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Pizza Hut

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Pizza Hut Heidelberg

Hauptstraße 111 69117 Heidelberg

Pizza Hut.  Arguably one of the most popular fast food restaurant chains in the United States.  But how does the tomato sauce compare in another country?  Does the pizza taste better as you get closer to Italy – the birthplace of pizza?  What about the preparation of chicken wings in Germany?  Anything unusual about Pizza Hut in Deutschland?

 

Walk inside this Pizza Hut for the first time and you might feel a bit lost.  There are no cash registers to walk up to, no service counters to wait in line for.  It might take a moment for you to realize that Pizza Hut here is not your quintessential fast food joint like in the States, but rather an actual sit-down and order restaurant.  One glance inside and you will surely be amazed at how elegant the restaurant looks.  The dining area is so upscale and trendy – almost enough to qualify as fine-dining.  There are plenty of tables – dark brown polished wooden tables – here, enough to accommodate large parties and families.  Silverware awaits you at your table.  There is even an open service counter window through which diners can see the kitchen staff at work.  This alone definitely makes dining here an exciting experience.

The menu at this Pizza Hut is, unexpectedly, rather extensive.  There are a large number of appetizers, including country potatoes, crispy mushrooms, quesadillas, chicken sticks, and chicken wings.  In addition to your typical types of pasta, lasagna and gratins are also offered.  What makes Pizza Hut here unique is the variety of desserts listed on the menu.  Not only can you order hot pancakes and Belgian waffles here, but also donuts, Panna Cotta, and ice cream.  Wine and beer are also served up.

 

Order the 2,90 € chicken wings and you get 6 hot pieces – 3 drummettes and 3 wings – a choice of dipping sauce (Sour Cream, Barbecue, Guacamole, Ketchup, or Mayo), and a towelette.  Forget to mention your desired dip and you will get BBQ – which is a bit smoky and sweet.  Nothing spectacular about the presentation of the dish, but that’s expected.  The chicken wings are seasoned well and taste perfectly fine without any sauce.  Think miniature rotisserie chicken wings.  Of course, add on the sauce and the flavor changes drastically.  Unfortunately, Pizza Hut in Germany does not offer Buffalo styled wings so you will surely be disappointed if you want something spicy.

The pizzas at a German Pizza Hut are similar to the pies back home.  Naturally, a wide variety of toppings are available, in addition to a select number of crusts (pan pizza, New York style, and stuffed crust).

Ask for a Margherita pan pizza and you will essentially get a cheese pizza.  The mozzarella cheese is bubbly, gooey, and delicious; the pizza is cooked fresh and served steaming hot in a pizza tray.  The texture of the dough is nice and fluffy – delicate and delectable.  Crust is crisp.  Surprisingly, the tomato sauce in Germany has the same taste as in the US.  A normal sized pizza is approximately 23 cm, a bit larger than a personal pan pizza.  At 4,50 € it is a reasonably priced pie that can easily be shared by two people.

Pizza Hut will easily satisfy your cravings for something simple, familiar, and delicious.  Stop by for the food and sit down for an amazingly pleasant dining experience.

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Summary:

Pizza Hut is an American pizza restaurant chain serving a large variety of pizzas, along with an assortment of side dishes including pasta, salad, chicken wings, garlic bread, and desserts.  Great value for the price.

Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
               Friday, Saturday 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM
               Sunday 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Chicken Wings (6 Pieces) – 4.5/5
  • Cheese Pizza (Margherita Mit Tomatensauce und Mozzarella-Käse) – 4/5
  • Service – 5/5

 

http://www.pizzahut.de

Written by geschmack

December 3rd, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Schnitzelbank

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Bauamtsgasse 7 69117 Heidelberg

It’s Friday night and the Christmas events are in full swing in Germany.  Luckily, if you feel the need to escape the noise and stress of the holiday season, you can escape to a quiet, pleasant restaurant off the main street in Heidelberg.

