The spring Regionalmarkt in Tübingen

Today’s activity comes courtesy of an ad from Vinum, my favorite wine and spirits store.  Vinum has locations in Tübingen and Reutlingen and I subscribe to their Facebook page.  If I had not been subscribed to their page, I probably would have missed today’s market.  That would have been a shame, because not only was it a great scene today, but Tübingen is always a pleasure in any case.  I love going there on sunny, warm Saturdays, people watching, eating, drinking, and doing the odd bit of shopping.

I was originally afraid we’d have rain today, but after a few sprinkles, the clouds cleared and we made our way to the big Koenig garage by the Klinik as you’re coming into the city from the west.  Every time we visit Tübingen, we also pass our old town (from 07-09) of Pfäffingen.  It never fails to bring back pleasant memories of our first tour in the Stuttgart area.

The very first banner about this twice yearly event featuring products from near the city of Tübingen…  

Flowers… just one of the beautiful products of nature available for sale today.


And fresh pasta!


Garden goodies!

After we parked, we walked into the city and noted the large crowd of people sampling wares in the main square.  Suddenly, it seemed like a good idea to have lunch.  We passed the Alte Kunst on the way up to the square, but then I remembered they had a large Biergarten behind the restaurant.  I walked through an archway and soon found myself in an oasis of quiet and calm.  We chose a table for two near an umbrella.  It was about 12:45 pm and I was surprised more people weren’t out there.  I didn’t have to wonder long.  Within the next half hour, we had plenty of company.

This empty scene lasted maybe ten minutes before the garden was full of smokers and little kids who needed naps.  Not that I’m knocking naps, you see.  I need them myself nowadays.


Bill checks the menu.

It’s asparagus season, so I had risotto with tiny shrimps, white asparagus, Parmesan cheese, and tomatoes.  This was paired with a glass of Pinot Grigio and San Pellegrino.


Bill went with asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and the same wine.  We had originally considered other dishes, but remembered this is the time of year to eat asparagus in Germany.


A family with two small children sat near us.  The children shrieked and cried while they waited for their lunch.  Their parents shushed them as the guy sitting behind me lit up a cigarette just in time for my lunch to arrive.   Once the kids had some lunch, they seemed a lot more contented and started playing with another little boy at another table.  I got a kick out of the other kid.  He was wearing a Fedora hat and looked adorable.  I also appreciated that his friendship calmed the other two kids down a little.  Lunch came to an even forty euros.  Bill paid and we made our way to Vinum, taking note of all of the stalls we needed to visit again on our way home.  We saw everything from fresh bread to fresh cheese, with plenty of other locally made wares like gin, wine, dips, spreads, and handcrafts.







And Schwabian ketchup…


As usual, Vinum had Georgian wine.  We took the two bottles on display, then tasted several they had on special.  The guy who helped us spoke perfect English and looked like he could be a shorter version of our first German landlord’s brother.  I tried some local wine, which he made clear he didn’t like.  We discussed the finer points of how America’s Rieslings are too sweet.  Bill and I have become fans of the Alsatian and locally produced German Rieslings, but before we took the plunge on our second tour here, we avoided them like the plague.  It just goes to show that you should try the local stuff… except maybe the cheese made with raw milk.  Kidding, actually.  Bill loves it.

We walked out of Vinum with four bottles of wine and I suddenly realized I needed to pee again.  So we headed to the Neckarmueller, which also happens to be the location of my favorite Biergarten in this area.  We drank hefeweizens at a table and watched people on the river…  We still need to try punting before we leave.

It’s always time for beer.  Especially if you’re in a German Biergarten on a beautiful spring day.

Today was an excellent day to be on the river, drinking beer…

After our beer and rest stop, we walked around the city some more and did some shopping.  Bill bought some spreads from an African vendor.  We listened to some buskers and I discovered a Moroccan store I had never noticed before.

Or maybe I had seen this store before… but I never stopped in.


Spreads by HottPott…


We made our way to the main square, where we found a man selling locally produced gin.  We tried some and bought a bottle.  I am now enjoying my first gin and tonic of the season.

The guy who was selling this looked like he could have starred on Little House on the Prairie.  I thought he was very handsome.

Bill tried it first, then gave the rest to me because he was driving later.


Okay, maybe he had two sips.


Then we moved on to cheese made with raw milk.  Bill said it was very good.  To me, it just smells like a combination of dirty feet and ass.  Different strokes, I guess.  

Gin is all the rage.  You can even get it to go.

We stopped here for a little dessert for tonight.  We got a lemon tart and a chocolate cake.  Bill spoke German, but the lady behind the counter immediately switched to perfect English.  

I have a feeling this business is owned by Armenians.

You could even get escargot today!  It actually smelled wonderful.

We went into the Rathaus for the first time ever, because we were searching for these before the drive home.  There was an interesting exhibit in the lobby about energy.  

More sights from today’s regional market are below.  This was a one day event, but there will be another regional market on Saturday, October 6th.  If my post has piqued your curiosity, be sure to mark your calendar.  We had a really good time today, but we pretty much always enjoy visiting Tübingen.  It will always be one of our special places.

Piano playing on the street!

You probably have to be a certain age to get this…

I took this as we passed the “Schloss” near Unterjesingen, very close to where we used to live.


