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Dca txl nue

Dca txl nue

Old Jun 8, 09, 3:38 pm
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Dca txl nue

My buddy Susie and I were ready to go to dinner, and who
should pull up but our friend Laura with a load of groceries
- we invited her to go out with us, and we would hump the
food up to her apartment while she parked. Parking even on
Sunday night is difficult in Adams Morgan.

So we waited for Laura and were discussing kopi luwak, of
which she had gotten a turd as a souvenir or curio (she's a
science writer by trade), and there we were minding our own
business ... I pointed to a bird dropping nearby that had
seeds in it and likened it to the civet coffee, when a large
flying thing, obviously insulted, let go and splattered her
and me with the largest avian bombing I've ever encountered.
And me in my only short-sleeved shirt.

We went inside and cleaned up and showered and stuff, and
then off to Himalayan Heritage, a pleasant little spot maybe
a quarter mile away on 18th St., where Susie is known and
Laura looks as though she should be (she has this air of
being in touch with the slightly adventurous, bohemian, or

We split an order of gobi Manchurian (deep-fried cauliflower
made soggy with a ginger-chile-soy-scallion concoction); it
was very nice and lived up to all the crowing on chow and
yelp and so on.

After which Laura had the vegetarian thali:

Aloo daam for appetizer - a nice spicy potato-tomato dish.

Saag ko tarkari was a mild sauteed spinach thing with a bit
of ginger; tarka dal black lentils also very mild and with
ginger and garlic; aloo tama was more potatoes, this time in
a lovely curry with bamboo shoots - a good combination. This
came with rice of surprising mediocrity and naan of
surprising crispy goodness.

Susie likes spinach more than life itself, so we had another
order of it.

In revenge for what the avian brother had done to me earlier
I ordered Himalayan kothey, billed as "delicious dumplings
stuffed with ground chicken and Tibetan spices, wrapped in
flour dough and then steamed before pan fried, served with
hot chutney sauce." This was 10 jiao zi whose claim to fame
was a light curried flavor to the filling. The hot chutney
sauce was almost bland and had a peculiar minty taste; later
I discovered to my discomfiture that it had had some kind of
dairy product in it as well.

We had garlic naan as well, softer than its normal cousin
but more interesting in taste. I could have used more butter
- this was a fairly abstemious version fatwise but quite
riotous garlicwise.

Laura had a kheer for dessert, part of the deal. Susie and
I were too stuffed to accept her kind offer of a bite.

With a starchy meal like this I decided that I'd go easy
on the beer and had just a couple Amstel Lights.

US 2534 DCA PHL 1215 1308 CRJ 1A was 2F
was 3268 DCA PHL 1350 1453 E75 4F

It took a puny little time to get from Adams Morgan
to DCA - the bus to U St. and then 15 minutes on the
Metro - pretty terrific. The kiosk told me that I
could get on the 1215 if I wanted, the better to
enjoy the Envoy Lounge in Philly, so I did.

Boarded up the bus around noon and then waited around (no
a/c) for a while, then trundled to the aircraft, which
turned out to be the wrong aircraft, then waited for that
plane to go, then they boarded a wheelchair lady using the
portable ramp (she had her own bus before ours), but
instead of keeping the ramp in place, they towed it away,
and we had 1. to wait while it was being towed and 2. had
a couple old folks who would have benefited from use of
the ramp. I found 2D occupied by the wheelchair lady, and
as soon as I'd climbed over her, the FA said that she would
reseat me. I said that I'd gladly sit anywhere for weight
and balance, and she put me into 1B (with the legroom). I
went over to 1A so I could lean on the wall and sleep.

The Envoy lounge in PHL is very nice - much better than
last time I'd been up there, years ago, when a regular US
club had half the space and bunches of pax were crammed
into, well, half the space.

The food options seem much improved over years ago, too.

Four spreads for bread: truffled vegetable slaw, quite
good, but with the truffle oil of a fugitiveness; eggplant
spread with chopped hard-cooked egg, pretty good; and two
dairy things that I didn't try, though they looked fine
for those who eat dairy things with impunity.

Rice noodles with shrimp were neither western nor eastern
and dripping with oil. The shrimp were these odd little
things such as you'd get out of a can, the size of
household insects. The taste was not bad, not good.

Tricolor macaroni salad looked a little dubious, so I didn't
try it. Okay, on reading this I repented: I shouldn't have.
It was oily and overdressed, the pasta done a bit past al
dente. There were shiitakes, portobellos, and regular
mushrooms interspersed.

Chicken salad with chickpeas and red peppers had tender
moist meat and a quite savory dressing.

Thyme-scented sweet potato cubes with pecans was
surprisingly yummy, the potato just done, the nuts abundant,
the whole not too sweet. I made a whole meal of these last
two things.

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Zinfandel 06 - a coffee
and slight blackberry jam nose, stems and green leaves
coming out later; medium body, cherries and berries on the
palate. Slightly skewed sweet on the sweet-tart balance.
Not long finish, plum and blueberry. Okay plus.
violist is offline  
Old Jun 15, 09, 8:59 pm
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LH 427 PHL FRA 1800 0810 34V 1A

So the lounge dragon at the Envoy lounge, with whom I have
had a few issues in the past, told me that I would be able
to board with my US-issued boarding card, but I was turned
away at the gate, shunted into a half-hour line for the
official LH one behind a large number of students each of
whom had some issue or another. By which time the printer
had gone inop, so I returned to the gate with my old card,
on which an agent had scrawled "APIS OKAY."

