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Hackteufel

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Steingasse 7 69117 Heidelberg

Anytime you see the image of a red little devil on a store front, you can’t help but wonder if it’s some sort of rebel cult establishment or a restaurant specializing in insanely spicy foods.  Surely, the last thing you would think of is a charming, stylish establishment, rich in history and tradition, located in the heart of an old, romantic German city.  But this is exactly what Hackteufel is (Teufel means ‘devil’ in German) – an impressive hotel and restaurant specializing in regional German cuisine.

 

The dining room interior is fascinating, quaint, and captivating.  Musical instruments, including brass trumpets, accordions, and violins, decorate the walls and act as a placeholder between the lanterns.  Ample lighting is provided by the cute light fixtures inside.  There are lots of framed black and white photographs and hand drawn images of stunning landscapes and buildings.  The dining room furniture is charming.  Long booth style seating line the walls and are comfortably cushioned with devilish red pads.  Pillows are arranged at the wall corners.  Carved wooden chairs provide an alternative.  The tables are also polished wood and are set with a folded napkin and silverware.  Potted plants instill life all around the dining room.  While the World Cup is in full swing, German colors are proudly displayed in the form of long party strips and a large flag on the wall.

The menu features a rich variety of German dishes, including regional specialties from the Palatine.  The menu appears to change often, with some dishes making their appearance quite regularly.  Schnitzel, baked fish, Maultaschen, different types of Fladen (flat cakes), Bratwurst, and rump steaks are some of the dishes featured.  A separate drinks menu is heavier than the standard food listing.  A large array of wines from the surrounding Baden and Pfalz region can be found inside the booklet.  Of course, there are also a good number of German beers and other cold and warm beverages.

On one visit, a small basket with pieces of wheat bread is provided free of charge.  It is quite a pleasant surprise.  Complimentary bread at a German restaurant?  That’s a first.  The bread is clearly fresh and very flavorful.  Authentic German bread just adds to the genuine German dining experience.

 

Pfälzer Leberknödelsuppe – liver dumpling soup – is, without a doubt, an excellent starter.  Diners who find liver off-putting or Knödel uninspiring will be surprised by the flavor of Leberknödel.  Despite being called a liver dumpling, the unique flavor of liver isn’t predominantly noticeable in the dumpling.  This is due to the mixture of herbs and pieces of bread roll mixed in during the formation of the dumpling.  In this soup, two Knödel balls are served in a clear, soothing beef broth; sliced green onions adding additional aroma.  Brunoised carrots and turnips can be found at the bottom of the beautiful ceramic bowl.  Although the sweltering soup probably isn’t the best choice on a scorching summer day, it is still an excellent option.

 

The Hessisches Kochkäs-Schnitzel mit Bratkartoffeln is breaded pork escalope topped with melted cheese, served with a good amount of buttery home fried potatoes.  The dish is aromatic and comes to the table on an extremely hot plate.  Presentation is simple, yet lovely.  Every restaurant makes schnitzel differently and Hackteufel is no exception.  The pork is confidently seasoned and very tender.  It is coated extremely well with breadcrumbs.  Fried crisp to perfection, the schnitzel is absolutely marvelous.

The breaded pork is topped with melted cheese and sits in a milky, white cheese sauce that adds such a nice, gooey texture and flavor.  The cheese complements the schnitzel well and enhances the dish wonderfully.  Home fried potatoes are perfectly browned and simply melt in your mouth.  They are the ideal accompaniment to the schnitzel and also taste great with the melted cheese.  This dish is a safe choice if you are unsure about some of the other local options on the menu.

 

Sauerkraut-Orgie (literally Sauerkraut Orgy) is a dish consisting of Teufelswurst (sausage – translated as ‘devil’s sausage’), Pfälzer Saumagen (stuffed pig’s stomach), Krustenbraten (crispy pork belly) and Knödel (dumpling).  Meat juices sit at the bottom of the dish, gradually getting soaked up by the Knödel.  With the different types of pork and sides appearing in the dish, a lot is going on.

