Uncategorized

Sweet false hopes… but BrewDog saved the afternoon!

A few days ago, The New York Times ran an article about Khachapuri, a popular dish made of fresh bread, cheese, and egg, in Transcaucasian countries, to include Georgia and Armenia. I lived in Armenia for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and while I can’t say I ate a lot of Khachapuri when I lived there, I’ve come to appreciate the milder versions offered outside of the country. When I lived in Armenia, the dish was made with stinky cheese, which I could not abide. When it’s made with milder cheese, it’s more delicious to me.

Anyway, when I saw the article in The New York Times, I was reminded of the times Bill and I have enjoyed Georgian food. We went to Georgian restaurants in Stuttgart and Frankfurt, as well as several in Wroclaw, Poland. The Frankfurt restaurant was a bit of a disappointment, but the ones in Stuttgart and Poland were awesome. I did a Google search and learned that much to my shock, Wiesbaden has an Armenian restaurant unsurprisingly called Ararat. I looked them up, and it appeared that they were open today. So Bill and I ventured out there to see if it was a good place to eat.

The restaurant is located in an area of Wiesbaden that is known for its Eastern European population. That’s where one can visit the Mix Markt for eastern goodies. It’s in a residential area, and probably gets lots of locals as visitors. It also looks like they host a lot of parties and such, with live music.

We approached, and the door was open. There was a young guy on the phone and a young woman. The proprietor came out and said they were closed on Sundays, even though Google and their sign said they were supposed to be open every day.

I couldn’t resist, and asked in Armenian if they were from Armenia (Hayastan), since the place also advertises Russian food. Their faces lit up as they answered yes, in Armenian, and asked if I was Armenian, too. I actually answered “no” in German, then explained in Armenian that I know some Armenian. Then I said in English “I used to live there.” What can I say? It’s been 25 years since I last had to speak Armenian on a daily basis. Anyway, I could hear them commenting and chuckling as we walked away. We’ll have to call and find out when they have regular hours. I’d love to try their horovats… or shashlik, if they prefer.

We went back to Wiesbaden and parked at the Kurhaus, then walked into town. It didn’t look like anything exciting was happening, so we headed to BrewDog, where we ate a couple of months ago. I knew they’d be open, because they don’t take a pause. It was almost 2:00pm.

We drank a couple of beers and each tried something different from the last time we visited. I had a “Cluck Norris” sandwich, which was fried chicken breast with avocado, red onion, cajun mayo, and coriander with a side of fries. Bill had a roasted chicken sourdough bowl, which was basically a big salad with pieces of chicken and a piece of toasted sourdough bread. His dish also included chilli, chia seeds, and avocado.

We enjoyed the music, and I took a few new selfies, because I was wearing makeup and the lighting was good. Plus, since it wasn’t super hot outside, I wore something besides a t-shirt and shorts. While we were sitting there, a waifish blonde girl came in and dropped off a keychain with a note. She was quick as a flash, and we watched her go in and out in a matter of a minute or so, before she went across the street and did the same at a cafe. This isn’t the first time this has happened to us. I’m not sure where she was from, but I would guess it’s an eastern nation, and this is their way of collecting money. They try to sell little trinkets to sympathetic people who are trying to eat. I don’t think she had any luck.

Below are a few photos. I didn’t manage to get any of Ararat, although I’m sure we’ll try to visit again when they’re open– after we’ve called to verify. The owner had a very kind face and seemed super friendly. But I don’t mind that we went to BrewDog, either. That’s a fun place!

I really do hope we can try Ararat. I love finding new restaurants, especially when they offer different food than what is available everywhere! And I have missed Armenia… and Armenian people!

Standard
Uncategorized

Lunch at Benner’s Bistronomie and the last day of Wiesbaden’s Wine Fest!

We didn’t go anywhere on Saturday. I got kind of a late start and, by the time I was finished with my Saturday chores, it was already about 1:00pm. The sky was dark, and rain was promising to fall, so despite Bill’s desire to venture out, I demurred. Since we stayed in on Saturday, I agreed to go out yesterday. Bill made reservations at Benner’s Bistronomie, located in Wiesbaden’s grand Kurhaus.

Benner’s is in the location that used to house a restaurant called Lambertus. We ate at Lambertus in April of 2019. I remember liking the place, especially since the inside of the Kurhaus is historic and beautiful. I didn’t know Lambertus had ceased operations, but we were game to try the new tenant in the old world European building. I’ll say one thing for Wiesbaden; it sure is a pretty town! There’s a lot of graceful architecture and grandiosity, especially downtown. It’s what some Americans might call “fancy”.

