A Taste of Deutschland

Just another Geschmacks site

Archive for February, 2010

Sunisa’s

leave a comment

Sunisas Thai Imbiss  Mandys Fastfood Center

Speyerer Straße 1 69115 Heidelberg

Completing the Mandy’s Fast Food Center trifecta (not counting Mandy’s Diner, which has its own separate structure) is, surprisingly, a Thai fast food eatery / restaurant / billiards hall / cocktail bar.  Yes, this combination sounds absurd, but Sunisa’s operates two rooms within the fast food center.

For first time diners here at Sunisa’s, the ordering process can be confusing, the dining experience extremely unpleasant.  Upon entering the Mandy’s Fast Food Center facility, Sunisa’s is located at the end furthest from Mandy’s Diner.  A sign posted outside the actual fast food eatery directs guests to its location.  Most traditional Thai places feature tableside service – an accommodating waiting staff providing friendly assistance and, oftentimes, a warm, welcoming smile.  Unfortunately, Sunisa’s doesn’t deliver on this.  Ordering food, whether dining in or taking out, must first be done at the cashier where the big menu sign board is located.  Don’t bother finding a seat in either the billiards hall room or the cashier area – the workers won’t even go out of the way to help you.  Since it is a fast food place, the service is merely quick and unfriendly.  Isn’t Thailand known as the ‘Land of Smiles?’  Where are all the smiles?  Instead, all that you will find are hurried workers.  It’s obvious they want to be somewhere else.

Once your order has been placed and paid for, the workers will bring the food to you (keep your receipt!).  There are two options for seating – inside the same room where the cashier is located at and the adjacent billiards hall.  Both options can make your dining experience a nightmare.  Although the first choice isn’t too bad, the mere fact that the open kitchen is found steps away from the tables can make the place extremely noisy.  Furthermore, with people constantly strolling into the eatery making their orders, it can also become crowded and a bit boisterous.  The décor here isn’t too shabby – there are photos of the Thai monarchy, as well as the Thai flag.  Seating consists of wicker chairs and relatively clean marble tables.  But with people coming in and out constantly, it can become quite an annoyance.

 

The latter can be a dangerous place to be, especially at night.  Imagine people chattering loudly while shooting pool at the 3 pool tables and grabbing drinks from the cocktail bar.  Drunken people while shooting pool can create a bad situation in a hurry.  There’s a big screen television set up in the room, as well as 3 slot machines.  Even in the daytime, the simple presence of the billiards tables is definitely something you wouldn’t find in a Thai restaurant, not in a million years.  This, in combination with traditional Thai figures and statues and Thai music, is simply appalling.  Maybe the presence of a Buddhist statue there is supposed to exude a calm, tranquil aura throughout the restaurant and billiards hall.  Regardless, the place lacks focus.

The menu at Sunisa’s is the usual Thai.  Aside from a couple of specials, the menu doesn’t offer anything unusual.  However, there are a few of refrigerators near the cashier area, stocked with Thai chilies and vegetables that are hard to find in the city.  Additionally, Sunisa’s sells various Asian products – reminiscent of an Asian grocery store (again, is this a restaurant or what?).  The menu is written in Romanized Thai, German, and English, which is always a positive.

 

Typical Thai dishes include Thai soups, salads, fried noodles and rice, and various dishes with chicken, beef, pork, duck, and seafood.  There are also a handful of Thai curries.  At 7,00 €, the Beef Panang – thin strips of beef in a coconut curry with basil, kaffir lime leaves, and slices of red and green peppers – is a good value.  Served in a relatively large bowl, the dish comes with a generous scoop of rice on the side, which is slightly gummy.  Sunisa’s beef panang is decent, although there isn’t a slight hint of spiciness in the curry.  In fact, it’s a bit too salty rather than spicy.  It seems like the cooks added more cream than coconut milk, which cuts the amount of fire (of course, the cooks prepare the dish for westerners, so it isn’t going to be blazing hot).  One plus is the abundant amount of beef flooding the curry dish, though the dish would be better off served with more bell peppers.  There are also quite a few basil leaves wilted down, as well as a few kaffir lime leaves (though they are hidden).  The panang dish should have a thicker texture; it is leaning towards being a soup as opposed to a curry.  Again, the beef panang dish is satisfactory.

