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Archive for September, 2009

Dunkin’ Donuts

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Dunkin Donuts

Konrad Adenauer Platz 14 40210 Düsseldorf

When I noticed that there was a Dunkin’ Donuts in the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, I was totally excited.  I grew up in Southern California, where there are only a few Dunkin’ Donuts around town and I never had the opportunity to visit one.  Before I left Düsseldorf this time, I knew that I had to try one of their donuts!

This Dunkin’ Donuts stand is pretty small, although they have several varieties of donuts to choose from.  Most of the ones in the glass are decorated with mouth watering frosting that will definitely push your caloric intake for the day.  Behind the counter, they have their Munchkin donut holes.  A cute name indeed!

All giddy with excitement, I had trouble choosing which donut to try.  I ended up selecting a Frühlings Donut (a springtime donut) with the name “Erdbeer Traum” (strawberry dream”).  I also ordered a small hot chocolate with whipping cream on top.


The donut was absolutely wonderful.  There was some strawberry filling in the middle of the dough, which finely complemented the sweet frosting on top.  The donut itself was delicate and a bit sweet.  Overall, it was a great American treat.  The hot chocolate, on the other hand, was miserable.  Even though it looked great, the whipping cream was completely worthless.  In fact, it made the hot chocolate even worse!  I was expecting something sweet to warm my soul on this cold, windy day, but the drink tasted absolutely atrocious.

Overall, the donut and the small drink cost 2,09 EUR.  Not bad at all!  Next time I’m at the main train station, I will definitely be dining on Dunkin’ Donuts in Düsseldorf, Deutschland!



An American donut chain toward the back end of the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, Dunkin’ Donuts offers delectable donuts that will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth!  A must try for travelers yearning for something American.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Frühlings Donut: Erdbeer Traum – 4/5
  • Hot Chocolate with Whipping Cream – 2/5
  • Service – 4/5


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September 29th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Schnitzel Huber (Update)

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Schnitzel Huber 

Berger Straße 14 40213 Düsseldorf                 [CLOSED]

My second time around at this fast food establishment in the Düsseldorf Altstadt was better than the first.  How can that be?  Well, this time Schnitzel Huber offered discounted plates at reduced prices!  This is extremely advantageous when you’re walking by so many different restaurants, but don’t want to pay outrageous prices for a meal.

I stopped by this place for lunch on this Monday afternoon.  I ordered one of their special plates, consisting of a decent sized piece of schnitzel, French fries, a small portion salad with your choice of Italian, French, or yogurt dressing, and a small drink (think kid’s meal drink) – all for 5,50 EUR!

The schnitzel came with a wedge of lemon and chives scattered over the top.  Even though my aunt said that it tasted somewhat old, I thought that the schnitzel was absolutely perfect.  The pork was moist and flavorful.  It was breaded really well and turned out nice and crisp.  The French fries were not hot and golden, but they still tasted decent.  I chose to get French dressing for my salad.  Although it was very creamy and yummy, they poured a bit too much over the vegetables.  For my drink, I ordered a Lift apple soda.

Schnitzel Huber offers both indoor and outdoor seating.  The inside seating areas are quite modern and comfortable.  If you enjoy people watching, then the seats outside are the perfect places to sit.

By the time I finished eating the entire plate, I was completely happy.  If schnitzel tastes this good at a fast food joint, I can’t imagine how good it tastes at a fine dining restaurant in Germany!



Schnitzel Huber serves up tasty German schnitzel at affordable prices.  A must stop for those looking for delicious German food at prices that can’t be beat!

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Schnitzel – 4.5/5
  • French Fries – 4/5
  • Salad – 3.5/5
  • Service 5/5



Written by geschmack

September 28th, 2009 at 11:35 pm


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Chang-Puak  Chang-Puak Restaurant

Schulstrasse. 19 40721 Hilden

When you enter a restaurant that specializes in ‘Asian cuisine’, you might feel a little bit pessimistic.  Asian cuisine encompasses such a wide variety of ethnic food that you feel as if there may be so many different items to choose from, yet have the feeling that none of them will taste spectacular.  This is definitely not the case with Chang-Puak!

Situated in the Hilden Altstadt, this Chinese-Thai restaurant not only has an amazing atmosphere, but also some of the best Asian food in Germany.  Unlike some other restaurants, Chang-Puak’s dishes are as exquisitely prepared and presented as one can imagine.  The taste of the dishes definitely matches up to the visual appeal.