Our reservations were for 2:30pm. We made them for later because yesterday was also the last day of a wine festival in Wiesbaden we’ve been trying to get to. We were going to hit the wine fest last week, but I was inconvenienced by a certain monthly visitor and didn’t feel like going anywhere.

Like Saturday, it appeared that we might be in for some rain. When we approached Benner’s, there were a few people sitting outside. The server who spoke to us in unmasked German advised that we might want to eat inside because it would be more “gemütlichkeit” (pleasant, cozy). Noticing the heavy dark, grey clouds, we agreed– as she reminded us to wear masks. We put them on and went inside; no one asked to see proof of vaccines or anything, not that I was expecting them to do that. So far, we haven’t run into anyone who cares if we’ve had the shot(s).

I’ll state right away that our lunch was excellent. The food was very good. The service was friendly, if not a little bit absent-minded. We had to remind the server to bring us sparkling water. We also happened to be there at the time when a lot of people were wanting coffee and cake. Having waited tables myself, I know that the coffee and cake orders can be more work for less money! Anyway, here are some photos from yesterday’s repast!

After paying with a credit card and tipping in cash, we headed out to the wine festival. Much to our surprise, there was security there, but it seemed that they really just wanted to make sure everyone was registering with Luca or Corona Warn, the two contract tracing apps being used in Germany right now. I definitely like Corona Warn best of all the apps, since it does more– holds my vaccine certificates (which again weren’t checked) and allows me to scan the QR code for contact tracing. It’s also in English. Luca just does contact tracing. I also have Cov Pass, but it’s not as user friendly for Americans, since it’s in German.

Below are some photos from the wine fest. They had one tent that was serving food, and several wine tents. We only visited one, and I tried several different vinos…

Although we got rained on and it was actually a bit chilly outside, especially for August, we had a really nice time at the fest. I was reminded of how much I’ve missed these kinds of events since the pandemic started. Things are definitely not normal here, but they’re much more normal than they were a year ago. I’m grateful for that… yesterday was definitely a morale booster!

We have plans to go to the Black Forest at the end of the month. We will visit Stuttgart to see our dentist, then spend four nights in a beautiful spa resort in Baiersbronn, about 30 or 40 minutes from where we used to live. As much pain as we went through in our last house, I am glad we lived there. It gave us the chance to explore the Black Forest on many day trips– we completely missed that experience the first time we lived in Germany! And now that we don’t live so close, we have an excuse to vacation down there. Maybe that’s one gift of COVID life… if not for the pandemic, we’d be wanting to go farther afield, and we’d still be missing the closer gems available to us right here in Germany.

I don’t know if we’ll get around to taking a “big” vacation this year. If we don’t, I’m happy to keep enjoying long weekends in places that aren’t too far away from us. Especially if the weather stays agreeable.

Standard
Uncategorized

Sometimes Sundays at home are best…

The weather looked grim yesterday morning, so Bill and I decided to stay home. He bought a three pound rib roast that he planned to cook for dinner. Hebridean Island Cruises has gotten us in the habit of having “Sunday roast”, since they do that every Sunday on the ship.

We needed a few things from AAFES (our military exchange), so Bill went out to get what we needed… new toothbrushes (although mine wound up being defective), toilet paper, board games, and puzzles. He came home with all of that, as well as six bottles of wine from the French vintner who was hawking his wares at the Wiesbaden PX yesterday.

When he got home, I turned on some music and we put together the puzzle he found…

This 300 piece puzzle took a couple of hours to put together… AAFES didn’t have much of a selection.

We drank plenty of wine, though none of it was the wine Bill bought from the French guy. I loved that he got a wooden crate.

These will be nice as the weather gets colder.

And then, while the roast was cooking, we played a game of old school Scrabble. I play Words With Friends all the time, but I hadn’t played regular Scrabble in many years. Neither had Bill.

I won by a lot, though…

Finally, we had dinner, which was delicious. The commissary doesn’t always have the best meat, but we like them for some things because unlike the Germans, American butchers don’t cut off all the fat which results in more juiciness and flavor. Bill also made Yorkshire pudding for the first time. It turned out very well.

I know… I should be eating a salad. I wanted prime rib earlier in the week and was surprised Bill could find one. They aren’t always available.

All in all, it was a very nice Sunday. Yes, I like to go out and see Germany when I can, but when the weather is grim, cold, and wet, sometimes it’s nice to stay in and bond in our nest.

Arran likes it when we stay home, too… He’s eating up being the only dog.

I’m grateful I can hang out with Bill, and he actually enjoys my company. I know a lot of women whose husbands would rather hang out with their guy friends or worse, their girlfriends… Bill is a good family man and a great cook, to boot. We’re both very blessed to have each other. I hope we’ll have many more years to hang out and bond on rainy Sunday afternoons.

