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#Dietary

Food heaven on the upper floor.

Crawfish tail.

Crawfish tail.

After that currywurst kick-off at Bahnhof Zoo we ventured further for some window shopping, following the crowded streets all the way down to KaDeWe, which stands short for ‘Kauhaus des Westens’ (Department Store of the West). It’s quite a big store indeed with enough goods for a daylong shopping spree. We didn’t know yet what we were looking for here but it was neither perfumes nor fashion.

We took the escalators all the way up to the top with the intention of working our way through every section back down to street level. Once we arrived on the upper floor though we found an endless ‘food court’ (the fancy way) and a deli section, which should grasp our entire attention for the next two hours or so.

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Guo tie.

Being overwhelmed at first – I mean there was a whole section jam packed just with those awesome colorful fleur-du-sel-eggs – we spotted a Chinese food bar kind of place (‘Silverpagoda’) and deemed it an appropriate place to reset our intentions and just continue with our foodie adventure weekend right here, right now.

We had a serving of the xiao long bao and the guo tie, accompanied by a refreshingly chilled beer. The xiao long bao weren’t as crafty, thinly skinned and pretty but from a taste perspective, I was very happy with them, juicy and yum. The same goes for the thinner skinned guo tie that had a lovely crust at their bottom side. I have been away from Asia quite a while now so those, while not being perfect by any means, instantly hit my sweet spot (yes, that’s my tummy) and if they have had some julienne ginger soaking in their Chinese vinegar, this would’ve been even multiplied. Funny how the small things still matter.

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Xiao long bao.

We spend the following hour taking just one single round on this level full of goodness almost buying everything, ending up buying nothing, but one of the best window shopping sessions I have ever had nevertheless.

Eventually passing through a section of seafood restaurants in the higher price ranges made a craving for crustaceans crawl up on me and thankfully in the next section, just outside, were a couple of fish butcher type food stalls selling similar fair at slightly lower prices. I grabbed me a straight langoustine tail, with cocktail sauce and bubbles to close this fine experience. It was good and I felt classy.

I wouldn’t say that this was the best food I’ve ever had or that you’ve got to go out of your way to see this but if I’m in the area again in the future and feel a light hunger for nothing in particular, I might just come back all the way up here to get inspired and fed.

Get Your Grub On!

KaDeWe – Kaufhaus des Westens
Tauentzienstraße 21-24
10789 Berlin
Germany
p: +49 30 21210
https://www.kadewe.de/

 

Curry at Bahnhof Zoo.

Currywurst.

Currywurst.

So this was our first day in Berlin and I was overly excited about the days to come, the friends to meet, the things to see, foods to eat and drinks to drink. In this spirit, we ventured out from our base in Mitte to the surrounding area of Bahnhof Zoo and Kudamm (Kurfürstendamm). Not entirely hungry yet but feeling a slight craving crawling up on us, we were glad to see that famous Curry 36 has a second shop directly in front of the train station here, as just for us to grab a little snack.

Coming from the south, I’m generally a white sausage, no casing kinda guy but ordered, what I thought were the local signature specs here; red sausage with casing. This was nice though, because of the casing the sausage had a refreshing snap and the sauce was surprisingly fruity with a hint of heat from that curry spice coating the sausage underneath.

Curry36 at Bahnhof Zoo.

Curry 36 at Bahnhof Zoo.

A place frequented by tourists and locals alike, feeding humans from all shapes, backgrounds, and trades and a lovely start to our little food trip.

Get Your Grub On!

Curry 36 (Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten)
Hardenbergplatz 9
10623 Berlin
Germany
p: +49 30 3199 2992
http://www.curry36.de/

Gourmet butcher burgers.

Pulled beef burger with salad.
Pulled beef burger with salad.

Just when I thought there’s nothing more to discover on this site of the train tracks my colleagues told me about that butcher a rough 10 minutes down the road, that apparently does some pretty good dry ageing and pork pulling. So without further ado, two colleagues and I went down to check out this magical ‘secret’ shop on Lehener Straße that was hidden from me for such a long time.

We were greeted warmly by the kind ladies behind the counter, who took our order of pulled pork burgers with a smile. Now those burgers weren’t huge but decently sufficient, and at the prices, they’re calling here, more than fair anyway. It was already a burger for lunch so I passed on the fried and starchy side options and went for some green beans from their salad counter, which seemed like a proper enough addition to the set.