To quench my thirst after strolling through the Altstadt, I got an Alster Wasser (Pils with lemon Fanta).  It was something new for me, but the flavors of the beer and soda didn’t really mesh well together in my glass.

As for my meal, I ordered a three course Vietnamese meal listed as the chef’s recommendation.  After 35 days in Germany, I felt compelled to eat some Vietnamese cuisine as homage to my hometown, where there are Pho restaurants practically everywhere.  This three course meal consists of Vietnamese deep-fried spring rolls (Chả giò), Pho Bo, and fried bananas with honey and ice cream for desert.  Absolutely mouthwatering!


After a short wait, the appetizers came to the table.  My aunt ordered the Thai fish cakes (Thod Mun) and my uncle got the wonton soup.  I sampled the fish cakes and they tasted exactly like back home.  It wasn’t too fishy tasting or overly spicy.  The mixture was perfect!  As for my spring rolls, the pork filling was well seasoned.  However, the noodle exterior was a bit gummy for my tastes.  The rolls didn’t come with the white vermicelli noodles or jícama, but the sauce and carrots definitely made up for it.


After the appetizers were finished, my bowl of steaming Pho arrived, accompanied by a decent portion of bean sprouts, basil, parsley, and a wedge of lemon.  Of course, there was also hot sauce and hoisin sauce on the plate of vegetables.  The Pho had a large amount of beef slices and meatballs, too much in fact!  Unfortunately, these slices of beef were not the trimmed kind like back home in California.  I slurped my noodles down almost immediately.  For a moment, the noodles and soup brought my soul back home to the states.  It tasted great!  The only complaint I had was the hoisin sauce they used – it wasn’t the thick variety I was so accustomed to.

My uncle ordered a stir-fried plate with chicken and a lot of vegetables.  It came to the table steaming hot, like a fajita plate at El Torito.  It definitely attracted attention!  Guests at other tables turned their heads to look at the beautiful dish.  My aunt ordered the crispy noodle with shrimp gravy.  Although I didn’t try these dishes, they were presented quite well!  As they say, you eat with your eyes first!


For dessert, the waitress brought a small plate of three fried bananas, drizzled with honey and sesame seeds scattered on top, with a scoop of ice cream.  I was too stuffed at this point, so I only managed to eat one banana.  By itself, it wasn’t too sweet as I had wished.  But it wasn’t a complete disappointment!  The honey definitely made up for the lack of natural goodness.

For the price of 12,50 EUR, the three course meal I ordered was definitely worth it!



Excellent Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese food.  Fabulous presentation.  Large menu.  Dogs allowed inside.

Overall – 4 ½ stars

  • Vietnamese Egg Rolls – 4/5
  • Fish Cakes (Thod Mun) – 4.5/5
  • Pho Bo – 4/5
  • Fried Bananas with Honey and Ice Cream – 4/5
  • Service – 5/5



Written by geschmack

September 26th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Posted in Hilden

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Orchid Royal

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Orchid Royal Orchid Royal Heidelberg

Rohrbacher Straße. 137 69115 Heidelberg

Located somewhat near the Heidelberg main station, this small, corner Thai restaurant offers a nice, pleasant dining experience for those looking for someplace romantic.  The Thai offerings are not exactly extensive, although they do have some traditional and unique items on the menu.

I arrived here for dinner at 6:00 PM on this Friday evening.  I got a seat at one of the two person tables and ordered a pineapple drink.  It came in a wine glass, which was pretty strange.  Ordered the Gai Thod Lad Gatiem (Fried chicken with garlic).  I was hungering for some traditional Thai style chicken, but they didn’t have the typical BBQ chicken.  Totally heartbreaking.


Knowing that I would have to get my hands dirty managing the bird, I checked out the bathrooms.  It was clean and well maintained.  Absolutely a good sign, or so I thought.  But when I got my order of chicken, I was totally disappointed.  The portion was simply too small for me.  Sure, they give lots of rice (more than I could eat).  But without a lot of chicken, how could I eat all the rice?  The flavor was also lacking.  Sure, I paid 10 cents more for the garlic.  But the garlic did absolutely nothing to the dish.  The chicken comes with some bamboo shoots, carrots, and some other vegetables.  It also comes with a small portion of the chicken dipping sauce often accompanying Thai chicken.  Of course, they also have the small containers with chili powder, chili sauce, and more hot items.