 

Being inside the Schnitzelbank restaurant, you get an eerie feeling as if you are sitting in a secret underground hideout dating back to historic times.  Vintage photographs and drawings adorn the walls around.  The aged, wooden tables are so worn out from countless uses that you can only wonder which famous historic figures have set foot here.  People’s names, initials, and lover’s heart shapes from years past are deeply engraved into the benches (hence the name ‘Schnitzelbank’: Schnitzel meaning carve and bank meaning bench).  Even the method of transferring food from the kitchen to the dining area is old-fashioned – there is a dumbwaiter used to convey dishes from the bottom floor to the ground level.  It’s certainly a unique dining experience here.

The menu is elegantly presented in a large, brown folder.  There are numerous dishes to choose, including traditional favorites and regional fare.  A wide variety of wines are also available.

 

Order the 13,90 € Schnitzel “Art des Hauses” (House Special Schnitzel) and you get a fresh salad, home-made Spätzle, and two pieces of fine pork cutlets.  Instead of Spätzle, it is possible to request fried potatoes (Bratkartoffeln).

First, the accompanying salad – large whole leaves of red leaf lettuce, shredded carrots, chopped red cabbage, a slice of cucumber, and a tomato wedge – comes completely drenched in a salty vinaigrette.  Not what I was expecting.  Although all of the ingredients are fresh, the dressing utterly annihilates the natural flavor of the individual components.  One bite and I find myself reaching for my drink.

 

This aggressiveness continues on in the main dish.  The schnitzel is consumed by mounds of sliced button mushrooms and dark, aromatic cream sauce.  When the plate comes to the table, you are left searching for the meat.  Also unexpected is the lack of breadcrumbs on the schnitzel.  With the intense flavor of the cream sauce, however, it makes sense that the pork isn’t breaded.  The meat is cooked well and seasoned properly, although it can be a chore to cut through at times.  The mushrooms add a flavor and texture to the dish that complements the schnitzel rather well.  Overall, however, the dish lacks focus.  Piling on the mushrooms isn’t exactly a good thing.  You will be left wondering, “Am I eating mushrooms with schnitzel or schnitzel with mushrooms?”

One bright spot is the fried potatoes.  They are buttery and crisp, browned to perfection.  There are also hints of grilled onions mixed in with the spuds, providing an added sweetness.  These potatoes are absolutely delicious and worth the substitution!

As a wine bar that boasts having a lot of history, Schnitzelbank could do better.  As a restaurant, it still has lots of room for improvement.  For now, it would be best to leave the schnitzel in the bank and invest elsewhere.

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Summary:

Schnitzelbank is a historic German wine bar and restaurant serving up regional and national dishes in a cozy, old fashioned environment.  Generous portion sizes.

Hours: Monday – Friday 5:00 PM – 1 AM
            Saturday – Sunday 11:30 AM – 1 AM

Overall – 3 stars

  • Salad – 2/5
  • Schnitzel “Art des Hauses” – 3/5
  • Bratkartoffeln (Pan-Fried Potatoes ) – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.schnitzelbank-heidelberg.de

Written by geschmack

November 27th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Super Fast Food

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Super Fast Food

Hauptstraße 171 69117 Heidelberg                         [OUT OF BUSINESS]

A product of superior size, quality, or grade; Very large, great, or extreme; Excellent; First-rate.  All of these terms describe the word ‘super.’  In terms of describing this fast food restaurant, however, ‘mediocre’ would have been a better choice.

The generic name of the restaurant, Fast Food, implies fast German food.  That is, Super Fast Food is just another kebab joint that also sells pizza, pasta, and schnitzel.  Upon entering the place, you are immediately greeted with the service counter.  Here, you order what you want.

Here, there are two sizes of Döner Teller (Döner Plates) – regular and small (klein).  The 5,50 € small Döner Teller is quite filling.  At 6,90 €, the normal plate is much more expensive than the other kebab restaurants along the Hauptstraße.  Like at other kebab joints, the plate comes with a side salad and your choice of fries or rice.

 

Unfortunately, they didn’t have rice today so I had to order French Fries.  Fortunately, upon placing my order, a new batch was put into the deep fryer, giving me hot and crunchy potato slices.  Again, the concept of fast food here is truly put into effect.  My plate was prepared quickly and I was able to enjoy my meal within minutes.  Of course, the presentation was lacking in the beauty department.