The layered toppings on my sandwich were made up of tenderly pulled apart pork neck, crunchy leaves of butterhead, crunchy creamy coleslaw, and just the right amount of bbq sauce all squeezed in between a well holding up bun with mixed sesame seeds. Excellent.

Just about two weeks later I already held my second sitting here with the equally tasty pulled beef version of this, which was way saucier and to my surprise at least as succulent and juicy. Again, excellent stuff.

This is one of the best, if not the best butcher delis in town and I won’t be holding off my third visit for too much long either and return to throw back one of their dry-aged burgers and chat some more with the boss about his mighty fridge of treasures. Loving it.

Get Your Grub On!

Metzgerei-Feinkost Pum (closed Sundays)
Lehener Straße 40
79106 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 281 882
http://www.feinkost-metzgerei-pum.de/

Sabei, sabei.

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Pad Thai

On our never-ending quest to find good value Asian food we followed the pointer of one of my food-loving colleague-friends to Chang’s on Grünwälderstraße. They had exactly two tiny round tables out front and we were lucky enough to catch one of them.

For starters, I had their satay gha, two chicken tender skewers with a dry rub spice mix and a nutty jelat peanut dip. Slightly dry but very tasty and good starting.

Next up were pad thai and fried duck in a savoury spicy sauce with chili, thai basil and vegetables. The duck was lovely crispy but still had a thin and jiggly fat layer sitting underneath that scrumptious skin. Sauce and vegetables were delicious with a good, yet not too unique taste to them. That pad thai though, it was, I’m not sure how to say it any other way but AWESOME! This was probably the best version of pad thai I had around here and since this is one of M.’s favorite noodle dishes we had quite a few. It had the right balance of tamarind, prawns were great and there was that certain tang. Loved it.

Get Your Grub On!

Chang Thaiküche
Grünwälderstraße 21
79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 1379 684
http://chang-thaikueche.de/

My vegan zen place.

Raw vegetables with extra bread.

Raw vegetables with extra bread.

I’ve been quite a big fan of the comprehensive vegetarian and vegan options around Freiburg and especially the neighbourhood surrounding my office. They allowed me to conveniently live a bit healthier and be more considerate and balanced about how and with what I stuff my face. So certainly I was happy to hear that former Freundsaft got a new tenant to run another full-on vegan restaurant at their old location on Lehener Straße.

After their ramp-up phase during which they performed regular trial cookings, Deli Vegaani opened their doors with a small but fine selection of hot, warm and cold dishes, a few cakes and sweets as well as coffee, spreads and the like.

My favourite and the most satisfying dish thus far has been their big bowl of steamed vegetables on a bed of country risotto rice which is covered by your ‘sauce’ of choice that could be hummus, baba ganoush, lemon-coriander and what not.

This week I also got around to trying the raw vegetables (‘Rohkost’), a salad-like mix of crunchy beets and root vegetables, lightly dressed in vinaigrette and covered under a slightly bitter cushion of rocket leaves. This was brilliant, pure freshness, snappy and with some extra slices of that crazy good toasted seed bread just made for the kind of lunch that I needed.

Additionally, to the great and wholesome foods, the people here are just extra nice and considerate, there are other vegan and organic goods to buy (e.g. sandwiches, tea) and the little pricy sweets at the counter are simply outstanding. Try those fudgy chocolate chip cookies, they will blow your mind.

Get Your Grub On!

Deli Vegaani (former Freundsaft)
Lehener Straße 13
79106 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 3839 9139
https://www.vegaani.net/

Sawadee-khrup.

[1] Beef bowl with lean beef, meatball, veal tongue and liver.

[1] Beef bowl with lean beef, meatball, veal tongue and liver.

This week’s most anticipated event for me was the opening of Chada Thai’s new noodle shop at Rempartstraße. Even after a few years in Asia, I couldn’t really make out what Thai noodle soups would be like but yesterday was the day I should find out.

We were planning to go with a bigger group but one colleague and I were held up by a spontaneous hall meeting and so the two of us followed the rest with a few minutes delay. Arriving at the shop we spotted our group with no free seats anywhere close to them or anywhere period. No choice but parking our behinds on the comfy waiting benches and hope for some fast noodle slurpers.

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Seafood and beef bowl.

Not long though and we were sitting at our table, ordering food and making ourselves familiar with the multitude of condiments on the table – chilli in vinegar, chilli flakes, sugar (??) and nuts.