There must have been a short circuit someplace in the
control panel of my seat, which would sometimes do the
opposite of what I asked it to, which amused my lovely
seatmate Kim, who decided to show the technologically
challenged guy how to work the controls: she pushed the
appropriate button to put me fully upright in the locked
position, and, lo and behold, there I was on my back. She
had the good grace to apologize for jumping to conclusions.

The entire seat apparatus was rather uncomfortable, the
headrest apparently made for someone with the neck of a
giraffe and there being virtually no padding anywhere. I
cursed Recaro as I dozed off. Four hours of fitful sleep.

On this flight service was variable, with one of the male
FAs serving us extremely reluctantly, as if we were
affronting him by our mere presence and polluting his
precious front cabin; the other was genial, polite, and
attentive. The various female FAs offered a decent but
impersonal level of service.

My IFE was mostly inop - I could hear audio coming out of
my headset, but it was way drowned out by an enormous hiss.
The controls, not so nice as the similar ones on SQ,
misbehaved periodically, not that that mattered much to me.
Eventually I navigated to the Lufthansa Corporate Song and
listened to it through the noise. Kim put me up to this.
After which I put the Airshow on and kept it on.


Hors d'oeuvres

Smoked Trout Mousse, poached Leeks, Whole Grain Mustard

Duck Confit, Sherry Vinaigrette

Hearts of Palm, Potato Salad, fresh Field Greens, Cherry
Tomatoes, Balsamic Vinaigrette


Roasted Chicken Breast, Fingerling Potatoes, Blueberry

Seared Cod, Artichoke and Carrot Broth, roasted Garlic

Spinach stuffed Gnocchi, sauteed Cremini Mushrooms, Pine
Nuts, Vegetable Butter Sauce

Cheese and Dessert

Manchego, Quince, Roqufort stuffed Dates, Sun dried Grapes
and Walnuts

Tres Leches Cake, fresh Berries

Fresh Fruit

I wasn't really hungry so had two appetizers, the duck,
which was fine if plain (and not particularly confit);
and the trout mousse, which was not mousselike at all,
having a curious chunky texture, but also tasted fine.

I was asleep before dessert arrived.

Ch. Liversan 05 was a little plummy, a little stemmy, and a
little dumb but okay - the first bottle was corked, though.



Orange Juice

Fruit Salad

Roast Beef and Chicken Breast

Brie and Cheddar Cheese

Breakfast to Go

In case you wish to stay asleep until shortly before
touchdown we are happy to serve our breakfast-to-go:
Sandwich, Fruit Salad, Smoothie, Pastries, Coffee or Tea.

The morning meal, such as it was, consisted of

- orange slices, okay, grapes, okay, and one forlorn halved
strawberry that looked as if it had been stepped on, with
leaf; maybe two ounces total of fruit;

- three slices of mystery poultry, possibly chicken but I
thought elderly turkey;

- a couple ounces of cheese, which I didn't eat.

It was a thoroughly nonexcellent little repast.
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Old Jun 16, 09, 11:39 am
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The airport looked chilly and grim, but at least we didn't
end up at a bus gate.

The Tower Lounge is enormous, has nice views, and a good
spread, equal to that of the Senator lounges. Also showers.

Soon it was time to go through passport control, which took
a few seconds, so I had time to check out the Schengen area
Senator lounge - very crowded and stuffy, food not
replenished promptly (one almost understands, because of
the demands on the place), on the whole a mediocre
experience. Fortified with a plate of cold cuts (mostly
that bologna-like stuff, which goes last) and a Beck's or
two, I went off to the gate, where pandemonium reigned.
How the staff put up with the German businessmen and the
American tourists I don't know.

LH 176 FRA TXL 1020 1125 ABA 3A

I must say that everyone, from lounge guardian to gate
agent, was far less anal and, shall we say, Germanic than
the Philadelphia brethren, and my ratty black-and-white US
Air boarding pass was accepted without a quibble.

This flight was okay and short, the A300 as comfy as, say,
domestic F on UA. Hot odd-smelling perhaps mildewy towels,
Guylian chockies.

My friend Hans was at the gate to meet me, but we had to
wait for a whopping ten minutes before my bag, sporting a
jaunty red priority tag, came out. He presented me with a
Tageskarte, and we went off sightseeing on the excellent
Berlin buses before lunch, which was at Culinartis, a deli
and lunchtime bistro near his apartment.

Encountered his tax accountant there; we accepted her offer
to share her table. She tried to convince me to order the
beef tips in cream, but Hans wanted to prove to me the
excellence of the local white asparagus from Beelitz: so I
had a lovely little pork schnitzel with new potatoes and the
aforesaid vegetable, which was nice, but I still don't see
what the big deal is.

A rather fancy dessert was available for an E2 or so
supplement: it consisted of good strawberry ice cream
surrounded with fried elderflowers, stewed rhubarb, and a
creme anglaise. Fried elderflowers are apparently a
Bavarian specialty, but I don't recall having had them

Off to see our friend Paule, who has been confined to a
nursing facility since a catastrophic stroke late last year.
I was prepared for a sad sight, but it turns out that most
of his linguistic facilities have returned, though he has
balance problems and can't walk much. Still, not bad for 85.
We had a pleasant and inconsequential conversation, during
which it came clear that he vaguely remembered me but wasn't
quite sure who I was.

