to visit all the time. We had never been to Besigheim before, but I decided it would make for a nice stop when I saw someone share photos of it in a local Facebook group. We didn’t have the best weather, but I did find the municipality to be very charming indeed. Better yet, it had plenty of cheap parking, and a garage that had a public restroom, which Bill really needed. 😉
I managed to get some photos, and then we had lunch at a historic restaurant on the main drag called Ratsstüble Besigheim. It appeared to be a local favorite, and we did have a nice lunch there. I think the waitress was kind of curious about us. Overall, we liked the lunch, although my fish was a little burnt on one side. Bill loved his salad, though.
I don’t think they get a lot of Americans in Besigheim, although I could be mistaken. My German friend says that one of Barack Obama’s forebears was born in that town in 1729. These days, it looks like it’s mostly known for being a place to buy lovely local wines. I’d like to go back, as I noticed a nice looking hotel, a wine bar, and some inviting looking shops. They also had several restaurants that were intriguing, and an Italian Feinkost (gourmet shop).
I would have liked to have stayed in Besigheim longer, but it was getting later in the afternoon and we were worried about traffic. It turns out we were right to be worried. Getting into Stuttgart via Heilbronn and state roads was a bit of a nutroll. There was tons of construction, as usual, as well as the annoying traffic patterns one often encounters in Stuttgart. But, after taking our usual route back today, we can say with all honesty, the Autobahn isn’t a whole lot better. 😉 There is a reason they call it “STAUgart.
We arrived at Wald Hotel in the late afternoon, and were welcomed by a young man who half-heartedly offered to help us with our bags. I was more impressed the last time we visited the Wald Hotel, and stayed in the Junior Suite (which is a better room, in my opinion). That was in May 2019. But anyway, I got photos of the Suite, too… and I don’t think I need to book it again. It was nice enough, but I liked the Junior Suite more, and it costs less. I actually like the rainfall showers better in the newer Superior Rooms. They’re awesome, and have mood lighting. The “suites” are lovely marble, but they don’t have rainfall capacity or mood lighting. I also think the beds in the Superior rooms are more comfortable.
I see in my review of the Junior Suite (502/500) in May 2019, I mentioned a “mysterious stairway”. I think I figured out that it leads to the Suite (501), as the two can be booked to accommodate a family of up to six people. There’s also a little bedroom in the Suite complex (500) that probably gets used for kids.