The Döner plate is simply average.  The salad includes the typical shredded lettuce, green and red cabbage, corn, red kidney beans, diced cucumbers, a banana pepper, chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, and a slice of a tomato – all covered in a creamy white salad dressing.  Surprisingly, there were no onions given.  The chicken kebab is served over the fries, with yogurt sauce slathered on top.  The chicken döner was a little bit dry; some pieces were tough.  Nonetheless, it was flavored well.  Good, but not great.

The ambiance in the dining area is also lacking.  There are a total of seven small, square tables, each with four relatively undersized chairs.  The walls are painted a bright orange color, with yellow blotches of paint.  The green and white tiled floors are cracked in some places.  There is a flat screen television toward the back, playing popular music videos (today there were videos from Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, and Xavier Naidoo).  It sort of feels like a pizza parlor – a place where kids hang out after school.

Compared with ordinary fast food – hamburgers, sandwiches, and donuts – Super Fast Food definitely lives up to its name.  Döner and pasta definitely beats eating hamburgers pretty much any day of the week.  However, measured up against the other kebab joints in the area, particularly Kebab Haus next door, Super Fast Food comes up short.

Summary:

Super Fast Food is your usual fast food joint serving up Döner, pizzas, schnitzel, and pasta at very low prices.  20 % Student Discounts.  Only Hähnchenfleisch (chicken) offered.

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Overall – 3 stars

  • Döner Teller (Chicken Döner with Fries and salad) – 3.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

November 12th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Yufka’s Kebap & Pizza

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Yukfas Kebab Pizza

Hauptstraße 182 69117 Heidelberg

Shredded green cabbage is scooped onto a clean white platter, followed by a small dosage of slaw-like red cabbage, sliced white onions, sweet corn kernels, diced red tomatoes, red kidney beans, chopped yellow bell peppers, cubed green cucumbers, and a lonesome banana pepper – all forming a half circle on one end of the plate.  Next, there is a trimming sound – shaved cuts of chicken falling from a huge hunk of meat.  This is all quickly shoveled onto the other side, connecting the loop.  A good two or three ladles of yogurt cream sauce gets added over all the components.  Lastly, beautifully cooked rice is piled high in the center of the dish, ready for service.

 

It’s the Döner Teller (Döner plate) that can be had for 6,50 euros.  Like other kebab joints in the city, the plate can also be ordered with fries instead of rice.  The presentation of this dish is quite ambitious.  The addition of the banana pepper, which added a tiny bit of heat to the plate, earns some extra points for uniqueness.

The chicken/turkey döner meat is comparable to the one served at Kebab Haus.  It is delicate and delicious.  The meat is certainly moist.  Moreover, the rice complements the meat really well.  The combination of the sauce, rice, and döner creates a wonderful flavor profile.  The mixture of different vegetables in the salad is also a plus.

The dining experience here, however, is pretty ho-hum.  There isn’t much décor to liven up the place.  There are a total of five wooden tables, each accompanied by 4 standard wooden chairs.  A flat screen television hangs on the back wall of the restaurant, suitable for those wishing to be entertained while eating.  Today, there was a soccer match being shown live between Spain and Burkina Faso.

Overall, Yufka’s Kebap & Pizza is an excellent place to satisfy your kebab cravings.  The workers are fast and efficient and the food is very good.  As with Kebab Haus, the only disadvantage is the available of only one type of döner.

 

Summary:

Yufka’s Kebab & Pizza is another standard kebab eatery featuring Döner, pizzas, and other foods at inexpensive prices.  Located near a large church.  Only Puten-Hähnchenfleisch (chicken with turkey) available.  Outdoor seating also available.

Overall – 4.25 stars

  • Döner Teller (Chicken Döner with rice and salad) – 4.25/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

November 5th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Subway

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Subway Heidelberg

Hauptstraße 183 69117 Heidelberg

You may be wondering why I ate at a Subway in Germany.  After all, there are so many varieties of food to choose from here.  Well, simply put, I just wanted to observe the differences (if any) between Subways in America and in Deutschland.