Dessert is definitely disheartening.  At 3,00 €, the Gluey Thord – Deep Fried Bananas drizzled in honey – is the cheapest dessert on the menu.  An order comes with five bite sized pieces of bananas.  Presentation of the dish is lovely, with a Thai orchid decorating the plate.  The bananas are coated in a batter and fried until crisp.  Even though the fruit itself is quite sweet, the sweetness is amplified by addition of honey.  A generous amount of sesame seeds provides a nutty taste and texture.  However, with each piece amounting to 60 cents, it would be better to save your money and buy dessert elsewhere.

 

Overall, Sunisa’s is a typical Thai eatery with a bizarre environment.  If you’re hankering for Thai food and a delightful place to dine, there are definitely better options in Heidelberg.  But if you’re on a budget, Sunisa’s is an acceptable place to go.  Its proximity to the main train station also is a plus.

.

Summary:

Sunisa’s Thai Imbiss, Billard und Cocktailbar, part of the Mandy’s Fast Food Center in Heidelberg, is a fast food facility dishing up quick and relatively inexpensive Thai cuisine.  Typical Thai dishes.  Adjacent dining facility.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 AM – 1 AM
            Friday and Saturday: 11 AM – 2:30 AM

 

Overall – 2.5 stars

  • Panang Nua (Coconut Curry with Beef, Lemon Leaves, and Basil) – 3.5/5
  • Guoy Thord (Fried Bananas with Honey and Sesame Seeds) – 3/5
  • Service – 4/5

.

Written by geschmack

February 27th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Brauhaus Vetter

leave a comment

Steingasse 9 69117 Heidelberg

Simply put, Germany is notorious for its beer.  Ask anyone in the world what they associate with Germany and German products and beer will surely be mentioned.  So what’s a trip to a historic city such as Heidelberg without visiting an old, local brew house?  Brauhaus Vetter, steps away from the historic Old Bridge passing over the Neckar River and the famous Bridge Monkey, is one such brewery known for its own home brewed beer and traditional German cuisine.

 

Take a step inside this old Heidelberg brewery and you will instantly become aware of the two sizeable beer brewing kettles next to the bar area.  The dining area is completely open and spacious, with several large wooden tables and old benches.  The tables are quite large and enough to accompany a total of twelve guests, with three on each side.  In fact, it’s sort of reminiscent of family community seating.  Hence, small groups or solo diners may need to share the table if the restaurant gets packed with patrons.  Floors are also made of wood.  Décor isn’t spectacular, but there are beautiful green plants decorating the ceilings.  American pop music plays from the speakers.  Of course, the prime seats in the house are those looking out of the windows as you have the opportunity to people watch.

The menu, offered in both German and English versions, features an abundant number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as an extensive list of entrées, ranging from the typical sausages and schnitzels to various combinations of breads and cheeses.  Naturally, the home brewed beer is featured at the very beginning of the menu.  There are also menu choices for large groups, including an entire platter of around fifty sausages.  Interestingly, during certain months, Brauhaus Vetter features daily specials.  For instance, throughout the months of February, March, and April, Monday revolves around sausages, Tuesday is schnitzel day, Wednesday is Haxe (Pork knuckle) day, and Thursdays are all about liters of beer.

 

Today being a Wednesday makes it is a perfect time for a German delight – roasted pork knuckle (Schweinehaxe).  An entire pork knuckle, served with Treberbrot (spent grain bread), and a dollop of mustard on a single leaf of lettuce costs a mere 7,80 Euro.  Half a pork knuckle will set you back only 4,90 €.  A warning though: Schweinehaxe is definitely not for the faint of heart!  There are so many deposits of fat – unhealthy layers hiding under the crispy skin and attached to the meat – that people really need to be careful while eating it.

 

Aside from the fat, the meat is moist, tender, and full of flavor.  Eaten in combination with the bread and the mustard, the dish tastes wonderful.  Where was this mixture when mother made sandwiches for lunch?  The skin is probably the best part of the dish.  Mmm, pork skin!  Simply scrape off the extra amount of fat (or eat it if you so desire) from the pork cracklings and enjoy the heavenly crispiness that is pork skin.  Surely a guilty pleasure!  Just don’t tell your doctor you ate it, though!

