Takeout Easter from Little Italy of Wiesbaden!

Advertisements

When Bill and I first discovered Wiesbaden in 2018, we found Little Italy, which is a tiny Italian place in the downtown area. From our first visit, in October 2018, we were warmly welcomed at this place, which has a very friendly manager who speaks perfect English. Before COVID-19 struck, we were semi regulars at this restaurant, especially on Sundays at lunchtime.

Unfortunately, vaccine rollout has been very slow in Germany. We’re still kind of on lockdown. Fortunately, we were spared the “hard lockdown” Chancellor Angela Merkle wanted to impose over the Easter holiday, but things are still pretty much closed all over the place. It really sucks and I’m tired of it. But at least I’m not sick.

Anyway, the other day, Bill noticed that Little Italy was offering a special holiday menu for Easter. Since it’s been months since we last visited this restaurant, we decided to order for Easter. It wasn’t really for the holiday, per se. Bill and I are not very religious at all. But this was a good excuse to have some professionally prepared food. Below is a screenshot of Little Italy’s Easter menu, priced at 45,90 euros per person.

Bill loves lamb. I don’t care for it, so I was happy to see they were offering a filet of sole roulade. We both like duck, so the duck carpaccio antipasto was a hit. I am also a fan of profiteroles. He sent off an email order to the manager, who confirmed quickly.

This afternoon, when Bill went to downtown Wiesbaden to pick up our order, he encountered pretty tough parking… It seems that despite the lockdown and Mrs. Merkle’s pleas for everyone to stay home, a lot of people were walking around the city center. Consequently, parking was in short supply. Luckily, the folks at Little Italy had everything packed up nicely. Bill said when he went into the restaurant to get our food, the manager had his phone and was glad to see him. I think he was getting ready to call Bill to see if/when he was coming!

Below are some photos from our Easter repast, which was a very nice and welcome change of pace. The dogs thought so, too… I only wish we could have enjoyed it in person. But Bill broke out the wedding china and silverware and all was lovely, even if the Beastie Boys were playing over the HomePod at one point.

The duck carpaccio was surprisingly good. It was served chilled, with a sundried tomato chutney that married beautifully with the duck breast. The duck was sliced thin, making it easy to enjoy. The portion size was generous. I think of the three courses, I liked the duck carpaccio the most.

Bill loved his lamb. I didn’t try it because I don’t care for lamb. But he also mentioned loving the potatoes, and he has some left for tomorrow’s lunch. Likewise, I managed two of the filet of sole roulades, generously stuffed with spinach cooked to perfection with almonds and Parmesan cheese. I enjoyed the way this was presented, with the garlic risotto and cherry tomatoes. It was excellent. Little Italy also sent along some homemade bread, but Bill forgot to put out the bread plates.

I love profiteroles. This dessert was good, but it could have been better. For one thing, I’m pretty sure the chocolate sauce was good old Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. I remember it well from my childhood. The pastry was tasty, but nothing extraordinary. I have had better… but for the price and convenience, I’m not complaining. I know if we were dining at the restaurant itself, we would have probably had something that doesn’t travel so easily, yet was a bit more impressive.

I’m really hoping that COVID-19 restrictions will loosen up soon. I am so tired of being locked down. I want to get out and do things again. But today’s Easter meal was a nice reminder of what’s to come when the virus is finally beaten into submission… and trust me, it will be. This isn’t the first pandemic. It just feels like it to us.

Anyway, many thanks to Little Italy for yet another nice Sunday meal, and to Bill for ordering it, paying for it, and picking it up. He even did the plating. I found myself a real keeper… And I hope that soon, we can go back to enjoying restaurants in person instead of just at home.

For us, Easter will always be meaningful, not just because it’s the day Christ rose from the grave, but also because it’s the day his ex wife delivered divorce papers while they were visiting Bill’s dad’s house in 2000. She wasn’t expecting Bill would agree to the split, but he did… and twenty-one years later, he’s living a sweet life. So Happy Easter, everybody! I hope you had a great day!

Karim’s Brasserie for New Year’s Eve!

