Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sam Kullman's Diner... for when you want German style American diner food...

German style American diner food...

We were originally planning to go to a Schlactfest in Jettingen today, but thanks to Gerhard in our local Facebook group, Bill and I went to Ludwigsburg, instead.  Gerhard recommended Sam Kullman's Diner, a German chain restaurant that specializes in American style diner food.  I'm generally more amused than impressed by German interpretations of American food, but the pictures I saw on the restaurant's Web site won me over.  Bill would prefer ribs over bratwurst any day.  We made reservations for noon on, a move that was totally unnecessary.  There were plenty of booths open when we arrived right on time.

Kullman's Diner has a wide variety of choices for the discerning palate.  We could have had breakfast, which included American staples such as pancakes, scrambled eggs, and steak and eggs.  We could have had a club sandwich, a burger, or a wrap.  They have snacks like onion rings and cheese sticks.  They even have salads and some vegetarian selections.

We came for the ribs.  Right now, Kullman's has several winter specials, one of which is smoked pork ribs.  They also have Hickory BBQ ribs that come either sweet and smokey or hot and spicy.  There are BBQ platters and steaks, too.

Bill is excited!  He loves his ribs and we've been missing them lately.

Gazing over at the bar area, I noticed a folded American flag.  I wonder if the owner is American.

Kullman's offers a full bar, as well as a lot of gooey desserts.  It looks very kid friendly and there's something for everyone... or at least most people.  I do have a certain Italian friend who would turn his nose up at Kullman's or any other American restaurant.  But he's a snob.  We decided to have two large hefeweizens on tap, though we could have had Miller if we'd wanted to.

I do love a good draft wheat beer.  

I ordered the special: smokey pork ribs.  They were like spare ribs that came with a side of very mild barbecue sauce.  I really enjoyed these ribs, although I have had better ones in the States.  I would say for Germany, these are among the best I've had and the closest to what we're used to.  These ribs were very lightly sauced, so it was necessary to dip the meat in the ramekin.  

Bill had the hickory smoked ribs, which were more like baby back ribs.  He went for the hot and spicy barbecue sauce.  I am a wimp when it comes to spicy stuff and I wouldn't say the sauce was all that hot.  It reminded me a little of Asian inspired chili sauce.  But Bill liked the ribs a lot.  They were succulent and he managed to save some for a snack later.  I think I liked my ribs better than Bill's.

Both of our dishes came with fries and cole slaw.

I was somewhat tempted by dessert, but knew I'd regret it if I ordered it.  Bill asked our very professional waitress for the check.  She spoke English quite well and switched to German when Bill spoke German.  All told, we spent about 35 euros for our lunch today.  I would go back, although next time, I might try one of the many burgers offered.  I might even try a shake.  

There is a lot of parking near the diner, but for some reason, the big garage closest to it was closed.  We had to drive to the other side of the bahnhof complex and park over there.  I was actually a little worried about parking there, since the lot was empty and I was afraid it might be privately owned.  Fortunately, my fears were unfounded and we had no issues.

Overall, we liked Kullman's Diner and would probably go back if we had a hankering for American food done German style.  I have a feeling it's a place where people go when they're drunk and need greasy protein... or maybe women at a certain time of the month who are in the mood for something sweet and salty.  It's very handy for anyone waiting for the train.  It also seems popular with kids.  It's definitely not bad for a German style greasy spoon.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

One terrific afternoon in Tübingen

This morning, as I sat on my couch watching reruns of Dallas on iTunes, my dear husband Bill asked me what I wanted to do today.  Without really thinking about it, I said, "Why don't we go to Tübingen?"

Tübingen is one of our favorite places to be, especially in these parts.  When we lived here last time, we lived really close and visited all the time.  Now we don't live quite so close, but we still enjoy the occasional visit.  Today, we decided to take the train rather than drive, which turned out to be a good decision.  Bill wanted to enjoy some alcohol with lunch.  We caught the 12:44 train from Herrenberg and arrived in time to see lots of people enjoying the ice...

These people are braver than I am.  The weather was relatively warm today, although the ice looked somewhat solid.  Some were even wearing ice skates and playing what looked like some form of hockey.

