16 February 2012

Restaurants we have eaten at and our thoughts...

Here is a list of restaurants we have eaten at since moving to Germany.  I will include our thoughts as newbies in Germany.  Not in any specific order (at least at this time!)  SER GUT, GUT, NICHT SER GUT, SCHLECT ratings (very good, good, not so good, bad).  We will probably eat at the Ser Gut and Gut restaurants again, but with the others?  Why waste the time when there are so many more restaurants to try out?  These ratings are only based on my husband's and my tastes!

  • Spinnrädl ( http://www.spinnraedl.de/ Schillerstraße 1, 67655 Kaiserslautern, Germany,  Spinnrädl - KL +49 631/60511.  This restaurant is a gem in downtown Kaiserslautern, the only remaining 1/2 timbered building there. Good beer, good wine lists, friendly staff, and good food.  It it typically busy and tables are larger so be prepared to share.  Parking is similar to other downtown restaurants so try to find a parking lot (there is one at SAKS Hotel that is convenient).  They take credit cards.  GUT
  • St. Martin ( http://www.st-martin-kl.de/) St.-Martins-Platz 4, 67657 Kaiserslautern, +49 631 3607490.  This restaurant is one of our favorites in downtown Kaiserslautern.  It's foods are typically German and they have a good selection of drinks, beer, and wine from their bar.  In the summer (we have not experienced yet, they have a nice terrace.  One of our favorite memories was the time we shared a table with a German lady (it was crowded and this sharing is not atypical in European restaurants); we had an enjoyable discussion with her using sign language, Fancy Translation on my BB, and phrasebooks.  We had to laugh though because all of wore classes, and the text on all of these were very small!  Parking for this restaurant is harder to find but worth the effort.  They take credit cards.  SER GUT
  • Irish House ( http://www.irishhouse.de/) Eselsfurth 11, Kaiserslautern, +49 0631 40680.  This restaurant became a home away from home during our first month stay in K-Town.  It was right across the street from our hotel.  We loved the Shepard's Pie, the Brat and Fries, Chicken Wings, and of course the Guinness!  It has a small food menu, but good.  We love the hometown atmosphere of this pub.  It has a pool table in the front area and there is a large room in the back where a lot of their music performances happen.  They also have a beer garden (off season now) which we plan to try later.  Parking is just off the side of the restaurant.  The manager is a very friendly guy and the staff is great.  A little on the smoky side.  They take credit cards. GUT
  • Gaststätte Eule (no websiste) Jahnstraße 14, 67659 Kaiserslautern, Germany, +49 6301/4475.  Love, love, love this little neighborhood restaurant!  The interior is just wonderful with it's wood paneled ceilings and bar as you enter.  It seems like a lot of locals.  The owner and his wife greet their customers cheerfully and make sure they have a good beer or wine to get started.  The homemade onion soup is freshly made and is one of the best that we have had anywhere.  We love the jaeger schnitzel and another steak dish with horseradish and cranberry sauce.  Parking is available about a block away.  And they have a small outside terrace for the warmer months.‎  Cash only. SER GUT
  • Indian Palace ( http://www.indiapalace.de/indiapalace/ ) Grüner Graben 21, 67655 Kaiserslautern | Tel. +49-631-66460.  A good Indian restaurant that serves tandoori and other regional cuisines.  It is tucked away from the main pedestrian area down an alley and there is on-street parking nearby.  We loved the atmosphere and decor and the food was very good.  We liked it better than its sister restaurant, the Himalayan.  Tends to fill up fast so you might need reservations.  And it is a cash only restaurant, so be prepared. GUT
  • Brauhaus am Markt, ( http://brauhausammarkt.jimdo.com/ ) Stiftsplatz2, 67655 Kaiserslautern, Germany, +49 631/61944   +49 631/61316.  Another very good Kaiserslautern downtown restaurant!  This one brews its own beer and you should see the towers they serve beer in if you order for many people!  It's a restaurant, brewpub, disco, and club.  Parking is similar to other downtown restaurants (parking at SAKS is close).  During the Christmas Market it was hard to find because it was behind some of the booths.  We were there for New Year's Eve and the atmosphere was great for that time of year and everyone went outside to watch all the fireworks.  This is a cash only restaurant.  The Palatinate Saumagen is really, really good especially with a homebrew beer! GUT
  • Bistro Resto Aktuell, ( http://aktuell-restaurant.de/ ) Morlautererstr 99 , an der Waschmühle, 67657 Kaiserslautern, +49 0631 31049464.  Another good neighborhood restaurant with cuisines that reflect those items that are seasonably available.  I had a very good dumpling dish (with mushrooms in the center).  The wine was good as was the coffee.  It wasn't very busy the night we were there (weather), but we have seen the restaurant packed when we have driven by in the past.  Parking is available across the street. GUT
  • Restaurant Delphi (http://hannenfass-kl.de/) St. Martins-Platz 1, 67657, Kaiserslautern, Germany, +49 631 66610.  This is a Greek restaurant in downtown K-Town.  It is a little off the beaten path, but not far from St. Martin.  We were no impressed with this restaurant.  It was hard to decide what to order (this was early on and I don't think they had any English menus).  We have not had a lot of Greek food so can't judge it on that, but we were not comfortable while we ate there.  The restaurant is a cash only restaurant and we thought the prices were a little high from what we had experienced at other local restaurants. NICHT SER GUT
  • Hotel Restaurant Barbarossahof ( http://www.barbarossahof.com/ )  Eselsfurth 1067657 KaiserslauternRhineland-PalatinateGermany.   We stayed at this hotel for over a month.  We had a very nice room which took our dogs (it was a little smoky but that went away after a time).  The staff of the hotel and restaurant were very friendly and helpful and ready to do what was needed to make your staff good.  We ate at the restaurant for breakfast every morning which was included in our room rate.  We also went to breakfast once after we moved out and found to our shock that the prices are a little outrageous.  The breakfast was a buffet type with cold cheese and meats, cereals, fruits, breads/brochen, and hot sausages, bacon, and eggs.  Juice and beverage were included.  We also ate there for dinner a few times.  Again the prices for the food was very high considering the quality of the food and preparation.  Food was good and adequate, but not innovative and sometimes not well prepared (the onion soup is flavored water).  We did have a couple of good meals--their special was goose and it was good.  The wild boar was also good.  Parking is readily available.  They do take credit cards.  NICHT SER GUT
  • Hotel Idyll Restaurant ( http://www.idyll-kaiserslautern.com/), Dauborner Weg 41, 67657, Kaiserslautern, Germany, +49 631/46025.  This hotel restaurant may be a little hard to find (it is down a road right beside Hotel Barbarossahoff) but worth the drive down a tree lined, cobbled road.  This is a quaint German restaurant.  It has a good wine and beer selection and the food is quite creditable.  They have an outside terrace for the warmer months and we plan to go back and check it out.  Dog friendly, credit cards, and parking near.  It looks like there are a lot of Americans who eat here as well.  GUT