Wining and dining at Ratskeller in Tübingen

We had beautiful sunny weather today, although it was cold and kind of windy.  I got the idea to go to Tübingen to pick up some wine at Vinum Weine & Feines, one of my favorite wine stores in the area.  I wanted to see if they had any Georgian Saperavi.  It’s the only wine shop I’ve found yet in Germany that carries Georgian wines.

Before we hit Vinum, though, we needed to have lunch.  We decided on Ratskeller on a whim.  We’ve passed this place a bunch of times, but never noticed it had a restaurant.  Apparently, it’s a club that hosts bands in the evenings.  I was actually lured there by the sign below…

The sign above the bowl reads :”Bitte, hier trinken anstatt zu pinkeln.”  Translation: Please drink here instead of peeing.  I’d love to know what prompted the management to post that sign…


Today’s specials.


The front facade.  


Bill stares in wonder at the locally produced IPA he found.  It was actually very good.  He was impressed.


Nice to see the Germans getting in on making craft beers.


I had a glass of wine (grenache and syrah blend), which came with a small glass of sparkling water.  Notice under the tulip is an ad for a Jam Session.  The Ratskeller hosts bands.  I think our table was actually on the small stage.

Ratskeller seems to specialize in burgers.  They had everything from a plain ol’ cheeseburger to veggie burgers.  They even had choices for vegans.  I noticed they had a few other items for those who didn’t want sandwiches, as well as soups, salads, and specials.  Bill and I decided to have burgers, although neither of us went for the usual American beef variety.  I had a chicken burger and Bill had a vegetarian apple and cheese burger.  He said the cheese was somewhat mild and it came with a dressing and tomatoes.

Bill’s apple and cheese burger.  This was one of the weekend specials.  He didn’t realize it was a meat free sandwich, but enjoyed it just the same.  The fries were ordered a la carte and came with a “dip”.  They had ketchup and mayo, as well as a number of more exotic dips.  We both had ketchup.


My chicken burger had thin breaded chicken breast filets, sliced tomatoes, a curry dressing, lettuce, cheese, roasted onions, and pineapples.  It wasn’t bad at all, although the burger was pretty large and got kind of messy.  I couldn’t eat the whole thing.


The interior of the restaurant is pretty nice.  There’s an attractive bar area, as well as a cavernous dining room that looks like it was the old cellar.  I noticed they had lots of board games there for people to play.

The “cavern” dining room… on the way to the ladies room.


Board games for the bored.

And the bar.


I noticed there were signs posted warning clients of the patrons of date rape and sexual harassment.  Apparently, Ratskeller and other local night spots are committed to preventing their guests from being harassed.  It was translated into several languages.  I was glad to see it.

“No means no.”

In French and Arabic.

In English…

Our bill came to about 33 euros.  All in all, we enjoyed our lunch and would eat at Ratskeller again.  It has a nice atmosphere, reasonable prices, and pretty good food.  Maybe next time, one of us will brave one of the more conventional beef burgers.  After Bill paid, we headed to Vinum for wine shopping.  I snapped a few more photos on the way.

Someone has a weakness for Gremlins, Garfield, and Odie.  Guess they must be about my age.


The city square is looking fine, as usual.


I especially love visiting here when the sun is out.  Lots of people were enjoying the sun, drinking coffee and beer outside.  It was still a little too chilly for me.  I guess you can take a girl out of the South, but not the South out of the girl.

The entrance to my favorite bottle shop in these parts.  


They have whisky and other tastings, too.  We didn’t partake of any whisky today.


But if you want to try some of their wines, you can help yourself to the ones they set out.


Just grab a glass and go to town!  I only tasted two today.  I’m usually pretty shameless when it comes to tasting wines at Vinum, but restrained myself.


We did manage to score two bottles of Georgian Saperavi.  In fact, we cleaned them out of what they had on display.  I want to encourage them to stock more.  For those who are curious…

This is what we’ve picked up on our last few visits.  If you like leathery, full bodied reds with a lot of character, you may want to give it a try.


This was the total haul.  We were conservative because Bill forgot his wine bag and we are already pretty flush with vino right now.  I just got a bunch of Armenian wines from Armenian Brandy and Wines out of Belgium.


Right next to Vinum is an optical shop.  I liked the eye charts they had for men and women.

Apparently, women prefer shoes…


And men prefer beer.  Actually, I’d rather take the beer test.

On the way to the parking garage, I noticed someone was using a US mailbox.  I haven’t seen one of these in over three years.

Tübingen is always lovely, but especially when the sun is shining!  Bring on spring!


Tomorrow, it looks like we’re going to head to a place we’ve not yet been… provided the weather is decent and we get up and going in time.  We probably should have spent more time out and about today and probably would have, if not for the gusty wind!  I am so ready for better weather!


Kenn dein Limit… and lunch at Krumme Brücke in Tübingen

I saw this poster today and was rather proud that I managed to decipher it in under five minutes.

My eyes are finally back to normal and we had very pleasant weather today, so Bill and I decided to take a trip to Tübingen for lunch.  Actually, we started off and halfway there, I got paranoid about my curling iron.  I wasn’t sure if I turned it off.  So we turned around and came back.  I unplugged the iron, whizzed, and we started off again.  Then Bill got paranoid that the front door wasn’t locked.  Fortunately, we weren’t yet out of the neighborhood before he decided to turn around and check the lock.  All was fine, so off we went.  We reached Tübingen at about 2:00pm, which is when some restaurants stop for a pause in service.