Saumagen – a popular item from the Palatinate – is a type of sausage made up of pork, potatoes, carrots, and various herbs and spices, all stuffed inside the stomach.  The saumagen is sliced and pan fried; the result is a delicious regional masterpiece with a seared, crisp edge.  It’s slightly similar to thick ham, but with a distinctive flavor and texture.  Sweet, grilled onions top the saumagen and provide the perfect accompaniment.  The spices really shine here, enhancing the flavor of the pork wonderfully.  The potatoes inside the saumagen create a soft, delicate texture that contrast sharply with the meaty portions.  It is such a unique item with amazing flavor.

A foot long sausage lines the middle of the plate, dividing it in half.  The sausage has a firm casing that gives it a wondrous snap.  It is meaty and slightly salty – the ideal complement to sauerkraut.  Fried crisp like cracklings, the Krustenbraten is marvelous.  It has the perfect portion of fat, meat, and skin.  This piece of pork pairs a lot better with the sauerkraut.  The layer of gelatinous fat under the skin adds richness and flavor.  It is such a guilty pleasure!

The Knödel has a surprisingly nice flavor.  Personally, I am not a big fan of Knödel, but this one caught my eye.  The dumpling is soft and delicate, but there are also a few seeds mixed in that add a distinct consistency.  A crumb topping with sesame seeds is scooped on top, providing another unique twist.  The dumpling soaks up the juices quite well and works admirably with the other elements in the dish.  The final element – the Sauerkraut – is basically good with everything.  Overall, this Sauerkraut-Orgie dish is so filling that, at the end, you won’t be having a sauerkraut orgy; rather, you are bound to have a pork orgy instead!  It’s such a delightfully satisfying dish that is well worth trying.

Although some of the dishes at Hackteufel seem pricey, the quality of the food and the meticulous preparation justifies every cent.  It’s easy to see that the dishes are prepared with utmost care and with a high level of culinary skill.  A visit to Hackteufel, whether for a cool beer, a glass of wine, or a traditional, hearty German meal, will not disappoint.  Tack on the excellent location – just steps away from the old bridge – a nice, cozy dining room environment, as well as a hotel upstairs, and you have everything you need for your stay in Heidelberg right here at Hackteufel.

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Summary:

Hackteufel is a combination hotel and restaurant ideally situated in the heart of Heidelberg.  Located steps away from the infamous Old Bridge, Hackteufel offers excellent traditional German cuisine, as well as local dishes from the Palatinate region (Pfalz).  A genuine experience awaits every visitor.  Service with a smile, warm and welcoming atmosphere.  Outdoor tables available in front of the restaurant.  Prices moderate, but portions and food quality superb.

Hours: Daily: 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM

 

Overall – 5 stars

  • Leberknödelsuppe – 4.5/5
  • Hessisches Kochkäs-Schnitzel mit Bratkartoffeln – 4.5/5
  • Sauerkraut-Orgie mit Teufelswurst, Pfälzer Saumagen, Krustenbraten und Knödel – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.hackteufel.de/

Written by geschmack

July 13th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Medocs

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Sofienstraße 7B 69115 Heidelberg

Having lived in Germany for many months now, and after visiting countless restaurants, it’s easy to become addicted to schnitzel.  Simple yet flavorful, schnitzel is the standard dish not only featured on German menus, but also restaurants with an international flair.  One such establishment, Medocs, has a terrific label for this breaded pork obsession – ‘Schnitzel Fever.’  It’s one of the many specials featured at this classic café and restaurant in Heidelberg.

 

Through the two glass door entrance, you are immediately met with the bar area.  The cozy dining area extends from the front entrance all the way to the back end of the restaurant.  Appearing along the way are corner areas, ideal for groups or private conversation.  The modern décor perfectly fits into that distinctive café setting.  All around the white walls are various framed images of random objects and people – coffee cups brimming with brew, couples smooching one another, dancers in a pose with their shadows, and distant views of a construction site.  There are also large blackboards featuring dinner specials – tempting during lunch hours, but just a tease and a reminder to come back during the evening.  The black, white, and red color scheme here seems to be the trend.  Black cushioned booth style seating line the walls and offer an alternative to the polished, round wooden chairs.  Tables are sturdy marble and come with a lit candle to provide that romantic touch.