Back home for dinner: 4 kinds of liver sausage - a
fine-ground Berliner, a medium one from Halle, peasant-style
in a small casing, and a smoked one that probably had blood
in it as well and that reminded me of lop cheong made with
liver. The reason for this was Hans remembered that I like
liver sausage. He offered some other stuff for his wife, who
is not quite the carnivore we are.

A bottle of Us de la Meng went nicely with the sausages -
it's a fairly full-bodied French-style mixture of I think
Blauburgunder and Spatburgunder. Quite nice.

And then it turns out that a patient of Hans had given him
some sushi for supper, so we had that as a sort of healthy
second course: four kinds: what was described to me as
butterfish but which seemed to be cooked sole; and salmon,
tuna, and ttoro, all good.

After dinner, drinks, and conversation, I went up to my
apartment (owned by the downstairs guy but used as a guest
room by several of the neighbors). Very convenient, and
the price was right, although there was one notable issue
later on (not Hans's nor the owner's fault).

Bed was welcome.
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Old Jun 17, 09, 2:18 am
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Thanks for the report, violist.

It seems you are quite a food connoisseur, so I pose the following question to you:

Do you like Block House or Maredo when in Germany, or can you suggest better steakhouses for a similar price?
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Old Jun 17, 09, 7:34 am
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Next morning.

I was supposed to go downstairs for breakfast at 9, and
running a couple minutes late, in a momentary idiocy I
pulled the door to with the key still in the lock. Even a
spare key wouldn't work in this situation: only a locksmith
would help. Hans called the owner of the flat, who came by
and made ineffectual motions with his spare key, to the
expected lack of effect. We found a local locksmith who
could come over fairly soon, which he did. Though the door
looked impregnable to me, the guy looked at it briefly and
then popped it in approximately one second. He charged E60
as it was a local job and the easiest thing he'd done all
day. I momentarily considered changing professions.

Our lunch was at Bellwinkel on Guntzelstrasse - a culinary
shop with food at lunchtime cooked in a home-style kitchen
in the back. Lentil soup with caraway and turmeric was
pretty much what you'd expect; a daily buffet dish of Savoy
cabbage stuffed with lamb and rice was hearty if a bit
underspiced; with it I selected a warm carrot salad with
pickling spices. Then took surface transport instead of the
underground so as to see more scenery; it turns out there
wasn't so much scenery to look at.

Paule was not in so good condition this day, being a bit
exhausted from the previous day and exercised by the lack
of the promised physical therapy. He recognized me less
than the previous day. We did chat for almost an hour,
though, and then the rather cute brunette physical therapist
kicked me out (Paule thought she was the speech therapist).

Came back to Wilmersdorf, and after a quick washup and
check of the mail, met up with Hans, who rode the 100 around
with me to show me how Berlin had changed in recent years.
At Brandenburg Gate the bus driver made the announcement
of a traffic stoppage ahead, so we got off, walked through
the Holocaust Memorial (surprisingly emotional experience),
took a look at the vital, new, and ugly Potsdamer Platz,
and took another bus back home from Philharmonie.

Dinner at Alfios Ars Vivendi. We started off with a good
antipasto that included stellar eggplant with raisins and
pine nuts. Alfio is Sicilian, and Sicilians do love their
eggplant. We had a reasonably priced Farnese Salice
Salentino with this and our starter, which was ravioli with
tuna and seafood stew, delicious with its homemade pasta
and fresh shell- and other fish.

Chris's beet and horseradish ravioli was wonderful - she
gave me one and Hans one, and I thought her a hero for
sacrificing so. The only criticism of Hans's tuna steak,
medium-rare, was that it was twice what he could eat.

As of this moment, I'd have thought this a truly great find.

But I ordered the "ossobuco in the house style," which was
truly wretched - a slice of overage meat undercooked in
umido: what could have been nice with three or four hours'
more cooking was tough and fibrous and well-nigh inedible.
I ate the marrow out of the bone and sent the rest back.
The waitress took the dish back without demur. At the next
table, someone who was represented to me as one of Germany's
most famous TV actors (plays a detective or something) had
the same dish. He didn't send it back. Did he get the same
thing, I wonder, or is he palate-dead? The other celebrity
there, a prominent Green politician whose name also meant
nothing to me, ate good green food.

My replacement for the osso buco, veal-cheek stew over
homemade tagliatelle, was rather nice, sort of a gelatinous

By the time this was consumed, it was late, and my plan to
get a bit of that eggplant for dessert went by the wayside.
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Old Jun 17, 09, 7:36 am
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Matthew: good question. I've never had a beefsteak in Germany
that I can recall. Heard good things about the Maredo group of
restaurants and almost ate at the one in Munich once but didn't.
violist is offline  
Old Jun 19, 09, 6:02 am
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Off on the 100 bus again to the Bode museum, which features
late Renaissance and Baroque painting and sculpture - a
lovely collection including numerous important works of
Riemenschneider and Andrea della Robia as well as a room
decorated by Tiepolo and a very sensual Canova sculpture
of a dancing girl.

