Monday, September 18, 2017

Karlsruhe, Germany: Eis-Paradeis Cassata

We wrapped up my visit with a trip to the neighborhood parlor. The ice cream is quite good---very rich. We sat outside on a summer evening, eating ice cream and talking. Little things do matter.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Karlsruhe, Germany: Restaurant Pizzahaus

Pizza is known to induce creative thought. That is why we visit Restaurant Pizzahaus during my trips to Karlsruhe. The Germanic name hides an old-fashioned pizzeria run by Italians. The wood-fired oven is impressive. The atmosphere is old-world and comfortable.

They serve very nice salads.

And, of course, delectable pizza.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Karlsruhe, Germany: Neff Bakery

Great thoughts require great baked goods---and great coffee, too. The Neff bakery makes a convenient place for us to discuss ideas; it also gives us an excuse to walk outside for a few minutes. My cherry thingy was very satisfying. The coffee made a perfect complement.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Karlsruhe, Germany: Rabbit Restaurant

Rabbit Restaurant is part of the Rabbit hotel in a very hip neighborhood near Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The restaurant has been in the hands of the current owners for two generations. They have designed their menu to be accessible but still full of sophisticated items.

The bread was served with whipped cream, olives, and whipped basil butter.

An amuse bouche.

The gazpacho was outstanding: very nice body from the cucumbers, a nice tart note from the acid of the tomatoes.

My main course was this beautiful sous vide veal cheek. It had been marinated in wine and served in a wine sauce. A dollop of sour cream mashed potatoes topped them off. Perfectly cooked vegetables, most of them in tiny pieces, served as a garnish.

The strawberry sorbet was very light and refreshing.

Many of the paintings decorating the restaurant were inspired by movies. Here are a few of them. Can you identify their inspiration? The blue painting was the hardest one for us.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Karlsruhe, Germany: Bfannftiel Biergarten

My friend Joerg and I spent a very nice evening catching up and reminiscing about New Jersey in his favorite beer garden. Is a very traditional German beer garden with wooden tables, umbrellas, and soccer on the TV.

The centerpiece of any biergarten is, of course, the beer. I am not a big beer fan but I really enjoyed this one. The taste was smooth and not overly bitter.

Of course, the evening also requires food. The goulash was excellent, hearty sauce with a very smooth bit of heat from the paprika. I really enjoy the dense, earthy bread.

p> Some salad.

p> Great weiner schnitzel with a brown sauce on the bottom, kept the dish moist but left the crunch on the top.

p> Gee, I think this was pork...

p> The pretzel with sweet mustard was very nice combination of sweet and savory

p> Some coffee to go with our dessert...

The apple strudel was outstanding: vanilla sauce, vanilla ice cream, and a light drizzle of chocolate.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Breakfast with Irma

I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my computer's uninterruptible power supply beeping. Its plaintive cry told me that I had just lost power. The winds from Irma had peaked the previous afternoon. Perhaps the rain-soaked ground had finally given way under some tree. In any case, there was nothing I could do, so I turned off the UPS and went back to sleep.

When I finally woke up, I was hungry and a little down. Breakfast at home was out of the question. Matthews Cafeteria seemed like the perfect solution. My first attempt at driving there led me to a downed tree; a little backtracking brought me to Matthews.

The line for the steam table snaked through the restaurant. But the Matthews folks are pros and it moved swiftly and smoothly. The crowd was a cross-section ranging from a young family with infants to the DeKalb County Bomb Squad. Everyone was happy to be there.

Tables were easy to come by. I sat down and ate my traditional Southern breakfast: eggs, sausage, and grits. A little warm food in my stomach helped me feel better. I then took my time to enjoy my excellent strawberry shortcake, sipping my coffee along the way. It made a huge difference to my outlook.

As I walked back to my car, I chatted with a gentleman from the DeKalb watershed maintenance department. He said with a little disappointment that he didn't have time for the line. He climbed back into his truck and went back to work helping people.

I then drove to Gwinnett to run an errand. With no reason to go home, I decided to spend a few minutes at the local Krispy Kreme. As I watched the donuts come off the line, I declared this my personal comfort food day.

A nice warm donut certainly makes the day seem a little brighter, doesn't it?

Despite widespread power outages and one death, Irma could have been worse for Atlanta. We can be grateful for our condition while remaining concerned for the millions of people in Florida and elsewhere who fared much worse.

Monday, September 11, 2017

DXB: Dubai Airport and Giraffe

My trip from Taiwan to Germany took me through Dubai. Midway through a long trip and after an overnight flight, I was in the mood for breakfast.

I found Giraffe, a restaurant with an international vibe and staff from all over Asia and Africa. I wanted something comforting so I ordered pancakes. When they arrived, I saw this amazing construction---I have never seen anything quite like this.

With breakfast in my belly, I looked around the shops while I waited for my next flight. There was no shortage of booze. More surprising was the emphasis on baby care. I found this rack full of powered milk, which I suspect is for traveling children. The airport also offered loaner baby strollers. I have never seen an airport with so much for mothers and infants.

Chocolate is another big item at DXB. They had rack after rack of major brands and boutique chocolates. I also found this camel milk chocolate.

These stuffed dates were beautiful. I didn't try them but I suspect they were delicious.