Standard
Uncategorized

A decadent Sunday lunch at Little Italy Cucina Italiana in Wiesbaden…

Back in October of 2018, Bill and I visited Wiesbaden for the first time.  Our purpose was to househunt.  We stayed in Town Hotel Wiesbaden, a small hotel downtown, with our two dogs, so we tried several restaurants near the hotel.  Little Italy Cucina Italiana was one of the restaurants we dined at, and you can read my write up of that experience here on this blog.

Today, we needed to visit our local military installation for some supplies.  I needed some high-end make up and Bill needed to get my car set up for fueling.  We stopped by AAFES first, and ended up having a very entertaining and longwinded chat with the customer service guy, who’s lived in Wiesbaden since 1974.  He got my Mini Cooper squared away with a fuel ration card and told us all about the history of the military in the area at the same time.  I probably would have enjoyed chatting with him all day, and he seemed willing, but we had more shopping to do.  So once we had my makeup in hand, we headed for the commissary.

We bought some food staples, but discovered we forgot the Bisquik once we got home.  There’s always something we miss!  Sadly, it’s not as easy to rectify things in Wiesbaden, since there’s only one commissary as opposed to the four in the Stuttgart area.  Nevertheless, I got us some cleaning supplies and junk food I’ve been craving and definitely shouldn’t be eating.  Then we stopped by the Shoppette for some wine to help ring in the new year.

After we were finished shopping, it was about 2:00pm.  We went to Wiesbaden, parked, and headed into the city center.  Our journey took us past Little Italy Cucina Italiana.  Neither Bill nor I really felt like hunting for a place to eat and it was clear the restaurant was not taking a pause.  In we walked, and we were warmly greeted by a lovely waitress who spoke excellent English.

Last time we ate at Little Italy, we dined outside.  This is possible in most weather, since they have installed heaters over the tables.  Inside, the dining room is very tiny, as are the tables.  We took a corner table that was situated very close to another table.  Fortunately, it wasn’t busy.

I told Bill I was in the mood for a really beautiful lunch.  Lo and behold, that’s what I got.  As we listened to 80s era pop hits remade into smooth jazz, Bill and I ate our way through three dynamite courses.  Feast your eyes…

Out front.  I noticed the English speaking proprietor in the window.  I remembered him from last time.  He’s very friendly and good at suggesting things.  The guy walking into the restaurant was memorable.  He appeared to be waiting for a staff member and walked in as if he owned the place.  He had on skinny jeans, walked with a confident swagger, and shook the proprietor’s hand as he caught his reflection in the mirror and fixed his hair.

 

This is about half of the dining room.  It’s not the smallest restaurant I’ve ever been to, but it’s pretty small.

 

The “bar”.

 

Obligatory shot of Bill.

We started with super fresh bread, olive oil with tomato paste, and San Pellegrino…

And excellent red wines by the glass.

The last time we visited, I was intrigued by a raw tuna and avocado appetizer.  I didn’t order it the last time, since it was almost 20 euros and I figured it would be big.  Bill and I split it this time.  I’m glad we split it.  It was delicious and super fresh, but a lot for one person.  It was citrusy tuna with avocado bits, along with a tiny salad.  Topped with a bread stick and garnished with pomegranate seeds that helped cut the saltiness, this was a lovely starter.  At the end, I got just a hint of ginger.

 

My main dish was spaghetti sepia, basically dyed with squid ink, and served with creamy hummer (lobster) sauce and shrimp.  I managed half, since I was saving room for dessert.  This was a bit heavy, but satisfying.  Next time, I’d have it without the starter.

 

Bill went with Osso Bucco, basically a veal pot roast served with a tomato and carrot sauce, and garnished with quince.  Again, a bit heavy, but delicious.  I don’t eat a lot of veal, but I did try this dish.  If you like very tender, flavorful meat that falls off the bone, this is for you.

 

Our lunch was very leisurely and enjoyable.  The staff wasn’t rushed, so the service was excellent and the food was delightful.  It was interesting to people watch, too.  This restaurant is located on a somewhat busy street that brings a lot of foot traffic.  I noticed this restaurant is very popular with Italians, too.  Always a good sign in an Italian restaurant in Germany!

I couldn’t resist having dessert.  I gave some thought to having something off the regular menu, but our bald friend had a suggestion.  He had “baba”, which was basically like a very decadent sponge cake soaked in rum, served with candied cherries, and topped with chocolate ganache.  It wasn’t too large and came in two pieces, so it was perfect for sharing.

Yummy!  The perfect end to a lovely meal.

Bill had an espresso, while I finished my Primitivo.

All told, we spent about 100 euros before the tip, which Bill paid for with a credit card.  The proprietor asked us if we had his phone number.  I’m sure he doesn’t mind guests like us, since we ate a lot and tipped well.  And it was very obvious we were having a good time… I left there gushing, “What a fabulous meal!”

