Saturday, April 29, 2017

Chinese food and high end grocery shopping in Stuttgart!

I had fleeting thoughts of attending the Spring fest in downtown Stuttgart today, but Bill and I are getting too old to enjoy big crowds and really loud music.  Besides, for a long time, we had been wanting to shop at Feinkost Böhm, which is a really nice (and very expensive) food store.  When Bill realized that Feinkost Böhm has a sushi restaurant, we decided that was where we were going to spend our Saturday afternoon.  It's been ages since we last had sushi.

We parked the car in an adjoining garage.  My Mini Cooper convertible, which we bought on the way back to the States in 2009 and which still has under 30,000 miles on it, fit very neatly between a Porsche and a BMW.  Sadly, my car is currently filthy, so it looked pretty sad between those sexy sports cars.

When we got to Feinkost Böhm, we found it teeming with people.  The sushi restaurant was packed and I was dangerously approaching hangry mode, thanks to a high carb breakfast this morning.  We walked back outside.  Bill asked me if I felt like going to a Turkish place near where our dentist's office is.  I said no, which disappointed him.  But then, as we turned onto the main shopping drag in Stuttgart, we spotted China Garden's huge sign on Königstraße.  It had also been ages since we last had Chinese food.  We walked up two flights of stairs and were promptly welcomed to sit down at a freshly vacated table by a window.


The big sign... you can't miss it!

I see on Google that this particular restaurant does not get good ratings.  That's a pity.  Today, we had a pretty good experience.  We both had hefeweizens and I had a bottle of mineral water.  Then we both ordered specials.  I had the crispy duck with asparagus and Bill had spicy chicken with peppers and onions.  The service was pleasant and the food got out to us quickly.  It also tasted good.  I felt a lot better in no time at all.


Bill checks the menu.


My crispy duck arrived quickly and was kept warm on a heater.  It came with white asparagus, bamboo shoots, carrots, and peas.  


Bill's chicken was very tender, though not really that spicy.  I enjoyed both dishes, which came with a big pot of rice.

Total damage for this lunch was about 47 euros.  We left there full and contented.


The decor is very traditional looking.  It's surprising to find this place on a higher level of an office building.  I happened to notice the music, too.  At one point, they were playing an odd Asian inspired cover of James Taylor's classic "You Can Close Your Eyes".

Fortified by lunch, we headed back to the Feinkost Böhm, which was still teeming with people.  Bill grabbed a cart and we started taking in the scene.  Lots of people with expensive tastes were walking around the place.  It was like Whole Foods on steroids.


We stopped for cheese first.  I'm not a cheese lover, so I let Bill do the choosing.  He left with goat cheese and a hard mild cheese.


I was tempted by the champagne bar... sadly, I didn't wait long enough for my camera to focus.  There's also a very impressive wine and liquor area.  Some wines are available for tasting.  We ended up getting a couple of Rieslings and a Gruener Veltliner, as well as a Sangiovese.

Feinkost Böhm is loaded with pricey goodies from all over the world.  You can find everything from escargot to mango flavored vinegar there.  I had to laugh, though, when I saw them selling things like Pepperidge Farm chocolate chunk cookies over over 6 euros a bag.  As I noticed the American goods, I was reminded that they were probably loaded with high fructose corn syrup.  Someone must buy them, though.


Your escargots...


Lots of meats...  Bill bought us a Scottish roast for about 30 euros.  It's big enough for the two of us.


Very fancy vinegars.  I took this shot because the colors were so pretty.


There's a sushi bar apart from the restaurant.  We picked some up for tonight's dinner at home.  You can also sit at the bar and have wine with your raw fish.


Fancy oils abound...


And fancy desserts, too.  We came home with a small Sacher torte and an "American" chocolate cheesecake.


And there's lovely produce, though we didn't get any.

All in all, I believe Bill spent about 180 euros on our small order of food, although it's very nice quality stuff.  We like trying different things from around the world.  We found Spanish tuna, bierwurst, Italian butter, fresh squeezed orange juice, and some exotic cookies from Scotland and Switzerland.  This store also has some very nice food baskets that would make nice gifts, although they probably cost a fortune.  Fortunately, Bill was able to use his credit card with no problem.

A less frilly shopping experience in downtown Stuttgart is the Markthalle, which also offers exotic goods, but for seemingly less money.  Every once in awhile, we like to splurge... although I don't know if I'm going to want to go back to the Feinkost anytime soon.  There are way too many people in there at any given time and shopping there is as nervewracking as it is expensive.

After driving past a protest attended by polizei in riot gear, we stopped by Patch on the way home.  I had a good laugh when I noticed one of the security guy's shoes.  He had silhouettes of curvaceous women on the sides of his sneakers.  They reminded me of the silhouettes of women one sees on the mudflaps on trucks.   

All in all, it was a nice day downtown.  It was good to have Chinese food again.  And tonight, we'll enjoy the sushi we were craving.



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