Sunday, May 22, 2011

Food, glorious, food!

The first stop on my lovely "cuisine cruise" was the Gasthaus "Kur-Schänke in Bad Soden. I had arrived in the morning and napped on and off most of the day so that jet lag would be well behind me. Once Howard got home back to the hotel from work, we walked to get some dinner. This lovely restaurant was about a block and a half from our hotel and we ate there often, usually with others from the project.
The food was good and the menu is fairly extensive. Unless we were handed an English menu, we had lots of guesswork to decide what to order. Click speisen and see what I'm talking about. Porkchops with a baked potato and herb butter sounded wonderful and it was!
On another trip to the Kur Schanke, I decided to try their rump steak. I'm not really familiar with that particular cut of beef, but it was very good.
A couple more blocks down the street was the My Thai. I really do not know what else was on the menu here. Once I ordered the 610, that is what I ordered each time we dined there.
We even cooked our own dinner at one of the restaurants. It was the Corner Steakhouse in Raunheim, Germany. This restaurant was very near the hotel that the project guys stayed at when they first arrived to Germany. It was good, so we drove back over there. It was about 30 minutes away and you take the autobahn to get there. They bring your steak out on a sizzling hot piece of granite and you cook your steak to your own liking. It's kind of like using a fondue pot.
Not all of the food we ate was from the restaurants. Sometimes, we would stop by one of the many lovely bakeries. One morning, I was particularly lazy and slept in a little too late for the hotel breakfast. Not to worry, I walked to the corner bakery and found a wonderful apple pastry.
Most of the time, I ate my breakfast in the hotel. They kept a wide variety of items to choose from. The first morning that I ate there, I was by myself and wasn't all that familiar with the choices. I decided to try things that had been "hit hard" meaning that I selected items that previous diners had already taken large portions from. One of those things was some kind of oatmeal made with yogurt with fresh fruit on top. I also made sure I drank one of those Dannon live culture yogurt drinks since they are so good for you. I would also select a piece of sliced ham and sometimes some cheese. The ladies would bring me a nice pot of coffee which made a perfect breakfast. Since I speak so very little German, I would say "Morgen" when I sat down and "Danke" when I left. They were all so nice. I really miss them.
I'm not sure if you have noticed it, but most of my meals were enjoyed with a glass of wine. There really is no such thing as iced tea since none of the drinks have ice and ordering water was a little iffy. Even though I would order still water, meaning no gas, I would still sometimes end up with some sort of seltzer water. I am not a fan. Well, I solved that problem right quick. Order wine!
If you are not much of a fish eater, I realize that you will find this fish absolutely gross, but let me tell you, it was wonderful! We went to the Gran Sasso Italian restaurant for this baby. Most of the seating is out on the patio which was quite lovely during the time we were there.
For our 3oth anniversary, we ate outside at the Ristorante La Cucina in Bad Soden.
Howard ordered spaghetti, but it had seafood in it. Otherwise, it would have been a bit dull.
I had the scalopina al vino e limone or in German, the kalbsschnit zelchen in weißwein-zitronen sauce. It was as delicious as it looks.
It was so good that I ordered something very similar when we went back to Raunheim to eat at Michelangelo's. This is one of our favorites. They would always give us grapa shots before we left. Can you say throat on fire?
Howard ate here several times a week when they were staying at the NH Hotel. It was that good.We were treated very well here.
Before my trip, I would almost always order ranch dressing. Over there, they served their salads topped with balsamic dressing. It is now my new favorite.
Nice view, huh? This is from the Chicago Steakhouse in Köln, Germany.
The steak was pretty good, too!
My favorite pizza has to be the Hawaiian. I love the combination of ham, cheese, and pineapple. It makes me smile.

My favorite place where we ate outside was in Antwerpen, Belgium. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was heavenly.
The night before we took off to Paris, we ate at this nice Indian restaurant. I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but it had a lovely tree out front that was dripping with flowers.
Since my return, I make my own fresh pizzas. I wasn't too keen on the frozen ones, but know I see no need to even bring them home.
I know. I know. Why would you go all the way to Germany and eat at a Mexican food restaurant? We live in South Texas for crying out loud!
It's not the style we are accustomed to, but it was still quite good.
Need I say more?
. . .and this is what I look like when I can't eat another bite.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Heidelberg Castle

Can you believe that construction on this castle began in the beginning of the 13th century? That was a looong time ago and that is a whole lot of rocks to haul. Since castles are built high on a hill, lightning strikes are an extreme possibility. This one was hit hard at least a couple of times. I bet that was loud.
Now, that was a lot of wine! Problem was, it was tax wine and it didn't taste very good because it was all the wines mixed together. Of course, the king had his own private stash. This vat was for everyone else.

The town of Heidelberg is very picturesque. It's even prettier when you hear the church bells.
Scouting out castles can be exhausting.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frankfurt, Germany

The hauptbahnhof is like a city all it's own. It is full of shops and restaurants and is the busiest train station in all of Germany. It serves about 350,000 per day. Wow! Those wonderful, huge pretzels are easy to find.
On the first Saturday of my Europe trip, we rode the train into Frankfurt. I didn't particularly like walking around in the red light district even though you don't really see anything. I was glad when we hoped the train again and went a little further away from the main station. We decided to have a bite to eat at the Chicago Meatpackers restaurant. It is located near the European Central Bank.
I took another trip into Frankfurt with Jan, one of the other project wives. We headed straight for the Zeil area (the mall). To get there, you ride the train until you reach the Hauptwache stop which is 3 stops past the main station stop.
The mall has some really interesting architecture.
See what I mean?
Once these trees leaf out, this is going to be a gorgeous area.
We also walked down to the river. It is very pretty there. Quite peaceful.
This shot was taken from the walking bridge. Only pedestrians and bicyclist are allowed on this bridge.
There were padlocks all over the bridge. Couples would put their names and dates on the locks and throw the keys into the river for good luck on their relationships.
Makes you want to ride in the boat, doesn't it?
Can you imagine how long it would take to put down all of these paver stones?
This is such a gorgeous area.
By the way, we left lots of euros behind. We gave that ATM a good workout.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Surrounded by castles

I've just spent the last 30 days surrounded by castles. My husband was sent to Germany to work on a project and he was gone for 3 months. I flew over and spent the month of April with him so that we could spend our 30th anniversary together.

We stayed in the small community of Bad Soden just outside of Frankfurt. Bad Soden is a charming place with lots of flowers, great restaurants, shops, and other niceties. Most everything is within walking distance and what is too far can be reached by hopping on a tram or bus or by hitching a ride with one of the project wives that have a car.

In the next few posts, I would like to share my trip with you. It was the trip of a lifetime. I hope you will join me!