I love the town squares in Germany!
Cathedral on a gorgeous, brisk, fall day in October
Der Andechser Im Ratskeller
This was one of my favorite eating spots for dinner because inside, you just feel like you've been sent back in time to old Germany (not that I would know what old Germany's like). I was told that there are many Ratskellers around in Germany and they are always located in the basement. I dined here two nights in a row with some colleagues and seriously could not get enough of their huge portions of MEAT! That's one thing they're not stingy about, and to see the abundance of beef, lamb, and pork was just unreal. Oh yeah, and their beer. I actually made the mistake of asking for iced tea and the waiter yelled at me, "Iced tea?! No iced tea here, only water or BEER!" Right, I'll take a beer then. Now on to the amazing Bavarian dishes!
Before: Ham Hock, Beer Gravy, Potato Dumpling, Cabbage
After: My momma taught me how to clean the meat off my bones!
I need to interrupt and comment on how delicious this dish was! For my readers that love or hate pork, I highly recommend trying at least one ham hock or pork knuckle at least once in your lifetime. It is the extreme shank towards the end of the pig's leg bone, below the thigh and above the foot. It may seem like a lot of meat on one plate, but most of it was bone. I don't know how they cook it but the meat just falls off the bone once you cut into it, as if it was never attached in the first place! It was neither dry nor oily, just full of juice with every bite. Drenching the meat in the beer gravy was surprisingly delightful as I thought it would be too overpowering, but judging by the "After" picture above, I really enjoyed myself. The potato dumpling on the side tasted like potatoes, but had a sticky rice like consistency which made it hard to finish. I remember feeling like my skirt was going to rip due to the obvious enlargement of my poor belly, so I did the thing that I hate most: Leave food on the plate. Like everything else in my life, I bite off more than I can chew.
On the second night, I still wanted pork, but decided to try something different (I have a rule about not eating the same dish twice when I'm traveling). This really hit the spot for me because it was so comforting, especially with the sunny side up egg on top that I broke and mixed with everything. I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture, but this came out in a skillet which I thought was very traditional and took me back to China. The next two dishes below are my colleagues' choices so I cannot give my opinion, but they both licked their plates clean and gave positive responses!
Beautiful casino in Wiesbaden
Back entrance of the casino overlooking a park with a serene pond
Kafer's royal dining room (In or attached to the casino)
After a couple hours of shopping and poking around the casino, we decided to stop for lunch since it was already past noon. Everything was cooked perfectly at this gorgeous French inspired restaurant located in the casino (or attached to it on the side). What caught my eye first was the cute ladybugs on all the tables and a table next to the host filled with ladybug mugs, glasses, plush toys that you could buy from them! They should really change their name to Ladybug House IMO. They even gave you complimentary chocolate in a ladybug wrapper which was also a cute touch. I ordered the lamb with polenta and vegetables, mmmm (see below). I remember exclaiming, "This is the best lamb I've ever eaten!" I don't know if I was just hungry, or maybe my good mood got the best of me because I seemed to have exaggerated a little. I remember it being very juicy and tender, but somehow I don't believe it was the "best" lamb ever. Don't get me wrong, it was still wonderfully cooked and the combination of polenta and vegetables really kept me full for a while that day. The other dishes also looked delicious and like all the food in Germany, they received a big thumbs up!
Calf Liver and Mashed Potatoes
Lightly Fried Lamb, Parmesan Polenta, Vegetables
House Salad with Chicken
We all agreed that since our lunch was so big, we would get something light for dinner. Well that didn't go as planned. Somehow we wound up on a busy Italian street filled with restaurants that had outdoor seating, Italian music, and creative hosts luring hungry patrons into their establishments. I couldn't resist because I have a weakness for Italian cuisine! Below is what my fatty senses were craving for that night and yes, it was truly delicious. I'm sure you're sick of hearing that word, but no joke, everything in Germany is DELICIOUS.
Handmade Black Tortellini with Crawfish and Shrimp in a Cognac Sauce
My beloved tiramisu, even though I was so full (gluttony at its best!)
Ice Cream in a martini glass? Classy way to end the evening.
Readers- Do you tend to overeat when traveling? Where have you visited that seems to have the best food?