Awaiting you at each table are a handful of various brochures, including the standard everyday menu, a card listing evening dishes (available after 5 PM), special seasonal offerings, and another one advertising weekday specials.  Although it may seem a bit cluttered and confusing at first, it’s worth the time to glance through each one to become aware of any discounts.  The specials at Medocs are what make the place unique and quite popular amongst the locals.  For instance, Medocs features a weekday lunch menu with 5 different dishes, including a pasta, salad, meat, and vegetarian dish, each for only 5 €.  Add the fact that the choices vary each week and you have an excellent reason to keep coming back for more.  Other specials include ‘Green Monday’ (all salads are 5,90 € after 5 PM), ‘Tropical Thursdays’ (cocktails 3,90 € each after 8 PM), and ‘Schnitzel Fever’ every Saturday, Sunday, and holidays after 12 PM (all schnitzels at a reduced price).

 

Written in both German and English, the standard menu at Medocs forays into different types of cuisine.  In addition to German breakfast items, you can find a mixture of international dishes – baguettes, soups, salads, and pastas.  After 5 PM, the selection becomes even larger as you can order burgers, steaks, and other grilled specialties.  Highlighting the menu is a fairly impressive list of schnitzels.  Aside from the typical “Wiener Art,” you can get 8 different varieties of schnitzel, including “Gorgonzola-Schnitzel,” “Texas” style schnitzel with BBQ sauce, and a salad with strips of breaded pork.  There are also 4 unique types with cheese baked on top.

 

Listed amongst the schnitzels is Schnitzel ‘Madagaskar’ – pork schnitzel, breaded extremely well, served in an orange cream sauce with green peppercorns.  On the side are home fried potatoes.  Considering the large portion sizes, the price tag of 8,20 € is very reasonable.  The small green Madagascar peppercorns add a nice zing to the pork.  It gives the dish a slight spicy sensation – that much needed kick.  The peppercorns infuse a uniquely exotic flavor into the sauce; the taste refined and rich.  The breading on the schnitzel is also remarkable.  A thick layer of breading, compact and crisp, covers the surface of the pork and provides a great texture that contrasts nicely with the meat.  Together with the cream sauce and the tightly packed breading, the flavor combination makes every bite a delight.

Consistency at Medocs appears to be the only issue.  On one visit, the breaded pork was graciously doused with cream sauce, along with a nice heaping of green peppercorns.  The potatoes were cooked perfectly, seasoned and buttered flawlessly.  On another visit, a number of home fries were burnt on the surface.  Although visually unappealing, the charred potatoes were given an even crispier outer coating that contrasted sharply with the delicate flesh.  Additionally, the given amount of cream sauce was sparse.

 

Desserts are rather limited.  Aside from typical apple strudel, you can find various cakes and pies as well as a good crêpe dish.  Rolled up crêpe, filled with warm chocolate sauce and dusted with cocoa powder, is a delight.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream, along with a mound of whipped cream, sliced almonds, and slices of fresh fruits, all bring the dish together.  The dish isn’t overly sweet; rather, the balance is just right.  The warm sensations of the delicate crêpe contrast well with the cold and creamy nature of the ice cream and whipped topping.  The slices of orange are sweet and work wonderfully with the chocolate.  Overall, it’s a great finish to the meal.

Medocs may very well be considered a local cult.  Not only will you find couples enjoying a romantic meal, students taking a break from their busy schedules, and elderly women chit-chatting over coffee, but also businessmen taking full advantage of the inexpensive lunch menu.  Essentially everyone comes to Medocs to unwind from the chaos outside and relax in the casual, inviting atmosphere.  With its perfect location, sensible prices, pleasant service, sensational specials, and tremendous food, Medocs is here to stay.