 

Knödel, large round bread (or also traditionally potato) dumplings, are huge spheres of disappointment.  An American equivalent would probably be dressing eaten on Thanksgiving, except Knödel is shaped into balls and prepared without the various herbs.  The flavor of the Knödel at Brauhaus Vetter is simply lacking.  Although the side order to the Schweinehaxe is accompanied by a brown gravy sauce and topped with fried onions, the dumpling is missing that special kick.  As is, it merely tastes doughy.  As a side dish to the roasted pork hock, it is simply an afterthought.

Brauhaus Vetter isn’t the most innovative or unique restaurant in Heidelberg.  After all, it is first and foremost a brewery.  Don’t expect trendy, fashionable dishes in this touristy part of Heidelberg.  But the chefs here at Brauhaus Vetter dish up hearty, delicious German food that will surely keep you satisfied throughout the entire day.  And, of course, the home brewed beer is always an excellent accompaniment to wash it all down!

.

Summary:

Conveniently located steps away from the Old Bridge in Heidelberg, Brauhaus Vetter is a German brewery and restaurant offering a wide selection of home brewed, unfiltered, natural beer and an extensive selection of German cuisine.  Moderate prices.  Special selected discounted days (see website).  Known for its ‘Vetter 33’ – the strongest beer in the world.  Beer kegs and bottles available for purchase.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11:30 AMMidnight
            Friday and Saturday: 11 AM – 2 AM

 

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Ganze Schweinehaxe mit Treberbrot (Roasted Pork Hock with Grain Bread) – 4.5/5
  • Knödel – 3/5
  • Service – 5/5

.

www.brauhaus-vetter.de/

Written by geschmack

February 24th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Konomi Japanisches Restaurant

leave a comment

 

Untere Neckarstraße 54 69117 Heidelberg

For many people, especially westerners, Japanese cuisine is synonymous with sushi.  Most of the Japanese restaurants found in Germany and all over Europe primarily feature these delicate rolls of cooked vinegar rice, wrapped around various types of fish, vegetables, or other ingredients.  However, Japanese cuisine goes well beyond sushi.  Teriyaki cooked meats on rice, as well as noodles, such as soba and udon, are other types of dishes featured in Japanese cooking.  Soups are also a traditional part of the Japanese meal.  Konomi Japanese Restaurant, the first such restaurant in Heidelberg, serves up real, traditional Japanese food in a pleasant, authentic Japanese environment.

Konomi is located in the same building as the Schönberger Hof Hotel.  Signs outside the building will direct you into the dining area.  Walk through the cloth curtains and you will find a nice, relaxing setting.  The dining area here at Konomi is relatively small.  The décor features genuine Japanese ceramics and figures, wall screens made out of bamboo, beautifully decorated Japanese folding fans on the walls, and an assortment of different light fixtures.  Tables are wooden and polished.  Seating consists of standard, wooden chairs painted black.  Each table features a petite, black soy sauce dispenser, as well as a tiny, cute jar filled with chili powder (which isn’t too spicy).  During lunch time, a small card displays the daily lunch special (9,80 Euros).  The menu is written in Japanese, German, and English.

 

The lunch menu is restricted to nine dishes, but the entrées are relatively inexpensive and the portion sizes are quite large.  Moreover, each guest is given a small cup filled with green tea, which is continuously refilled by the attentive staff.  Order the 10,80 euro Udon, Kappamaki, and Inari set and you will be served a large tray featuring a mammoth bowl filled with a rich broth and udon noodles, in addition to a platter of six cucumber sushi pieces and one inari sushi.  Adding to the authenticity of the meal, there is a pair of chopsticks lying on a chopstick rest, as well as a large spoon for the soup.

The sushi platter is served with slices of ginger and a small dipping corner brimming with soy sauce, wasabi already mixed in.  The cucumber maki sushi is pretty ordinary, nothing spectacular, although it is a nice palate cleanser.  The green is fresh and crunchy, but aside from that, it is merely average.  On the other hand, the inari sushi is extremely delicious.  The fried tofu pouch filled with sushi rice is simply marvelous.  A slight hint of sweetness makes the inari wonderful.  It is soft, delicate, and simple, yet so delicious.  Dip it into the soy sauce for an extra touch of flavor.