Advertisements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanksgiving 2020…

Advertisements

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Cem Klein Mediterrané, a local restaurant, was offering a takeout Thanksgiving deal. Bill and I were lucky enough to get to try Cem Klein in July of last year, before they changed locations. They used to be located in the Sonnenberg area of Wiesbaden. They are now at the Rheinblick German/American golf course. I guess, since they are now dealing with Americans all the time, they were prompted to offer a special pandemic deal for our Thanksgiving holiday. I noticed in their Facebook ad that they were willing to accept dollars or euros and, in fact, would not charge Americans tax on the meal.

Bill and I like to cook, but there are only two of us and we only have so much refrigerator space. We decided to try the restaurant’s deal, which included turkey, stuffing, yams, green beans wrapped in bacon, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and cranberry gravy. The price was $55 for enough food for two, and it was super easy to order, pick up and clean up afterwards. We also have leftovers. Here are some photos:

Cem Klein did a fine job on this meal and the price was right! If we’re still here in 2021 and they offer another Thanksgiving deal, we may have to order it again. It was nice not to have a huge mess to clean up.

The dogs enjoyed hanging out with us all day, listening to music and drinking wine… especially Noyzi, who is slowly getting used to being a pet and being friends with Bill. Every day, more and more of his personality comes out. Yesterday, Arran decided to play fetch with his new toys. He left one unattended while he ran around the house being silly. Noyzi casually got up from his bed, picked up the toy, and put it in his bed, then snuggled up next to it. It’s such an endearing habit, watching him hoard toys as if they’re his buddies.

I really do miss getting to travel and enjoy Europe, but the weather has been pretty gloomy lately. Yesterday, it was foggy, damp, and cold all day. Bill said when he picked up our food, there were people playing golf. I don’t know how or why. It was pea soup thick yesterday! I kind of like this weather in November, though. It’s weird seeing people back home wearing shorts and t-shirts. It didn’t used to be that way, even in the South. The warmer temperatures worry me.

My German friend, Susanne, asked us if we’d ever used a Romertopf, which is a German version of a Tajine (clay pot). I had, but Bill had, and he used to own a Romertopf when he was in Germany back in the 1980s. I decided to get us a new one so we can try our hands at clay pot cooking. It arrived yesterday.

Anyway… that’s our Thanksgiving. It was low key and pleasant. Bill will work this morning, then take the rest of the day off. Then it’s time to prepare for Christmas, which means I’ll be shopping online. Whoopee!

Trip forthcoming?

Advertisements

Saturday is my birthday. Bill wants to go somewhere. Germany opened up yesterday, as did much of the rest of Europe, although we are still forbidden to leave the country under General Order #1… or whatever they’re calling it now. We are allowed to do overnights, though, and we can go anywhere in Germany. I suspect we won’t go far, since Bill is only planning two nights. I’m kind of dreading/looking forward to it, if that makes sense. I mean, I want to go somewhere, but I dread the hassle of life in a pandemic.

I wrote in my main blog about the new hobby I picked up in May. I’ve been playing guitar. Bill wants to learn too, so I’ve ordered two new guitars. One new one for me, because I wanted one with steel strings, and one for Bill. I hope they get to us before the weekend. I can hardly wait to try the new instrument, although I have been enjoying my Ortega guitar, too. It’s just that it’s a classical guitar with nylon strings and I want something a little edgier.

And finally, while we didn’t go anywhere on Sunday, we did order some food. Bill had to go on post to pick up something on Sunday, so he decided to stop by the Bamboo Asian Restaurant, which is located on the installation in Wiesbaden, meaning that it mostly caters to Americans. They do delivery on post, but I doubt they’d come all the way out to where we live. He wanted Thai food. It was the first time we’d ever had anything from there, although I was kind of curious about it.

He got me duck with peanut sauce, and he had crispy fish in red curry, which was supposed to be spicy. I didn’t try the crispy fish. The sauce was loaded with mushrooms. However, I did notice that they packaged everything separately, so if I had wanted to try the fish by itself, I could have. I liked that a lot. I enjoyed the duck with peanut sauce, too. In fact, l like peanut sauce very much, because I never see it loaded with mushrooms.

He also got some appetizers– Japanese dumplings, pork spring rolls, and shrimp sticks. They came with a sweet and sour sauce that was very gingery. I think there was a little too much ginger for my taste, although I liked the appetizers. They were nice and fried, which suits me fine! Here are a few photos:

I think Bill is going to keep our trip a secret… we could just end up in Frankfurt, which would be alright with me. I still don’t really feel like dealing with the world due to the coronavirus mess. But it would be good to get a change of scenery, I guess. And it would definitely wake up my sleepy travel blog.