The sign out front…



Because we had arrived at the witching hour, we decided not to be too choosy about where we had lunch.  I noticed a pleasant aroma coming from Krumme Brücke, a little eatery I’ve passed a hundred times all five years we’ve lived in this area.  Although we have passed this restaurant many times and I have been curious about it, today was the first time we ever stopped in for food.

At 2:00pm, the place was pretty busy.  Most of the tables were full, though we managed to find a two top by the masonry heater across from the bar.  I saw some steps and wondered if maybe there was an upstairs dining room, but there wasn’t.  The short flight of steps led to the kitchen the the tiny bathrooms.  Krumme Brücke is truly a hole in the wall kind of place with not a lot of seating, especially as the weather cools down and everyone eats indoors.

The menu at Krumme Brücke is fairly eclectic.  Not only do they not take a pause between lunch and dinner, they also have a menu that is full of different stuff.  I think it’s mainly a German/steak restaurant, but I saw pasta, fish, and even a few “international” dishes.  I had gyros, for instance.  Bill had cevapcici, which is a Balkan dish.  I also noticed soups and salads.

Bill checks out the vitals on the victuals.

I wasn’t actually that hungry when we entered the restaurant, which was a blessing, because it took awhile before the wait staff got to us.  As we were waiting, the last three normal sized tables filled up, with only one tiny table facing the kitchen remaining open.  It had three chairs around it and appeared to be suitable only for drinks.  Speaking of drinks, it took awhile before we got ours.  But we both settled on Urtyp by Schwaben Brau, which was on draft.  We could have also chosen a bottled beer, wine, or any number of non alcoholic drinks.  It appeared that they had a full bar.

We tried not to be too conspicuous as we sat there waiting, but I couldn’t help but notice the young balding guy sitting at the large table next to us.  He kept staring at us.  I’m not sure why he was staring or why this often seems to happen to us in Tübingen area restaurants.  He wasn’t as obvious about it as the lady at Lustnauer Mühle was, but he was definitely noticeable in his noseyness.  Maybe it was my blue sweater.  I was wearing the same one today as I was during the last time we were assailed by a “looky lou”.

The other thing I noticed about this restaurant was that they were playing some really good American rock and soul from the 60s and 70s.  I was enjoying the music when I could hear it.  That’s actually one thing I note when I’m in a restaurant or a store.  If they play annoying Muzak, I probably won’t be back, especially if it’s a restaurant.  I have no complaints about the music in Krumme Brücke.

Bill’s Cevapcici, little sausages with ajvar sauce (mild red pepper sauce), fries, and onions.  It was pretty good and reasonably priced.  

My “German style” gyros.  I’m pretty sure this was once a schnitzel that was cut into strips and served with a rather watery tzatziki sauce.  I did enjoy the fries, though, which were nice and crisp.  The gyros tasted okay, but they weren’t really Greek style.  I probably wouldn’t order this again, although the German dishes I saw coming out looked really good.


Today’s offerings.

Once we finished up, Bill called for the check.  It was just over 26 euros.  After we paid, we headed over to Vinum.  We weren’t really planning to go there; I think I was just lured there out of habit.  We dashed in for a quick look, grabbed their last bottle of Georgian wine, and picked up a few cheap everyday bottles they were featuring on their tasting table.

We walked back toward the car a different way and I stumbled upon a do it yourself ceramic place.  We didn’t go in there, but I took note of it, because I figured some local American readers might be interested.  It appears to be a place where you can book an apartment to paint your own ceramics.

A couple of pics of Al Farbrica for the curious.  Like I said, I know next to nothing about this place, but am noting it for those who enjoy such activities.  We saw several women in there with girls and they appeared to be having a good time painting ceramics.  I also picked up a brochure, though it might be better to simply load the Web site in Google Chrome and get the low down.


We pressed on until we got to Die Kelter, which has sort of our go to spot for a final pee before we make the drive home.  We stopped in for a glass of primitivo for me and a double espresso for Bill.

They have The New Yorker in English and funky music to go with their beverages.

A parting shot before we made our way home.  I love Die Kelter.

One thing I noticed in the bathroom was a sign (at the top of this post) warning people not to drink too much.  It was in the bathroom stall, where many people have probably suffered the worst effects of being drunk.  It’s funny, because Die Kelter’s toilets are on the third floor and it’s a bit of a hike to get to them.  I would imagine it would be especially bad if one was very inebriated trying to get to them.  You have to climb several flights.  But anyway, I tickled myself by understanding the sign.  Basically it said that man can’t walk on one leg, nor on all four legs.  So know your limit or suffer the consequences!  They even have a Web site!

Alas, I don’t always…

So… that about does it for today’s blog post.  We’ll see what I come up with tomorrow.  Next week, we’re headed back to Ribeauville, so there will be France posts.


Lunch at Gaststätte Stern and liquor at Vinum!