The proprietor wished us a happy new year, then told us next time we’re “boring”, to give him a call.  I had to laugh, since our old veterinarian in Herrenberg made the same error.  There must be something in German grammar that causes people to say “boring” when they mean “bored”.  But hell, I don’t speak German worth a damn, so I can’t make too much fun.  I just thought it was funny.  I’ve been called a lot of things, but boring isn’t one of them.

We really like Little Italy and I think we’ll probably be regulars.  The food is always good.  The service is friendly and professional.  And we’re always warmed welcomed by the man in charge.  That makes it a winning destination… especially since they don’t seem to take an afternoon pause and we like to eat lunch late.

I got a couple of shots of the action at the ice skating rink.  Looks like there will be quite a party in Wiesbaden tomorrow night!

Incidentally, I still haven’t finished yesterday’s Five Guys cheeseburger… I better start walking my dogs more before my ass gets its own zip code.

Standard
Germany

Stormy Sunday…

We didn’t do anything notable yesterday.  The weather turned icky and I just didn’t feel like going out in it, even though there were things going on.  However, I did manage to get a few dramatic photos of last night’s storm before the sun set.  Here they are…

I will miss watching the sun breaking through the clouds.
I will miss the neighbor’s willow tree, which is beautiful all year.
One of the best things about living where we live is being able to watch the weather.  It’s fascinating, especially at this time of year.  Pretty soon, there will be amazing sunrises to photograph.  I hope we’ll get them in Wiesbaden.
I will miss this view when we move.  It will be hard to find a place with such pretty surroundings.  We’ll try, though.
I do look forward to going to a new place for a lot of reasons.  I have seen some great pictures of the Wiesbaden area that makes me think the landscape change will appeal.  I have heard Hessians are different than Swabians are, although my German friend Susanne says true Swabians are a dying breed.  
We did have a nice view the last time we lived in Germany, although our neighborhood was a bit more crowded.  Last time, we had a great view of the Wuermlinger Chapel, sitting on a hill.  I can see that chapel in the distance as we descend into Herrenberg from where we live now.  I’ll miss it.  This area is truly beautiful, especially in a storm.

I did hear that there was an accident at the Neckarmueller in Tuebingen last night.  Something struck a glass door during the storm and five people who were sitting near it were hurt.  Acts of God are a real hazard here, especially when the wind picks up.

Moving is a real pain.  I’d rather not have to do it.  I’ll be glad when the process is finished.
Standard
Uncategorized

Lunch at Restaurant Burg in Nagold…

Once again, we thought about visiting the Freibad in Nagold.  Once again, we got a look at the crowds and decided against it.  That meant we needed to find a place for lunch.  We were going to try a place we’d never been before, but were told there was no food today.  So we kept walking and wound up at Restaurant Burg, a lovely family restaurant in Nagold’s center where we’d eaten once before a couple of years ago.

On the way into town… sleepy ducks!

 

We were lured into their garten, which was advertised as open for lunch.  It was very inviting, with lots of plants and plenty of umbrellas for shade.  It was also well attended today, with plenty of people enjoying hearty local fare.

One of the reasons I like Nagold… has a lot of what I like about Tuebingen without the crowds.

We took one of the few tables that wasn’t reserved.  Bill ordered us a dry white wine and our usual bottle of Spruedel.

I had delicious dorade filets on greens– beautifully prepared Swiss chard, broccoli, and spinach, along with the usual salted, boiled potatoes.  Bill was very excited about the greens.  I was happy to let him share them, because although they were perfectly cooked, there was too much for me!  The fish was also delicious– very fresh and lightly fried.

Bill had homemade raviolis stuffed with spinach and ricotta and dressed with Parmesan cheese, basil and pinenuts.

 

We really should eat at Restaurant Burg more often.  They lady who runs it is so nice and the food is outstanding.  We also really like the inside, which is very quaint, and the outdoor area with its garden feel.  It was warm today, but there was a nice breeze.  We decided to have dessert.

Bill had a red fruit parfait with vanilla ice cream and berries.

I went with a glass of Italian dessert wine and “cantuccini”, otherwise known as biscotti.  They are twice baked almond cookies that you can dip in the wine (or in coffee, if you’d rather).

 

I was impressed by how beautifully everything was presented and how most people seemed to be having a really nice time enjoying each other’s company.  It was a very pleasant scene.  The bill came to 59 euros and was well worth the cost.

The outside of Restaurant Burg.

We left just after they closed down lunch.

On the way back to the car, we got mooned by a swan who was looking for food.

Hungry bird!

 

Baby duck!