Heavy rain.

Bolted down a croissant in some subway station and then
went off to visit Paule, who was in a kind of intermediate
state. When I arrived, some guys named Kempinski were there;
Kempinski I apparently has something to do with the hotel
chain, and Kempinski II apparently something to do with
dubbing Quentin Tarentino movies into German. We had a
pleasant chat before they left me alone for my half hour
exit interview with Paule. We talked about nothing in
particular, music, stuff like that, and when it was clear
that he was getting tired, I wrote down my address in his
little book (to which he has grown pathetically attached
as a reminder, perhaps, of the days not so long past when
he was loved, hated, and feared for his writings) so we
could correspond later. He read it, and somehow the reading
of my name and e-mail opened another door in his mind, so
we started our conversation afresh with stuff from when
he had lived in San Fran and I used to visit him (I've
done sub-$200 transcon recreationals long before FT
existed). At length Paule admitted that he was in a state
of extreme fatigue and I promised to visit again next year.

Back home for a dinner cooked by Hans. He said, with a shy
grin, that last time I'd visited his home (a decade ago -
I usually encounter my friends on their or our mutual
travels, and home visits are kind of the exception) he had
never dreamed that he would prepare a meal for me. In the
intervening years he has become quite an enthusiast, and
his food is expertly and tastily prepared.

We started with crostini with porcini and Parmesan, which
would not have been out of place at a first-rate Italian
restaurant, followed by a mizuna salad with raspberries
and papaya (not sure if this was his flight of fancy or
gotten from a recipe).

La piece de resistance was roast duck breast with white
asparagus from near Freiburg (Hans claims that this is the
best in Germany, with Beelitzer being second). The duck was
done perfectly medium-rare, and the asparagus had been
cooked with lemon grass, giving it a new dimension that I
would never have imagined.

Hans Haas (Johanninger), a Huxelrebe and Riesling blend -
off-dry, full of flowers and tropical fruit, courtesy of
the Huxelrebe, it was almost Viognierish in its aromatic
intensity. Chris wrinkled up her cute little nose at it.

I mused that Hans had bought it because it was named
Hans, but to be fair, it was a fine aperitif wine.

Juliusspital Iphofer Julius Echter Berg Riesling Kabinett
trocken Franken 07, a classic dry Riesling, was a lean,
delicious accompaniment to the duck dish.

Hans had brought ice cream from Florida (the name of a shop
in Spandau that Hans says is the best in the world - so I
told him that he had to go to Toscanini's in Cambridge,
Mass.). The flavors we had were mango, pecan, and "Swiss,"
which turned out to be chocolate rum raisin. All were good,
but I think Gus can beat them.

Toddled off to bed for not enough sleep.

SK1674 TXL CPH 1005 1105 M87 15A

Time to get up! I bolted down some Muesli and half a banana
and was at Blissestrasse at 0815. Rush hour in Berlin is a
piece of cake, so far as I can tell. You even can get a seat
on the subway.

It took 30 min to the airport and another 30 for checkin and
security - some special requests being handled at the desk,
and then lots of Kettels at the checkpoint, where the cops
were alarmed by my alarm clock and gave my carryon the
secondary. This was at the D gates (I think it was), where
there's no Senator lounge or so far as I can tell virtually
anything else. Half an hour of boredom in the depressing and
dingy public area until bus boarding, and another 45 until
we were ready to take off (WX at CPH). A rather bumpy flight
that I slept through most of. We landed about half an hour
late and at a faraway gate (we deplaned by stairs and had
to walk through a cold windy rain), so that put paid to my
finding any sort of lounge to relax in.

Quite a trek to the next gate, which was way at the end of
the C concourse, another wasteland but at least a clean
and modern one.
violist is offline  
Old Jun 20, 09, 5:30 am
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finally to NUE

SK2663 CPH NUE 1230 1355 CRJ 8A

This flight was operated by Cimber Air, of whose existence
I'd previously been unaware. It was fine. The exit row had
terrific legroom augmented by the fact that no luggage is
allowed in the seat in front.

NUE is easy enough. You get spit out at the baggage area,
just beyond which are the rental car booths, just beyond
which is the U-bahn. E1.90 and 15 min to go to the city
center or E3.80 for a day ticket.

The Hilton Nuremburg is a bit removed from the city center
but easy to get to - a 15 minute bus ride, and there I was
at the FCN Sportanlage, next to which the hotel sits.

A pretty agent (slim brunette with glasses, a winner
combination in my book) gave me a nice room that turned out
to be next to that of NewbieRunner. One of the few rooms
I've ever had that had absolutely nothing wrong with it.

A washup and then off to the 12th Frankisches Bierfest, my
kind of event: beer and pork products. I had a Kuchlbauer
dunkel, a low-hopped rich-tasting brew from a house whose
main claim to fame is its Weizen; it also claims a brewing
tradition to 1300, which sounds a bit of a stretch; I asked
the guide of the mediaeval city tour next day about this,
and he opined that if there's truth to it, it must be
because there's a relatively unbroken line to someone whose
family must have been granted a brewer's charter back then.
I liked this enough to make it my one beer stop for the day
- the lady got to know me.