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Summary:

Medocs is a café and restaurant perfectly situated at Heidelberg’s Bismarckplatz.  Serving up a mixture of international cuisines, including American, Italian, and German dishes, Medocs is very reasonably priced and certainly worthy of a visit (and repeat visits thereafter!).  Various specials throughout the week, including schnitzel fever on the weekends.  5 € weekday lunch menu dishes, varying each week.  Friendly, affable service.  Outdoor seating available.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Schnitzel ‘Madagaskar’ – 4.5/5
  • Crêpe Schokolade – 4/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.medocs-cafe.de/

Written by geschmack

May 18th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Alter Kohlhof

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Kohlhof 5 69117 Heidelberg

You’d think that with all of the trees and natural vegetation located up the hills in Heidelberg, there wouldn’t be a hidden hotel or restaurant in the middle of the woods.  After all, how could such an establishment be successful in such a sparsely populated area?  Well, with a magnificent scenic view of the neighboring region only a few minutes away, Alter Kohlhof happens to be one countryside inn, winery, and restaurant flourishing in a landscape of trees.

Alter Kohlhof is approximately 20 minutes from Heidelberg’s Altstadt, located in the Odenwald Mountains.  A narrow, elevated, winding road takes you up the mountain slopes; the surroundings full of trees and countryside.  The trip up there can become frantic as you must maneuver your way through many sharp turns and share the road with buses and other vehicles.  At times, the path becomes extremely tight and head-on-collisions are always a possibility.

If you manage to survive the adventurous ride up the summit, you may also have a difficult time locating the place.  Signs directing you to Alter Kohlhof are few and far in between.  Moreover, some of them are obscured by vegetation or too small to recognize from a distance.  However, once you ultimately reach Alter Kohlhof, you can breathe a sigh of relief.  After all, Alter Kohlhof is not only an enchanting German restaurant; it’s also a comfortable countryside inn.

The exterior is well maintained and modern.  Tables and chairs are set up in front of the restaurant doors, making up the beer garden dining area.  There are also large wine barrels opposite the beer garden.  Step inside the polished wooden double doors, you immediately feel welcomed.  A family owned and operated establishment, the place simply exudes an aura of friendliness.  One of the first things you notice is an open guestbook for visitors to write in comments.  Excellent!  You will also be impressed by the wide open layout of the restaurant – the dining room is almost as large as a banquet hall.  Upon entering the restaurant area, the bar and counter will almost surely catch your attention because behind the glass display are a couple of mouth-watering desserts.  Seating here at Alter Kohlhof consists of your standard cushioned, antique wooden chair.  Along the walls are booth bench seating.  Pink tablecloths, overlapped by a flower designed cloth, decorate the tables.  Each is adorned with a pink candle, along with salt and black pepper grinders and a sugar dispenser.  All of the tables are set up nicely with 2 forks and knife and a folded napkin.  English popular music quietly plays from the speakers.

Alter Kohlhof offers a vast assortment of traditional German dishes.  The menu is elegantly and professionally designed and offers something for everybody.  There are various salads, home made seasonal specialties, vegetarian appetizers and main courses, and traditional dishes from the surrounding regions.  For dessert, there are different types of ice cream and a handful of cakes to choose from.  Included in the seasonal listings is also a special limited time dessert.  Impressively, Alter Kohlhof lists a variety of after-dinner drinks.  The standard drink menu includes your typical warm drinks – coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and such – as well as regular cold beverages.

Adding to the list of impressive features, Alter Kohlhof serves different specialties practically every month.  There is an Alter Kohlhof exclusive culinary calendar that describes special events and regional specialties served only during certain times of the year.  Ranging from wild game to traditional holiday foods, Alter Kohlhof is a great place to experience true southern German cooking.

 

Instead of trying one of the monthly specialties, I decided on traditional German dishes – Käsespätzel and Schnitzel.  Appealing about these menu offerings are the accompanying descriptions about being made according to grandma’s recipe.  Nothing like good old family tradition recipes!

