Sunday afternoon at the Waldgeist Biergarten!

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.

At the Waldgeist!

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!

Bill and his cheeses!

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.


Dinner at Restaurant Bei Stefan in Jettingen…

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!


Watching the game at Wirtshaus Drive Biergarten

Because we are going to attend a gathering next weekend, I needed to visit the PX at Panzer to purchase a cake carrier.  When we were finished shopping, it was about 4:00pm.  Bill and I had talked about visiting the Irish pub in Herrenberg, but noticed that their food offerings were kind of skimpy.  Since we were hungry and Vaihingen is not far from Panzer, we decided to head there.  Instead of visiting The Auld Rogue as we usually do on Sundays when we’re in the neighborhood, we decided to visit their neighbors at the Wirtshaus Drive Biergarten.

Bill and I had noticed the Wirtshaus Drive Biergarten when we lived here the first time, from 2007-09.  We lived at the Vaihinger Hof for six weeks and really got to know Vaihingen’s restaurants pretty well because we ate out all the time.  For some reason, we never visited this particular restaurant when we were here the first time, nor had we gone there prior to its recent renovation.  I had noticed how nice the place was looking since it was redone, even though we had never been in there before.  It looks like they bought the building to the left of the original structure and about doubled the size of the restaurant.  Since they open at 4:00pm on Sundays, we decided to have a look.  As it turned out, it was a good thing we got there early.

Bill and I awkwardly sat down at a booth close to the door and not far from the impressive bar.  I was admiring the beautifully made tables and benches.  They are very solid and high quality.  It took some time before the bartender approached us.  I didn’t realize that he was working alone and was feeling a little weird.  At first, I suggested that we just have a drink and then head to The Auld Rogue.  But then, maybe after we’d been sitting for about ten or fifteen minutes, the bartender came over.  He was friendly, spoke excellent English, and very quickly brought us our first round, a Bock and and a Keller Bier.

The bar area.  Note the dartboard on the right.

Obligatory shot of Bill.  He was mid sentence.

My bock…


Bill’s beer…


Really impressive television.  I counted four of them in the upstairs dining room.  There is also a downstairs dining room, which has its own rest room.


Nice menu.

About halfway into my beer, I decided I wanted to stay and have dinner.  Wirtshaus Drive Biergarten offers Swabian specialties, pizzas, pasta, and spare ribs.  They also have a children’s menu and daily specials.  I decided I wanted to try their American spare ribs.  Bill had the pork Wiener Schnitzel.

Look over Bill’s left shoulder at the dog, who was working the tables the whole time we were there.  That dog is obviously a fixture.

The dog is sitting under the table as a lady watches the football game…


The restaurant began to fill up as we waited for our dinners.  Before long, all of the seating near the bar area was taken.  It wasn’t long before I realized that Bill and I were sitting in prime real estate as far as bar patrons were concerned.  Lots of people were having to settle for the dining area in the newer part of the restaurant.  For some reason, they didn’t turn on the TV in that area.

The crowd thickens…


Our food arrived fairly quickly… and it was enough food for four people!

My pork ribs, which came with delicious potato wedges and a garlic and dill dipping sauce that was very addictive.  I have had better ribs, though these were not bad at all.  The barbecue sauce was a little mild for my taste, and that’s really saying something.  On the other hand, that dip for the potatoes was like crack.


Bill’s garden variety schnitzel.  This was nothing to write home about, though Bill enjoyed it.


Both dishes came with salads dressed with a mild yogurt dressing.  I appreciated that they also brought us ketchup and mayo for the potatoes.


I managed to finish the ribs, but still had lots of potatoes left.  Bill ate about half of his schnitzel and neither of us got more than half of our salads down.  We were able to take the leftovers to go, though I doubt they gave me the garlic sauce.  That was the best part of the meal!

We decided to have one more round…  and the place got even busier!

Sign outside the restaurant.

The front facade.


As the sun went down, more people crowded in.  I started to watch the football game and  I’ll be damned if it wasn’t exciting.  It was a match between Stuttgart and Schalke.  I don’t usually follow sports, but I caught myself enjoying the camaraderie in the restaurant.  The place was mostly full of Germans who cheered loudly for each exciting and impressive play, even when the guy on the Schalke team did a cartwheel after scoring a goal.  I think I wouldn’t mind watching soccer over American football.  For those who want to chastise me for that, realize that I don’t follow team sports at all!  Neither does Bill.

When things were really rocking in the restaurant, we decided it was time to pay up and go.  Just as Bill asked for the check, a tall German guy asked if he and his family could share our table.  Bill made his evening by telling him we were leaving sofort.   The guy brightened up and thanked Bill as he and his family swooped in and snagged our table.  Bill paid our 38 euro check and we split… sofort.

We really enjoyed our visit to Wirtshaus Drive.  Though we didn’t get a chance to see this establishment before they fixed it up, we were impressed by how nice it looks inside after the obviously extensive renovations.  It’s clear the owners invested a lot of money into upgrading the restaurant.  We also peeked at the biergarten and determined that when the weather is better, we will have to visit so we can try it out.

The food at the restaurant is fairly good.  I’ve had better and I’ve had much worse.  Next time, I may opt for a pasta dish.  We liked the bar because it’s comfortable and offers a different vibe than The Auld Rogue does.  While we’d probably go to The Auld Rogue for its fine whiskys, Irish beers, good food, great music, and American clientele, Wirtshaus Drive offers a refreshing change of pace in a very pleasant environment.  If you want to visit on a game day and sit near the bar, I recommend getting there early.  I’m sure we’ll be back.

P.S. On the way home, we passed the Haslacher Hof and noticed that they, too, were watching the same game on huge TVs.  I could see it from the road as we drove by the restaurant.  Maybe it’s time we resubscribed to German cable.  I think I could get into football and maybe it would help me learn German.