Udon – thick noodles made from wheat-flour – are absolutely delectable.  They are fairly soft and smooth and have a clean, pure taste.  The noodles soak up the warm, rich broth well.  Speaking of which, the warm soup accompanying the noodles definitely soothes the soul on a cold, rainy day.  Tenkasu, which are crunchy, deep-fried bits of dough that are typically used in making tempura, is also served with the noodles in a side bowl.  Eat them crunchy as is to provide a nice textural contrast between crunchy and soft or pour them into the soup to soak and enjoy the spongy, tasty pieces together with the noodles and broth.  Either way, the Tenkasu offers a pleasant flavor enhancement to the bowl of noodles.

Konomi is undoubtedly the best overall Japanese restaurant in Heidelberg.  With its extensive, authentic menu, delicious and tasty cuisine, and friendly, efficient staff, Konomi is THE place to enjoy an authentic Japanese meal without having to fly thousands of miles to Japan.  Although the dinner menu is large, it is also fairly expensive.  The lunch menu is easier on the pocket, yet filling.  Definitely worth paying a visit if you are in the mood for some Japanese cuisine.

.

Summary:

Situated right across the Heidelberg Congress House, which overlooks the Neckar River, Konomi is a traditional Japanese Restaurant serving up authentic, original Japanese cuisine.  Located on the first floor of the Schönberger Hof Hotel.  Lunch Menu with altering daily dish.  Exquisite presentation, truly traditional dishes.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12 PM – 2:30 PM, 6 PM – 11 PM 
            Sunday, Holidays 6 PM – 11 PM 
            Closed Mondays

 

Overall – 5 stars

  • Udon Noodles with Tenkasu (deep fried flour dough) – 5/5
  • Inari Sushi – 5/5
  • Kappamaki Sushi (Cucumber) – 3.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

.

http://www.konomi.de/

Written by geschmack

February 23rd, 2010 at 4:52 pm

McDonald’s

one comment

Willy-Brandt-Platz 4 69115 Heidelberg

‘Ich liebe es’ – ‘I’m loving it’ in German.  If you’re a big fan of McDonald’s, you will certainly be saying this catch phrase in whatever language while you’re here.  After all, the food at a German McDonald’s tastes quite similar to its equivalent in the United States.  Sure, some of the items have different names and there are a few discrepancies in terms of service and restaurant layout.  But the most important aspect – the food – is markedly similar in sight, aroma, and taste.

Starting off with the appearance of the restaurant, the exterior looks exactly like any McDonald’s would in America.  Of course, there aren’t any drive-thru windows or a huge children’s playground due to the size of the building and given the location near the main train station in Heidelberg.  Step inside through the doors and the place is remarkable in the eyes of an American.  Clean, modern, stylish, and posh.  The walls are artsy and a sight to see.  There are different styles of tables and chairs.  The bar stools aren’t your typical type – they are artistic and unique.  The main color scheme in the restaurant is the traditional McDonald’s yellow and red, but also a touch of brown reflecting the McCafé influence.  Surprisingly, there are two counters at this Heidelberg McDonald’s location – one for the McCafé and another for the actual McDonald’s fast food.  Two different menus, two separate cashier areas.  McCafé is itself a café, serving up coffee and hot drinks, along with scrumptious cakes and cookies.  It’s as if there are two eateries in one.

 

 

As stated above, there aren’t any surprises when it comes to the food.  Well, maybe a couple, but the American menu has, for the most part, made it to Germany.  German McDonald’s restaurants have value menus called ‘McMenus,’ in which you can choose from a number of items to make up your meal.  As an example, you could get a Big Mac, a Filet-O-Fish, a McRib, 9 pieces of Chicken Nuggets, or a Hamburger Royal TS (similar to a quarter pounder with cheese), an order of fries or a side garden salad, and a soft drink.  The large portion costs 5,59 Euros, which is a tad expensive.  Even the concept of the dollar menu has traveled over the Atlantic, albeit it is of course termed the Euro menu.  On this inexpensive menu, you can find cheeseburgers, hamburgers, chicken burgers, a garden salad, McSundaes (with chocolate or caramel), a small soft drink, small cappuccino, or an apple turnover.  Notable items missing from the German menu are the Angus burgers and Chicken Selects chicken strips.  For breakfast, biscuits are nowhere to be found.  Some unique items found here in Germany are curry chicken sandwiches, a burger called the Big Rosti (Rosti being a large hash brown patty), and curry dipping sauces.