Rest stops

This weekend we were traveling to Stuttgart and I am reminded of another difference between Germany and the US--rest stops.  Most of us are familiar with the typical American rest stop--area for picnicking, place for your pets to do their business, and then the men's and women's rooms with a vending machine in-between.  They can be fairly clean, depending on the time of year and the location in the US.

Hot Veggies Bar

Cold foods bar
Hot food bar

Grilled food bar (including brats)

Salad bar

Olive and antipasto bar
In Germany, there are different types of rest stops.  One is just a place to pull over with no facilities (these happen in the US too); just watch where you step if you get out of the car.  There are the types with water closets--probably more comparable to its US counterpart.  Then there are the SuperStops (well that's what I call them).  Reststop, resthaus, whatever they are called, they are great!  The restrooms are clean, but you will have to pay a small fee (about 70 cents euro) but you get a coupon for 50 cents off a purchase at the stop.  These stops typically include at least a coffee bar and a restaurant.  Larger ones have a chain restaurant attached.  But who really needs a chain restaurant, when you have the selection of foods available that is typically there.  I have included pictures of one reststop we used on the way to Stuttgart.  After we walked the dogs, we went inside for espresso, used the facilities, and got our espresso.  We found a table and sat and watched people coming and going through the rest haus.  I don't know how we resisted the temptation to get some more food with our espresso, but we did have one of the best pretzels ever.  We had planned to get to Stuttgart and eat there.  I think we should have eaten here!  These pictures didn't include the fruit bar, the dessert bar, the yogurt bar, the wine/beer selection, etc.  Makes me hungry just looking at the pictures!  I would take these resthaus stops over the American counterpart any time!

09 February 2012

Our Canine Members of the Dewey Family



Phoebe--Hi, how are you doing?

Miss Phoebe
Here are the doggie members of our family who are loving Germany as much as we are!  Nacho and Bella are scheduled for dog obedience classes starting Friday because they were raised in the north woods of Minnesota where there were not many people and not many dogs in their neighborhood.  They need manner lessons because of all the German dogs and their owners who take dogs everywhere--restaurants, museums, but a lot of walks!

Catching up in 2012

Well some water has ran under the bridge since the last time I was on this blog.  A lot of things have happened in the meantime--we found a house, we moved, we got our temporary furniture, our three kids came to visit from the States, and then our household goods came and we had to send the temporary furniture back.  Also after the kids left, it was unpacking all the household goods, getting the utilities hooked up and started (don't get me started on these stories!), and settling into a rhythm (John going to work, walking the dogs, and looking for work for me).  In the middle of all this, my mother passed away after a lengthy illness and that added another layer.  But I am finally at the other end of that, the boxes are almost unpacked (except the Christmas stuff for next year).  I'm to the stage of hanging pictures and that can take a little while--you have to live with the house first to know where the perfect place is for your old and new pictures.  Today I'm going over the household goods packing list to see what they didn't ship--like all the bolts to our patio furniture!  Since half of our stuff is in long term storage, it will be hard to remember what is missing!  The dogs have settled in to the new routine and have been scheduled for obedience lessons starting this week--well Bella and Nacho have been; Phoebe is OK and too old for such stuff.  They really enjoy walking through the forest behind our house (I would too if they didn't go berserk every time another person or dog came into sight!).  Here is a pictures of our house and the woods.
You can barely see our house in the very back center!