Hey you! Are you tired of eating Swabian food? Have you had your fill of Italian, Greek, and even Asian dishes? Have you been longing for something a little different? Well… have I got the place for you!
Earlier today, I was on TripAdvisor.com looking up a pizzeria that is very close to our house. I have been curious about it for a long time, but we haven’t stopped there yet, even though it’s just minutes away from where we live. I noticed that the pizzeria was ranked number one of two restaurants in the area. The restaurant with the #2 ranking was a place I had seen many times and was very curious about. We had never stopped because we always had other plans.
The pizzeria got excellent reviews, but wasn’t supposed to open until later today. Grüner Baum, by contrast, was scheduled to open at 11:00am this morning and was to stay open until midnight. I noticed the reviews, all written in German, were universally positive. Then I looked at the menu and realized that this was a French restaurant.
I told Bill to get on the horn and make a reservation. He called up and scheduled us for 1:00pm. When we arrived on time, after struggling a little to find a parking spot, I could see that it made sense to reserve a table. The restaurant is obviously a local favorite. Most everyone was sitting outside, although there is also a very attractive indoor dining room that was empty today because the weather was so gorgeous.
Bill checks out the menu…
We were seated in the “smoking” section. Note the cigarette in the background. I have a feeling it lights up at night! I got a kick out of it. If you make reservations and want to sit in the non smoking section, be sure to mention it. Unfortunately, there were a few smokers in our midst and it was a bit of a problem at first. They cleared out and we soon had the area to ourselves.
We ordered a lovely wine from the Languedoc region in France. This was a very nice white. I was introduced to the Picpoul grapes from a winery in Texas. The grapes are good closer to home, too.
As I was enjoying my first glass of wine, I noticed that there were “cigarette lamps” hanging from a string above us!
Our server spoke impeccable English. Bill spoke German and when we didn’t understand something, she slipped into perfectly accented American English. That was very helpful. Aside from that, and the fact that the menu is entirely in German, this is a very French place. It’s also very laid back. People came dressed very casually. It’s also very kid friendly! They even have a sandbox for kids to play in!
We ordered today’s menu, which consisted of four courses. We had choices for three out of the four courses, with a few of the main courses requiring a small supplement. The base price for four courses was 24,90 per person. We could also order a la carte. Next time we go, we will probably go the a la carte route.
I started with a delightful charcuterie course… It came with fresh, hot bread and the rather assertive French mustard you see in the bottle above.
Bill enjoyed a delicious potato soup. It was rich and hearty, with fresh made croutons.
After some time, we moved on to our main courses. What I had was billed as a fish soup… Fortunately, the lady who brought it to us– also someone with excellent English skills– explained how to eat it…
I was to take one of the pieces of hard toasted bread pictured above, rub it with a garlic clove, smear a little red pepper paste over the garlic rubbed bread, and top it with the Gruyere cheese. Then, I was to take a ladle of the delicious fish bisque (it smelled of lobsters and shrimp) and cover the pepper and cheese topped toast with it. It was delicious, but I swear this particular portion was enough for three people!
Bill went with a crepe. This restaurant has lots of crepes, both of the savory and sweet varieties. His crepe had mushrooms, cheese, a heavenly sauce, and an egg… He brought about half of it home with him. I didn’t try to take home my soup.
Bill takes a breather before the cheese course. We had moved to another table to escape some of the smoke.
The cheese course. Bill ate most of this because I don’t really like cheese that much and some of these were a little too much for me. Bill LOVES cheese and he really enjoyed this course.
Bill reacts after tasting a particularly pungent cheese. I got him on video after I took this photo.
About two hours into our lunch, it was time for dessert. This was, of course, my favorite course. I am a sucker for a really good dessert. Bill and I both picked good ones. I had also ordered a really nice white/rose wine blend after we finished our wine and water.
I had some delicious chocolate mousse! This came with unsweetened whipped cream and segments of mandarin orange. The mousse was awesome! Not too sweet and not too much!
Bill had a compote of a mixture of dark red fruits and topped with coconut ice cream. As much as I loved my mousse, I must admit that Bill’s dessert was just as good. Those fruits were very intense and delightful! The coconut ice cream was a good match for the deep flavors of the berries and cherries.
All told, our four courses for two, along with a bottle of wine, a bottle of sparkling water, and an extra glass for yours truly, came to about 72 euros. Bill topped up to 80 euros. We definitely could have gotten away for a lot less than that because it was a lot of food! But it was also a sumptuous two and a half hour lunch that was purely decadent. I think it was money well spent.
Grüner Baum appears to be a popular name for restaurants in these parts. I have seen a few places with the same name. This particular Grüner Baum is located in the small town of Tailfingen, not too far from Nagold, Herrenberg, or Tuebingen. It’s not even a fifteen minute drive from our home in Unterjettingen, which is why I’m really sad that we’re just now discovering it. We will definitely be back for more. Sunday is a good day to visit, though next time we will come a little later and dress down. We might even bring Zane and Arran with us! Bring your kids and a hearty appetite! And if you’re coming on a weekend, you might want to call ahead and reserve a non smoking spot if you require one!
The front of the awesome garten area. The inside of the restaurant is equally inviting, though no one was really sitting in there today. I wouldn’t have minded. It smells wonderful in there!
On the way in…