The McRib features a pork patty, slathered in a thick, delicious BBQ sauce, topped with white onions and a couple of pickles, and sandwiched between two sandwich rolls.  Although it’s easy to tell that it has been previously frozen, the McRib sandwich tastes pretty good.  Again, it’s what you would find in America.  The French Fries at McDonald’s are also characteristic.  Unfortunately, though, you are only given one condiment packet (usually ketchup or mayonnaise with fries) – each extra one costs money.  Although the packet is larger than American ones, it’s still not enough.

 

The Chicken Nuggets taste slightly different than those found in the United States.  Maybe it’s due to the chicken or the breading, but there is a minor difference in taste and texture.  Regardless, the breading is crisp and the chicken is juicy inside.  Again, you are only given one dipping sauce with your nuggets, which can be problematic for those heavy dippers.  Even the BBQ sauce, with its sweet and tangy flavor, tastes American.  A six pack of nuggets will set you back 3,29 euros, so it’s nothing to laugh about.

 

A new item on the German menu is the Veggie Burger.  Priced at 1,10 euros, it’s a great value for vegetarians or health conscious individuals.  The patty appears to be made up of potatoes and carrots, bound together by egg.  There are also some corn kernels inside as well.  By itself, the veggie patty has an unusual taste.  However, topped with a slice of cheese, shredded lettuce, and a good amount of mayo, the veggie burger is good overall.  Not spectacular, but decent for the price.

 

Unexpectedly, the apple turnover (Apfeltasche) is ten times better than the American McDonald’s apple pie.  The German version has a crisp, flaky crust and is freshly baked with a warm apple filling.  Think Kentucky Fried Chicken apple turnovers, but larger.  Clearly, it tastes a lot better than the cardboard abomination of an apple pie found at an American McDonald’s.

If you’re looking for American tasting fast food in Germany, McDonald’s is the place to go.  Essentially all of the menu items taste more or less like the American counterpart.  While you may have to pay more than you normally would for a McDonald’s meal, it is enough to satisfy that one month long craving.  ‘I’m loving it!’  Or better yet – ‘Ich liebe es!’

.

Summary:

McDonald’s is an internationally recognizable American fast food chain serving up burgers, fries, salads, chicken products, and desserts.  McCafé coffee and sweets also served inside, with a separate cashier and counter.  Stylish, modern dining area.  A bit expensive in comparison to American McDonald’s restaurant chains, but tastes similar (with a few exceptions).  Free drink refills at this location.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • McRib – 4.5/5
  • Chicken Nuggets – 4.5/5
  • Veggie Burger – 4/5
  • French Fries – 4/5
  • Apple Pie (Apfeltasche) – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

.

www.mcdonalds.de/

Written by geschmack

February 18th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Kentucky Fried Chicken

leave a comment

  Kentucky Fried Chicken Mannheim

Möhlstraße 3 68165 Mannheim

What’s KFC’s motto here in Germany?  No, not ‘finger lickin’ good.’  It’s not ‘We do chicken right.’  But rather, ‘Republic of Fresh.’  An odd name, indeed, but KFC does live up to this name – the chicken is definitely served fresh, warm, and crisp!

My monthly excursion to American fast food joints in Germany continues to the city of Mannheim, where the nearest KFC can be found.  Located near the Mannheim planetarium, this branch is quite large, equipped with a drive thru and a poor looking, but decent, kids area outside.  The long journey out to the sole Kentucky Fried Chicken in the area is, however, definitely worth it!

 

Inside, the KFC in Mannheim is surprisingly modern (as is the case with many other American fast food restaurant chains in Germany!).  The atmosphere and environment is on par with casual restaurants in the States.  There’s even a flat screen television hanging on the wall, playing classic American popular music videos.  Of course, being a fast food restaurant, there is an ordering counter with a large menu board, albeit the menu is extremely difficult to read due to the small printing.  Even people with glasses might have a tough time reading off the board.  Who thought it was a good idea to use such tiny letters, anyways?