The atmosphere gets all of the attention over the food here.  They have two tables with the traditional style of eating sitting on the floor (you have to take off your shoes to sit there) and all of the dining tables are lit by candle.  They also have heating tables to maintain the warmth of your food.  There are Thai posters on the wall and they also have Singha Thai beer and cocktails.  As the evening moved on, more couples trickled into the restaurant.  It seems like a nice place for a date.

Total was 12,00 EUR for the pineapple drink and fried chicken.  They do give a couple of candies when you pay the bill.



Decent Thai food.  A bit expensive compared with the amount of food given.  There is a lunch menu.  Reasonable sized list of drinks and cocktails.

Overall – 3 stars

  • Fried Chicken with Garlic – 3/5
  • Service 5/5


Written by geschmack

September 25th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Posted in Heidelberg

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New Shanghai China Restaurant

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New Shanghai China Restaurant 

Rohrbacher Str. 8 69115 Heidelberg

Finding your way around town, you would be hard pressed to find any buffets in Heidelberg.  It seems like Germany just isn’t the place for all you can eats.  But fortunately, there is such a type of eatery near the Altstadt, right near the Bismarckplatz, where you can grab your plates, get set, and go bonkers at the buffet tables!

I stopped by this Chinese restaurant during their lunch buffet hours (Monday to Saturday from 12:00 to 2:30 PM).  They have a sign outside the restaurant entrance, advertising their grand all-you-can-eat special for only 6,90 EUR.  They also have a dinner buffet for 13,90 EUR.  Not expensive at all!  Once you go pass the sign, you have to climb up a flight of stairs to get to the restaurant (it’s on the second floor, overlooking the street).  They probably have an elevator somewhere, but I didn’t notice it.

Once inside, you see quite a few Chinese figurines and objects.  The décor is quite nice.  I was immediately seated and was promptly asked if I wanted a menu or the buffet.  No need for a menu when you have so many items in front of you!  So I went straight to the buffet, eager to see what they have to offer.


The first thing I noticed was the amount of deep fried foods.  If you are watching your diet or cholesterol level, stay away from the far end of the buffet line.  They have deep fried vegetables in tempura batter, deep fried pork balls, fish filets that have been deep fried, and crispy chicken slices that have been obviously cooked in oil.  For something sweet, they also have fried banana balls.  Artery clogging time!  But honestly, these banana balls are really sweet and full of joy.  The vegetables and fish were quite tasty, but also simple.


Being a Chinese restaurant, they also have white rice, curry rice, and chow mein.  These items are pretty standard fare, nothing too spectacular.  The one dish I really liked was the stir-fried fish fillets in vegetables.  The fish was so delicate and the vegetables extremely tender.  There were also other stir-fried items, such as beef and peppers, chicken in bamboo shoots, and, for vegetarians, a mixture of vegetables.  The beef dish was rather interesting because they used peppers I have never seen before.  It was a bit salty for my tastes.  For something expensive, they also have two trays with duck dishes.  Unfortunately, I don’t eat duck (personal reasons), so I can’t rate these items.  At the end of the meal, if you still have room for dessert, they offer various fruits and bowls of jello.


Should you wish to try traditional Chinese cuisine, you could also order off of a special lunch menu.  They offer a few house specials on their menu.

After just a single visit to New Shanghai restaurant, you get a feeling as if it is just a backup place to go when you are totally starving or just want to eat away your problems.  It isn’t the most spectacular buffet place in town, but it also isn’t the worst.  Ultimately, the folks at New Shanghai make the eating experience quite pleasant and I wouldn’t mind stopping by every couple of months to just simply have a big meal.



Decent Chinese food.  Inexpensive lunch buffet, though limited number of items.  Drinks are a tad expensive (2,40 EUR for a green tea).

Overall – 4 stars

  • Service 5/5


Written by geschmack

September 18th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Heidelberg

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Mr. Whang Restaurant

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Mr Whang Restaurant 

Hauptstraße 136 69117 Heidelberg            [OUT OF BUSINESS]

If you are hungering for some Japanese or Korean food while in Heidelberg, and you’re near the Universitätsplatz, this is the right place for you! (Although the storefront says it is also a Chinese place, they don’t have many traditional offerings).  When you enter the restaurant, you are instantly met with elegant tables covered by white table cloths.  The waitresses are also friendly and nice.