It’s been yet another exasperating week here in Germany.  It’s a long, irritating story that I won’t get into right now, except to say that I really needed an outing today to remind me why we still live here and rent our residence.  I am 45 years old and always thought I’d own my own house by now, but circumstances have prevented that reality so far.  So here I am, putting up with shit from my landlady, who evidently thinks I’m 12 and need instructions on everything… including how to use the toilet. (I’m serious– she really did this, though it happened a few years ago.  Right now, I’m apparently responsible for acts of God.).

I do love Germany and mostly enjoy Germans, but they do have a different culture here.  Sometimes I need to be reminded why it’s good to live here.  Today, Mr. Bill and I decided to go to Tübingen, a favorite haunt when we lived here the first time, from 07-09.  I had given serious thought to going to Calw and checking out the Fischmarkt, but we were out of wine.  It had been a long time since our last visit to Vinum, our favorite place to buy wine and other delectables.  I was thinking we’d pick up some vino and have lunch.  Since we arrived at just after one o’clock, we thought it would be better to eat first.

The sign outside Stern.

Right next to Vinum, there is an Italian restaurant called Gaststätte Stern.  We had never eaten there before and, as we noticed most of the city’s eateries were full of patrons, we decided to stop in for lunch.  The outdoor tables at the front of Stern were full, so we opted to eat inside, were there were a few open tables.  Stern also has an outdoor courtyard that you have to access through the dining room.  It, too, was full of people.

We sat down and after a few minutes, a waitress brought us a menu highlighting today’s specials, as well as a wine list.  A couple of items were sold out, which was no big deal.  Service was a bit slow, mainly because the restaurant was very busy.  However, though the service was slow, the wait staff was friendly and professional.  I wasn’t hangry, so it was okay to chill with wine and fizzy water.  Here are a few photos from today’s lunch adventure.

Bill checks out the cool looking art on the wall…

Like this… it had a price tag of 28 euros.  I liked it.


I saw a few things on the menu I liked.  One was the avocado salad pictured below.  I asked the waitress if it was large and she said it was “vorspeisen”.  She brought out two plates so we could share it.  I was glad she did that…

This was a beautiful salad, but it was good that we shared it.  It was a special today, running a little over eight euros.  This salad was avocados, tomatoes, onions, basil, capers, and a little olive oil.  I don’t usually like raw tomatoes that much, but these were very flavorful and went well with the avocados.  The capers really set off the dish with their mild mustard flavor.


There was a rather lengthy wait for our main courses.  For that reason, it was good that we had a salad first, coupled with bread.  There were three or four women covering the whole restaurant and they were very busy.  While we were waiting, a middle aged lady scooted into the table next to ours.  At first, I thought she and her husband, who joined her later, were Italians.  Indeed, it looked like a few Italians were dining at Stern today.  But then she started talking and it became clear that they were Spanish.  And they had arrived at the end of the lunch rush, so several of the specials were sold out.

Bill scored one of the dishes that sold out… it had rigatoni, tomatoes, basil, and eggplant, as well as a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

I went with spaghetti with fruits of the sea.  My dish had octopus, calamari (squid), shrimp, mussels, and tomatoes.  It was drizzled with a little olive oil.  I could not finish this dish, but it was delicious.  I especially enjoyed it washed down with a little reserve Chianti.

A look at the bar area and courtyard during a lull in service.

All told, our lunch ran us about 60 euros before the tip.  That was for two entrees, a salad, three glasses of nice wine, sparkling water, and bread.  After lunch, we went next door to Vinum, which we knew would be closing at four o’clock.  After tasting a few of the wines being featured, we picked out a couple of featured bottles…

Vinum also has wines on tap.  Buy or bring a bottle and you can score a bargain.  I was also told yesterday that Vinum will accept VAT forms.  We don’t use them that often ourselves, but some American readers with SOFA status may be interested in saving the tax.


I found a nice reserve Lemberger wine from here in BW.  Then I found Bill, who was very excited…

Vinum had a couple of bottles of Georgian wine!  I used to live in Armenia, which is just south of Georgia and also has good wines.  Bill went TDY to Georgia and learned just how excellent Georgian wines are.  It was exciting to find them here in Germany!


I had to tell the Asian saleslady about why we were excited to find Georgian wine.  I also told her about Armenian brandy and that if Vinum carried it, we’d be buying it.  Right now, I order it from Master of Malt out of England.  We bought 110 euros worth of vino… then headed out of the shop, where a guy was preaching to the masses in English.

He was right by the church.

Lots of people were up in the tower, looking out over the city.

I have never seen anyone preaching in English here before.


We headed to the main square and I realized I heard a bagpiper.  Sure enough, there was a guy there playing the pipes.  I was rather tickled, since we just left Scotland ten days ago.

Then I spotted a Vom Fass!


I was pretty excited to find Vom Fass in Tübingen.  Although we’ve been to the city a few times this year, for some reason, I never noticed it before today.  I asked the saleslady how long they’d been there and she said one year and four months.  We bought three liqueurs for the next time I have PMS.  And we promised the saleslady we’ll be back!

You can buy one of these bottles or bring your own and fill up for a bargain.  Or you can buy pre-bottled stuff, like we did.  They have oils, vinegars, wines, and spirits.

After we left Vom Fass, we ran into a guy blowing big bubbles…

But not before we walked down a quaint alley.



Probably the best bubble pic I got.

Here he was, playing for the folks eating Italian and/or doner kebab.

