Sunday, April 19, 2015

A beautiful Sunday afternoon at Gastronomiewelt Glemstal in Leonberg

Last week, as Bill was getting to know Senegal, I was languishing here in Germany.  Then someone posted a link to a biergarten offering barbecue from a smoker.  Just one picture of their delectable delights from the grill made my mouth water.  I tagged Bill in a Facebook post about the place, Gastronomiewelt Glemstal, located in Leonberg.


The sign on the way in...


Bill got back from Africa yesterday and I was itching for an outing.  I told him I wanted to try out the Gastronomiewelt Glemstal today, mainly because the weather was beautiful.  Bill demurred, since he had a big project due for a class he's taking.  After 12 years of marriage, I've learned that it doesn't take much to convince Bill to give in to my whims.  This time was no exception, even though Leonberg is about a 45 minute to 1 hour drive north from Jettingen.  We'd never been there before, even though we lived in the Stuttgart area for two years before moving back last August.

It didn't take long before we were in the car, headed for Leonberg.  We got to Gastronomiewelt just in time for a large group of active senior citizens to arrive for a lunch date.  We parked in the ample parking lot, which wasn't heavily populated.  I think it was because most everyone visiting the restaurant came on foot or bike.  The restaurant is attached to a sportshalle and it looked like it was a post workout stop for those who had been enjoying the beautiful weather today.  I noticed an interesting looking Greek restaurant on the way to the sports complex.  We may have to make another trip back to try out that place, too.

After you park, the first stop you come to as you approach the restaurant is a snack area, where a couple of guys cook meats on the smoker.  If all you want is beer and light food, this is where you want to sit.  It's self service.  If you want a more substantial meal, keep walking to the "terrace" area or venture inside, where there is a well equipped dining room.  I noticed that was where the elderly guests were headed.


The sign for the snack area.


The smoker...



We kept walking to the terrace, where we were greeted by a friendly young woman and her equally charming male colleague.  He had a happy face tattooed on his leg.  It made me smile.


The menu... I paid close attention to the offerings from the smoker...



Kicking things off with a couple of Weihenstephans, a decent hefeweizen from Munich... These were okay, but we liked the Saison Aktionsbiers better.  They change regularly.  

We opted to take a table overlooking a soccer field.  It wasn't the most picturesque biergarten I've ever seen, but we didn't go there for the view.  We were there for something from the smoker.  Bill wanted pulled pork and I wanted spareribs.  Sadly, those dishes are not offered every weekend.  Bill started off speaking German, but the waitress soon recognized his telltale American accent and switched to impeccable English.  She asked if we were from the "base" in Stuttgart.  We laughed.  It's obvious.

I noticed a sign that indicated that spareribs will be available next weekend and the weekend after it.  They didn't have them today, though.  Bill and I had smoked salmon and a smoked Argentinian filet with a green pepper sauce that reminded me of brisket.  We washed it all down with a couple of excellent beers.  Other dishes are available--- everything from typical Schwabish fare to hamburgers and salads.  They also had what appeared to be "fancy" bottled fruit sodas that I noticed quite a few people were ordering.  ETA: My German friend says the sodas are from here...


Smoked salmon with roasted potatoes and rosemary...   The salmon was good.


Delicious pickle salad that came with my salmon... obviously fresh.  It was surprisingly good.


Bill's smoked beef with steak fries...


Obligatory shot of Bill looking amused.


Beer makes everything better.



Nice lunch!


The view from where we were sitting.



We really liked these "Aktion Saison biers"... They were hoppier and more interesting than the Weihenstephaners.  I learned that a Russ is beer mixed with 7-Up.  I prefer my suds unadulterated, thanks!




It's a great place to watch walkers, bikers, and football players...

We enjoyed a very nice couple of hours on the terrace, enjoying good food, good beers, and friendly service.  The place really filled up as we were eating, too.  I noticed a couple of folks watching football on a television outside.  The restaurant shows games for those who are interested.  I also noticed a couple of folks with well-behaved dogs and a woman wearing bike shorts that had profanity in English printed on them.  The shorts made me laugh.  If I were more athletic and less self-conscious, I might invest in a pair for myself.  They made quite a statement.  

As we were settling up our tab with the young man with the smiley faced tattoo, he asked if we were "from the base".  We said we were.  He said we were the third group of Americans today.  Evidently, I wasn't the only one enticed by the picture of sizzling pork on Stuttgart Friends last week.  We will definitely go back to try the pork.  I liked the salmon and steak fine, but I have a feeling the pork is really where it's at at this restaurant and my curiosity won't be satisfied until I try it.  They also offer smoked trout some weekends.  I recommend checking out their Facebook page for more information as to when each specialty is offered.  That way, you won't be left hankering for pork when none is available.

On the way home, we put the top down on the Mini.  I started feeling like I needed a trip to the bathroom.  Bill and I stopped by the Sindelfingen truck stop.  They kind of remind me of the travel plazas one finds in northeastern states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  The beer was running through my system and I felt certain I would endure a very uncomfortable ride to Jettingen if we didn't stop.  


Home of the Whopper...

It costs 70 cents to use the toilet at the truck stop if you don't have a voucher...


But for your 70 cents, you get a self cleaning toilet well stocked with paper...


And the chance to stock up on sexual aids...

All in all, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.  Bill said he was glad I talked him into it.  I think we will venture to Leonberg again soon.

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