My colleague ordered the seafood bowl, which was a heaty tom yam broth, filled with all sorts of water goodies like mussels, prawns, squid, salmon and fishballs. One to remember for my next visit but I just had to go for the beef bowl with all available add-ons, which meant that it was stacked generously with soft pieces of lean meat, veal liver and tongue as well as a bouncy meatball, whose texture took me back to those yong tau foo stalls in Singapore. My favourite meaty ingredient was the liver but the tongue definitely won the contest for most intriguing consistency and bite. The soup itself was tasty strong with hints of that sweet and sourness, typical for beef broth, and the noodles were just right. All in all a delicious bowl, that I’m happy to have so close by.

 

 

So the food was great, that I didn’t even mind the ten bucks I had to leave at the counter here, and I hope that Freiburg will appreciate having such an authentic (oh gosh, I hate using that word) shop around with the friendliest of people serving up some truly great stuff.

Get Your Grub On!

Chada Thai Nudelsuppe
Rempartstraße 5
79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p:
http://www.chadathai.de/

 

A drunken boar.

Drunken wild boar (in whiskey marinade)

Drunken wild boar (in whiskey marinade)

I’ve been to Ketterer’s Rebstock once before for a truly amazing schnitzel feast, so when we decided to take M.’s uncle and aunt here during their visit I resisted that natural temptation of ordering the known and delicious and ventured for something new from their seasonal menu. As the interior suggests, this family consists of passionate hunters, so naturally, there was a lot of game, from deer burgers to wild boar roast. The lady of the house explained to us how the dishes are prepared and when I heard that the wild boar was marinated in scotch whiskey I was sold big time.

After the time it took us to finish our beers, my food showed up on a massive plate filled with goodies and spreading an aura of appetizing smokey fumes. Now, this was something different; the sauce was completely infused with the smokiness from the whiskey, awesome and unfamiliar, and even though it was strong, it didn’t get old during my entire conquest through my plate. The meat was cooked until smooth and tender and those buttery spätzle were just the perfect vehicle for that heavenly ‘Scottish’ cream.

I also had a little taste of the venison burger patties, which was obviously a less refined dish than my boar but somehow surprised by its simplicity and mindblowing deliciousness. I’m not kidding, I was so happy with my whiskey sauce, but I definitely would have ordered those patties if I’d knew them before.

Rebstock is just one of those places that I consider little village gems, which are not as obvious to find but there seems to be plenty of them around. I’m glad we came here for a schnitzel safe sometime back and that therefore Ketterer’s had the chance to make it on my list.

Get Your Grub On!

Ketterers Rebstock Heuweiler (closed Mondays)
Dorststraße 20
79194 Heuweiler
Germany
p: +49 7666 9379 344
http://www.rebstock-heuweiler.de/

‘Flotter Dreier’ in Elzach.

Duck breast with mash and broccoli.

Duck breast with mash, broccoli and jus.

I had friends raving to me about this place forever now and so when last week two of them asked M. and me to join them for a double date we instantly were game. The day of choice was Thursday, which by chance was also the day of their weekly ‘Flotter Dreier’ promotion. While in German this has a rather suggestive meaning, here it describes a triple course surprise dinner with a choice of meat, fish or a combination of both, paired with a selection of regional wines.

 

 

I chose meat for all my courses and my entrée turned out to be a brilliant trio of chunky deer tartar, carpaccio of the same and some field salad with candied walnuts and kracherle (badisch for croutons). The tartar wasn’t that gamey but had a distinct texture that wasn’t entirely pleasant but more of the intriguing kind. Paired with the more dominant fried caper fruit (not sure if that’s the actual word) and the crispy bread splinter this was just on spot. The carpaccio seemed more intense but still light and fresh as raw things should be and the playful combination with the sweetish coated nuts was simply lovely. Great kick-off to the evening. [Wine pairing: Grauburgunder (Salwey | Oberrottweil)]

 

 

My main was a beautiful duck breast, perfectly broiled to a deep rose, with crispy skin on the outside and all the important juices locked in. The mash and broccoli where solid supporting acts but the true star was definitely the duck. [Wine pairing: Cuvée (Landerer | Vogtsburg)]

I also got a little taste of the second main option of pan-fried pikeperch, a glossy scallop and the best cream cabbage that I’ve ever had. The latter was warm and cooked but still kept that typical crunch alive and kicking, almost on the edge of raw. I don’t know how they did this but I was genuinely amazed.

