At first glance, German food may be perceived to be a bit boring, but that is a mistake.
Sauerbraten (roast smothered in a delicious sauce) is usually a good choice. While in St. Goar, the schweinebraten (roasted pork in a delicious sauce, shown on the right below) was fantastic. It is usually served with red cabbage (slightly sour and also delicious) or sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) and dumplings. Other pork is usually pretty good, particularly if it comes with a sauce.
John usually prefers the wurst (sausages). The bratwurst, shown above on top right, appeals to most tastes, although the kids didn’t like the sauerkraut that came with it. I skipped my potatoes and thoroughly enjoyed it. The sausages are tasty and come in a zillion different varieties. You can usually get them plain (with mustard and a slice of bread), with fries, or smothered in a tasty sauce (currywurst, shown above on top left). Munich is knows for their weisswurst (white sausage). We avoid the blutwurst (blood sausage) though.
One thing you shouldn’t miss is the spätzle, a fresh pasta that is hard to find done well in America. I particularly like the käsespätzle (cheese pasta). If it has bacon crumbles, all the better.
I used to work with someone from Germany, and until I visited Germany, I never understood his statement, “There is nothing like a good sandwich for breakfast.” Most hotels have fairly nice breakfast buffets. There are always sandwich/toast ingredients (bread, meat, cheese, jams, etc.), but sausage, fruit, veggies, and other options are abundant as well.
Snacks and Desserts
Snacks and desserts are always a delight. While we were on a ferry between Bacharach and St. Goar, the kids enjoyed ice cream and I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee.
James is always on the lookout for a nice donut. While the ones in other countries are generally not as tasty as the ones in America, he did like the face on this one.
A konditorei is a tea room/pastry shop with some of the most tasty looking treats that you will ever see. Consider skipping a meal every day or so and stopping in for some deliciousness! Some of the best German bakeries in America are a pale shadow of what you will see in Germany.
Sausage Vending Machine
And if the kids wanted a midnight snack while in Oberammergau, we could have gotten them a tasty sausage from a vending machine!?! I laughed until I cried, then I did it again almost every time I saw this photo for the next month.
While on our way to Austria, we discovered that Liechtenstein was only a short detour. In our half hour stop, of course Jeremy had to visit a McDonalds. Not only was this our first time eating a a McDonalds in this country, but we were also the first customers of the day! How many McDonalds have a view like this one?
Austrian food is a lot like Germany food, but after eating sausages for several days, the boys just wanted something a bit more like home, so while in Innsbruck, John ordered the spaghetti and James got a hamburger.
Then they got another hamburger at another McDonalds with beautiful views in Kitzbühel.
Back in Germany
After a few days in Austria, our road trip took us back into Germany.
Hamburger in Hamburg
While driving through Hamburg, we had to try a “hamburger in Hamburg.” So, even though it was early for lunch, we picked a random place on the waterfront and ordered one to share. Unfortunately, it was the grossest hamburger we have ever encountered! One bite revealed that “hamburgers” are not always made of beef. What was that odd, weird taste in our mouths? We debated between chicken or pork, and raw, cooked, or partially cooked. At one point, I even thought it might be fish with some weird seasonings, although Jeremy strongly disagreed. In any case, no one wanted to take a second bite to evaluate it more. Definitely the worst, or at least the most interesting, hamburger any of us have ever had. Slightly disappointing, but very memorable.
Amusement Park Food
In Soltau, at the lovely Heide Park, the boys enjoyed their slushies. One thing Americans will immediately notice is that food in German amusement parks is both reasonable quality and reasonably priced. American amusement parks should note how much more pleasant this model is.
Netherlands, Belgium, and France: Biking Amsterdam to Paris
But since Jeremy wasn’t quite ready to go back to work, that didn’t stop him from traveling! In early September, he decided to take a bicycle tour from Amsterdam to Paris!
In the city of Gouda, you can find…gouda!
After getting a pizza at a bakery in Dordrecht, Jeremy enjoyed a walk through a food and flower market. The stroopwafels there were a uniquely Dutch treat.
One interesting concept in parts of Europe is the “half-board.” For a fairly reasonable fee, it’s not uncommon for hotels have the option to sign up for a pre-paid dinner, albeit often a “chef’s choice.” Since Jeremy expected to be quite tired after biking 80km each day, and wasn’t sure how much energy he’d have to pick restaurants, he decided to try it. Most of his food came with reasonably elaborate 3 course meals — for instance, here is one of his starter courses:
Bakery in France
While biking 40-50 miles a day through France, Jeremy had no problem occasionally stopping for an eclair or other treat.
Bread Vending Machine
And in case you were wondering if France had anything comparable to Austria’s sausage vending machine, here is a bread vending machine!
Then Jeremy took a trip to Japan with some family in November.
Breakfast in a Ryokan
While staying in a traditional Japanese Ryokan, they got a nice breakfast every morning. Usually some sort of fish with a bunch of sides. I’m so jealous that I didn’t get to come!
And sushi is always a good option in Japan. I still remember the time many years ago that we had sushi for three meals in a row. Yes, that includes a breakfast at the old Tsukiji Fish Market while in Tokyo in 2016.
And I was even more jealous about his food while in Thailand, since that is a country that I have never been to.
While in Chiang Mai, Jeremy had some amazing curry. The pictures below show a green curry and a Panang curry.
While in Bangkok, Jeremy had some delicious basil chicken that only cost $2 per plate.
I was really jealous of a cooking class he took while in Chiang Mai! But he brought me home some cookbooks, so I enjoyed sampling a few of the recipes.
Breakfast in Thailand doesn’t look much like an American breakfast. One day he had chicken with noodles, and on another day he had some fresh fish.
The Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok was a delightful visit. It is quite large and well worth a stop, but only a small portion of it is dedicated to food.
Bangkok’s Chinatown district is also a stop that shouldn’t be missed. It is amazingly big, and was a lot more crowded than the picture below shows. The guidebooks suggested getting lost in Chinatown, and he’d recommend it too as a means of exploring and getting a feel of the area. Lots of food, lots of stores and stalls, lots of everything.
And the 30-60 cent sticks of meat in various street food stalls are oh-so-delicious!