It’s amazing. Every day, I look at photos from years past and remember all the fun we had, and took for granted. I hope this mess will be behind us at some point soon. But I’m not holding my breath.

Asian food from Jit’s Thai Kitchen in Bierstadt…

Advertisements

Yesterday was Whit (or Pentecost) Monday, a religious holiday in Germany. Consequently, all of the grocery stores were closed. We didn’t have anything good for dinner, and Bill didn’t want to visit the commissary. We ended up ordering takeout from Jit’s Thai Kitchen in Bierstadt, and had it delivered to us. I kind of giggle when I hear the name “Jit”, since it has kind of a slang meaning in English vernacular. The whole order was done contactless. Bill paid online and the driver brought it and left it for us on our front step. I think the coronavirus might finally make Germans less cash obsessed.

Bill ordered crispy sweet and sour duck and a “kitchen special plate” for two people, which included spring rolls, chicken skewers, spare ribs, wontons, and chicken wings. The duck came with pineapples and carrots. We also had a big container of rice. Bill ordered the special plate because it was kind of similar to the ever popular pu pu platter one can easily find in American Asian restaurants. The only thing missing was the crab rangoons, which I have yet to see in Germany.

The weather was glorious last night, so we sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine and perfect temperatures. This time of year is nice in Germany. As usual, I looked up at the houses on the other side of our big, tall fence, and saw that the big bird was back. That bird, which I photographed for my last post, has a habit of hanging out on my neighbor’s roof. It usually shows up in the evenings and perches over the neighborhood. I was curious as to what kind of bird it was, so I got my digital camera with a long range lens and zoomed in…

Jit’s Thai Kitchen has a very nice looking dining room. Maybe when the coronavirus is less threatening, we’ll venture there for a meal. As for now, we liked what we had last night fine. My only complaint was that one of the spare ribs was very tough. I ended up giving part of it to Arran. We also probably should have gotten a dish with something green in it. Maybe we would have preferred their Thai food rather than generic Chinese. Anyway, it’s been awhile since we last had Asian food, so it was a nice change. We’d order from them again.

Maybe this weekend, we’ll go find something fun to do outdoors. I’m getting tired of staying at home all the time.

More takeout from La Fonte

Advertisements

Here’s another quick post during our self-imposed lockdown. Things have loosened up a bit here in Wiesbaden. We’re now allowed day trips in Germany, but I’m still not really wanting to venture out. Instead, I’ve been playing my new guitar every day, building up calluses on my fingers. I’ve made some progress, although I’m nowhere near ready for anyone other than Bill to hear me play. I made one music video this week. Singing well is a lot easier for me than guitar playing is. Bill says he might like to pick up guitar himself… if he does, I think I’ll get myself a Fender for my birthday.

Anyway, we did get some takeout last night. Bill had a frustrating week, mostly spent working from home. We decided to call on our neighborhood Italian restaurant, La Fonte, which we’ve only dined in at one time. They have good food. Lots of pizza and pasta on the takeout menu, but I remember when we ate in the restaurant, they had other stuff. I seem to remember having salmon the first time we ate there. It was Christmas time and they gave us a pannetone, which was really yummy!

Last night, I had black tortelloni with scallops, sugar snap peas, and baby shrimp. I think there were four tortellonis, and Bill and I each had one. It was plenty. Bill also got a pizza with ham and pepperoni wurst. Pepperoni in Germany is a pepper, but you can get pepperoni wurst, which is the sausage we Americans know so well. I’m slowly getting used to German style pizza made by Italians… it’s only taken six years. Bill butchered his German as he called in the order, but they all speak English at La Fonte anyway.

By the way, we learned last night that there’s a difference between tortelloni and tortellini. Tortelloni is bigger and sealed somewhat differently, although they’re both basically the same thing.

Here are a couple of photos.

The weather has been really pleasant lately, although we could really use some rain. Our rain barrel is almost totally depleted. Bill’s vegetables are growing and some might even survive long enough for harvesting.

