When boundaries come down, as they have all over Euroland, you get some interesting situations. Sometimes you have to hear someone speak, or catch a glimpse of a sign on a shop window to know where the hell you are. If you visited Europe before the European Union formed in 1993, you’re in for a shock.
With the Schengen agreement, in what was once known as Western Europe, the borders do not exist except on paper. Drive wherever you want and never show a passport.
But, I don’t want to chat about governmental agreements…yawn…I want to lead you to a special, romantic, intimate place that straddles Germany and France. The perfect place to take that special someone, or your wife.
Breakfast. Lunch. A quiet dinner for sixteen? Take your pick. Bring your appetite and a close friend’s MasterCard.
St Germanshof Hotel is one of those picturesque places that make you stop the car, back up, and pull into the parking lot, even if your wife is screaming that ‘This is the middle of nowhere.” Don’t listen. She’ll soon change her mind. And don’t be surprised to find you’re not alone.
The specialty is wild game. In the summer, it’s not unusual to find a wild boar roasting on a spit in the biergarten. Happened to me. We’d just finished some superb trout and I wanted sunshine and a frothy beer. I asked the waitress, “Where’s the biergarten?”
“In France.” She pointed out the window to the bar, wooden tables and the big boar on a spit. Never seen a wild boar.
So I asked the man at the grill, “What kind of dog is that?”
“Not a dog, a boar!” He was kind enough not to use the word imbecile. What the heck? YOU ever seen a wild boar over a fire? Lean looking. Long, ugly snout. Looks nothing like a big hog. Big bastard.
This latest trip was in November. Nothing doing in the biergarten. Fire inside. Crowded, as usual, but no problem getting a table for two, and this time no screaming wife. I mean, she was there. Don’t want to give the wrong, ahem, impression.
Once again, we both went for the fresh trout, with toasted almonds. Superb. Two dishes that people constantly and disastrously overcook, fish and fowl. This fish came tender, delicious, falling right off the bone, without a shred of dryness.
|Delicious, buttery potatoes, almost too perfect to eat!|
Accompanied by a light white, German wine, fresh potatoes, and a mixed salad, it was just the thing for a fall day.
|Bread with an herbed quark (much like sour cream) spread.|
No dessert, but we lingered over coffee.Germany is like that. No rushing. You’ll see tables of just men, or just women. Time for friendship and conversation. Relaxing.
By the way, the St Germanshof is also a hotel. If you’re planning to be in the area, stop by their web site first. Spending the night would not be a hardship. It’s about an hour and fifteen minutes, almost due south of Kaiserslautern