 

 

The finishing moves were performed by this extremely capable trio of sweetness. My favourite must have been the lardy caramel mousse, closely followed by the mixed fruit sherbet which showed some strong apricot tendencies. [Wine pairing: Scheurebe (Weishaar | Kaiserstuhl)]

I have been swept off my feet by tonight’s food and service. The ambience is comfortably classy, not detached or posh and also not as rustic as I had initially expected, very easy and convenient to settle in. Big kudos on the wine pairing too. All being great wines, every glass suited the corresponding dish optimally and the only regret I have is forgetting to note down the Riesling pairing of the fish main.

I’d love to come here every Thursday from now on, and if the use of great regional produce, skillfully orchestrated and prepared isn’t enough, it is the absolute steal at Eur33,00 all in that just makes this a major no-brainer. I’m bowing respectfully with many thanks to all involved.

Get Your Grub On!

Gasthaus Rössle
Hauptstraße 19
79215 Elzach
Germany
p: +49 7682 212
http://www.roessleelzach.de/

A new meister is in town.

Cheeseburger with curly fries.

Cheeseburger with curly fries.

There’s a new burger place in town and thankfully it opened up just a short 3min walk away from the office. The place is run by the guys from Mr. Döner at Eschholzstraße and since apparently their small selection of burgers went quite well over there, they decided to open a dedicated shop in the old halls of the former Hanselmann.

Quite a few colleagues and friends went during the opening week and I heard a wide array of feedback about the food and service, from delicious burgers to mixed up orders there was everything. As the feedbacks above suggest, kickoff weeks are not very representative of the standard of a newly opened place but I didn’t intend to wait any longer and so two colleagues and I went to pay the Burgermeister a visit, a little earlier too, to beat the lunch crowds. As time would tell, this turned out to be a rather clever move.

Closeup cheeseburger

Closeup cheeseburger

We had two cheeseburgers with sesame buns, one of the vegetarian options in a spelt roll and curly fries for everybody. The burgers have sort of the perfect size, manageable, neither tiny nor ridiculously huge but the 140gram patties could be just a notch thicker to allow for medium and rare broils as well. Anyhow, they still had a rustic charr, meaty flavours and were full of their natural juices. I truly enjoyed my sandwich and those crispy curly fries. Their signature Meistersauce, some kind of cocktail sauce, worked its magic nicely on the burgers and fries and gave it all a bit of refreshing lightness. The garlic sauce, however, should only be consumed, if you don’t have any meetings lined up in the afternoon or if you actually don’t mind having intense dragon breath.

No complaints really, our orders were all correct and came out quickly, the food was very enjoyable and the customization options – beef, bio beef, chicken and vegetarian | three types of buns | multiple side and sauce options – provide much more room to experiment for coming visits. A big table of colleagues across the room wasn’t as lucky with their ordering but I guess and hope this was because the daily routine hasn’t entirely settled in yet. I’ll definitely come back for some of that bio beef and chicken and wish you guys a great second start in the neighbourhood.

Get Your Grub On!

Burgermeister Beef & Vegan (former Hanselmann)
Klarastraße 46
79106 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 7667 0430
Facebook

 

 

Let’s make this a tradition, shall we?

dsc02268-01.jpegOur time in South Tyrol was coming to an end and we had packed all our things, finished some last minute shopping for local delicacies, jumped into our car and were on our way back home just as the weather took a turn for the worse.

After a few hours driving, we took yet another break at St. Anton for another quick and early lunch exactly like during our drive down South. We even went to a place right on the other side of the road from the restaurant we ate a couple of days ago and their bacon dumplings with chanterelle were nice and did a pretty good job in the fluffiness department as well. Nothing thrilling and a bit too creamy but comforting nevertheless.

dsc02272-01.jpegObviously, we had Kaiserschmarrn as well and it was good too but a lot sweeter than the last one and it reminded me more of ripped apart pancakes than those savoury sticky bricks of fluffy and caramelized goodness. Friendly service as always.

Get Your Grub On!

Restaurant Fuhrmannstube
Dorfstraße 74
6580 St. Anston am Arlberg
Austria
p: + 43 5446 2921

A gourmet short trip to Italy

Salad & antipasti buffet

We stayed at this beautiful newish hotel at Lake Resia that promised a couple relaxing and tasty days because of the attached mini spa and a daily dinner service with a 4 course meal curated by the junior boss of the house and head chef Markus Strobl.