The Badische Rahm-Käs-Spätzle (Baden region creamy cheese spätzle) is offered as both a regular main dish, at 8,90 €, and as a small side portion for 6,90 €.  Simply put, this dish is a must!  The cheese sauce is rich, thick, and creamy.  As advertised, this dish is certainly not for those calories counters!  The spätzle egg noodles are firm and contrast with the creamy, thick cheese sauce.  Added amongst the noodles are crisp, sweet onions that have been sautéed until translucent.  The end result is a magnificent flavor combination that will have you dreaming about Käsespätzle for days.

 

Priced at 11,90 €, the Schweineschnitzel ‘Wiener Art’ (Vienna style pork schnitzel) is executed well.  The pork is pounded relatively thin and coated with a very heavy layer of breadcrumbs.  On top of the meat are a lemon, rind taken off, and a single parsley leaf.  The pork itself could use more salt and is a bit underwhelming, though, the schnitzel is served on a good amount of thick, rich mushroom gravy that provides all the essence required.

Accompanying this dish are Rotkraut (pickled red cabbage) and geschwenkten Kartöffelchen (potatoes tossed in butter).  Served steaming hot, the pale red cabbage is the perfect side dish to the schnitzel.  With it’s slightly sweet nature and subtle crunch, it gives the schnitzel a good flavor.  It’s also served on the same plate as the pork, so the juices blend in well with the gravy.

 

The round potatoes are cooked perfectly – not too soft to the point of falling apart, but also firm enough to hold its shape.  Garnished with chopped parsley, they are served in a small side dish.  Despite spots of butter being visible in the afternoon light, eaten alone the potatoes still seems lacking.

 

Desserts are not only simple, but also inexpensive.  Sweet tooths will not enjoy any of the cheese cakes, as German style cheese cakes are not typically heavy on the sugar.  However, the Käse-Kirsch-Streuselkuchen (cheese cake with sour cherries topped with streusel) is pleasing enough.  Eaten altogether, especially with the crumbed topping, the cake completes any meal wonderfully.  And at 2,00 € a slice, you won’t have to dig too deep into your wallet!

Be aware that as the weather gets better, many locals and well-informed visitors visit this place and thus the place can get packed quickly.  After all, it’s a nice escape from the overly touristy parts of the city down below.  Alter Kohlhof is a good find in the middle of essentially nowhere.

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Summary:

Nestled away in Heidelberg’s mountainous region near the Königstuhl summit, Alter Kohlhof is a quaint, charming restaurant, country hotel, and winery offering a lovely escape from the hectic city.  The restaurant offers an extensive selection of traditional German cuisine, as well as seasonal offerings that will keep you coming back for more.  Pleasant atmosphere, both inside the restaurant and outside in the beer garden.  Excellent, friendly service.  Prices reasonable.

Hours: Varies depending on Season
            April – September: Daily from 11:00 AM – 11:30 PM
            October – March: Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM

 

Overall – 5 stars

  • Badische Rahm-Käs-Spätzle nach Omas Rezept – 5/5
  • Schweineschnitzel „Wiener Art“ (wie bei Oma in der guten Stube) – 4.5/5
  • Käse-Kirsch-Streuselkuchen – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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www.alterkohlhof.de/

Written by geschmack

April 16th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Sudpfanne

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Hauptstraße 223 69117 Heidelberg

I’ve always been fascinated by these combination hostel and restaurant spots in Germany.  Do they serve warm, tasty, and delectable meals that a German mother would serve to her family?  Or does the food cater to foreign tourists and guests staying in the rooms neighboring the eatery?  At the far end of the Hauptstraße, away from the hustle and bustle of the city,  sits a cozy, pleasant restaurant, bar, and hostel called Sudpfanne.

 

Venturing into the restaurant, you will immediately be met with the bar room area, where there are several bar stools awaiting guests looking for a quick refreshment.  In the next room over is the inviting guest dining room.  Adorning the aged walls are exquisite, framed oil paintings, as well as various sculpted decorations.  The seating here primarily consists of padded seats along the walls, in addition to small wooden chairs.  The tables are also made of wood.  Each dining arrangement is decorated with a lone flower in a vase (though somewhat sad looking) along with a lighted candle.  Overall, the dining environment is comfortable and exudes a rustic, home feeling – perfect for a hostel operation.

