Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday lunch at Ristorante Monte Cassino...

Since we're going out to dinner tonight, I wasn't really planning to write a review of lunch.  But because we ended up going to Ristorante Monte Cassino, a restaurant right outside of Panzer Kaserne, I decided I might as well.  Why not?  I have a few hours before I have to get dolled up for tonight's date.

Ristorante Monte Cassino is an Italian restaurant in Böblingen, literally overlooking AAFES.  Bill and I ate there once before when we lived in Germany the first time.  Before we ate there today, I didn't remember being overly excited about their food, though I do remember enjoying their biergarten.  Today, we've had snow flurries on and off.  The clouds are hanging low.  It's not a biergarten kind of afternoon.

We decided to go to the Ristorante Monte Cassino because it was lunchtime and the Brauhaus was packed.  I was not in the mood to deal with a crowd.  Besides, I didn't blog during our first tour here, so the Monte Cassino offered me the chance to add another restaurant to my list of local"good eats".

The first thing I noticed about the restaurant is that it has a large parking lot.  Readers in Germany who have met me know how neurotic I am about parking and driving around here, so the fact that the Monte Cassino has a lot of parking that is free of charge is a big bonus in my book.  It's also very easy to find.  So that's two positive marks right off the bat.  I noticed an enormous Dodge truck parked there with ease and plenty of room to spare.

The second thing I noticed was that it wasn't packed with people.  There was a table of Germans sitting at the well marked Stammtisch.  They seemed to be enjoying themselves.  I noticed a couple more tables of Americans.


Cute, old fashioned dining room.  

The third thing I noticed was that the restaurant smelled good.  That's a very good sign.  The dining room at the Monte Cassino smelled of garlic, tomatoes, and cheese.  That pleasant aroma added to the pleasing and quaint ambiance.  I liked the charming interior, with its wood stove and small bar area.  It's very homey.  We took our place at the one two top, since the other tables were large.  I don't like to sit at tables meant for six to eight people when it's just the two of us.


Obligatory shot of Bill checking out the options on the menu...

Our waitress seemed to be a bit somber, but she spoke English.  She dropped off our menus and Bill and I took our time deciding what we wanted.  Bill is trying to lose a couple of pounds before he gets into his dress blues on our upcoming cruise, so he opted for a salad.  I decided my cholesterol levels needed boosting, so I had spaghetti carbonara.  We also had our mineral water with gas.  Bill had an alcohol free weizen and I had a glass of Chianti.


My carbonara arrived steaming.  It was a very large portion and kind of bland, but it managed to stave off lunchtime hunger pangs.  I managed about half before I stopped.  I didn't ask for a box, though I noticed the Americans at the other table took some of their food to go.


Bill's salad.  This wasn't the most artfully decorated dish, but he said it was very satisfying.  It had a nice light dressing to go with the bits of ham, strips of cheese, and vegetables.  Bill doesn't usually like tomatoes much, but he said the ones on this salad were good.  He finished the whole thing.


The bill...  It was 22,40, which was pretty reasonable.  I noticed they had a pretty good selection of dishes, everything from pizza to calamari, as well as beef dishes.  I also noticed that they had two desserts, vanilla ice cream and housemade tiramisu.


The outside.


When the weather improves, this will be a good place to sit.

I've had better Italian food, though what we had at the Monte Cassino was fine for a simple lunch.  The service was competent, if not a bit unenthusiastic.  I was really happy that it wasn't packed and there was plenty of space for my Mini.  And again, the inside of the restaurant is cute.  I'd like to go again and try something other than pasta.   


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