The beer went well with my Sau im Weckla from the pig part
stand, where a fine fat rotisseried swine was being hacked
up and portioned out on bread that bore a strong resemblance
to what we used to call bulkie rolls. I asked for mine mit
viel Fett, so the guy went back and carved out a piece of
fatback and a piece of crackling and added it to a modest
slice of meat. It was yummy but the grease spurted out and
stained my shirt mightily. I was not alone among the fest
participants, as I noted, in this condition.

Oh, yes, other things I did: took the 36 bus through the
historic district and walked around enough so I pretty well
knew what the city had to offer.

Hurried off to catch the tail end of the welcome party at
the Grand Hotel, where E8.50 for a big glass of mediocre
Franconian red wine was too much but the Gemutlichkeit and
Gesellschaft (right word?) were priceless.

f0zzyNUE led us the few blocks to our restaurant Barfusser,
a temple of excess of the sort that I enjoy frequently. We
ordered the Franconian sampler, which consisted of a variety
of meats and some pro forma vegetation.

Eisbein, a cured boiled pork knuckle, was tasty, not too
salty, gelatinous, very piggy. The roasted pork knuckle,
Schweinshaxe, was delicious, as was the roasted bone-in
shoulder (Schauferle). The obligatory Bratwurst, though
fine, paled by comparison. Roast turkey went begging.
On the side: those gluey dumplings so beloved of the
Bavarians, some truly industrial potatoes in several
preparations, and red and regular pickled cabbage.

f0zzy insisted on getting an extra order of blue sausages
in pickled onions, which were disappointing for being not
too different from Bratwurst and, more importantly, not
blue at all.

The dark beer brewed here was very malty, pretty good.

We rolled out fat and happy, and I understand there are some
before and after pictures of our platter that give the lie
to our pretensions as great trencherpersons.
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Old Jun 21, 09, 8:50 am
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It was time to check out the hotel breakfast, which was
pretty much what any German American hotel breakfast looks
like. I stuck with protein, preferring to get my carbs for
the day in the form of beer. I had the Bratwurst, which here
were spiced with sage and tasted exactly like American
breakfast sausage, as well as various cold cuts that tasted
very yesterday. Smoked salmon was pretty good but not of the
quality of that of, say, United Airlines.

Then for the tour of the old city. Bus to Hauptbahnhof, then
a shortish walk through the brisk but sunshiny morning to
meet our guide at the Lovely Fountain at the Marketplace;
this picturesque older gentleman was an enthusiastic
architecture buff who worked for the Friends of the Old
City (or something like that), the aim of which is to
purchase historic properties in order to preserve them and
encourage remigration to the center city.

He was well informed and interesting, with a much better
command of English than most of the Americans among us had
of German.

We walked through much of the old city, visiting a couple
typical mediaeval dwellings, seeing the crown jewels (fake,
the originals being in Vienna owing to amusing circumstances
that our guide related to us) in the old town hall, and
ending up at the Schloss.

f0zzy bought a couple bottles of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
from Bamberg for the interested. I'd had Rauchbier before
and thought that it tasted like cigarette ashes; this was
somewhat better, as it tasted like ham mixed with cigarette

I was unable to convince people to go to the Bierfest with
me, so I succumbed to peer pressure and went along to the
Bratwursthausle, right off the marketplace, most convenient.

Present: lili, Alysia, Melville, myself, joined later by
restlessinRNO and totmode and maybe others.

I ordered liver dumpling soup (local specialty) and white
asparagus in vinaigrette (seasonal item) so people could
taste: the liver dumpling wasn't as good as mine but was
fine in a peasanty sort of way; the asparagus were a bit
overdone but otherwise okay.

Big-hearted Melville ordered heart; sharp-tongued moi had
tongue - both boiled, generous servings so that everyone
could taste (mostly, they didn't).

Alysia had the Bratwurst, which were typical, and lili,
enthusiastic for all things porcine, had Eisbein, the boiled
smoked pig knuckle. I tasted a Bratwurst and stole the fatty
and gelatinous parts of the Eisbein, and life was good.

Potato salad tasted peculiar with a taste I couldn't place,
perhaps a local herb or something. Pretzels were 70c apiece.

To drink I had a Tucher dunkeles Weizen, which was good.
After lunch we agreed to go our separate ways, and some
people would meet for the afternoon event at meeting
place #1, the station, and I'd join at meeting place #2,
the Doku-Zentrum tram stop.

Wandered around a bit on my own and then took the S2 back
to the hotel for a washup. The 65 goes to Doku-Zentrum, so
that was easy, and I was there before the rest of the folks.
Consternation! When they got off their tram, f0zzy and
company asked me, where's lili? Wasn't she with you? Well,
lili had gone off to get a pedicure; I really am not my
sister's keeper. Consternation #2! A phone call revealed
that our guide, an employee of the Center, really wanted us
to be at the stop before where we were. The rest of the
group dutifully trekked off, and I decided to wait for lili,
who turned out to be on the next tram (the salon person
would not be hurried in putting the finishing touches on the
perfect pedicure), and luckily everyone over there saw her
on it, waving as she went off into the sunset.

lili fetched me, and we backtracked to the rally grounds,
where a young, well-lettered sort of lefty Greeny type gave
us the rundown on that horrid place and the bizarre pieces
of architecture that the Thousand-Year Reich had bequeathed
to history. We visited the unfinished gigantic amphitheater,
the Great Road, and the Zeppelin-stadium, all monuments to
bad taste and megalomania. Further, we learned that what is
now the Burger King near the Hilton was originally the power
plant that fueled all these buildings and activities. All
told, it was a surprisingly moving and disconcerting
experience, though bright balmy sunlight pushed back most
dark thoughts into the background.