After stopping by the Subway on the Hauptstraße late this afternoon, I can confirm that there aren’t many differences.  The sandwiches are made fresh, right before your eyes.  When you order your sub, the employee asks which type of bread you want, questions whether you want it toasted, if you want all the vegetables (green bell peppers, pickles, sliced cucumbers, red onions, chopped green lettuce, sliced tomatoes, black olives, and jalapeños) in it, and finally asks which type of sauce you desire.  Sauce?  Well, this last part was the only slight variation that I noticed (more explained below!).

They also sell a variety of potato chips here.  Walkers, owned by Frito-Lay, is the main brand sold here with typical flavors such as salt & vinegar and barbeque.  However, there are other brands of chips too.  Of course, Subways here also sell cookies.

 

I ordered the turkey and ham sandwich.  A typical 6 inch turkey and ham costs 3,48 EUR, but luckily there are valuable coupons available on their website.  Hence, with a buy one, get one free coupon, I was able to get a whole foot long turkey and ham sub for 3,48 euros!  It was still more expensive than the $5 subs in the states, but it was nonetheless a good deal.  I also grabbed a bag of roast chicken flavored Walkers potato crisps – a 34.5 gram bag – that cost 0,99 EUR.

The toasted Italian bread was exactly like back home.  Inside, there were 4 slices of turkey and 4 slices of ham.  There was also Swiss cheese triangles sandwiched between the meat and vegetables.  Of course, I asked for all the vegetables in my sub to complete the meal.  I noticed that they didn’t automatically add mayonnaise, mustard, oil, vinegar, or black pepper here.  Instead, the employee asked what type of sauce I wanted.  She mentioned a scharf (spicy) or suß (sweet) dressing that can be added.  Looking for an adventure, I opted for the spicy sauce.  It turned out to be just like the spicy sauce from the kebab restaurant – orange and only a minute jolt of fire on my tongue.  Apparently, it was the southwest sauce available at USA chain stores.  Nevertheless, it was something I never tried before and it added a lot of delicious flavor to the sandwich.

 

The sandwich as a whole was definitely tasty and flavorsome – enhanced by the addition of the sauce.  The amount of ingredients was perfect and definitely a healthy meal.  The roast chicken flavored chips tasted more like the thin slices of chicken breast you would find in the ham section of a supermarket – good, but not spectacular.

I was quite surprised by the open space in the fast food place.  There were plenty of tables and everything was spotless.  Even the restrooms looked modern and well maintained.

Overall, I cannot complain about anything.  The sandwich was spot-on in terms of what I was looking for and the addition of the sauce was definitely a new, exciting experience.  It was an appetizing reminder of American sandwiches back home.

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Summary:

Subway is a global American fast food franchise specializing in submarine sandwiches and salads.  Free refills available (self serve) at this location.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Turkey and Ham Sub – 4.5/5
  • Walkers Roast Chicken Potato Crisps – 4/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.subway-sandwiches.de/

Written by geschmack

October 29th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Kebab Haus (Update)

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Kebap Haus Heidelberg

Hauptstraße 173 69117 Heidelberg

Second day, second meal, second kebab.  After yesterday’s fantastic adventure with the Döner plate, I decide to come back for another taste.  Again, the service was fantastic.  The worker remembered who I was and welcomed me with a warm greeting.  Excellent!

 

Anyways, I decide on a Döner Kebab Groß.  Simply put, it’s a large sized Döner Kebab.  Preparation is just like at any other kebab restaurant.  The cook slices open the flatbread (this one had black and white sesame seeds on top), stuffs vegetables (red cabbage, onions, and tomatoes) inside, adds a generous amount of sliced chicken döner, and then squeezes on a generous amount yogurt sauce on top of everything else.

The chicken, as it was yesterday, was brilliant – moist and tasty.  Altogether, the amount of chicken was sufficient.  Or so I thought!  As I got to the end of the kebab, I ran into loads of onions.  Crunchy Raw Onions!  Apparently, all of the chicken slices were placed at the front end of the döner.  By the time I got to the back, it was mostly onions, cabbage, and sauce.  Maybe I wasn’t eating it the right way.  Regardless, I was lucky nobody kicked me off the bus with my onion breath on the ride home.

