Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Europe in review, part two

All right folks, continuing on my European culinary journey, I left the Netherlands and headed for Germany. After a quick stop in Koln to visit an old family friend, we continued on to a wonderful little town on the Rhine called Bacharach.

After a steep hike to drop our bags off at the hostel (which was a legit CASTLE, by the way) and then another hike back down, we had worked up a big appetite for dinner.  We chose a little place on the main road that had a nice outdoor seating area, and proceeded to have our most memorable meal of the trip.

The proprietress of this little restaurant - who was also the waitress and cook - chatted to us each time she cleared our plates, and was a total delight. Naturally, we imbibed some of Bacharach's best riesling while chowing down on our authentic German comfort food. After starting off with salads and a cup of hearty beef soup (which had the exciting yet unexpected addition of fresh dill), Kathleen chose braised rabbit and I picked a classic German pot roast ('sauerbraten'), which was served with potato dumplings. 

Kathleen and I barely spoke to each other throughout this meal except to mutter ooos and aahhs, because we were so busy shoveling the food into our mouths (**Full disclosure: Kathleen has a picture of me 'pretending' to lick the plates clean...). Finally, we capped off the night with the owner's special recipe, apfelkuchen (**Even fuller disclosure: We went back the next night for more of this unbelievable apple cake).
Oh, came with two giant scoops of ice cream, too.
This dining experience was so quintessentially German, we just left feeling tickled pink. Because Bacharach is off the beaten path, the prices are nowhere near what we paid in the bigger cities, and the quality and level of personal service was unbeatable.

I'll just hit the highlights for the rest of Germany and then Prague. We enjoyed some Alsatian pizza ('flammekueche') for an afternoon snack on our second day in Bacharach...

...and finished the day with some more riesling (of course), oxtail soup, wild boar prosciutto and obatzda - a Bavarian mixture of cheeses, butter, herbs/spices.

Ein bier und ein brezel in Munich was a go-to snack in the Englischer Garten.

We tried the dunkel (dark beer) at the famous HofbrÀuhaus during a beer tour, and it actually wasn't bitter at all, instead it was more nutty.

Another one of our picnics, this time in Prague with some traditional Czech pastries and a classy bottle of red wine to enjoy in the Old Town Square.

Turkish coffee, which for some reason is very popular in Prague, was not my favorite (can you see how thick it looks with all the grounds floating around?). The Franz Kafka Cafe was pretty cool, though.

On the last night of the trip, we sampled over 10 different beers at the highly recommended Prague Beer Museum. They have 39 different beers on tap, and friendly 
(albeit slightly young!) bartenders who were eager to talk to pretty American girls.

And that's all, folks! Hope you enjoyed my recap of some of my gastronomic experiences during my trip. Our goals of being fearless and trying as many new and traditional things as possible was certainly achieved, and I feel like I really did stretch my palette to wonderful new depths. We came, we ate, we conquered. :)


  1. Oh, what a lovely summary, sweetie. You ARE fearless! :-) Hats off to you and Kathleen for jumping in feet first (or should I say "with mouths wide open") and savoring the pleasures of each city/culture. I bet you would probably have had enough of me after a couple of days if I'd been served coffee like that turkish glop.... I'd have been spending all my time scouring the city for a starbucks!

  2. A very impressive trip indeed! Making memories you will treasure for a lifetime :-) Congratulations on making the most of every life experience.
    Thank you for sharing.