We had such beautiful weather, yesterday, that we just couldn’t abide staying home. But, once again, it was later in the day when we decided to go out for awhile. I started throwing out suggestions of places that were an hour or so away from our house, but then we wondered about Noyzi, who has become very fond of coming with us when we go out somewhere. Bill then remembered a Biergarten located near us that we’d never been to previously. His good friend from work had been there and recommended it, and Google said it was just 13 minutes away by car.
I was sold on that suggestion, so we headed out to Hockenberger Mühle, a restaurant and Biergarten about seven kilometers north of us. Noyzi was all too thrilled to jump up into the back of the Volvo. It’s funny how we used to have to pick him up and put him in. Now, he just leaps in with no problem.
When we got to the Biergarten, we found it very well populated with people who were wise enough to make reservations. Nevertheless, we were able to score a parking spot in a small field across the two lane road approaching the restaurant. The Hockenberger Mühle was tucked away in a corner, with the Biergarten mostly covered by a permanent roof and/or large umbrellas.
An obviously hardworking man seated us with another couple, who turned out to be good company. They had arrived at the Biergarten, courtesy of their bikes. The male half of the couple had taken a nasty spill before their arrival, and had a pretty banged up looking leg. Nevertheless, they were very friendly and talkative, and quite tolerant of Noyzi, who was nervously looking around and occasionally barking. We explained to the couple that Noyzi is a street dog from Kosovo and he’s still learning how to act in public. They were understanding and told us about friends of theirs who had adopted a dog from Romania. That seems to be the “in” thing to do in Germany, these days. I would be happy to adopt a more local dog myself, but the shelters don’t seem to want to let Americans affiliated with the military adopt, thanks to some of the irresponsible actions of our countrymen.
The Biergarten was very busy, and there were many bikers, as there is a bike trail nearby. I also noticed several large, well dressed families who looked like they might have just come from church. The German couple who were sharing the table with us said it looked like maybe some of the kids with them had just had their first communions.
Bill decided to have a tuna salad. I had a Schnitzel and fries. Ordinarily, I might have opted for something less fried, but I was preoccupied with Noyzi and didn’t have the chance to study the menu more carefully. I do like Schnitzels on occasion, but they’re kind of entry level. Oftentimes, I can’t finish them, although I managed to do it yesterday. Bill had a Dunkelweizen beer, and I had my usual Hefeweizen.
After the biker couple departed, we had some time alone at the table. A couple more people showed up with big dogs, both of which were better behaved than Noyzi was (although he really wasn’t bad at all). We did get a few side eyes from some folks. One guy was at the table next to us and kept giving me looks, but I noticed he could barely keep his food in his mouth and he smoked several cigarettes. So, I guess we’re about even, in terms of table manners. 😀
I went looking for the ladies room and stumbled across the restaurant’s playground for kids, plus more tables, which were all occupied. Bill called for the check, but it took awhile for them to bring it to us. Meanwhile, we were joined by more bikers– this time, it was a gay male couple. They were nice enough, but I did think it was funny that they asked if we were there on vacation. I mean, there we were with our big ass street dog… Did they think we flew him over to Germany for a week’s break? They knew where we lived when we explained we live in Breckenheim.
Then, when Bill went to pay the check, he got the numbers mixed up and tried to give the server way more money than she needed. She protested, and after Bill finally got the check paid, one of the men said, “In Germany, a ten percent tip is enough.”
I kind of stifled a laugh and said, “Oh, we know not to tip like Americans here… ”
I don’t think the guy realized what had happened. Bill thought the bill said 53 euros, when it was 35. Anyway, after that little cultural exchange, we were feeling ready to go home to the peace and quiet of our backyard. Noyzi did reasonably well, although he’s still pretty nervous in public. Every time we take him out, though, he gets a little bit better. Plus, he’s a great ice breaker.
We would love to go back to that Biergarten some other time, or maybe eat in the restaurant, which looked pretty charming. Next time, we’ll make a reservation, though, if the weather is fine.
Here are some photos from our brief excursion… A couple were taken in the pretty countryside near our house. We don’t have nearly as much pretty country where we are now, but there’s a little bit to satisfy the part of me that really misses horses. There are also some really cute little villages to drive through, but they are so congested!