We crossed over the pedestrian bridge toward the old town...  I took a few winter shots.

More people were walking on the river.  That seemed more dangerous, since one side of the river had large melted areas.

I didn't see anyone fall in, though.

We decided to have lunch at La Cantinella, a very nice Italian restaurant we've been trying to get back to ever since we moved back to Germany.  We ate there a few times last time we lived here, but never seem to get to town at the right time now.  We happened to get there just in time for lunch today.  They weren't very busy, although there were several rambunctious kids in the dining room.  At one point, their father apologized on behalf of the high spirited tykes running around, shouting, and banging on the piano in the foyer.  It wasn't really a problem for us.  They were cute kids who needed to burn off some steam and they didn't stay long.

Bill checks out the menu.

A little blurry photo of the dining room, which is very quaint and stylish.  By the time I took this photo, the little kids and their dad had moved on.

Bill ordered a lovely primitivo to go with our lunch.  This was full of berries, cherries, and a touch of raisins.  It opened up nicely after awhile.  They also brought us fresh bread and olive oil.

I had sesame encrusted branzino.  To be honest, the fish was a little bland and the sesame seeds were a bit too rich.  The vegetables were nice, though.  Very fresh and not overcooked.  I was also relieved that I didn't accidentally order anything with mushrooms, like I did last time we visited.  

Bill had a pasta dish with beef and green pepper sauce.  He said it had a spicy kick and he really liked it.  

Our bill was about 60 euros.  I was acutely aware that the restaurant was going to have a pause at 2:30pm.  Although the waiter didn't say anything, I got vibes that he hoped we wouldn't linger.  I would definitely go back to La Cantinella, though.  It's got a nice "family owned" ambiance and an impressive wine list.  Next time, I'll get the pasta that was tempting me today.  La Cantinella does not have pizza and I didn't notice a children's menu.  However, they were very tolerant of the kids who were there when we came in for lunch today.  

I took a photo of the outside of the restaurant, as well as the surrounding area.

See that crane?  People were hanging off of it.  I didn't know it when I took this picture, but I was about to get some really great views.

Time for fasching.

A shot of St. George's Collegiate Church, which dates from 1470.

I noticed signs indicating that the tower was open today.  Bill and I had never climbed up the tower before today.  Now that we've done it, I can say that it was worth the trip.  The views are awesome.

One shot of the stained glass.  The organist was practicing as we walked through the church on the way to the tower.  It costs one euro per adult to climb the tower and see the tombs.

The bells were made during different centuries.  Some were made in the 15th century, while others were made in the 20th century.  They are very loud when they ring, especially if you're climbing up the tower!

It was a long, twisty, narrow walk up, but at least there were things to look at.

And this was our reward!  Check out the crane!  Yes, people are hanging over the city!

Bill enjoys the view.  Right after I took this, he told me how much he loves Tübingen.  I agree; it's a great place to spend an afternoon!

The crane was rotating.

After a few minutes of enjoying the views, we made our way back down.  We needed to visit Vinum before they closed at 4:00pm.

As we were leaving the church, I noticed this person's sign hanging out of their window.  We can always count on seeing interesting political statements in Tübingen.

Sad when people deface very old buildings.

We went into Vinum, which is one of our favorite wine stores in the area.  They always have wines to try.  We ended up buying four bottles they were highlighting.

I noticed the construction on the Rathaus was finally done after years of work!

We stopped at Ranitzky's Kaffeehaus for hot chocolate and a pee break.

I had hot chocolate with Bailey's...

Bill had plain hot chocolate.

On the way out of town, I noticed that the Dunkin' Donuts in the old building was gone...

And this very cool yarn store is moving.

I guess Germany doesn't run on Dunkin'.

More brave souls on the ice.

But look at that!

Pigeon house!

We got to the train station just in time to get the 4:17pm train back to Herrenberg.  We really had a lovely afternoon.  I think we need to spend more time in Tübingen.  I think my favorite part of today was climbing the church tower.  That is something well worth doing!  It's a great energy burner for your little ones, too.

I thought these ads were interesting.

Shit weather?  Hmmm...