Afterwards, the Hilton people walked back (half a mile,
maybe a mile) via the Burger King and marvelled at the
building and its blocky ugliness, the remains (not wholly
obliterated) of the Nazi emblem on its side, and the ironies
of the use to which it is now put.

Beers at the hotel, under the comforting care of Leo the
sub-sub-bartender. Beck's regular or Franziskaner Hefeweizen
- an obvious choice for me, as I don't care for the yeasty
lemoniness of the latter. But then an offer of 2 cl of Royal
Salute 21 for E6 tempted me. The stuff is way too sweet,
nicely smooth, but without much character. Not worth it.
connex2me, whom I'd met in Salzburg, joined us for beers and
then the event after at the Kulturbrauerei Lederer, which
says Wirtshaus Biergarten at the entrance (is this redundant?)
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Old Jun 22, 09, 8:41 pm
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Amazing writing, Violist...
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Old Jun 23, 09, 3:07 am
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: FRA
Posts: 2,170
Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
Thanks for the report, violist.

It seems you are quite a food connoisseur, so I pose the following question to you:

Do you like Block House or Maredo when in Germany, or can you suggest better steakhouses for a similar price?
ususally maredo is superior to block house.
for very good beefsteaks you need to check out specialized non-chain-steakhouses which are available in all big cities in Germany. but pricing can be as high as 40 euros for a good filet mignon without any accomplishments.
Uli is offline  
Old Jun 24, 09, 10:53 am
Original Poster
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Location: IAD, BOS, PVD
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Meantime, as we were hanging around the lobby before going
to the bus stop, we saw a couple of American tourists with
whom I'd had a chat before (Joe and Nancy, New Jerseyites
now resident in Florida) and, as they averred that they
were at loose ends for dinner, invited them to go out with
us, which they did. Nancy had just redeemed some ungodly
number of Delta miles for this trip, and we promised to set
them straight. Joe is an AA employee! but as they had had to
be at a certain place at a certain time, nonrevving was not
an option. The 44 bus and then the U-Bahn made getting
around a piece of cake. The Hilton apparently bills itself
as being close to the center of town, but in reality it's
pretty far out. On the other hand, the bus, which stops
almost right outside the front door, gets you to the
Hauptbahnhof in 15 minutes, and the train, a 7-minute walk
down the way, is even quicker.

f0zzy was a good shepherd and got us from the bus to the
subway with ease. We took the U-bahn one extra stop so we
could walk by the courtroom where the famous trials were
held, the closest we could get, as the building is being
renovated and is closed until 2010.

It's your typical Biergarten, with long shaded tables, jolly
waitresses, and loads of happy heavily drinking persons. The
weather was still warm, so we were happy outside at the long
Biergarten tables: there is inside seating, as well, but
it's not as "right" for the occasion.

I had a Lederer pils, quite hoppy and an eye-opener, then a
mild Krokos unfiltered, and then two house wines, Franconian
reds - a dry one that wasn't too bad: stemmy, brambly,
though a bit flat on the palate; then a halbtrocken that was
interesting in an objectionable way, with pineapple-tropical
notes that would have been more appropriate to a white and
a meaty gamy red-wine quality that warred with them.

Schauferle was good but not quite so tender and moist as at
Barfusser: a generous portion sided with your typical glue
dumpling; I also tasted Goulasch, quite good and oniony,
though suspiciously dark, and the famous local version of
Sauerbraten, which tasted as well as looking suspiciously
dark. A lot of this last went back to the kitchen from
several plates. I guess you had to grow up with it.

Baxter&Bessies' Mama claimed that Schauferle was really gnu
or Wildebeest or something like that. The serving did look
monumental and prehistoric, even the single, and I think she
split a double with somebody.

Kaiserschmarrn, a much-heralded dessert, turned out to be
cut-up buttery eggy pancakes with applesauce, fine enough
but certainly not worth the E9 for two (even if one serving
was quite sufficient for four or five - I tasted one bite,
and it was plenty for me).

The group broke up at dusk, most returning to their hotels
for a good night's meat coma.

The hard core walked down to the Yellow House (Gelbeshaus),
which has a weird small food menu and an impressive large
drink menu. As I hadn't had enough fat lately, I ordered
schmaltz with cracklings, a couple ounces of the artery-
clogging stuff, served with pickles and hot pepper to
cut the grease and brown Vollkornbrot to soak it up. I
enjoyed this, but the others at my table turned up their
delicate little noses at it. I asked for the Lustau
Moscatel Emilin, a bargain at E5; they were out of it of
course, so they came up with a semi-dry, rather thin
Sandeman's brown, which was no bargain at E5.

I guess were were not a hard hard core, as we wanted to
catch the last train, which we didn't. A taxi from the
Hauptbahnhof cost about E11, not extortionate.
violist is offline  
Old Jun 28, 09, 5:53 am
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As brunch was at 1030, I passed on the free breakfast even
though I had been up at 0600 or so.