 

The pool was even more crowded when we came back, so we decided to go home and enjoy our new air conditioner, which made last night a lot nicer for sleeping.  I think that was 499 euros well spent.  Wish we’d done that weeks ago.

Standard
Uncategorized

Rothenburg ob den Tauber: Part four– Sushi, Sunday services, and sunshine!

Sunday morning, we woke up feeling great.  Because we took it easy Saturday night, we were well-rested.  My little dietary indiscretion at Roter Hahn successfully ran its course (literally) and as a bonus, we had sunshine!  One of Bill’s co-workers told him about a great sushi restaurant called Louvre, located in Rothenburg.  It’s been ages since we last had sushi and even longer since we got to enjoy it while sitting in a restaurant.  I knew I didn’t want anything heavy for lunch, so Louvre seemed like the perfect choice for Sunday’s midday meal.

A sunny picture of the brewery.

But first, we took another stroll around the city and visited areas we missed on Saturday.  The weather was delightful.  I’m told it was grey and cloudy in Stuttgart on Sunday, so I am equally grateful we got such pleasant weather.  Rothenburg is pretty when it’s cloudy, but it’s even more gorgeous when the sun lights up all the gold hardware on the signs and rooftops.  It looks like a showplace.  Below are some pictures I took on our lengthy walk around town.

Although Rothenburg is a tourist friendly city, like everywhere else in Germany, things close on Sundays… at least during the low season.  I did notice Der Schottenladen had Sunday hours posted on its Web site, but they were not open yesterday.  Still, one can window shop all day…

This tower is close to Louvre, a lovely Japanese restaurant…

This is Louvre.  It wasn’t quite ready to open when I took this photo.  Japanese cuisine is served, but there’s art on the walls.  I guess that’s why they call it Louvre!

I’m so glad the sun came out so I could get these pictures of the beautiful countryside.  It reminded me a little of Asheville, NC.

At about 11:30am, we arrived back at Louvre.  We were the first customers of the day.  We quickly learned that it’s a good idea to make a reservation if you want to eat at this place.  Not only is it popular, it’s also very small.  The dining area only accommodates a small group of people at a time.  We noticed there were a couple of reserved tables, though fortunately, there were a few tables left open.

An adorably tiny Japanese lady took our order, bowing and smiling the whole time and very courteously correcting us when we murdered the Japanese pronunciations of the dishes we ordered.  Although we had sushi, we noticed they had several options available that weren’t sushi.  One of the groups who came in after us were having ramen, soup, and other cooked delights.  We were very happy to eat sushi, though.  It was fresh and delicious and very inexpensive!

Bill checks out the menu.  It was hard to make a decision!

I liked Bill’s “Kin” dish better than my “Dai” dish…  His sushi came with fried shrimp!

That salmon sashimi was so fresh… and the tuna and avocado rolls were a bit spicy.  I really enjoyed this lunch, even if I did overload on protein a bit.  

I liked the tables at the restaurant.  I didn’t get a picture of our booth, but it was set in cement blocks like the one pictured above.

This was the painting hanging by our table.  There is artwork all over the dining room to go with the beautifully prepared sushi rolls.

We enjoyed Japanese beer, too.  Nice change of pace!

 

All told, I think our lunch came to about twenty-five euros.  It was probably the cheapest of the meals we had in Rothenburg and definitely the most enjoyable!  Next time we visit Rothenburg, we will have to go back to Louvre.

Just beyond the arches is a lovely park.

We also visited St. Jakob’s Church, a Lutheran place of worship.  Their services were to start at 2:30pm, so we were able to tour the church.  We paid five euros to go in, but were allowed to take pictures and take an informative leaflet that was printed in several languages.  There was also a guide there who was telling visitors about the church, but he was speaking German.

Oh, how I love the sound of a pipe organ…  My mom was a church organist for over fifty years and every time I hear an organ, I think of her.  She is still living, but stopped playing organ about ten years ago.

Pull my finger…  obviously, a lot of people have judging by how shiny it is.

After lunch, we decided to check out the Criminal Museum.  More on that in the next part.

Standard
Sundays

A beautiful Sunday afternoon in Seewald…

I’m always looking for new things to do, especially on Sundays.  Today, I was inspired by the continuing beautiful weather to take a trip to a place Bill and I had never been to before.  I remembered that one of Bill’s coworkers had suggested a cool Biergarten in Seewald.  After searching all my bookmarks, I suggested it to Bill, who had originally planned for us to visit the commissary.  I’m pretty glad I talked him out of that, especially after our little road trip today!