During the few days we stayed here, we had so many dishes that I will keep this brief and short and let the pictures do most of the talking. Just that, there was a salad and antipasti buffet each day to start off the menu and even though it was mostly the same, every day they had some changing highlight items like perfectly grilled and chilled veal. My favorite picks were the marinated artichoke hearts and that slightly blanched and lightly dressed coleslaw with cumin.

 

  1. Fluffy dark Rye Bread dumplings in fond with oven vegetables and fried parsley
  2. Barley soup with ham roll and chive-gel
  3. Insane Meditteranean swordfish with pea flan, snow peas, and minestrone broth
  4. Perfect Topfenknödel with nougat center, figs, and cinnamon ice cream

 

  1. Amazing ravioli with carbonara filling, truffle aroma, and oven melanzane
  2. Essence of peppers, chorizo-egg-dumplings and carrot pearls
  3. On spot Ocean beef flank, tomato, dauphine-potatoes and oven carrots
  4. Genius peach sherbet, water melon and arunda bubbles from east of Meran

 

  1. Fresh and bio beef tartar, parmesan splinters and crostini, celery walnut salad and red onions
  2. Parsley cream soup, bacon trameszzino and gel of smoke
  3. Lardo stuffed breast of guineafowl, young leek, white bread pudding and chervil mousse
  4. Lukewarm chocolate lava tart with wild berry sherbet and strawberries

 

  1. Celery filled tortelloni, truffle foam, and broccoli
  2. Consommé double, fantastic mushroom crêpe and zucchini julienne
  3. Beef cheek, smoked mash, black carrots and parsley
  4. Farmer yoghurt mousse, ice cream, meringue and acidy passion fruit
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Regional cheeses, chutneys, and nuts

As the salad buffet at the start, the dinner closing was also the same every day, an interesting selection of regional cheeses, chutneys, and nuts.

The time we spend in this dining room was such a treat and I didn’t have a single dish I didn’t like and many that I loved. Atmosphere-wise it took us some getting used to as everybody was whispering quietly at their tables which made it all a bit library-like but after the first night we had some good wine, turned up the volume a notch and enjoyed ourselves. Thanks for a wonderful foodie stay at your hotel and keep being inventive.

Get Your Grub On!

Alpine Diner Restaurant & Bar (Hotel Eden Reschensee) – reservations mandatory
Hauptstrasse 4
39027 Reschen BZ / Resia (Südtirol / South Tyrol)
Italy
p: + 39 473 633137
http://www.eden-reschensee.com/

36hrs in Food Paradise – Hour 26, Raw

DSC01900-01We made it back from Curry just in time to freshen up and head out to meet my host’s buddies at Yabase, an izakaya-style sushi restaurant close to his apartment. A quick meet & greet and then straight into the serious stuff. Starting with drinks I asked for a lemon sour (shoju, lemon, and soda), that a former colleague had introduced me to during my last trip to Japan and with a hint of hesitation and a nondescript smile the lady said it should be possible to organize, and it was. Cheers.

We continued with a medley of dishes including a great quality sashimi moriawase, a tuna and a salmon platter. The latter two consisted of lean to fatty cuts as well as an aburi version each and some fabulous other bits. I truly think every sushi restaurant should have some of those, they’re just the perfect thing for solo eaters.

The next two hours we spend our time ordering random dishes like raw gyu, maki, beautifully made agedashi tofu and sweetly glazed savoury tsukune yakitori. After those were all washed down with cold brews and hot sake, we discovered they even had ice cream mochi dessert and since they were kind of miniature we had a multitude of ’em. The choco mochi were like frozen drops of mousse au chocolate, chewy on the outside and freezy creamy on the inside. A cool finish to an ortherwise delicious meal.

Awesome food, fabulous company and ass kicking service. Great night.

Get Your Grub On!

Yabase
Klosterstraße 70
40211 Düsseldorf
Germany
p: +49 211 362677
yabase-ddf.com

36hrs in Food Paradise – Hour 25, Curry

DSC01887-01After my delightful afternoon snack, I went on to pick up my friend at work, grabbed a coffee at his shared office space, enjoyed the view and moved on to stroll through Düsseldorf without any particular destination. Somehow we ended up at the urban harbor down at the Rhine river and just hung out at some pedestrian bridge for a bit enjoying the quiet Friday afternoon.

