Friday, October 23, 2015

Dinner at Mauerwerk in Herrenberg...

After two weekends of being cooped up at home, I was more than ready to go out tonight.  Originally, we thought we might go to Tuebingen and try a couple of places we'd visited last time we lived here.  But then, Bill remembered that there was a cool looking restaurant in Herrenberg that didn't exist when we were here last.  Also, even though we live close to Herrenberg again, we hadn't gone out to eat there in ages.  So we headed for Mauerwerk, a restaurant on the main drag through Herrenberg, at about 6:00 or so.  It was probably a good thing we went when we did, since we didn't have reservations.  We happened to score free parking in a lot for the Volksbank.


Outside of the restaurant.  For once I thought to take photos before it got too dark.

Mauerwerk is a cultural center housed in a building that used to be a church  It's now a very cool, contemporary restaurant that adjoins a stage/theater.  I gathered from looking at the posters near the restrooms that they have live music and other shows there sometimes.  There's also a small bar area near the stage.  We didn't really explore the area where the musicians play, though.  Our minds were on the food.

A very pleasant waitress greeted us and invited us to a two top table with an excellent view of the bar.  She spoke German to us, but the bartender overheard me speaking English.  We were offered English menus at that point, but told them it was okay... we generally understand menus in German.  I just can't speak German worth a damn.  My comprehension is getting better though, especially when it comes to reading.

After a few minutes, we were ready to order.  We had a bottle of sparkling water, some very nice red wine from the Languedoc region of southern France, a couple of starters, and our main courses.  I knew I'd need to pace myself.


Very nice French wine... 



This amuse reminded me a bit of a donut without sugar.  It was served with a rosemary cream spread.  I liked it.  It wasn't too strong.  And I am also a sucker for fried food.


Bill thinks about what he wants...


I had a curry soup with shrimp.  Bill had smoked salmon with seaweed salad and an wasabi type sauce.  The soup was very good and had a little zing to it, though I only ate about half.  Didn't want to get too full for the main courses.  Bill loved his smoked salmon, though the portion was pretty huge.  Actually, I think the soup and salmon would make a very nice lunch.


The food choices at Mauerwerk are rather eclectic.  They offered "tapas" as an appetizer, though they were not really Spanish.  Several choices were Thai inspired, though a few were German.  Bill's entree seemed to be influenced by Mexico.  Above, you can see the beautifully presented salmon filet I ordered.  It came with potatoes and onions and was artistically presented.  The salmon was beautifully cooked and flavorful.  I appreciated that it wasn't too well done.


Bill's tasty burger.  It came with fingerling potatoes and a side of what seemed to be salsa.  The burger had guacamole, bacon, salsa, and a rather strong cheese.  Bill liked it, though the cheese might have been too much for a cheese wimp like me.


Though we were full, we decided to have dessert anyway.  Bill had a mango inspired bread pudding.  I liked this because it wasn't sweet at all, save for the side of housemade vanilla ice cream... The portion was large, though.


I had chocolate mousse.  One ball was chocolate, another was white chocolate, and it came with a lovely array of berries... blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and currants...

By the time we were finished eating, the restaurant was pretty full.  People were turning away because there weren't enough big tables.  I think if you want to come on a weekend, it makes sense to get a reservation.  The food is well prepared and the portions are very generous.  I thought the prices were fair, too.  Our bill was about 90 euros and we tipped the waitress generously because she did a good job.  I noticed she spoke English, but didn't much to us.  I think she was afraid of making a mistake, though my German is enough to make anyone cry...  I'm pretty sure credit cards are accepted, though we paid in cash.

I was impressed by the scotches being offered.  I also spotted a bottle of 15 year old El Dorado rum from Guyana (probably my favorite rum) and locally made Monkey gin. On Sundays and holidays, Mauerwerk offers a breakfast.

I would say Mauerwerk is best suited for adults who like beautifully presented contemporary cuisine. I didn't see any kids at the restaurant and am not sure how well they are catered to; I didn't think to look, either, since I don't have any kids.  Again, I would recommend making reservations if you plan to go on a Friday or Saturday night.  It looks like things regularly get busy there.  Reservations can be made by phone or email.

We had a great time and I am sure we'll be back.  Mauerwerk has a lot of ambiance and character going for it besides offering good food and service.  If you're in Herrenberg and looking for a nice place for a meal, I think Mauerwerk is a good bet.


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