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Goldener Stern

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Lauerstraße 16 69117 Heidelberg

Wandering down the streets off of the Heidelberg Hauptstraße, you will surely come across many hidden restaurants and shops, each offering something unique.  After all, many tourists do not dare venture down these paths and risk being lost.  On a street parallel to the main street, one such restaurant, Goldener Stern, merely begs the question – does it truly live up to its name ‘Golden Star’?

 

At first glance, Goldener Stern does not merit any star whatsoever.  The place lacks any appeal and simply looks outdated.  From the old wooden tables and booth seats, to the lackluster yellow paint on the walls, the interior could use a fresh makeover.  Light supplied from ceiling fixtures is also an eyesore.  The interior isn’t entirely bad, though; blue drapes add a contemporary splash, while green plants on the window sills liven up the place.  Roses sit in glass containers at each table and await guests for a romantic evening.  Candles placed at the tables also add a nice effect.  White tablecloths are arranged over a pink colored cloth in an attempt to hide the aged bench.  The only indication of Greek culture here, aside from the food, is the enjoyable music playing throughout the restaurant.

 

Fortunately, the food is miles better.  The menu is fairly large and offers a considerable selection of traditional Greek dishes.  Appetizers feature many Greek classics, from dolmades and tarama to feta cheese and horiatiki (Greek salad).  The main menu is stocked with meat dishes, including Cevapici and Souvlaki.  There are pork, lamb, and beef steaks, as well as fish delights straight from the grill.  Gyros made from chicken are highlighted in many dishes.  Numerous combination plates provide you with a small sample of different types of meats.  Many of the entrées include thick cut steakhouse fries and a side salad.  Portions are substantial and will easily satiate your appetite.  A respectable number of Greek wines are listed in the drinks menu.  There are also a few Greek spirits.  Traditional Greek mocha is also featured in the list of hot beverages.  Beers are standard German.

 

One of the featured specialties is the Gyros au Gratin.  At 10,80 €, it’s one of the higher priced items on the menu.  In this dish, sliced pieces of chicken gyro are mixed with strips of onions and drenched in an orange Metaxa cream sauce, topped with a layer of white cheese and baked until bubbly.

The result is a wonderfully aromatic dish that sizzles upon service to your table.  The thick layer of cheese on top beautifully insulates the meat and keeps it warm throughout the meal.  The gyro, after baking under the cheese, becomes even more moist and delicate.  Absorbing the flavors of the Metaxa cream sauce, the gyro tastes far from regular chicken meat.  Instead, it has a unique, intense flavor.  The cheese is wonderfully gooey.

The accompanying side salad is refreshingly different from typical salads at other restaurants.  Aside from the usual greens, shredded carrots, white cabbage, and slice of tomato, there are also white beans and a banana pepper.  The salad is coated with a confident dressing in just the right amount.

Also complementing the Gyros au Gratin is a generous amount of steakhouse fries.  Although the potatoes are a much needed accompaniment to the meat and a wonderful medium to soak up the cream sauce, the fries need work.  They aren’t piping hot upon service.  Moreover, they aren’t uniformly cooked – some pieces are browned darker than others while a few are quite soggy.

 

Goldener Stern’s large portions make it difficult to even think about ordering dessert.  But if you can still manage, the menu features 3 indulgences – 2 traditional Greek treats (Galaktoboureko and Halva) and a standard ice cream delight.  Galaktoboureko is a traditional Greek dessert consisting of semolina custard that’s baked inside filo dough.  The custard is firm and creamy, but only slightly sweet.  Served soaking in a light, clear syrup and accompanied by two scoops of vanilla ice cream, the dish altogether has a delicate sweetness.  The warm pastry works marvelously with the chilled ice cream and, after a while, absorbs the melted cream (yes, it becomes even creamier!) and syrup extremely well.

Service at Goldener Stern is top-notch.  The wait staff is extremely cordial and welcoming.  Food is served in a reasonable amount of time and plates are taken away promptly.  Questions concerning the various dishes will be happily answered.  The server even suggested an ouzo (popular Greek aperitif).

Goldener Stern rightly lives up to its name; it certainly earns its golden star.  But does it reach the platinum or diamond levels?  Not quite.  The ambiance could use a new look and the food is great overall, but not overly impressive.  Goldener Stern is a solid Greek restaurant; with some improvements it could become so much more.  As is, Goldener Stern is a suitable place to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean, considering Heidelberg’s limited options when it comes to Greek food.

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Summary:

Situated in the heart of the Heidelberg Altstadt, Goldener Stern is an old-fashioned restaurant that specializes in Greek cuisine.  Fairly extensive selection of classic Greek dishes.  Attentive and admirable service.  Prices reasonable.  Reservations suggested.  Outdoor seating available.

Hours: Daily 5:00 PMMidnight

 

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Gyros au Gratin – 4/5
  • Galaktoboureko – 4.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.stern-hd.de/

Written by geschmack

June 1st, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Posted in Heidelberg

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