I visited this place on a Sunday afternoon with my uncle and aunt and we were the only ones there.  We were immediately seated at a table next to the door, a great place to just sit and watch people pass by.  I ordered the green tea for my drink.  What can I say?  Green tea is green tea!

As far as food is concerned, my aunt ordered the Kim chi, which was pretty tasty!  It wasn’t too spicy or anything, maybe not exactly ancient traditional style, but quite good.  She also ordered the Sushi Gemischt-Maki (mixed sushi), which also comes with miso soup.  The mixed sushi comes in an elegant wooden platter that makes the dining experience so much better.  It makes you feel really special!  There is a large assortment of sushi on the wooden boat, with tuna, cucumbers, salmon, and traditional styles.  I didn’t sample the sushi, but it looked really attractive.

Mixed Sushi Platter_M

My uncle and I ordered the Bulgogi.  He ordered the pork (Schwein) and I got the beef (Rind).  This restaurant uses portable burners, the kind that requires a tray to cook the meats on.  The waitress brought the raw meats to our table, where she grilled them right in front of us.  Unfortunately, the pork comes with a lot of fat (think bacon), which my uncle just could not eat.  Each order comes with a very small bowl of rice.  It totally wasn’t enough for me!  Also, they only give a few pieces of vegetables – some onions, a few bell peppers, and mushrooms.  Really made me sad.  What’s more is that they didn’t sever Banchan with the meal!  I was eagerly anticipating a variety of small plates to come out with noodles, potatoes, bean sprouts, cucumbers, and other sweet goodness (like they have in Los Angeles).  But the waitress said you have to order it extra!


The pork was extremely tasty.  I was gobbling it down with the rice until my entire bowl my completely spotless.   I bet they barely had to wash my bowls and plates because it was so good.  The pork fat really makes everything so delicious.  As far as the beef is concerned, it really wasn’t the best.  The marinade didn’t penetrate the meat well (maybe they just did it today?).  I definitely preferred the pork.  The rice was also a bit sticky and yummy.

At the end, I was completely full.  The price, however, was a tad on the expensive side.  Each Bulgogi costs 14,50 EUR, while the sushi mix costs 22,10 EUR.  The Kim chi also was 3,60 EUR for each bowl.  Would I come back?  Sure, but only for a special occasion.



Great Korean and Japanese food.  A bit expensive.  Dogs allowed inside.  Bathrooms are inside, upstairs.  No outdoor seating.

Overall – 4 Stars

  • Kimchi – 4/5
  • Bulgogi Pork – 4.5/5
  • Bulgogi Beef – 3/5
  • Service – 4/5



Written by geschmack

September 13th, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Le Café: Das Dürkheimer Kaffeehaus

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Le Café Das Dürkheimer Kaffeehaus  Le Café Das Dürkheimer Kaffeehaus Entrance

Kurbrunnenstraße 9 67098 Bad Dürkheim

This enchanting German restaurant in the city of Bad Dürkheim offers a relatively small menu of various breakfast foods, traditional German cuisine, and a vast assortment of mouth watering deserts.  It is a great place to stop by, sit down, and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Upon entering the restaurant, you are immediately drawn to the counter where there are various cakes and delectable desserts (including cheesecake!).  I visited this place today with a few friends after visiting the wine festival at the Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt.  We sat outside, behind the restaurant, where they have quite a few tables available.

Bandnudeln mit Lachs-Dill-Crème Fraîche_M

I ordered a glass of water and Bandnudeln mit Lachs-Dill-Creme fraiche (noodles in a salmon- dill Crème fraîche sauce).  It was absolutely delicious.  There were numerous pieces of salmon scattered on top of thick Fettuccine type noodles, served in a rich, creamy white sauce.  The fish was delicately cooked to perfection.  Wonderful texture.  The dill made the dish come together superbly.  There was also chopped parsley garnished over the dish.  Everything joined together in harmony, making my stomach completely satisfied.  It was the best dish I have eaten in Germany so far.

For the price of 8,90 EUR, this dish was absolutely worth it.  I could have ordered some dessert, but I didn’t want to lose the taste of the noodles and salmon in my mouth.  It was that good!

I would definitely come back to this place for more!



A beautiful restaurant offering a relatively small selection of German cuisine.  Small selection, but done really well!  Also have breakfast items.  Outdoor seating available.  Restrooms quite clean.

