Tuesday, May 22, 2007

final meal in Germany

The German Bank holiday has wrecked havoc on our holiday in Germany. Today, Mr. Cupcake wanted to go to the Porsche Museum for a tour of the factory. Much to our dismay, they weren't giving tours since the factory was closed due to the bank holiday. Boooooooooooooooooo.

The museum itself was pretty lame. Unless you're an absolute Porsche enthusiast who lives and dies by all things Porsche, this place is a miss. That is unless you can get in on one of the tours anyway. This left us with four hours before we had to catch the train to Paris. We decided to give the Gasthaus zur Linde another try after our failed attempt last night.


The Gasthaus zur Linde is on the South side of Stuttgart, so it's a bit of a trek from the city centre. J9 read about the restaurant on the Internet a few days prior in Nürburg. The restaurant has received many accolades for remaining true to its regional Swabian roots. We had been itching to try some regional cuisine since there wasn't much available in the remote mountains where we were. This was a perfect solution to cure to our disappointment from this morning.

When we arrived, we found that the restaurant was a classy joint, and we felt way under dressed. Silly Americans! Fortunately, they were willing to take us since we were the first to arrive for lunch. We entered a room where there was a wall of fame. The chef/owner (not sure which) was plastered all over a long wall with various notable figures such as the Prime Minister of Japan, Lionel Richie, and Bai Ling. Well, those were the only ones I can remember off the top of my head. Seriously, if Lionel Richie has been there, we knew had come to the right place!

I ordered the maultaschen which is described as homemade Swabian Ravioli with creamy sauerkraut. According to Internet factology, maultaschen roughly translates into "little ones who cheat the Lord". Odd yes, but the back story is Catholics can't eat meat on Fridays during lent, and the Swabians still wanted to meat. To accomplish this task, they wrapped the meat in ravioli dough in order to fool God.

I was still trying to block out the horror of last night's dinner, so I was pleased to see a much more sane presentation of my meal. The raviolis were filled with small amounts of pork and some light seasonings like parsley and maybe some eggs. The raviolis laid on a bed of creamy sauerkraut and the plate had a few streaks of reduced balsamic vinegar. The sauerkraut was still sour, but not as pungent as the stuff I'm used to in the US. It was the German meal I'd been dreaming of, without even knowing it.

My meal also came with a salad and potato salad. The salad was just lettuce with an oily dressing. It wasn't anything inspired. However, the potato salad was actually more sour than the sauerkraut in my meal. It was surprising, but also very enjoyable.

J9 ordered a meal fit for a queen! It was basically a sampler plate that included a sirloin steak with fried onions and ravioli.

Mr. Cupcake ordered the oxtail which was in a ragout of oxtail in a "Lemberger" red wine sauce.

Both of their dishes came with a side of spatzle, and ab unidentifiable brown paste.

We managed to clear off most of plates and decided we had enough time to grab some dessert before dropping off our rental car. This was sort of a mistake - not because the dessert wasn't good, but because we almost missed our train. Service isn't the speediest, but that's pretty typical all over Europe. It's the whole meal is an event thing that is far more uncommon in the US.

We ordered some apple fritters in a vanilla sauce and ice cream. This was the best dessert of the two we ordered. It was basically just slices of apples battered and then fried. It's something that'd be hard to mess up, but I was especially fond of the ice cream. It complimented the fritter nicely.

With our second dessert, we decided to be more adventurous and ordered the sweet ravioli stuff with cottage cheese and stewed berries. This dessert didn't really work for me. It wasn't the same large curds of cottage cheese that we're use to in the States. Instead the cottage cheese was creamier. With the ravioli, it was more of the textural experience that I wasn't too fond of. However, one lackluster dish out of five is hardly anything to complain about.

Our fancy lunch cost us about 95 euros which included tax, tip, and alcohol. I'd highly recommend this restaurant if you're in the Stuttgart area. It was an excellent way to close out our trip Germany. It was the first time we'd been able to experience some of the regional cuisine albeit being on the fancy side.

Mr. Cupcake was also a fan of their kitty cat sugar packets.

We're on a six hour train ride to Paris right now. I'm actually a little sad to leave Germany. I never really had any desire to go, but now that I've been, I've found it's a charming place full of distinct local culture and meat. I'm sure I'll be back sometime in the future because I doubt Mr. Cupcake will be satisfied with only one visit to the Nurbergring.

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If you couldn't tell, this is a little old. We're actually on our last day in Paris, and heading to Avignon in a few hours via the TGV. I will write more about Paris later.

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