Although Unterjettingen is not all that close to the military installations near Stuttgart, it is in a great area for finding things to do.  Yesterday’s trip to the Barfuss Park was pretty painless; it’s only about a half an hour from where we live.  Likewise, Seewald is also within about a 30 or 40 minute drive.  I was keen to try the Seeheiner Gasthof and Cafe.  I knew the Seeheiner was next to a lake.  What I didn’t know is that the Seewald is a great place to hang out, swim, boat, have a picnic, and enjoy nature.  In fact, many Germans were doing just that today.

I snapped this shot as we sat at a light in Altensteig, a picturesque town we passed through on our way to Seewald.

 

As we approached the biergarten, I noticed there were many, many cars… and even more bikes!  Seeheiner’s parking lot was full of motorcycles.  Plenty of people were parked on the side of the road and most of the parking lots were full.  Undaunted, we parked in P2, which is a lot a bit past the biergarten.  We made our way there, enjoying the majestic beauty of the lake, surrounded by evergreens and full of people having fun.

A man checks out a commemorative sign…

My first unobstructed glimpse of Seewald.

Plenty of people brought all manner of boats and rafts. 

Bringing your dog?  Seewald has you covered.  Unfortunately, not everyone availed themselves of this Hundestation.

At last, we reached the biergarten.  We wanted to sit outside, but every table was taken.  People were especially eager to take the tables on the slowly rotating platform that offered 360 degree views of the lake and the surrounding areas.  Seeheiner has lots of outdoor seating.  Besides the rotating platform, there are a couple of wraparound balconies offering views of the lake.  There’s also seating out front.  We didn’t want to wait for a table outside, so we decided to eat inside.  That was actually okay, since Bill and I drove the Mini convertible and already got some sun on the way to and from the lake.

Beer!

A shot of the rotating platform.  It moves very slowly round and round…

And another shot of the bikes… Bikers obviously love Seeheiner!

It was a beautiful day!

Bill checks out the menu.

 

Seeheiner has warm food throughout the day, though some dishes are only available at certain times of the day.  If you want a traditional lunch, you should arrive between 11:00 and 2:00pm.  The food is very typical hearty Swabian cuisine.  I saw only a few options for vegetarians, though there is a menu for kids.  The wait staff was working very hard and it took some time for them to get to us.  The food turned out to be well worth the wait.  Not only does Seeheiner boast a great location, it also offers delicious food.

Bill and I both had Hefeweizens.

And we had salads, though our dishes were so large that we probably shouldn’t have.  I could only eat about a third of this.

Bill had Schweinebraten.  He said it was probably the best he’s ever had.  I have to admit, this pork was super tender and flavorful.  It was delicious!

I had fresh Nagolder trout. As you can see, it’s liberally sprinkled with toasted almond slivers and accompanied by parsleyed potatoes.  The fish was also excellent.  It was super fresh, moist, and flavorful.  I managed to eat a little over half before I had to stop.  I thought about taking it home for lunch tomorrow, but thought better of it when I realized we were going to want to walk around a bit.  What a shame!

 

I noticed quite a few delicious looking desserts heading out the door… lots of ice cream creations and cakes.  If we were going to be spending the night in Seewald, I might have come back later for a late afternoon sweet.  As it was, we were too full to even consider having dessert.  Our bill was just over forty euros.

A better shot of the sign as we were leaving.

We took a walk around the lake and I found myself wishing I’d worn my bathing suit.  I have been itching to take a swim for some time now!  Maybe we’ll go back next weekend, if the weather holds up for us.  The following are some photos I took as we explored Seewald, a name that now means more to me than just Jessa Duggar’s new last name.  😉

The Seeheiner is one of several nice looking biergartens in the Seewald area.  I also noticed there were lots of people camping in the area.  There is also a small snack bar near the Seeheiner for those who just want a snack and don’t want to battle crowds at Seeheiner.  I also noticed a pubic restroom near where we parked.

When we got back to our car, the guy who was parked next to us had his door open, blocking me from entering my vehicle.  Bill told the guy in German that we were going to leave.  He came around and closed his door.  I got into the car.  As I put the top down on my convertible, he smiled and asked in German if we wanted to trade cars with him.  He was driving a minivan!  Nein danke!

What a beautiful day to go to the lake and enjoy the sunshine.  If you’re looking for a way to spend a warm sunny Sunday, Seewald is a good bet!

But get there early…  Parking is a bit tricky!  At least it doesn’t cost anything!

Standard
Uncategorized

Luz Bistro Bar vs. The Alte Post… (both are now closed)

So Bill and I recently noticed that the restaurant at the Alte Post seems to have changed names.  What we thought was the Alte Post restaurant is called the Luz Bistro Bar.  I looked at their Web site and it appeared that the Alte Post is a more formal restaurant, while Luz Bistro Bar is more casual.  They are run by the same people.