We passed this vegetable stand on the way to Die Kelter, where we stopped for one last pee break and a round.  

Here’s a sign reminding people not to cross the street unless they see the green man.  Remember, children are watching!

We managed to get all the way home before the rain started coming down.  I am now sitting here thinking we’ll have to enjoy some of that vino we picked up today.  I love visiting Tübingen.  It always reminds me why I like living in Germany.


One terrific afternoon in Tübingen

This morning, as I sat on my couch watching reruns of Dallas on iTunes, my dear husband Bill asked me what I wanted to do today.  Without really thinking about it, I said, “Why don’t we go to Tübingen?”

Tübingen is one of our favorite places to be, especially in these parts.  When we lived here last time, we lived really close and visited all the time.  Now we don’t live quite so close, but we still enjoy the occasional visit.  Today, we decided to take the train rather than drive, which turned out to be a good decision.  Bill wanted to enjoy some alcohol with lunch.  We caught the 12:44 train from Herrenberg and arrived in time to see lots of people enjoying the ice…

These people are braver than I am.  The weather was relatively warm today, although the ice looked somewhat solid.  Some were even wearing ice skates and playing what looked like some form of hockey.

We crossed over the pedestrian bridge toward the old town…  I took a few winter shots.

More people were walking on the river.  That seemed more dangerous, since one side of the river had large melted areas.

I didn’t see anyone fall in, though.


We decided to have lunch at La Cantinella, a very nice Italian restaurant we’ve been trying to get back to ever since we moved back to Germany.  We ate there a few times last time we lived here, but never seem to get to town at the right time now.  We happened to get there just in time for lunch today.  They weren’t very busy, although there were several rambunctious kids in the dining room.  At one point, their father apologized on behalf of the high spirited tykes running around, shouting, and banging on the piano in the foyer.  It wasn’t really a problem for us.  They were cute kids who needed to burn off some steam and they didn’t stay long.

Bill checks out the menu.

A little blurry photo of the dining room, which is very quaint and stylish.  By the time I took this photo, the little kids and their dad had moved on.

Bill ordered a lovely primitivo to go with our lunch.  This was full of berries, cherries, and a touch of raisins.  It opened up nicely after awhile.  They also brought us fresh bread and olive oil.

I had sesame encrusted branzino.  To be honest, the fish was a little bland and the sesame seeds were a bit too rich.  The vegetables were nice, though.  Very fresh and not overcooked.  I was also relieved that I didn’t accidentally order anything with mushrooms, like I did last time we visited.  

Bill had a pasta dish with beef and green pepper sauce.  He said it had a spicy kick and he really liked it.  


Our bill was about 60 euros.  I was acutely aware that the restaurant was going to have a pause at 2:30pm.  Although the waiter didn’t say anything, I got vibes that he hoped we wouldn’t linger.  I would definitely go back to La Cantinella, though.  It’s got a nice “family owned” ambiance and an impressive wine list.  Next time, I’ll get the pasta that was tempting me today.  La Cantinella does not have pizza and I didn’t notice a children’s menu.  However, they were very tolerant of the kids who were there when we came in for lunch today.

I took a photo of the outside of the restaurant, as well as the surrounding area.

See that crane?  People were hanging off of it.  I didn’t know it when I took this picture, but I was about to get some really great views.

Time for fasching.

A shot of St. George’s Collegiate Church, which dates from 1470.

I noticed signs indicating that the tower was open today.  Bill and I had never climbed up the tower before today.  Now that we’ve done it, I can say that it was worth the trip.  The views are awesome.

One shot of the stained glass.  The organist was practicing as we walked through the church on the way to the tower.  It costs one euro per adult to climb the tower and see the tombs.

The bells were made during different centuries.  Some were made in the 15th century, while others were made in the 20th century.  They are very loud when they ring, especially if you’re climbing up the tower!

It was a long, twisty, narrow walk up, but at least there were things to look at.

And this was our reward!  Check out the crane!  Yes, people are hanging over the city!

Bill enjoys the view.  Right after I took this, he told me how much he loves Tübingen.  I agree; it’s a great place to spend an afternoon!

The crane was rotating.

After a few minutes of enjoying the views, we made our way back down.  We needed to visit Vinum before they closed at 4:00pm.

As we were leaving the church, I noticed this person’s sign hanging out of their window.  We can always count on seeing interesting political statements in Tübingen.

Sad when people deface very old buildings.

We went into Vinum, which is one of our favorite wine stores in the area.  They always have wines to try.  We ended up buying four bottles they were highlighting.

I noticed the construction on the Rathaus was finally done after years of work!

We stopped at Ranitzky’s Kaffeehaus for hot chocolate and a pee break.

I had hot chocolate with Bailey’s…

Bill had plain hot chocolate.

On the way out of town, I noticed that the Dunkin’ Donuts in the old building was gone…

And this very cool yarn store is moving.

I guess Germany doesn’t run on Dunkin’.

More brave souls on the ice.

But look at that!

Pigeon house!


We got to the train station just in time to get the 4:17pm train back to Herrenberg.  We really had a lovely afternoon.  I think we need to spend more time in Tübingen.  I think my favorite part of today was climbing the church tower.  That is something well worth doing!  It’s a great energy burner for your little ones, too.

I thought these ads were interesting.