A few of us took the bus to the subway to the airport, where
we found ourselves quite early and so took a quick pre-tour
of the yuckier parts of the airport, which would no doubt
not be on the official tour. The shops, coffee kiosks, and
restrooms outside security are not really worthy of a major
airport (10th biggest in Germany, 2nd in Bavaria only to
MUC, according to this afternoon's guide).

At the Movenpick. As there was nothing else to do, we went
up on the observation deck for a while (gvdIAD, who has
sunburn issues, didn't) and then back through the Marche
and downstairs to the real restaurant, which still wasn't
quite open (they opened the buffet an hour early for us,
but I guess we were even earlier than that).

There was breakfast food and lunch food. We were encouraged
to start with breakfast, which I did. None of this cereal
stuff - I went for the protein and fat, mostly, ham and
various other cold cuts including a peculiar grainy but
good liverwurst. I leavened this with somewhat okay
tomatoes and a quite good croissant.

Cold table: dill-cured salmon (good), cauliflower salad
(okay but kind of tasteless, despite the currylike yellow
coloring), and mushroom salad (very nice, largely

totmode, always looking after me, reported that there was
a spicy pasta dish at the hot station. Melville, always
looking after me, said there was cheese in it. I decided
to check the situation out with the aid of lactase pills.

The pasta station had ziti two ways - with discs of white
asparagus in a cream sauce (pretty good, very mild, though),
or with ground beef, arugula, hot pepper, and Parmesan
shavings, a rather manly dish, what with all the protein
and all the hot pepper (this was also kind of good but
something such as I might make if I had half an hour to
cook, eat, and clean up).

And the Schauferle. Not so good as at the other two places,
partially because heat lamps are if anything less good for
food than chafing dishes and steam tables. The meat was on
the dry side, and its skin, for which I asked for an extra
helping, had the texture of breaking glass.

f0zzy recommended the cream of asparagus soup, so around
dessert time I had some; it was well flavored but a bit
salty for my taste.

Wurzberger dunkel was welcome with most of the things that
I'd eaten.

lili had taken a plate of fresh Bing cherries, but, eyes
larger than her stomach, left half of them, so I had these
for dessert. Others went for the famous Movenpick ice cream,
of which I heard good things.

When I went to pay, the cashier knew that I was the one who
had had the beer, interestingly. Probably someone said
"make sure the ancient mandarin pays for his drink."

Our airport tour began at 1 sharp at the employee security
checkpoint, which we passed and walked to one of the
festively colored airport buses. Our guide had long since
retired from the airport publicity office but loved his
job and his NUE so much that he volunteers to give people
tours. He's also a bit of a plane buff, commenting on the
identity of each aircraft as we passed it. H'm, he would
say, that looks like a 737-800, but it's the first one I've
seen without winglets ... . It was fun to see what we might
become in twenty or fifty years. His English was not so
good as that of our past guides, and I thought that maybe
the bilingual FTers sitting up front might be forthcoming
in assisting, but perhaps there's a protocol issue there
that I am not aware of.

Unfortunately, the security here was stricter than that at
Salzburg, and we stayed on the bus for the whole tour. This
had an advantage as well as disadvantages. Some of us looked
wistfully at the fire engines as we passed them (for
example). Then it was on to the onsite auto repair facility,
the Air Berlin luggage containers, and it seemed that some
of our chins were about to hit some of our chests, when it
was announced that we were cleared onto the taxiway (some
excitement), and then we were cleared onto the runway (much
elation). So we got the pilot's eye view, which is somewhere
on the Internet no doubt.
violist is offline  
Old Jun 29, 09, 2:38 pm
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We proceeded to the General Aviation area and the tower
(still alas not getting off the bus), and eventually the
tour and the Do came to an end. Auf Wiedersehens and A
bientots and See you soons all round, and many thanks to
f0zzyNUE for a terrific weekend. lili and I took our leave
from everyone to go on a random walk, taking advantage of
our weekend transit passes. A lot of this didn't exactly
work out, as the U-Bahn goes through a lot of depressing
1950s suburbs, not a huge surprise as the city had been
largely destroyed in WWII. We did find ourselves in a rather
nice city to the west called Furth, which had in fact been
spared by the Allies and had a good collection of 18th and
19th century buildings - but nothing really old, as it had
been razed in its turn, which had been in the Thirty Years'
War. Looking up on the Web one discovers that it was also
the birthplace of Ludwig Erhardt and Henry Kissinger. But
the call of the hops proved strong, so we found ourselves
walking up from Plarrer along the old wall and moat to the
Bierfest. Schanzenbrau light and red organic beers called,
as did a curiosity - Skopsko Macedonian. The two lights
tasted similar, the Schanzenbrau a bit more acidy and the
Macedonian a bit sweeter. lili preferred the red, which
was relatively low in hops; I thought that just having a
mug in front of me was a great thing. Soon it was time to
return to Kuchlbauer, where lili enjoyed a Hefeweizen and
I a special bock "Aloysius," which was notable for the
unbridled strength of clove flavor that overbalanced
the usual banana fruitiness of the typical version.

And to the rotisserie booth, where we chatted with the
pitmaster (pictures apparently available somewhere on the
Internet) and had another pork sandwich; but this time in
addition to the fat and crunchies he gave us a pig cheek,
one of the most luxurious parts of the animal. A good
sandwich and enough for two non-Franconians.