The menu at Sudpfanne is unfortunately strictly limited.  In comparison to other German restaurants, the selections are few.  You will recognize common German dishes – schnitzel, rumpsteak, and spätzle – plus some regional offerings such as Maultaschen.  Sudpfanne offers a daily menu in addition to the normal items.  Drinks are typical.

 

Interesting about this place are the slight twists and variations added to traditional favorites.  One of the featured items here is the Schweineschnitzel Sudpfanne mit Kartoffelbrei und einer Knoblauchsoße (Pork cutlet, Sudpfanne style, with mashed potatoes and garlic sauce).  The dish comes with three pork cutlets, breaded and fried, served with a heaping amount of potatoes and a generous portion of garlic gravy sauce.  At 9,80 €, it is moderately priced.  And the dish is only partly well executed.  The schnitzel cutlets are well breaded, though not well seasoned.  The pork could definitely use some more salt.  Adding a squeeze of lemon does help improve the flavor, as does dipping the meat in the garlic sauce, but alone it leaves a lot to be desired.  Outperforming the main star of the dish are the mashed potatoes and garlic sauce.  The supporting actor wins the award while the lead fails to even get a nomination.  Together, the combination is delightful – the way garlic mashed potatoes should taste.  The spuds are mashed quite well, not to the point of being a purée, but smooth nonetheless.  The garlic sauce also speaks wonders.  Packed with flavor, it’s simply enjoyable.

 

Sudpfanne is conveniently located in the heart of Heidelberg.  The famous Heidelberg castle, as well as the infamous old bridge, is only a short distance away.  A bus stop nearby provides guests with further opportunities for exploration in this magnificent, charming city.  Although Sudpfanne offers an extremely limited number of entrées on their menu, the dishes are cooked decently.  The food portion to price ratio is slightly unfavorable, though.  Overall, Sudpfanne is a good place to enjoy a beer or a warm German meal to end your day.  After all, it’s located near the end of the main Hauptstraße.

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Summary:

Sudpfanne is a restaurant, bar, and hostel situated in a prime location in the center of Heidelberg’s Altstadt.  Extremely limited selection of menu items.  Traditional German dishes including schnitzel, spätzle, and Maultaschen.  Wine tasting events (see website).  Quaint, lovely atmosphere.  Good service.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Schnitzel Sudpfanne – 3.5/5
  • Kartoffelbrei und einer Knoblauchsoße (Mashed Potatoes and Garlic Sauce) – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.heidelberger-sudpfanne.de/

Written by geschmack

March 9th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Gaststätte Essighaus

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Plöck 97 69117 Heidelberg

Tired of the expensive restaurants on the Hauptstraße that cater to tourists?  Want good German cuisine that’s easy on the pocket?  Well, Gaststätte Essighaus is the perfect place for a warm, delicious, traditional German meal or a cold, refreshing beer in a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere.

 

The restaurant itself is inviting and welcoming.  Inside, the layout is entirely open and calls out to you to take a seat.  From the entrance, you can see the bar on the side overlooking the 8 tables scattered throughout the place.  Seating is made up of either dark wooden chairs or cushioned booth type seating along the outer rim of the restaurant.  Any seat is good in this open layout.  Each table is neatly covered with a faded red tablecloth.  Décor is lackluster, only consisting of a few colorful, old-fashioned plates and cups sitting on shelves, plants in vases, and several artwork pieces made formed from tiles on the walls.  The bar area is a lot more interesting to stare at with all of the different bottles of wine, liquors, and spirits neatly aligned on top of a wooden cabinet.  At dinnertime, the restaurant is extremely well-lit by chandeliers – it’s puzzling why there are lighted candles at each table.

As far as food is concerned, Essighaus offers several traditional German dishes.  Some typical plates are missing from the menu, though what the chefs do serve up are downright delicious.  The schnitzel here is really good.  Order the 8,50 € breaded pork schnitzel (Schweineschnitzel) and you will be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the meat.  On top of that, the order comes with a bowl of the daily soup (Tagesuppe), in addition to a plate of salad and a side of French Fries.