Shit weather?  Hmmm…


Food, fun, and fascism in Germany…

Last night, Bill and I decided to have dinner at Tommi’s Bistro.  As usual, the food did not disappoint.  Bill and I had our usual lecker entrecote steaks from Argentina, lots of wine, and potatoes.  Here’s a photo.

I paired this with my usual favorite Wildekartoffeln…  Next Thursday is the next live jam!


After a very leisurely morning, we decided to go to Tübingen.  I wanted to visit Vinum for some wine.  Vinum closes at 4:00 on Saturdays, so we needed to hurry.  But we did have enough time for a quick lunch at Die Kelter, which is a favorite restaurant on the way into town.  We got there a little bit after 2:00, so we were limited to their “small” menu.

Bill checks out the menu.

We both had Baisinger hefeweizens…


I flipped a coin because I couldn’t decide between wurst or cheese spatzle.  The wurst won…

Nice beer snack.

Bill had the Kelter Burger, which is basically a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw and wild potatoes with sour cream and chive dip.  Those potatoes are the bomb!  Bill had had the burger last time we visited and it was just as good this time as it was last time.  I probably should have gone with the spatzle, though the wurst and pretzel were good, too.


We stopped into Vinum, tried a few wines that were being highlighted, and ended up coming home with five bottles and a refill of our syrah, which we get from a tap at the back of the store.  I was glad to get there well before 4:00.  Afterwards, we headed to the Neckarmueller, where Bill had one beer and I had two…

A nice Fischer Kellerbier…

Bill had another hefeweizen.

Impressive brewing equipment.

Then I tried a Saphir Fest beer.  This only came in a small size, which was fine with me.  It had notes of orange and cardamom.

A few photos of the Neckar River while I waited for Bill to make a pit stop.

We decided to walk back to the garage via the wooded park area opposite the Neckarmueller.  As we approached the steps to get to the tunnel that leads back to the garage, we ran into what appeared to be three Muslim females.  They heard me speak English to Bill and the two older ones seemed to look at us with hostile disdain.  I simply stared back at them as we made our way to the tunnel, which makes for a convenient shortcut back to the parking garage.  We were talking about the unspoken exchange as we walked through.  Then I noticed some of the graffiti and stickers on the walls…

I must say, my German is starting to come along a bit…

Then I noticed this business, which I would guess is run by Armenians.  The clue?  The last name.  Most Armenian names end with ian or yan.  Also, note the colors under the name Takesian.  They are the same as the Armenian flag.  I could be wrong, though.  I didn’t see any other clues but those.


We gave some thought to going to eat tonight, but I decided I’d rather get into my nightgown and watch The Brady Bunch on DVD.  I’m thinking about booking us a table in Stuttgart after our dental appointment on Monday.  Stay tuned for another restaurant review soon.


Lunch at Forelle Weinstube in Tübingen… and a puzzling pigeon…

Since today is Veteran’s Day and we missed our Saturday outing last weekend, Bill and I decided to go to Tübingen this afternoon for lunch and a brief shopping excursion at Vinum.  I wanted to dine at Forelle Weinstube, an adorable restaurant I remembered from our first time in the Stuttgart area, but according to their Web site, Wednesday was supposed to be their Ruhetag.  We decided to check there anyway, since Google said they were open… and, as things tend to go with Google, Google happened to be right.  I was glad they were open because I remembered having a really nice meal there seven years ago.  I wanted to see if they were still good.

We arrived at about 1:30pm, just as the lunch crowd was winding down.  A kind waitress offered us a table and we decided to have a leisurely lunch with a bottle of locally produced Riesling.  As we waited for the wine, I looked around and was charmed by how quaint the interior was.  It truly looks like a stereotypical old fashioned German restaurant.

The outside of the restaurant on a street tucked away from the main drag.  Forelle is the German word for trout and they do have it on the menu.

Bill checks out the menu.  They had a special today, but he went with the Linsenteller, while I had trout…


Loved the murals on the walls and ceiling, and the etched windows.  It’s a very homey place.

Bill’s lentils… came with spatzle and pork cheeks.  He said it was very satisfying.  My gut tells me he’ll be regular tomorrow and probably the next day.

My trout.  This came with a small green salad dressed with a light mustard vinaigrette.  I really enjoyed this dish, though at 19,80, it was the most expensive thing on the menu during lunch.  They do offer a small portion for about three euros less.  


View of the bar area.  The restaurant is small, so there’s no one actually sitting there.  They do appear to have an upstairs dining area, too.


Nice wine glasses…


After lunch, we had double espressos.  I knew that I was asking for trouble drinking wine, water, and espresso and knowing we were headed for Vinum, where there are free samples aplenty.  But my appetite won out over my sense of practicality and I indulged.  Then I visited the ladies room and sadly, the toilet wouldn’t flush.  Oops.

Loved their espresso glasses.  They were made so our fingers didn’t touch the hot liquid.  Reminded me of the cool beer glasses we saw at the beer museum in Lisbon, Portugal.  

