Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mid-day meal at Maredo in Stuttgart...

This morning, Bill and I decided we'd visit Robinson Barracks to look for a new chair for me.  The one I've been using for the past three years ago has a problem with the hydraulic.  I pump it up, sit down, and sink.  I've come to realize that this happens because I abuse the hell out of my office chairs, sitting in them for hours at a time every day.  After two or three years, I need to replace them.

Anyway, though we figured there wouldn't be a great selection at RB, we also knew we could pick up a few items at the commissary there and then maybe have some lunch.  It had been a long time since our last visit and I wanted to see what else was there.  So off we went, and I did manage to find a chair that will probably do for now.

About halfway through our quick trip to the commissary, I started feeling hungry.  By the time we were done shopping, it was almost 2:00pm.  I commented that we should have had lunch before we went shopping as Bill drove us toward downtown Stuttgart.  I know there are places to eat around RB, but we so seldom go there that we aren't familiar with the best places yet.  Besides that, we always end up there just as the lunch hours are winding down.  We needed to find a place that would serve lunch in the mid afternoon.

We parked downtown, initially thinking we'd go to the Paulaner Bar, where I knew I could get some killer chicken.  We turned away when we saw how packed it was, especially since it was also full of smokers.  Then we wandered around a few other places, eventually ending up at the Christmas market.  I might have been interested in walking through there, but my blood sugar was dropping and I was starting to get a bit hangry.  My brain turns to shit when that happens.  Instead of enjoying the festive sights and sounds, I was getting really crabby and indecisive.




I wouldn't have minded walking around some more, if I hadn't been ready to drop.  The crowds were alternately confusing and annoying me.

Finally, Bill spotted a Maredo restaurant.  Interestingly enough, I had mentioned the one located next to our parking garage, but Bill mistakenly thought they were closed.  They weren't.  He just hadn't stopped to read the big sign hanging in the door, which said they were closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Another location, maybe two or three blocks away and visible from the one at our parking garage, was clearly open and ready for our business.  To be honest, steak wasn't really what was on my mind for lunch today, but I really needed to eat.  There were plenty of tables open and and the price is right.

Just after we sat down, we heard a big thud.  An elderly lady traveling with what looked like a younger married couple tripped and fell down by the door.  Bill got up to make sure she was okay.  After a few minutes, she was fine and their party left without incident.  For a minute there, I was afraid someone was going to have to call for an ambulance.

In any case, Maredo is a Düsseldorf based steakhouse that has been in business since 1973.  Though the name sounds vaguely Spanish, it's actually comprised of the names of the three founders, Manfred Holl, Karl-Heinz Reinheimer, and Udo Schlote.  It operates 57 restaurants in Germany and three in Austria.

Bill and I ate at a Maredo once at the Cologne airport back in May 2012.  Back then, I thought steaks in Germany were universally yucky.  That was before I made the fortuitous discovery of Tommi's Bistro.  Anyway, during that first visit, I stuck with a wienerschnitzel.  It tasted fine, but I wasn't all that impressed by the chain.  Maredo specializes in steaks, but there's a nice variety of dishes on the menu.  They have everything from fajitas to baked potatoes.

Today, by the time we were seated, I was in serious need of protein.  Maredo was offering a rib-eye special.  I ordered that and Bill had spareribs.  In the meantime, we sipped weizenbiers and ate fresh bread that came with some kind of creamy spread with garlic and chives.  Though white, creamy stuff often gives me the heebie jeebies, I'm starting to be braver since I've been in Germany.  After Bill assured me there was no funky or strong cheese in the spread, I tried it and liked it.

Loud music played over the sound system as I fortified myself.  Bill smiled when he saw the color come back to my cheeks and a smile slowly form on my lips.  I usually recover quickly from being hangry.

Our friendly waiter brought us our meals.  Bill's very juicy spareribs did not come with anything but a side of barbecue sauce and a tomato tapenade.  My 300 gram rib eye, on the other hand, came with green beans and potato wedges with a sour cream dip.  I normally don't like sour cream, but I did like the dip that came with my wedges, especially since it was in a ramekin and I could control how much I used.  In my opinion, when it comes to condiments, less is more.  I shared my beans with Bill and we each tasted each other's dish.  The ribs were surprisingly good-- very juicy, flavorful, and with plenty of meat on them.  My steak was cooked perfectly to a medium temperature.  It was tender, juicy, and well seasoned.  It was very good. The green beans were nicely seasoned, but a little mushy.


Bill's juicy spareribs.


My surprisingly good steak...  I won't need to eat again before morning.  I loved the potatoes and the side of dip, too... though I could definitely call this meal another "present for my ass".  Those who follow me on Facebook know that that's what I call any fattening food that soothes the savage beast.  I could have paired this steak with a nice wine, had I wanted to.

Although they had some nice looking desserts, I wasn't even able to finish everything on my plate.  I came somewhat close, though.  What can I say?  I was hungry!  Service was competent and friendly.  We got out of there with a bill for 44 euros and a reminder that you really can get a nice meal at a chain restaurant.  I left Maredo feeling much better than I did when we arrived.  Next time I'm hungry and a Maredo is handy, I won't hesitate to drop in.


There is another Maredo within sight of this one in downtown Stuttgart.  Though I've seen places with 7-Elevens and Starbucks on alternate corners, this is the first time I've seen that phenomenon in Germany.  


Friday of this week, Bill and I are going to come back to Stuttgart and try Christophorus, which we have been told is the best steak restaurant in the area.  I look forward to seeing how it stacks up in our book.  Stay tuned!


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