Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lovely lunch at the Mineraltherme... then a nice long soak...

To celebrate the fact that it's the weekend and Aunt Flow isn't here yet, Bill and I decided to head to the Mineraltherme Böblingen.  Today's visit was our fourth ever and our second since we came back to Germany.  I really just wanted to unwind.  I think it would have been good for Bill, too, though it usually takes some doing to get him to agree to go.  Once he does, he's usually glad he went.

I reviewed the mineral baths last time we went, which was at Easter.  If you want to know about the ins and outs of the baths, click here.  Today, I mostly want to focus on the restaurant at the Mineraltherme, Restaurant Thermini.  Bill and I ate there once last time we lived here.  I seem to remember having a turkey dish with quark and quince.  It was good, but not amazing.  Today, we went back for lunch and things were different.  First off, I'd swear the restaurant was bigger.  Secondly, I really liked what we had.


We started with a couple of big beers...


Then the waiter brought out shot glasses with lentil soup in them.


I had a delicious lachs (salmon) filet with spinach and latkes.  There was a light creme sauce, too.


Bill had the antipasto.  Lots of veggies (eggplant, carrots, endive, and zucchini), cheeses, cold cuts, and olives.

We also got very fresh bread of the baguette variety.  I really enjoyed my lunch.  Unfortunately, I had an incident involving something getting stuck in my throat.  You know when you try to swallow a pill and it gets stuck going down?  That's kind of how I felt today, though it wasn't quite as uncomfortable.  I swallowed and kept trying to flush it with beer, but it wouldn't budge.  Fortunately, I'd had enough food by the time this happened.  Once I got changed and in the pools, the stuck food feeling went away.  It sucks getting older.  Total charge was 28 euros!  What a bargain!


Very pleasant place... mood music, good service, tables not too close together, and an outdoor area that allows smoking for those who must.

After lunch, Bill and I paid 22 euros (11 euros each) for 3.5 hours in the Mineraltherme.  As usual, it was very relaxing and today it wasn't all that busy.  I did see a few young couples making out and at least one pissy grandmother who seemed annoyed by all the face sucking going on.  But I also saw an adorable young mom who looked like Kirsten Dunst and her cute little boy, a smiling lad of maybe three who was having a blast.  No one bothered us as we soaked and floated in the many heated salty pools.  I kept looking at the stairs leading to the nude area, but Bill wasn't having it.  Someday, I'll brave the naked part of the Mineraltherme.  I have nothing to lose.  Seriously, no one cares what your goodies look like.

After about two and a half hours, Bill complained of being itchy and pruney skinned, so we covered up and tried the snack bar, run by the same people who run the restaurant.  Indeed, it's attached to the restaurant, so you can use your chipband to "pay" for your order (you actually pay at the automat on the way out of the baths).  We each enjoyed a generous glass of Gruner Veltliner.  I "might" have also had a glass of rose.  Total for the three glasses of wine was 12 euros and it was interesting to watch people. Bill had a good time watching a couple of young guys being rebuffed by two girls who weren't into them.  Actually, only one of the guys seemed to want to find a date.  The other guy just seemed to want to hang out with his buddy.

On the way home from the Mineraltherme, we passed a horrible accident on the north side of 81 involving a jackknifed and overturned horse trailer.  Thankfully, the horses seemed to be fine, though I can't imagine how they escaped unscathed.  The trailer was literally on its side.  Traffic was understandably backed up.  Good thing we were headed south.  ETA:  My German friend Susanne has helpfully provided this link to a German news story about this wreck.  It includes 17 photos.  Again, I am truly shocked the horses were mostly okay after this, although the grey one was apparently and understandably traumatized and didn't want to be loaded into another trailer.  Frankly, I can't blame the horse for that!

We went to the Real.  Jettingen has one, but I have only been in it a handful of times.  Bill usually goes there on his way home from work.  It was a treat to go with him today because I goaded him into buying me some treats.


It was raining and sunny at the same time, so I was able to snap this shot...


Turkish food at Real.  We got some cheese for Bill to try.  It comes from Kars, which is a Turkish city very close to Armenia.  In fact, it was once part of Armenia.  I was once at the bus station in that city for several hours... and we had to take a bus from Kars to the Georgian border because you can't get to Armenia from Kars.  I am not a fan of Ayran, but know what it is because Armenians drink a similar yogurt drink called tan (pronounced tawn).  


Good old crappy Efes.  Drank a lot of this in Armenia.  Shitty Turkish beer, but it's not all that bad on draft.


Real Budweiser.  Good stuff.


And an obligatory bathroom condom dispenser photo.

All in all, it was a very good day.  I had made tentative plans to go to Cocina Mexicana if only because it's such a controversial place.  We didn't go today because it wasn't open until 4:30 and I needed food sooner than then.    

Bill and I were here when the Cocina Mexicana was by the Esso in Vaihingen and avoided it because we had heard the food wasn't good.  Now we hear the food isn't necessarily bad (depending on who you ask), but the owner is a bit nutty.  Given that, I want to see for myself, even if it means eating bad "Mexican" food.  And who knows?  Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised.  We will try to get there soon to try it.  Too bad it's not open on Sundays, because that is when we are usually in Vaihingen.  If it turns out the food and service is too horrible, we'll just head to Taverna Olympos.  Been wanting to try that place, too, and never did last time we were here.

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