 

The tomato soup is thick and served hot – a great start on a cold, winter night.  In addition to some pieces of tomato in the soup, there are bits of bacon hiding under the sea of red.  Chopped parsley also adds an extra hint of flavor.  Salad at Essighaus is unique.  Pieces of lettuce, shredded carrots, sauerkraut, and red cabbage, thinly sliced radish and cucumber, and a chunk of tomato are enhanced by a creamy green herb dressing.  The mixture of textures, from the crunchy vegetables to the smooth, creamy dressing and the soft burst of the tomato is wonderful.

 

The main dish – the schnitzel – comes on a plate with a boat full of dark brown pork gravy and some more lettuce and sliced radish on the side.  The potatoes come on a separate plate, hot, crisp, and slightly seasoned, what more can you ask for?  Pork schnitzel, breaded and seasoned extremely well, is as big as the plate of salad.  The meat is pounded quite thin and cooked until tender.  Delicious as is, the schnitzel tastes even better with a squeeze of lemon or a dip in the gravy.  Either way, the dish is extremely tasty and one of the better schnitzel plates in Heidelberg, if not in Germany.

Come hungry, otherwise you might not have room for dessert.  The sweets menu primarily consists of ice cream, but there is also Pfannkuchen mit Marmelade oder Apfelmus (German pancake with either marmalade or apple sauce).  At 4,50 euros, it’s a bit overpriced for what you get – two pancakes and a boat full of cranberry-like sauce (lingonberry marmalade).  The pancakes are delicate and soft in the middle, crisp and crunchy on the edges.  By itself, it tastes rather bland; with the sauce, it tastes sweeter but not life changing.  Sadly, the last few bites became more of a chore to eat than an enjoyable end to the meal.

 

Simply put, Essighaus is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the crowded main street in Heidelberg.  Although the menu is limited to a certain extent, the food listed is done extremely well.

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Summary:

Located on a street parallel to the busy Heidelberg Hauptstraße, Gaststätte Essighaus is a quaint, quiet restaurant serving up authentic German dishes including schnitzel, steaks, and fish dishes, amongst others.   Great, quick service.  Inexpensive  main dishes.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Tomato Soup – 4/5
  • Salad – 4/5
  • Pork Schnitzel (Schweineschnitzel) – 5/5
  • French Fries – 4.5/5
  • Pfannkuchen mit Marmelade – 3/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

January 29th, 2010 at 10:01 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

Heidelberger Schnitzelhaus Alte Münz

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Heidelberger Schnitzelhaus Alte Münz 

Neckarmünzgasse 10 69117 Heidelberg

So you find yourself exhausted and hungry after climbing back down from the Heidelberg castle, walking across the old bridge, and taking pictures next to the monkey.  Sure, you can easily stop by one of the pricey restaurants along the Hauptstraße or stop by a kebab joint for a quick meal.  But maybe you feel like eating something traditional German.  Well, Schnitzelhaus might be the perfect antidote to satisfy that rumbling tummy!

Inside, the Schnitzelhaus might look like an old bar joint.  The place is dark and lit by candles at each table.  There are roughly 7 big wooden tables, with a mix of booth and chair seating. Reservations may be required for dinner.

At first glance, the menu can be quite overwhelming.  Not because it is written in German – they also have an English menu available.  The difficulty lies in actually choosing what to order!  I mean, the menu clearly states that they have “more than 100 different varieties of schnitzels!”  In fact, there are exactly 101 assorted kinds with traditional styles like Wiener, Jaeger, and Rahm Schnitzel to more exotic flavors such as Chilischnitzel, Thai style, Mole sauce, and Hawaiian style, just to name a few.  You can spend hours trying to decide which one to try!

 

Deciding to go the safe route (after all, it is Germany!), I decided on the Weltmeisterschnitzel (‘World Champion’ Schnitzel) cooked Jaeger style, with mashed potatoes instead of fries.  Be forewarned!  If you choose to go the Weltmeisterschnitzel route, be prepared for a lot of chewing!  The description for this dish states that it is only meant for those who are really hungry.  No kidding!