 

In Germany, it appears that the chicken sandwiches and wraps are a fairly new phenomenon as many of them are featured and advertised on the board.  Aside from those items, you have your selection of chicken (original recipe or spicy), hot wings, chicken strips, salads, and sides.  There are no honey BBQ wings here – only regular hot wings.  The list of sauces doesn’t even include BBQ, just ketchup, mayonnaise, gravy, and salad dressing.

 

Unfortunately, the assortment of side dishes is especially limited.  Looking for macaroni and cheese?  Baked beans?  If so, you will be deeply disappointed.  German KFC restaurants only have mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, corn on the cob, and French fries (also chili cheese fries).  That’s it.  Oh and there are no biscuits too!  It’s like half of the items you would typically find at an American Kentucky Fried Chicken didn’t make it across the Atlantic.  For dessert, they don’t offer chocolate chip cakes, strawberry shortcake parfaits, or apple turnovers.  No.  Surprisingly, the KFC chains in Germany have donuts and muffins.  More about this later!  One bright spot about KFC, though, is the availability of free refills for drinks – something missing at other fast food chains, like McDonald’s, here in Germany.

Compared to the chicken at KFC in the United States, the buckets can get quite expensive.  Fortunately, if you plan correctly, you can find coupons on the company website and print them out beforehand.  The chicken here is quite similar in taste and texture to that in America.  The secret original recipe seasonings penetrate the skin and meat extremely well.  Of course, the skin is crisp and mouthwatering.  Definitely brings back memories of home.  The hot wings are also crunchy on the outside, juicy and tasty on the inside.  There is also a slight hint of spiciness in each wing, exactly the way it should be.  Sadly, the mashed potatoes aren’t on the same level as the stuff people are accustomed to back home.  They are creamier and puréed, but just taste different.  The potatoes are yellow instead of the white spuds often used in the States.  Gravy is just gravy.

 

For dessert, a donut or a muffin costs a whopping 1,50 Euros.  Although the chocolate muffin is sweet and delectable (cake like texture, with a peanut butter filling in the middle), the cost is difficult to swallow.

Overall, the most important item on the menu at KFC – the chicken – is done very well and is comparable in quality, taste, and texture to what an American is looking for.  However, the limited selection of side orders and the costs are two factors that are difficult to ignore.  While there are some surprises (the donuts and muffins being the main ones), it’s hard to make up for the lack of items.

.

Summary:

Kentucky Fried Chicken is an American fast food restaurant chain primarily selling chicken and southern style side dishes.  A tad on the expensive side.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Original Recipe Fried Chicken – 4.5/5
  • Hot Wings – 5/5
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy – 3/5
  • Chocolate Muffin – 4/5
  • Service – 5/5

.

http://www.kfc.de/

Written by geschmack

February 11th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Asia Bistro

leave a comment

Kurfürsten Anlage 62 69115 Heidelberg

Tasty, delicious, and inexpensive.  Typical descriptions of Chinese food.  Of course, this concept also carries over to Chinese restaurants in European countries.  Although the types of entrées listed on Chinese menus in Europe may differ from those found in America, the same adjectives apply to the food here.  Mouthwatering, delectable, and easy on the pocket.

In the traditional sense of the term, Asia Bistro is far from a true bistro.  The mixed offering of Asian dishes lacks focus.  That is, you won’t find any truly traditional Chinese or Thai entrées on the menu, but rather generic Asian dishes that cater to Europeans tastes.  This isn’t exactly a bad thing, but the term ‘bistro’ is misleading to those true culinary enthusiasts.  After all, this restaurant is merely a fast food joint.

 

Visit Asia Bistro on a weekday during lunch and you will be flabbergasted at how packed the place can get.  Almost every table is occupied with hungry businessmen, eager travelers waiting for their train, and starving students, all chowing down on the food set forth on their plate.  What is attracting this horde of ravenous guests?  The 7 € lunch buffet!

Unfortunately, the buffet selection at Asia Bistro is very limited.  Aside from the standard starches – white rice, chow mein, and fried rice – there are only about 6 main items to try: fried chicken breast, beef broccoli, deep fried pieces of fish, Thai chicken curry, stir-fried vegetables, and chicken stir-fry.  There is also Peking soup and mini fried spring rolls with sweet and sour sauce.  Fried banana balls drizzled with honey and sprinkled with coconut are the only dessert items included in the buffet.  Where is the fresh fruit?