Despite this minor problem, I was satisfied with the Döner Kebab here.  The large Döner kebab costs 4,00 EUR, while the smaller one 2,70 EUR.  Comparable with other kebab houses in the city.  No doubt, this place offers the best chicken döner so far.

 

Summary:

Kebab Haus is another typical kebab eatery featuring Döner, pizzas, and other foods at very affordable prices.  Only Hähnchenfleisch (chicken) offered.  Outdoor seating available.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Döner Kebab Groß (Large Chicken Döner Kebab) – 4.25/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

October 24th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Kebab Haus

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Kebap Haus Heidelberg

Hauptstraße 173 69117 Heidelberg

Walking along the main street in the Altstadt of Heidelberg, you will come across an enormous variety of restaurants and eateries.  Of course, you will also find a kebab shop and this one is definitely worth the stop!

Upon entering Kebab Haus, there is an odd sense of the restaurant being divided into two completely different parts  The front area, where you place your order and where everything is cooked, is typical fast food style.  Inside, however, is where the dining area is located.  The décor here is quite upscale for such a fast food joint – almost like you’re at home or in a cozy restaurant.  There are five tables available, each with 4 comfortable woven-wicker chairs.  There is also a television to keep you occupied while you eat!

 

I visited the Kebab Haus today late in the afternoon for dinner.  I immediately ordered the Döner Teller with rice – a plate with a good amount of freshly cut chicken Döner, short grain rice, and small portions of different vegetables (lettuce, red cabbage, corn, sliced carrots, green peppers, and tomatoes).  There was also a healthy portion of yogurt sauce sweetening the salad.  As garnish, chopped parsley was strewn across the dish.  Presentation was utterly magnificent.  Although they had red pepper chili flakes available, I didn’t want to disrupt the beautiful color scheme of the dish.

Kebap Haus Döner_M

The chicken döner was flavored extremely well.  It was moist and appetizing.  You could easily tell that the meat wasn’t sitting around for a while.  Rice may have been a bit mushy – it was good but not great.  Of course, the vegetables provided a healthy addition to the meal.

On the whole, the restaurant is extremely clean and the dining area exudes a warm, inviting feel.  The workers are friendly and the food is top notch.  The only downside is the sole available of one type of meat.  Nonetheless, Kebab Haus works hard at perfecting their chicken döner.  For 6,50 EUR, the Döner Teller was well worth it.

 

Summary:

Kebab Haus is another typical kebab eatery featuring Döner, pizzas, and other foods at very affordable prices.  Only Hähnchenfleisch (chicken) offered.  Outdoor seating available.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Döner Teller (Chicken Döner with brown short grain rice and salad) – 4.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

Written by geschmack

October 23rd, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Supan’s Bistro: The Taste of Thailand (Update)

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Supan's Bistro

Hauptstraße 133 69117 Heidelberg

I made a quick stop to this Thai restaurant for a fast meal in between classes.  This place may very well be my go-to restaurant in the future because it is conveniently located near the Universitätsplatz, a very short distance from where the bus lines 31 and 32 stop.

 

I ordered the Tom Yum Goong soup (hot and sour Thai soup with shrimp).  The bowl was quite small compared to an order of soup in California.  Inside there were only three pieces of shrimp.  However, they were well cleaned, deveined, and cooked perfectly.  Also inside the soup were slices of mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, onions, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass.  The flavor of wasn’t exactly the best; but it was definitely above average.  It was a bit more sour than spicy.

Overall, this visit was enjoyable.  The soup cost 5,00 EUR – a bit too expensive for such a small bowl.  Nonetheless, the restaurant was warm and comfortable and the waitresses this time dressed in traditional Thai garb, creating a wonderful dining experience.

 

Summary:

Supan’s Bistro is a cozy Thai restaurant offering a variety of different traditional dishes at fairly reasonable prices.  Outdoor seating available near the trees in front of the restaurant.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Tom Yum Goong (Shrimp) – 4/5
  • Service 5/5

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Written by geschmack

October 22nd, 2009 at 9:49 pm

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.

 

Summary:

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.

 

Summary:

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

Written by geschmack

September 4th, 2009 at 6:19 pm