After our quick trip to Switzerland on Sunday, we were in no mood to cook.  So Bill and I went to Nagold and had a lovely dinner outside at the Luz Bistro Bar.  The weather was perfect for sitting outside.  We have actually eaten at this place at least three times and have enjoyed it each time.   But now I see we may have to go back and try what appears to be their nicer restaurant.

As for Sunday’s dinner, this is what we had…

Bill had a sauvignon blanc and I had a riesling…

Then he had a lovely grilled skewer with beef, onion, bacon, and a baked potato.  

I went with a beautifully prepared rib eye and pommes.  The steak was outstanding, though the pommes were rather ordinary.  

 

A lot of people were enjoying a pasta dish with truffles, which I could easily smell from several tables away.  I was tempted by the dorade, though I eat fish all the time.  Service was relaxed but professional.  English menus are available.

As we were leaving, I caught sight of the Vodaphone hot air balloon flying overhead.

 

I love living near Nagold.  I’m so glad we got to come back to the Stuttgart area and get to know more about what this part of Germany offers.  It’s great to be here.  I hope we can stay awhile longer.  And now that I know there’s more to the Alte Post, I will have to make a point of visiting so I can write a proper review.  It appears the Alte Post is only open Thursday through Saturday nights.  Luz Bistro Bar is open daily.  We’ll have to make plans!

Standard
Sundays

Ten things to do in the Stuttgart area on a Sunday…

Hey there.  Yeah, you.  Are you an American who is just getting used to living in Germany?  Are you perplexed about how to spend your Sundays, when everything seems to be closed?  Well, this post is for you.

My husband Bill and I are on our second Stuttgart tour.  We spent two years here when he was still in the Army and we’re coming up on our second year post retirement.  My husband is a contractor, so we’ve found ourselves having to go it alone for a lot of things.  That has made us a lot braver than we were when we lived here a few years ago.

Last night, as we were enjoying a delightful meal in Waldenbuch, we talked about how we’ve been focusing on getting to know the Stuttgart area.  The truth is, there’s a lot to do here.  But on Sundays, it can seem like everything shuts down.  You may be even tempted to hole up in your house.  That would be a tremendous mistake.  It was one we made during our first two years here; then we had to leave early, which was a real bummer!

We left Germany with a lot of good memories in other countries, but not so many made in Stuttgart. Stuttgart and its environs have a lot to offer.  You shouldn’t waste your time here.  So today, I’m going to write a post offering ideas on how to spend your Sundays.  I’m sure I will miss a lot of activities, so if anyone reading this has something to add, by all means, leave me a comment here or on Facebook.

Many of these suggestions do require access to a car, though some are accessible by train or UBahn.

Downtown Stuttgart!

10.  Check out a museum… or perhaps the zoo?

 

A lot of museums are open on Sundays.  The Mercedes-Benz Museum in downtown Stuttgart and the Porsche Museum both have Sunday hours.  Not into cars?  Check out this link, which has a list of museums in the Stuttgart area, many of which are open on Sundays.  You can check out everything from art to wine culture.  When you’re finished checking out Stuttgart’s museums, consider a trip to Tübingen, where there are more museums and plenty of great restaurants, some of which are on the Neckar River.  Or, you could visit the Wilhelma Zoo in downtown Stuttgart, which has Sunday hours and is a crowd pleasing outing.

9.  Visit a castle… or maybe a cave? 

The Stuttgart area is blessed with a number of castles.  On a nice day, you can climb up to Hohenzollern, a very beautiful castle in Hechingen, south of Stuttgart.  Or you can visit Lichtenstein Castle, open every Sunday except in January.  Ludwigsburg and Tübingen also have royal residences that can be visited on a Sunday.  You can also visit caves on Sundays near Stuttgart.  I can’t comment too much on the caves because Bill and I haven’t gone yet.  It’s definitely on the list when the weather improves!

8.  Relax at the spa.

 

This afternoon, Bill and I visited the Mineraltherme in Böblingen, the big steamy complex near Panzer Kaserne.  We love visiting there on Sundays, although that is probably their busiest day of the week, especially when it rains!  The Mineraltherme has a restaurant and snack bar, so you can grab a bite during your visit.  Though there is no signage in English, it won’t be long before you get the hang of it.  Worried about nudity?  Never fear.  There is nudity in the sauna area on the first floor, but the second floor has lots of heated pools and a solarium.  And everybody wears a bathing suit in that area.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the Mineraltherme for small kids, though I have seen them there on occasion.  There aren’t any facilities like kiddie pools at the Mineraltherme.  There are other spas in the Stuttgart area, too, and they also have Sunday hours.