Since he didn’t get anything to eat since lunch he suggested a quick currywurst run to a shop around the corner and not being hungry at all myself I just went with it.  A 10-minute-walk away we sat down outside an obviously popular fast food joint with waiters that cracked me up every time they opened their mouth. I was still a little full from my second lunch so my friend managed the ordering. His choice fell on the spicy currywurst and, after a short dispute about necessary portion sizes, on the large fries with mayo and raw onions to share. The fries were good, crisp and plenty, and worked just great with the thick onion mayonnaise but the sausage lacked a bit of snap and wasn’t really spicy at all, more fruity actually. Since my mate comes here frequently though he confirmed this was not the usual, so it probably just got mixed up in the process. Happens.

There is tasty food here, a definitely entertaining bunch of people and the place comes with a nice little beer selection of local and ‘foreign’ brews like Zäpfle pils from Rothaus. A nice local hangout for pre and post-party grub and beers.

Get Your Grub On!

Curry
Hammer Straße 2
40219 Düsseldorf
Germany
p: +49 211 3032 857
http://www.curry-deutschland.de/

Schlemmer-Teller

IMG_20170720_122202-01Amara is another of my frequented lunch places in the Stühlinger hood when things have to be fast or I just feel like crispy falafel or squeaky halloumi. Yeah, I actually do prefer their vegetarian options, not that the meaty stuff is bad or anything, the meat-free dishes are just that good.

I had an extra big appetite today and ordered the vegetarian version of the Amara Platter. There was everything on this plate, oven-roasted vegetables and potatoes, bulgur, simmered carrots and eggplant, made-to-order crisp falafel, hummus and a light garlicky yogurt sauce. Aside this massive portion of goodness came a small side salad with slaw, tomatoes, and greens. I was stuffed but not unpleasantly and the EUR9.00 for such a portion seemed more than reasonable too. Thanks guys, next up: pizza!

Get Your Grub On!

Amara Schlemmerstüble
Engelbergerstraße 37
79106 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 1567 326
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Schnitzels after Feldberg hiking.

DSC01382-01Following a family friend’s recommendation, we started our Feldberg hiking day from the very end of St. Wilhelmer Tal and spend most of our day hiking up and down that beautiful mountain. We were past knackered and glad the parking lot, we had left the car kinda belonged to an old restaurant, which was also the last house of the valley.

We snatched one of the last benches outside and ordered some hearty pork schnitzel with brägele, the locally acclaimed version of roasted potatoes. Like in the old days the schnitzels here were thumb-thick, juicy and fried til crisp. I really like ’em thin but after a long hike like today, this hit the spot right in the face. The potatoes had a good balance between crunch and chewiness and together those two made for a fulfilling finish to a great day.

Service was kind and slightly slowish and the place came with a familiar breeze of blackforest charm. Other than that it’s just at the perfect location for an energy refuel after a day on the mountain.

Get Your Grub On!

Gaststätte Zur Linde-Napf
Feldbergstraße 14
79254 Oberried | St. Wilhelm
Germany
p: +49 7602 944 690
http://linde-napf.de/

Foodie Wunschkonzert!

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Sushi Kusakabe is part of a fabulous 3-in-1-foodie-experience in the midst of Umkirch, a lil town just north-west of Freiburg. Part of this trio is a hotel (Hotel Pfauen #1) and a restaurant that’s half Thai (Villa Thai #2) and half Japanese (Sushi Kusakabe #3).

We visited this place for our anniversary last year, and since we kinda loved it back then – like a lot – we returned for this year’s happy occasion again.

IMG-20170710-WA0025-02Diving in, we went exactly the same way as 365 days ago without even realizing it. There was a crisp and tangy tempura moriawase and a tako karaage with a hearty spiced, yet light batter getting us off to a great start.

Next up came the main course, sushi galore. I couldn’t hold back (didn’t want to either) and just had to have that outstanding otoro (fatty tuna belly) again despite its higher price tag (Eur9.00/piece). No regrets though as this was a melt-in-my-mouth experience, and one of the best kind at that. Following close behind, right up there on the same quality level, were crunchy, fresh ebi (prawn) nigiri, unagi (eel) glazed with sweet sauce, massaged-til-soft tako (octopus), perfect tamago  (omelette) as well as crunchy shinko (pickled radish) and tuna avocado maki.

To finish up this wonderful meal we chose the papaya with lime sherbet with little pieces of lime peel for a tad more texture, and the thai favorite: mango sticky rice, which was a bit pricey at Eur12.00. That mango was ripe though and sweet, and the coconut sticky rice balanced out that fruity sweetness just perfectly.