After we paid the check, which came to about 66 euros, we headed for Vinum and tried some wines.  An American couple came in while we were shopping, though I might not have pegged them as Americans immediately.  The guy was wearing a Jack Wolfskin jacket and had a beard.  Bill chatted with them a bit while I taste tested a few reds.  We used our handy wine caddy bag, which which the lady at Vinum was impressed, and refilled our bottle from Vinum’s wine tap.  On the way out of Vinum, I heard a guy playing Vivaldi on an accordion.  It was interesting and he was surprisingly good, though if I wanted to hear Vivaldi, I probably wouldn’t choose to hear it played on an accordion.

Nice church shot…

By the time we left Vinum, my bladder was starting to sound off.  So we stopped at Ranitzky’s coffeehouse, which is right on the big square near the Rathaus in Tübingen.  It was a prime spot for people watching and enjoying hot chocolate.  My stomach neither needed the extra calories nor did my bladder need the extra liquid, but it did give me a chance to process more of the fluids I had at lunch and at Vinum.

Coffee break.


Bill had a large hot chocolate without cream.

I had a Bailey’s hot chocolate… it was very yummy.  They also have lots of tempting desserts, drinks, and light food.


While we were enjoying hot chocolate, we did some people watching…  I observed a drunk bum chugging what appeared to be vodka from a bottle as he staggered across the square.  Of course, it could have been water, too.

Bill people watches…


Rathaus… I was glad to see more of the construction is done.  Will it ever end?


Remnants of the market…  Most of the booths were shutting down as we arrived.  This was still open at 3:00 or so.

We saw a bunch of kids checking out the fountain and a woman walked by with her “bagel” (beagle and basset hound mix).

Then, we observed a woman looking curiously at what appeared to be a dead pigeon, only it was sitting on its feet…

Lots of people stopped to observe this bird, which made no move even when people got within a foot or two away.  Bill wondered if someone was doing a science experiment or something.  


I remembered my former German neighbor from our first tour here saying that it’s against the law to feed pigeons in the city and that locals refer to them as “rats from the sky.”  But still, a lot of people were curious and maybe even concerned.  I decided I wanted to pick up some Ammertal whiskey, so we went into Silberburg and bought a small bottle.

We never tried this the last time we lived here, though it is made in Unterjesingen, which was the town next to where we used to live and very close to Tübingen.

They had a nice selection…

When we came out of Silberburg, a woman had picked up the seemingly dead pigeon and we saw its wings flap feebly.  I guess the bird was sick or something.  Reminds me a little of the time we visited Nagold’s castle and a whole bunch of people were gathered around a dying mouse.  Someone finally picked the poor creature up and moved it to a more private place for its final death throes.  I don’t think the pigeon was quite so lucky.

We decided to head home, though I knew my bladder was going to be aching soon.  On the way out of the city, I spied some graffiti.

And a charming street scene…


Bill was going to drive back on B28, which is kind of the long way back to our town.  I asked him to head back to Jettingen via Poltringen instead.  It saved us significant time, helped us avoid traffic, and got me to a bathroom sooner.  Don’t think I wasn’t tempted to stop off on the side of the road, though…

Stop here for fresh milk, eggs, and onions.


All in all, we had a very pleasant afternoon.  It’s always a pleasure to visit Tübingen.  We used to go there all the time when we lived here in 07-09.  This time, we’re trying to see more of the area around Stuttgart.  But I am never disappointed when we visit one of my favorite college towns.  We’ll have to go back soon.


Review of Osteria Da Michele in Tübingen

The weather today is absolutely dreadful.  It’s dark, cold, and rainy.  If I hadn’t been cooped up for the past week, I don’t think I would have wanted to go out this afternoon.  But Bill wanted to drop by Vinum for some wine and beer and I was itching to have a little fun, so we went to Tübingen.  We got there early enough in the afternoon to have a nice lunch, so I suggested we eat before we went booze shopping.

Originally, we were going to have lunch at a German place our first landlord took us on Thanksgiving in 2007.  We stopped at a gasthaus looking place that we thought was it, but it turned out to be an Italian restaurant called Osteria Da Michele.  We thought maybe the German restaurant had changed hands.  But once we went inside, we determined that we had never eaten there before and, actually, I don’t think it was the restaurant we were originally looking for.  But since it was raining and we were hungry, we decided to try it.  That turned out to be a good call, since we had a very nice lunch.  Better yet, it’s just down the street from Vinum.

Bill smiles for the camera… I’m always taking pictures of him.

We walked in and a young Italian guy invited us to take a table for two.  We sat in a small dining room to the side of the bar area, which was in a larger room.  The waiter brought us menus and I immediately noticed the cool looking lightbulb lamps over each table.  It took awhile for the waiter to return to us because I think he was handling the front of the house by himself and he had several tables to tend.  We noticed he spoke at least four languages…  German, English, Italian, and Spanish.  Bill overheard him saying he has relatives in Mallorca.  I liked the music that was playing; kind of jazzy and new age.

We enjoyed some delicious olives while we waited for lunch…

Though there were several specials offered, the menu itself was rather limited.  They offered pizzas, salads, and pasta dishes.  Bill decided on gnocchi and I had tagliatelle with shrimps.  Bill had a glass of Chianti and I had a glass of Pinot Grigio.  The only other wine offered was a Bardolino rose.  I was intrigued by it, but went with the white instead.

My tagliatelle with shrimp and a tomato cream sauce.  This was very good!  The shrimps tasted fresh and the sauce wasn’t too heavy.  The pasta was cooked perfectly, too.  I asked the waiter if the pasta was housemade.  He said it wasn’t, but they choose the highest quality pastas and taste them before they serve them.  I believe him.  