Overall – 5 Stars

  • Noodles in Salmon-Dill Crème Fraîche sauce – 5/5
  • Service – 4.5/5


Written by geschmack

September 12th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Bad Dürkheim

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Supan’s Bistro: The Taste of Thailand

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Supans Bistro The Taste of Thailand

Hauptstraße 133 69117 Heidelberg

This charming little restaurant off the Universitätsplatz in Heidelberg is a great place to sit down and enjoy some Thai cuisine.  Upon entering the restaurant, you don’t necessarily feel as if you are in a Thai eatery, but the menu certainly offers several traditional Thai dishes.

I stopped by this place for a late lunch / early dinner on Friday.  I was the only one there in the place, which was quite surprising because it was around 4:00 PM.  Instead of sitting in the front area of the restaurant, I decided to sit inside, where there is a corner seat with a few tables.

I ordered a Thai iced tea with milk and the Gai Phad Bai Gaprau (Chicken with Thai Basil).  The iced tea wasn’t what I am used to having in the US – it wasn’t really sweet as it would be from condensed milk.  I think they use just regular milk.  Now, I initially wanted the Gaprau with ground chicken, as I am used to eating, but I forgot to order it that way and got the chicken in chunks.  It wasn’t bad at all, although it was quite spicy for me because there were a ton of red Thai chilies.  The chicken was tender and really tasty.  There were a lot of bamboo shoots and only a bit of Thai basil.  The entrée comes with a relatively small amount of rice; I would have preferred more, but the amount of chicken and bamboo shoots really makes up for it.

Overall, this meal was filling and satisfying.  For the price of 7,20 EUR, the main dish wasn’t too expensive.  The Thai iced tea costs 2,00 EUR – also quite reasonable.



A variety of different Thai foods at decent prices.  Outdoor seating available (thanks Tonya!).

Overall – 4 stars

  • Thai Iced Tea with Milk – 3/5
  • Gai Phad Bai Gaprau – 4/5
  • Service 5/5


11. September 2009

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September 11th, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Der “Altstadt” Gundel

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Der Altstadt Gundel 

Hauptstraße 212 69117 Heidelberg

This bakery, café, and cake shop offers a wide selection of scrumptious baked goods and items.  It is a relatively small shop, located near the Universitätsplatz and conveniently situated right in front of a bus stop.  There were a large variety of items, including pretzels, brownies, and, of course, traditional baked goods.

I visited the bakery in the afternoon.  I browsed through the glass windows to find something to try.  There was a big hulking piece of bread with powdered sugar on top, called a Gugelhupf.  It cost a total of 3,60 EUR (100 g = 1 EUR).  Not too bad.

It tastes really soft and a bit sweet.  There are clusters of delicious almonds and raisins inside that make it quite wholesome.



Great selection of baked goods.  Only a few seats inside for patrons.  Clean and beautiful bakery.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Gugelhuft – 4/5
  • Service – 5/5


4. September 2009

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September 4th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

The Dubliner

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The Dubliner Heidelberg 

Hauptstraße 93 69117 Heidelberg

The Dubliner is an Irish pub and hotel situated along the main street Hauptstraße in the Altstadt.  It looks fairly similar to an English style bar, with its dark ambiance.  Here, you can order many different varieties of food, including nachos, sandwiches, and chicken wings.  They also have a wide selection of beers and wines.

I came here with some other students.  We sat in the small beer garden outside, behind the pub.  I ordered a small Guinness to drink that tasted quite light, not too heavy.  Although it was dark beer, I really enjoyed it quite a bit.  A change from the normal Radler I usually ordered.

As far as the main meal was concerned, I decided on the Irish stew – after all, it is an Irish pub!  It was served with a small basket of bread.  When I got the bowl of stew, I was really disappointed because it was really watery!  It simply looked like chicken broth with chunks of lamb, potatoes, and carrots.  Simple, easy stuff that I could easily make at home.  Taste wise, it was really sour at first.  Not good at all.  Perhaps they added some oil or other ingredients I wasn’t aware of.  It wasn’t the best “stew” I have eaten.  Not even the best soup for that matter.  For the price of 9,90 EUR, I probably should have ordered something else.

Overall, my meal was below average.  The service, however, was relatively good.


A variety of foods, decent prices.  Outdoor seating.  Bathrooms downstairs, relatively clean.

Overall – 2 stars

  • Irish stew – 1.5/5
  • Service 4/5


3. September 2009

Written by geschmack

September 3rd, 2009 at 8:35 pm