I don’t know what we’ll do today. We probably could go out and do something fun… but I’ve kind of lost my mojo lately. It would probably do me some good to go out and see the world again. Maybe later.

Take out from Villa Im Tal…

Advertisements

Bill and I love a good fine dining experience. Alas, the coronavirus is cramping our style. Restaurants are opening up in Germany, but there are still a lot of restrictions and some risks involving with eating in restaurants. We decided to order take out from our favorite fine dining restaurant in the Wiesbaden area yesterday, just to see how feasible it would be.

Villa Im Tal has a special take out menu. I had wanted to order from it for Mother’s Day, but we were too late. This time, Bill emailed our order a day ahead of time. I’m not sure that was a requirement, but it worked out well. He got a confirmation and a time to pick it up– 1:30pm. He ordered us both “surf and turfs”, which were three courses for 48 euros each. The restaurant offers other choices besides this special, but Bill decided to get this because it’s a deal and because he figured I’d like it. Also, delivery service is available at 10 euros for 10km or 20 euros for 20km. If your order is more than 120 euros, delivery is free. I’m not sure if we’re in their delivery area. We’re probably not.

We decided to do our lunch the right way, with music, Georgian wine, and the good china. The only thing we didn’t do, besides dress up a bit, was light the candles. Here are some pictures of what the food looked like when Bill brought it home.

I didn’t have any of the vegetables, because they were loaded with mushrooms, which I don’t eat. However, everything else was pretty good. I have had the soup when I’ve visited the restaurant for dining in, and it was just as good at home. I’ve often told Bill I’d love to have a recipe for this soup, which I think would be good when I’m sick. It’s very comforting, yet has a lot of flavor. Tangy lemongrass, mango, and curry makes for a rich, delicious soup. This was paired with curry flavored chips.

I probably would have liked to have had a side with the surf and turf… maybe we could have requested a mushroom free version. Next time we order take out from Villa Im Tal, we’ll have to remember that. The dessert was delightful! The chocolate mousse went beautifully with the marinated red berry compote– currants and strawberries are a great match to chocolate. I loved the way they made the dessert pretty in the take out container. It was so pretty we didn’t even plate it ourselves.

Of course I would have rather enjoyed this in the restaurant, but I can’t deny that this wasn’t a bad way to have a fine meal. We could listen to music; Arran could sit with us; and I didn’t have to wear a bra. It also cost significantly less, since we weren’t having aperitifs, ordering wine in house, or tipping on service… although Bill probably did tip the lady who brought him the food. We might brave the restaurant itself soon, since they have a really lovely outdoor area and even when there is no pandemic, there are plenty of widely spaced tables. It’s also just a really lovely place to enjoy a meal. The venue itself is in the woods, where it’s quiet and peaceful… just what we need to escape the stresses of contagion.

Super fresh sushi in Breckenheim!

Advertisements

We don’t get a lot of local mail, but I still check the mailbox every day. Most of the time, when we do get something in the mail, it’s a free newspaper, sales papers, or a takeout menu. The other day, we got a menu from a very local outfit called Tam’s Kitchen.

Tam’s Kitchen specializes in sushi. It just so happened that I was in the mood for sushi a couple of nights ago. I told Bill about it. He surmised that the place only does delivery and, based on what he read in the brochure, it appears that “Tam” mainly does catering and is originally from Vietnam. He finished culinary school in 1978, and doesn’t offer dine in service.

I have no idea how long Tam’s Kitchen has been in Breckenheim. We’ve been here for about 18 months, and we didn’t know about it until a couple of days ago. And last night we ordered, and BOY was it a treat! We got Bento Box #3 and chicken skewers. The chicken skewers were fresh and tender, covered in a sweet soy glaze. But the sushi was insane! The salmon was so fresh it practically melted.

This isn’t much of a post, and I apologize for that. I probably should have taken a picture of the sushi after we plated it, but it was so good that I couldn’t wait. We will definitely have to order from them again, next time the craving for sushi hits. No more grocery store sushi for us! At least for as long as we’re living in this town!

By the way… on the off chance anyone from Breckenheim is reading this, orders over 15 euros are delivered free. For orders beyond Breckenheim, the minimum is 50 euros for free delivery. Last night’s order, which was enough for Bill and me, we spent about 25 euros. I wish we’d bought more, but I’m sure we will in the future!