All in all another memorable evening filled with amazing food crafted with skill, patience, and experience by sushi master Kusakabe-san. Outstanding performance on the service front as well, and thanks to all the staff that made our dinner such a lovely one. Sure, we left with a lil lighter wallet than we came in with but also with a big fat smile on our faces! 🙂 🙂 See you next year (latest) and domo arigato gozaimasu.

Get Your Grub On!

Sushi Kusakabe – Villa Thai – Hotel Pfauen (closed on Tuesdays)
Hugstetter Straße 2
79224 Umkirch
Germany
p: +49 7665 93760
http://www.villa-thai.de/

 

Back in (baja)style!!!

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I hadn’t been to the shack for a while but the sun was out, I had Mexican-Food-Loving-Friends in town and these guys just had announced the return of the baja fish tacos to their menu. So when we arrived back in Freiburg after a day of exploring the black forest and beyond we headed straight for Stühlinger and one of their outside tables ordering a set of fish tacos each.

I’m not sure if my picture does it actual justice but these babies were intimidatingly ginormous. M. and our friend C. intuitively reached for fork and knife but I was willing to get my hands dirty. After all, these were tacos, right? Flipping up the sides of the appropriately large flour tortillas I wasn’t even able to close them properly above the crisp battered perch but I was ready for my first bite and didn’t plan on letting go of it. This was amazing. I still remembered them vaguely from the BZ food truck festival last year but it was like a brand new experience altogether. The batter cracked under my teeth making way for the wonderfully flaky fish meat that was breezy fresh and cooked ’til perfectly glassy. Just moments after the fish literally melted, and the juices had drenched my hands in tasty goodmess, all the other flavours started kicking in; the creamy chipotle mayonnaise, the crunchy greens and veggies, some sourness coming from that tropical salsa and especially awesome vibes blazing from the fresh Mexican herbs. It was like being teleported to a Californian beach (without ever being to one) for a couple of minutes, sipping on a cocktail enjoying the sun. Oh yes, I am glad these fish are back in town.

On top of an excellent meal the service today was super refreshing, attentive and friendly and on my way out I also finally got to say hi to some of the great people, who are responsible for all this. Thanks so much guys and see you soon.

Get Your Grub On!

The Holy Taco Shack (closed on Sundays)
Barbarastraße 18
79106 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 176 32970414
http://www.theholytacoshack.com/

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What an amazingly beautiful day it has been yesterday and the city was full of locals, students, tourists, and shopaholics alike soaking up the sun and roaming the streets of Freiburg, filling them like ants. We were right in the middle of it and completely lost track of time until our stomachs started growling to let us know a lunch was way overdue. It was lunch madness and almost every place around the Bermuda Dreieck (= Bermuda Triangle; a corner area in Freiburg) was packed with customers and some fast food joints even had queues oozing out their doors. Thankfully I had done my homework so we didn’t have to go on another hangry food quest and just around the corner, nestled between a garage something and another restaurant, Burger Chalet awaited us. As the name tells it’s a popular little burger joint and luckily the queue was sort of short and two lovely ladies allowed us to join them at their table for one of the rare options to sit outside enjoying the sun today.

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Burger of the Month: Himmel & Ääd Burger (Heaven & Earth)

Beforehand I had made plans to get my grub on with that ‘Alpenfeuer’ (Fire of the Alps) burger that comes with a chili-cheese-sauce, firy jalapeños and a homemade chili powder. Well, plans are great, but then life happens and as so often I did let another menu special item distract me and lead me off my  destined path. Without even thinking I heard myself ordering a medium grilled burger of the month, the ‘Himmel & Ääd’ (Heaven & Earth). Himmel & Ääd or Himmel & Erde is a popular and regional german dish, which is mostly common in the Rhineland, Westphalia, and Lower Saxony. In it’s purest version it consists of blood pudding, mashed potatoes, fried onions and apple sauce and actually so did this burger. Together with that juicy beef patty and wedged between two appropriately sized and perfectly toasted buns this just worked. All these very different textures and flavors merged together wonderfully and created something new and delicious. My favorite, besides the remarkable standard items of the burger, was the thin slice of tangy blood pudding, that added a spicy, almost creamy component on top of the patty. The tart and sweet apple chutney gave some fruity notes and the onions, being sweetish as well convinced with a light smokiness. The only thing that didn’t do too much for the whole concept and the flavor palette was the mashed potatoes, and frankly, it made it all just a bit more difficult to eat. I do get it though, it completes the transition of the traditional plated dish to a hands-on inventive burger. Fries were good.