All meals come with a small plate of salad featuring lettuce, shredded carrots, corn, some sauerkraut, and a boatload of dressing.  The vegetables were typical fair, but the sauerkraut added an extra unique element to the salad.  Good, but not great.

The schnitzel and mashed potatoes arrived shortly afterwards.  Portions sizes were unbelievable.  The Weltmeister order gives you 4 hefty, well breaded and seasoned schnitzel pieces.  Jaeger style coats the schnitzel in a luscious cream sauce and a healthy amount of mushrooms adorning the pork.  Moreover, chopped parsley is strewn around the dish, completing the wonderful presentation.  The schnitzel was already dressed with lemon juice, so it was a bit sour for my tastes.  The initial bites were marvelous – moist and tender pork.  Absolute bliss.  Most of the pork was delicious, although I did run into cuts that were tough to chew.  Hard to believe, but the schnitzel was overshadowed by the mashed potatoes.  They were whipped and creamy – definitely worth substituting for fries.

 

At 14,90 euros, the Weltmeisterschnitzel is definitely a winner.  If you manage to finish the entire plate, you will surely feel like a champion!

 

I also tried a little bit of the Käsespätzle (8,90 euros) designed for vegetarians.  It also came with a side salad.  The spätzle was delicate and creamy.  Very rich with the amount of cheese introduced to the dish.  The grilled onions on top made the dish come together extremely well.  A nice alternative to the schnitzel dishes.

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Summary:

Schnitzelhaus Alte Münz is a moderately priced German restaurant near the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) serving over 100 different varieties of schnitzel.  They also sell beer mugs and t-shirts with their restaurant logo.

Hours: Monday to Friday: 5 PM – Midnight
             Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 11 AM – Midnight
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Overall – 5 stars

  • Weltmeisterschnitzel (Jaeger) – 4.5/5
  • Mashed Potatoes – 5/5
  • Käsespätzle – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

October 26th, 2009 at 11:55 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!

 

Summary:

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

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http://www.schnitzelhuber.de/

Written by geschmack

September 28th, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Schnitzel Huber

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Schnitzel Huber 

Berger Straße 14 40213 Düsseldorf                 [CLOSED]

Situated in the Düsseldorfer Altstadt, this fast food type restaurant features schnitzel, schnitzel, and more schnitzel.  I visited this place for lunch after doing some shopping in the Altstadt.  It was the first time I had eaten German food in Germany and boy, was it delicious!

For the price of €4,95, you can get a (120 g) piece of crispy schnitzel with chives and a wedge of lemon on top.  Plus, you can get French fries and a choice of sauce on the top.  Talk about great value!  Of course, you have to order and pay for the drink separately.  Even though it is a fast food place (they have a front counter with cashiers, like at a McDonald’s), the food is served on a plate on a tray and you have to get your own utensils from the counter.

The schnitzel was crunchy and delicious.  The breading wasn’t fattening at all.  I personally don’t really like using lemon on the schnitzel, but the mushroom gravy I got was somewhat sour tasting.  It had mushrooms and onions in there, but it just tasted a little odd.  Instead of fries, I decided to get the potato croquettes.  I really wished they had mashed potatoes, but unfortunately they don’t.  The croquettes are totally crispy on the outside, warm on the inside with the potato filling.  It completely warms your heart!

I tried the spinach bowl, hoping that it would taste like Boston Market’s creamy spinach.  Instead, you get a small bowl of blanched spinach, flavored with some garlic.  It was a little watery for my tastes.  They need some Boston Market here.

Overall, this place is really nice.  I would definitely come back here for more.  Heck, I would even open a Schnitzel Huber in America if I could…

Summary:

Great value, excellent prices.  Probably the least expensive plate I have seen thus far in Deutschland.  Delicious schnitzel.  Outdoor seating.  Bathrooms downstairs, relatively clean.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Schnitzel – 4.5/5
  • Potato Croquettes – 4/5
  • Spinach – 3.5/5
  • Mushroom gravy – 3/5
  • Service 5/5

 

31. August 2009

Written by geschmack

August 31st, 2009 at 11:34 pm