7.  Go out to eat!

 

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know Bill and I often go out to eat on Sundays.  The Auld Rogue is a good bet.  Today, we visited the Brauhaus in Böblingen, which runs a brunch every Sunday.  Although it’s a large restaurant with plenty of parking and seating, Sundays are usually pretty crowded there.  It’s a good place for German food and beer.  While a number of restaurants are closed on Sundays, quite a few are open.  You can easily make reservations on OpenTable.de, which is very convenient for finding new places to try that are open on Sundays.  Sunday is a great day to try out the local cuisine!  When the weather is good, you can find a biergarten and relax while you munch on pretzels and sip German suds.

A few photos from today’s lunch at the brauhaus.

6.  Take a walk in the woods.

 

The Stuttgart area offers many nature parks that are great for wandering through the woods.  We are fortunate enough to live right next to one and when the weather is good, we run into many hikers, horseback riders, dog walkers, and bikers.  Chances are good there’s a park near where you live… or at least some fields where you can enjoy some fresh air.  You can even visit parks where you walk barefoot.  Best of all, you don’t usually have to spend money to take a walk in the woods.

5.  Walk in the treetops.

 

Visit Baumwipfelpfad.  It’s a very cool treetop walk that is a bit of a drive from Stuttgart, but well worth the trip.  Get to the top of the walk and slide down!  When you’re finished, you can visit the spa in the neighboring town of Bad Wildbad.  It also has Sunday hours.  If you like fresh fish, you can visit the Zordel trout farm, a place that seems especially popular with kids, who are welcome to feed the fish.

The tree walk!

4.  Check out some ruins. 

 

There are lots of castle ruins in the towns around Stuttgart.  Last Summer, Bill and I hiked up to Hohennagold, ruins that are situated on a hill overlooking the charming town of Nagold.  Much to our delight, there was a snack bar at the top where ice cold beer in frosted mugs, coffee, and cake were being sold.  That was a nice treat after a long hot hike up to see some awesome ruins!  Herrenberg also has ruins, as well as a very cool bell museum and church that is open on Sundays.  You can also visit Hohenurach’s ruins, which pairs nicely with a visit to Bad Urach’s waterfall or the local spa.  Chances are good your area has ruins to visit, too.

Bad Urach.

3.  Visit Triberg and check out the waterfall and cuckoo clocks.

 

Triberg is a really cute town south of Stuttgart that boasts the highest waterfall in Germany.  It’s also home for many cuckoo clock stores and excellent Black Forest cake.  Because it’s a tourist friendly town, a lot of places are open on Sunday.  Parking may be a challenge; it definitely was when we visited last May.  We ended up parking at the Netto, which was closed on the day of our visit.  It was not a problem and we enjoyed a great day seeing the falls.

Glorious view in Triberg.

You could also visit other nearby cities like Heidelberg, Freiberg, Heilbronn, or Ulm.  They aren’t too far from here, though traffic may make you rather take a train rather than try to drive!  They’re all great places to explore.  Or, if you feel more adventurous, take a day trip to France or Switzerland.  They are both within a couple of hours’ drive.  But do your research before you go, because things are closed on Sundays in France and Switzerland, too.

2.  See a show!  

 

From the movie theater at Patch Barracks to the stages in Stuttgart, there are plenty of entertainment options in Stuttgart.  You can catch a film, a concert, a play, or a musical.  Bill and I have so far enjoyed two great concerts in Stuttgart– Lyle Lovett and Diana Krall.  This summer, we have plans to see Van Morrison.  Check online for showtimes.  You could also go bowling on Panzer if all else fails.  Or you could play ExitGames in Stuttgart, which I plan to goad Bill into doing someday.

1.  Make some local friends and have a gathering.

 

When Bill and I lived here the first time, we didn’t know very many Americans at all.  We didn’t join Facebook until we’d been in Stuttgart a year already.  There was no such thing as Stuttgart Friends, let alone any of the other speciality groups that have formed since we got here.  This time, there seems to be a group for everyone!  One of my favorite groups is the Stuttgart Beer Club, which occasionally has beer tastings.  Beer isn’t your thing?  Not to worry.  There’s a group on Facebook for you.  If there isn’t, why not form one?  Then, once you’ve made some buddies online, make some plans for socializing on those boring Sundays.

I’m in a group that is becoming famous for its BBQs.  Of course, we don’t usually have them on Sundays…  instead, we recover from them on Sundays.  😉  One great thing about living abroad is that your fellow countrymen tend to be friendly.  I find it a lot easier to make real life friends when I live abroad… and this is my fourth time living abroad, so I have a good frame of reference.  Also, when you make friends in the Stuttgart area, you get to see where other people live.  Some folks live in very cool houses or beautiful towns you wouldn’t have otherwise visited.

I hope this post gives you a few ideas of how to spend those pesky Sundays.  Really, I’ve just scratched the surface of things to do around here.  Once you get used to them, Sundays in Germany can be wonderful!

Standard