 

The fried rice is tremendously hard – a victim of sitting too long in the buffet tray too long.  The chow mein is decent, as well as the white rice.  The fried banana balls are sweet and are complemented well by the addition of honey.  The tiny shreds of coconut are only an afterthought and merely provide a textural extra.  Overall, the food is good and tasty.  Aside from the pieces of fried chicken breasts, which are juicy and crisp, however, there is nothing overly extraordinary or noteworthy about the food.

Ultimately, Asia Bistro is a decent fast food Asian restaurant conveniently located steps away the main train station.  The food isn’t mind-blowing, but will fill you up.

.

Summary:

Opposite the Heidelberg main train station, this Asian fast food eatery offers a huge selection of Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes at extremely low prices.  Drinks are also relatively inexpensive.  Lunch Buffet: Weekdays from 12 PM to 2 PM.

Hours: Daily 11 AM – 10 PM

 

Overall – 3 stars

  • Lunch Buffet – 3/5
  • Service – 5/5

.

http://asia-heidelberg.de/

Written by geschmack

February 5th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Posted in Heidelberg

Tagged with , ,

Café Extrablatt

leave a comment

Hauptstraße 162 69117 Heidelberg

If you’re yearning for some burgers, salads, or pasta while roaming the streets of Heidelberg, but don’t feel like popping into a McDonald’s or Burger King, a good place to visit is one of the two Café Extrablatt locations found along the Hauptstraße in the main city center.  Café Extrablatt is sort of like a cross between a Red Robin and a Pizza Hut – a chain of casual restaurants that feature typical American style foods.  In fact, in addition to the two in Heidelberg, there are more than 50 Café Extrablatt locations in Germany!

  

The Café Extrablatt restaurant near the large church features an impressive open layout.  Here, the architecture and light fixtures are absolutely magnificent – completely unexpected.   The café/restaurant is divided into separate areas, characterized by different style seating arrangements – in one corner, the accommodations are composed of high bar stools with matching tables, in another there are wicker chairs with wooden tables, along the side walls is a cushioned booth seating layout, and in the back of the restaurant are elegant, cushioned sofa style chairs, sort of like the ones found in a café.  Of course, there is also an extensive bar with bar stools overlooking the entire restaurant.  The prime seats are the ones looking out the windows at the front – perfect for people watching.

 

Food at Café Extrablatt is pretty ordinary American cuisine.  In addition to burgers and pizza, the menu also features your usual starters, such as mozzarella sticks, chicken strips, and French Fries.  Order the Cajuns, priced at € 2,95, and you will get a good amount of piping hot, thick cut steak fries, seasoned with cayenne pepper and served with your choice of two dipping sauces.  Dips include aioli, BBQ sauce, curry dipping sauce, ketchup, mango dip, mayonnaise, and sweet chili sauce.  Surprisingly, the aioli goes extremely well with the spuds.  The garlic and olive oil match the texture of the potatoes quite well.

 

The € 7,95 Lasagne al Forno falls flat.  Sadly, the dish isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with meat and Bolognese sauce.  In fact, there is very little ground meat sandwiched between the six layers of pasta.  Furthermore, there is barely any cheese to be found amongst the various pasta sheets.  Where’s the ricotta?  Although there is plenty of mozzarella cheese baked on the uppermost layer, the dish would be better served with alternating layers of cheese and pasta a la traditional style lasagna.  In terms of flavor, the dish tastes like your typical lasagna – nothing special.

Overall, Café Extrablatt has an incredible dining atmosphere, but only mediocre food.  Come to relax and unwind, grab a beer at the bar, or order some cake and coffee.

.

Summary:

Situated on the Heidelberg Hauptstraße in the city center, Café Extrablatt is a good, casual dining restaurant/café featuring a large assortment of typical American cuisine – burgers, salads, pizza, pastas, and soups.  A good selection of hot and cold drinks.  Moderately priced.  Breakfast also available.

Overall – 3.5 stars

  • Cajuns – 4.5/5
  • Lasagna al Forno – 3/5
  • Service – 5/5

.

http://www.cafe-extrablatt.com/

Written by geschmack

February 4th, 2010 at 8:43 pm