Additionally to the fact that they know how to cook their stuff it’s worthy to mention that they are sourcing most of their ingredients locally, aren’t using any additives, the meat is freshly ground every day and they are making all their sauces themselves and from scratch as well. A lot of craft and thought goes into every burger here and the entire menu is also available with an in-house made vegetable patty for the vegetarians out there. The shop is small and cozily set up for a quick meal in a relaxing atmosphere, however, the glass barrier in front of the grill can’t save you entirely from all the food smell, so don’t mind taking a bit of burger scent home with you. The staff seems to enjoy themselves, is friendly and the guy  behind the counter was particularly fun to chat to. I was super full and happily content when we left and already have the next visit scheduled in my head. This time hopefully trying my original choice of burger and those fabulous looking rosemary potatoes. Thanks for the great grub.

Get Your Grub On!

Burger Chalet (closed on Sundays and public holidays)
Niemenstraße 9
79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 278 382
http://www.burger-chalet.de/

A cheesy update.

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What’s your favorite day of the week?

I had a bit of a rough day yesterday so since I was in town for Japanese class and needed something to cheer me up, and because it was ‘Taco Tuesday’ I went back to Yepa Yepa to load up on some heartwarming tacos.

After I did – four, I ate four tacos – I still felt some emptiness deep inside and was planning to fill it with some loving gooey cheese so nothing seemed better than finally giving their quesadillas a shot. They’re pretty much the same as a standard taco just with some salty cheese melted to the tortilla over a hot plate. This was just the stuff I needed. The delicious filling of the taco was already amazing on it’s own ‘but that cheese tho’, a great combination. I still prefer my tacos non-cheesy but what a great possibility to change things up a little bit. Thanks, this was soul healing.

Get Your Grub On!

Yepa Yepa Mexican Taqueria (closed Sundays)
Merianstraße 30
79104 Freiburg
Germany
http://www.mexikanisch-essen-freiburg.de/

Schnitzel Haven.

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The Schnitzel (these are two ‘small’ portions of breaded pork schnitzel)

M has been raving about ‘Zum Ochsen’ and their ridiculously awesome and huge schnitzels, so this had to happen eventually. We were quite lucky as we made our booking rather spontaneous and therefore, had to show up at point 6 p.m. to be done by 7:30 p.m. when the guests for the proper evening reservation arrived. Inside and outside you can see and feel the history of this old Freiburg institution that until today has no written menu. The waiter introduced us to the few dishes of the day with schnitzel having a permanent gig besides more seasonal dishes like venison sausage and vegetarian mushroom pancakes. Since M ordered the ‘small’ portion of schnitzel which included two huge slaps of thin and crispy breaded pork escalope, I knew I was getting a taste of it. That, and not having one in ages played a role in me ordering the cordon bleu instead.

First up came the default sharing bowl of green salad. You don’t get to see this serving style very often nowadays, it was huge and the best was that the dressing was made in good old grandpa style. Nice one. Since the menu is so small and an estimated 75% of all customers going for the schnitzel, the kitchen was pretty streamlined and food came out reasonably fast. My cordon bleu was absolutely delicious. The excess oil was nicely drained, the crust was crispy and the inside juicy and very well seasoned. The ham and cheese gave extra flavor but didn’t overpower the main act. It was pretty fantastic, sufficient and at Eur15 tolerably priced. Sneaking a couple of pieces of that famed schnitzel though I already knew what my order was gonna look like next time. Super thin and still having strong flavors going on with another thin layer of crispness blanking it all wonderfully. The potato sides also did the job with the brägele  (roasted potatoes) being full of nice and crunchy baked bits and the potato salad being pretty good as well .

If you’re in Freiburg and love a good schnitzel you should definitely come and check this place out. If you’re bringing an even bigger appetite you can go for the large portion that comes with an extra (third) schnitzel so you should be all set. And in case you shouldn’t be able to finish up, the friendly waiter will be more than happy to supply you with enough tinfoil to doggy bag it all home. I for one will be back as soon as I feel like a solid meaty schnitzel meal again. Can’t be long.

Get Your Grub On!

Zum Ochsen (closed Wednesday)
Zähringer Str. 363
79108 Freiburg im Breisgau
p: +49 761 553860
Germany