Bill’s gnocchi.  I don’t normally like gnocchi too much because sometimes it’s gummy and starchy.  Not at this restaurant.  This pasta was very nice with a light layer of cheese.  Not gummy, not starchy, and not too heavy.

Kudos to the artist who had a lightbulb go off in creating this lamp!

We finished up with a perfect round of espresso.  It came with a chocolate covered coffee bean.  The waiter said he has the best espresso in Tübingen.  I believe him.

The specials for today…

Outside of the building…

And a card!  FYI: They are open Monday-Saturday from 12-3pm and 6-11pm.  Sunday is their “free day”.


Our bill came to 35 euros.  Bill rounded up to 40.  The restrooms were thrilling, too.  In the ladies room, there were two bottles of perfume, including Chanel No. 5.  Bill said the men’s room had a bottle of Polo in it.

We still want to see if we can find that German restaurant we were looking for, but I think we’ll be back to Osteria Da Michele.  After lunch, we went to Vinum and commenced buying our beer and wine!  I found a few new Scottish brews I’ve never had before and we picked up a couple of bottles of Riesling, for which I am just now developing a taste, some Gruner Veltliner, a bottle of Pedro Ximenez sherry, and some house syrah from Vinum’s very cool wine taps.

I love visiting Tübingen, even when the weather is shitty.  Hope to be back soon with weather that is more agreeable.

Me before my hair got ruined by the rain.


Another trip to Tubingen!

I always love the square!


Bill and I decided to go to Tubingen yesterday because we wanted to stop by Vinum and look for some new glassware.  We didn’t end up getting glasses, but we did have a great time tasting and buying some wines and picking up Belgian beers.  Adding to the fun was a small group of Russian buskers who were playing beautiful classical music on brass instruments.  They were also selling CDs.  We probably should have bought one, since I love to support musicians.  We ended up going to the LUSH store instead, where we were talked into buying some shower gel and lotion.  That was the first time we had ever been to LUSH, though that store was there when we lived here last time.  You can smell it before you see it.

I love visiting Tubingen.  It’s such a neat town!

Bill waiting for service at Neckarmuller…


We had a late lunch at Neckarmuller, which is a very cool brewery restaurant.  In the warmer months, they have a nice biergarten.  Yesterday, it was dark and rainy, so there were many people inside having lunch.  We ended up squeezed between two tables of Germans who seemed baffled as to why Americans were having lunch in Tubingen.  Our waiter was very charming and funny, though.

I had turkey with a baked potato served with garlic sour cream and butter.  There was also a very nice salad.  Bill had beer roasted beef served with gravy and pretzel dumplings.  Naturally, we enjoyed beers too!  I couldn’t even come close to finishing all of this. 



On the way home, we stopped by Agais in Entringen for dessert.  I must admit, part of the reason we stopped was because I really needed to relieve myself after drinking beer.  But it was fun to talk to the Mad Scientist, too.  We were his only customers.  I made him smile when I noticed a piece of artwork on the wall that depicted a man and a woman.  I asked if it was him in the art and he said it was him and his “first love”.  Then he showed us a picture of him bare chested and standing by a boat in 1980.  He had just caught a huge swordfish.

If we hadn’t have been so full, we would have had dinner, but he ended up making 30 euros off of us anyway.  We came home, hung out, and went to bed… and today, we are celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary!



Tübingen is a great city, especially if you want to go shopping.  Bill and I love going to Tübingen for many reasons.  One big reason we love that city is because of a cool store there called Vinum.  Vinum carries all kinds of wines, beers, liquors, and even some gourmet foods.  It’s not a huge store, but for the size it is, it has a pretty good selection!  The atmosphere is very pleasant, too.  The store is in an old, cool, cavern like building on Lange Strasse, very close to the big church in the middle of town.

Bill and I like going there for Belgian beers and unusual wines.  They also carry an impressive array of whiskys.  Not whiskey…  whisky!  As in scotch!  I just ordered two bottles of scotch from Master of Malt, a great online store out of the UK.  Otherwise, we might have restocked our scotch supply at Vinum.

Yesterday, when we were there, I noticed they were selling El Dorado, my favorite rum.  It comes from Guyana and Bill and I discovered it in a grocery store in Bequia, a charming island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  We didn’t buy any yesterday, but I think we’ll be picking some up soon.  By the way, anyone who mixes 15 year old El Dorado in a cocktail is an amateur.  That is pure sipping rum!

The front of Vinum.  

Lots of delightful Belgian beers!  We came home with a couple of big bottles!  They also have a few beers from other places.  I noticed a bottle of Sierra Nevada pale ale there, but we haven’t been out of the States long enough to want that yet.

Wine taps in the back room.  You can buy a wine bottle for five euros and fill it with wine from one of the taps.  Yesterday, the prices on the wines were anywhere from 3.95 to 4.25.  You can also taste the wines before you dispense them.  We came home with some very nice syrah.    

I also picked up some mustard from France and some balsamic vinegar.  They also have pasta, pesto, some exotic oils, and several interesting looking sauces from Italy.

Now that we’re back in Germany, I have a feeling we’ll be visiting Vinum a lot!