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I don’t know if this is the “post you’ve been waiting for” but it’s definitely the post that I have done the most um, research, on.  Even if you’ve only recently found me, you’ve likely figured out that I love to eat.  Adventures in a new place for me always involve scouting out neighborhood restaurants or cafes that are less touristy and more where the locals like to go.  That distinction has become muddled a bit for me on this trip but the results have been delicious all the same.  Here are a few of my favorite places so far-

  1. It’s telling that in spite of not remembering the name of this place, a quick Google of just “cafe Heidelberg” brought it up immediately.
    Our table

    Our table

    Cafe Schafheutle is a tourist destination, yes, but it has also been frequented by locals for over three generations.  It is hands-down my favorite place in Heidelberg.  Which isn’t saying as much as it should but Heidelberg is a bit like Chapel Hill- very student-centered, full of over-priced, average food and sort of touristy.  It’s relatively unremarkable.  But not Cafe Schafheutle!  It’s a dream destination for anyone who admires a retro feel while they indulge their sweet tooth.  There is a vast counter where can you choose slices of cake from at least twenty varieties and a few savory options as well.  Service is fast, friendly (especially for Heidelberg) and is scented with what’s correct, even if it may be more expensive or time-consuming. We’ve enjoyed a late lunch there twice and I hope to return at least as many times when we return.  Cafe Schafheutle is just that good.

  2. If the food in Berlin is related in anyway to how much affection I have for the city, even after a short time, then it is hands-down the winner in terms of favorite places to be and eat.  I ate really well in Berlin.
    "Classic" (small) veggie box

    “Classic” (small) veggie box

    From a super cheap (3 Euros for lunch, folks, just 3!) and yummy veggie box at the Asian noodle place on Alt Tegel (the street where our hotel was) to non-chain bakeries which featured fruit cakes that were moist, fresh and also relatively inexpensive (2 Euros a slice) to our breakfasts at the hotel which included yogurt, (Kleine Bauers which I have grown to love), fresh breadlets, jam, cheeses, some veggies, always plenty of meat (no thanks), a pot of perfect coffee per person and plenty of whole pieces of kiwi, apples, bananas, the occasional apricot.  Happily, we found one of our favorite places on

    The Dinner (strawberry stained towel is not the doing of the adults)

    The Dinner (strawberry stained towel is not the doing of the adults)

    the day before we left: an Indian place called Restaurant Darjiling.  It was amazing. The best Indian food that I have ever had. No joke.  We had nan, a lentil dish with tomatoes and ginger, another veggie curry dish, samosas with cashews (!) and melted (really) in your mouth, two samosa sauces and two mango lassis.  All for 28 Euros.  The mango lassis jacked up the price because the food alone was about 20 Euros. I saved some of my lentils and ate them again the morning.  Just as delicious.  Husband said that everyone was also super nice.  If I lived in Alt Tegel in Berlin, I’d be there all the time.

    And dessert! There were easily eight ice cream places on Alt Tegel, a street that is

    Sundae, any day.

    Sundae, any day.

    maybe a mile long.  The “ice cafes”, as they are called, open early and close late.  Kids in school eat ice cream at 10:00 am here! One place, Florida Eis, really stands out.  For one reason, there are two of them, within maybe 1/2 mile of each other but the other reason is that it is just damn good.  Now, I’m not a huge ice cream fan.  A cone every once in a while but a sundae?!  NEVER.  But Florida Eis changed that for a few, fleeting days.  I ordered well in Berlin.  The food I ordered was just excellent but I don’t always have such a streak (I never order Mexican food well, for example.  I always regret what I end up getting for some reason.) and so I didn’t expect it to continue at Florida.  But it did!  So much so that I thought I could squeeze in one final visit on Saturday but alas, it was not meant to be.  The sundae included two scoops of ice cream (peanut toffee and caramel), whipped cream (only lightly sweetened = perfect) and rum chocolate sauce., warm on the side.  Heaven in a blue tilted dish.

  3. We left Berlin on Saturday for a few days in Regensburg, where we’ll stay until Friday.  So far, there have been the usual good suspects in the food arena.  Places that you expect to be good because they’ve been around forever. Pizzeria Pam Pam, for, example.  Their Quattro Formaggi pizza is the best that I’ve had since I left Florence.  It’s the pizza that I ALWAYS order when I find one of the “best pizza outside of Italy” reviews.  Quattro Formaggi should have enough Gorgonzola to balance out the other three cheese but I’ve found that it’s usually skimped on.  Not at Pam Pam!  Damn good pizza.  We’re heading back to one of our favorite breakfast spots later this week: Kona Coffee Garden.  Hopefully nothing has changed in two years because everything they did the last time we were there, starting with the IMG_2788fresh juices, was simple and wonderful.  We have found a wonderful new place that I am in love with.  “Tastiest town” though Durham is, they strangely have a shortage of great prepared foods places.  (I do not count Foster’s. The food is never consistent; the service is terrible and the whole place feels as if it has been abandoned by any responsible stewardship.) Whole Foods is good but it would be nice to have something like Anna liebt Brot und Kaffee.  {“Anna likes bread and coffee.”}
    So good that I nearly forgot to take a picture!

    So good that I nearly forgot to take a picture!

    Because, so far, Anna Cafe does it all…perfectly.  Fresh juice?  Check.  Smoothies? Check.  Delicious cakes made in house? Check?  An amazing daily soup (even in summer)? Check.

    Oh...and a wall of bread!

    Oh…and a wall of bread!

    Add in a delightful prepared foods counter of sorts which features all kinds of lovely salads (I tried a roasted tomato couscous and a cucumber feta olive) along with a full coffee bar (including iced caffeinated beverages which are just now catching on here) and generous sandwich menu and you have yourself my newest favorite hangout.  They even give you a small glass of water with your meal.  A true lost piece of good service that used to be more common than it is.  Just one of the many lovely touches (others include fresh flowers everywhere, PLENTY of seating inside and out, stroller accessibility, two kinds of breads accompany the soup, your order brought to your table, etc.) that they offer their patrons.  Details are not forgotten at Anna.  The fact that they pay attention, frankly, is remarkable in itself these days.  LOVE this place!

A nip of Rotkaeppen & some cake for an early lunch

A nip of Rotkaeppchen & some cake for an early lunch

Phew! There’s more of course…like our adventure on the ICE train in First Class on Saturday where they handed out mini packets of HARIBO gummy bears.  As if that weren’t enough, we treated ourselves to a cherry cheese cake which was WAY better than it sounded: light, fluffy and not heavily sweetened.  We paired it with Rotkaeppchen sparking wine, which is as good as it sounds.  {[A bit about it’s unique history is here.] But clearly I’ve already indulged myself and you, dear reader, enough.  Here’s hoping your next meal is as delicious as some of my recent ones have been.