Sunday afternoon at the Waldgeist Biergarten!

Yesterday, we decided to go to AAFES to pick up a few things and visit Bijan, a local craftsman who makes tables out of wine barrels. Bijan, who is a member of my wine group on Facebook, says he is going to stop making tables because of an injury he had. Now he’s making jewelry. After we bought some personal care items at AAFES, we stopped by Bijan’s table, tried some wines, bought a few bottles, and picked up a couple of Bijan’s bracelets for Bill’s daughter and granddaughter. I’ve been making a care package for younger daughter as a morale booster. She’s halfway through a difficult pregnancy.

We had beautiful weather again yesterday, and Noyzi had really wanted to come with us on our quick trip to AAFES. Of course, dogs aren’t allowed in American stores on post, so he had to stay home. But once we got home, we decided to visit XXL Restaurant Waldgeist, a local restaurant near a sports park that specializes in humongous burgers. They also have a great Biergarten with comfortable tables and umbrellas, although since we didn’t have reservations, we didn’t score an umbrella.

Noyzi was very excited to be with us, because there were a lot of dogs at the Waldgeist yesterday. He’s getting better at going to Biergartens, although it takes him a little while to settle down. Bill and I decided to have lunch/dinner, which you can really do at Waldgeist. The portions are huge. Bill had the smallest Schnitzel they offer– 250 grams. It was still too big to finish. I had a Haxe, of which I managed about a third. I suspect I’ll be eating it for the rest of the week. I saw a couple of people ordering the huge burgers. They were the size of a small pizza! Waldgeist also has huge steaks, although I didn’t see anyone order one of those.

At the Waldgeist!

Waldgeist is a very kid friendly place. They have a playground for children, as well as children’s portions on the menu. We watched several little kids having a ball while their parents enjoyed food and each other’s company. It struck me how much I enjoy these weekend excursions, watching people enjoy themselves with their families and friends.

I think Waldgeist is a popular venue after sporting events, too, as it’s located very close to several playing fields, as well as a dog park. One thing to note if you visit the Waldgeist is that they only take cash payments. But, on the positive side, they’re open every day! Warm food goes from noon until 10:00 PM, and the restaurant is open from 11:30 AM until midnight.

Below are a few photos from our afternoon.

Later, we hung out in the backyard, listened to music, and enjoyed some wine, along with cheese that I bought for Bill at Henri Willig, a Dutch chain of cheese purveyors. I don’t eat most cheeses myself. I only like cheese when it’s a very specific kind, prepared in specific ways. I can’t just eat it cold, for instance. But Bill loves all cheeses, especially goat cheese. I can’t eat goat cheese at all!

Bill and his cheeses!

Looks like I made good choices this time. I wish I’d gotten a picture of Bill’s face when he first tried the goat cheese. It has garlic and herbs in it, which is a favorite combination for Bill. The other cheese is made from cow’s milk and includes Mediterranean spices. I also got some Baby Gouda cheese, but that’s pretty normal stuff, so he didn’t try it yesterday.

Pretty soon, this beautiful weather will be a thing of the past until the spring. I’m glad we managed to venture out yesterday. We probably should visit the Waldgeist more often. It’s a really nice place to spend a couple of hours outdoors, especially with our Noyzi.


Hungry? Bring your XXL appetite to the Waldgeist!

Some time ago, Bill was looking for local restaurant possibilities for us and he stumbled across Restaurant Waldgeist.  Located near a Sportsplatz in Hofheim, this restaurant boasts an impressive Biergarten, which wasn’t operating today due to the suddenly cool temperatures, and lots of indoor seating.  It’s also known for its huge portions.

I don’t love places that dish out huge portions because I can never finish and stuff has a tendency to go to waste.  Also, I end up eating more than I should or really need to eat.  However, I was curious about this restaurant due to its Biergarten and its “Hessisch” kitchen.  Here’s where you can get your green sauce, Handkäse, or Spundekäs.  They also have burgers, schnitzels, ribs, steaks, and sausages.

Big sign out front!

We didn’t make a reservation.  Apparently, it’s not a bad idea to call ahead on Saturdays, because when we showed up, we were relegated to “table 9”, that is, a side room where another couple was sitting with their two enormous and well behaved dogs.  We were given a two top table and I sat on a bench that was a little too high for it.  My legs dangled and I leaned forward to keep my back from getting too sore from the awkward position.  I didn’t have a chance to look in the other rooms.  It appeared to be kind of a sprawling place with lots of rooms.  The room we were in was clearly not the popular place to sit.

The menu… gets the job done, but is kind of annoying.

The waiter brought us laminated tri-fold menus, which kind of annoyed me, since I had to balance on the awkward bench as I opened the tri-fold menu that would not stay open on its own.  Nevertheless, I had already decided to order spare ribs, which I only do every once in awhile.  The smallest portion is 2 pieces, but you can order up to 4 pieces.  And you can also wash it down with a two liter Krug of beer if you want to.  For once, I exercised restraint and had a half liter of Hefeweizen.  Bill went with a Dunkelweizen and a “small” schnitzel.

Outdoor seating.  Looks really nice.  In warmer weather, I bet it gets packed.
Wait here, and they’ll show you to your table in “the blink of an eye.”

We waited for awhile.  At one point, a waiter tried to deliver the other couple’s schnitzels to us.  When they brought out our food, my exact words were “Damn, that’s big!”  The waiter laughed.

This is the smallest order of ribs.  It’s a full rack.  I could have also had this with cole slaw and fries, for just a few euros more.  I figured I’d have my hands full.  I’d like to know who orders the four piece… Maybe a large group?
Bill’s “small” schnitzel served with gravy, bacon wrapped green beans, and potato croquettes.
Needless, to say, I made it through half of my ribs before I had to stop.  That was with help from Bill.  When we asked to take it home with us, the waiter brought out aluminum foil and left it up to me to wrap it.  I suspect we’ll be snacking on them later, as well as the rest of Bill’s lunch.  He finished more of his.
I liked the cool flower pot for the tree.

The ribs were very good, perfectly cooked and tender, with spicy sauce.  Actually, I was surprised by how spicy the sauce was.  I could see it encouraging beer drinking!  
I think we’d go back to Waldgeist, especially in nice weather.  The outdoor area is pleasant and they have convenient hours.  No pauses or “Ruhetags”, so it’s very convenient– except you have to pay in cash.  Prices are very reasonable, though.  I’m sure during the summer, you’d best not show up without a reserved table.  I’m glad to know where a good Biergarten is up here.  They don’t seem to be quite as prevalent in Hesse as they are down south.