Finally to the Magic Bar where Leonardo (not Leo, lili's
friend) served us a simple Sangiovese from Le Marche, of
which he, being an Italian, was inordinately proud.

I bade goodnight to my dear escort and went upstairs to
pack and nap. The alarm was unwelcome at 4.

A quick shower and I was out of there: 7 minutes to the
Frankenstadion, where one ticket machine was out of order
and the other dispensed my ticket only after about thirty
seconds of grinding and fussing, which made me think for
a bit that maybe my E1.90 had gone away forever. The train
showed up on time and dropped me off on time, but what I
thought was a U2 was a U21 (this doesn't waste any time
but is annoying). At the airport in the 0540 range. I
short-checked my bag so I could carryon on the domestic leg.

The security line was quite long but moved quickly.

I didn't set off the metal detector, but the guy took the
opportunity to give me a hand and then wand search; during
the former he took an unnecessary squeeze or two. The whole
thing, including the manual investigation of my genitals,
took about thirty interminable seconds. Apparently the
Germans are efficient in everything, even their perversions.

Looked for a Nurnberg knickknack for a friend - the best I
could come up with was a beer opener - then to the Senator
lounge next door, which was hopping with Paris, Hamburg, and
Frankfurt passengers. Cereals, breakfast breads, charcuterie
- the usual spread - were largely depleted by the time I
got there. I tried the Frapin Grande Champagne VS Luxe,
which despite its fancy name was a rather plain, rather
harsh Cognac with wood, raisin, and a few vanilla notes. For
calories I had a couple ounces of Kitzmann Edel-Pils, which
despite its fancy name was a characterless light beer with a
sour aspect but some hop aroma. To be fair, it was probably
the end of yesterday's cask.
violist is offline  
Old Jul 2, 09, 1:19 pm
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LH 923 NUE FRA 0705 0800 143 3A

There was a bit of a hullaballoo when a group of somewhat
Romany-looking folk with numerous guitars tried to board
with multiple carryons - the leader had 4, counting his
instrument. They were talked to, cajoled, threatened ...
the leader boarded directly ahead of me: shortly after,
a cold-eyed enforcer type hailed him and somehow got two
of the items away. Business was the first 5 rows: Economy
Plus with the blocked middle, the way things used to be
on UA (or so our rosy memories tell us).

Put my eye shades on and was out from before takeoff until
after landing - I count this as a successful flight, though
I think we landed a hair late.

There was long bus ride from the farthest of the bus gates
to Terminal A, then a hike of some proportions to the end
where the lounges are. The Senator lounge was incredibly
crowded and had the same assortment of breakfast stuff and
cold cuts - more frequently replenished, though - as the
slightly less crowded Nuremberg one. The prosciutto was
very nice.

Showers and toilets here are in the business class section,
so you have to show your ID again to get back in after your
refreshment trip. There was a big waitlist, and I have no
idea how it works, as you don't get paged when the showers
are available. I gave the attendant E2 and I was in
immediately. A fairly nice room; an oddity - the shower
dispenses water in 15 second bursts - after each, you have
to hit the water button again. The good thing about this is
that you are encouraged to lather up with the water off.

Around noon I decided to leave Germany and went upstairs to
the Tower Lounge, where I encountered Baxter & Bessies' Mama
on her way to Washington. The place is huge and at this hour
was packed, with the result that it was steamy hot. The food
here is better than at the downstairs business lounge but
not so nice as at the Senator lounge.

LH 422 FRA BOS 1250 1435 744 1K

A bit of neglect early on as I hunkered down in my corner
perhaps at first out of the field of vision of the FAs.
Things improved a bit later on, though, and for most of the
flight I got smiling though not exactly attentive service.

My seatmate averred that he was afraid of flying; an Italian
guy about my age who disconcertingly had tattoos of insects
up and down his arm. He seemed quite familiar with the seat
controls, so in spite of his fear he appears to get around.

He also had a hacking cough and kept blowing his nose into
the Lufthansa linens. Kind of gross. I should have raised
the force field, er, privacy shield but sort of forgot about

The carte was designed by Alexander Herrmann.


Express Service

We additionally offer our cold Express Service in order to
give you more time to work or relax: we serve the hors d'
oeuvre of your choice, cheese and dessert upon your request.

Hors d'oeuvres [Special Moments]

Garden Greens served with roasted Seeds and Herb Dressing

Sliced Veal accompanied by Kohlrabi and Nettle Pesto

Char Terrine served with Sour Cream and pickled Cucumber

Green and white Asparagus Salad


Roast Corn fed Poulard with Thyme, creamy Cucumber and Pearl
Barley Risotto

Steamed Halibut with Almond Butter, Summer Vegetables and
mashed Potatoes

Ribbon Noodles with Herb Cheese Sauce, green Asparagus and
red Onions

Cheese and Dessert

Rahmberg Cheese and Obatzda, a creamed Cheese Bavarian
Style with red Radish

Woodruff Jelly with Strawberry Lime Compote

Melon Cocktail



Focus Regional
Meat Jelly with Bratwurst and shaved Horseradish
Mixed Pumpkin Salad


Focus Sensors
Venison Ham with dried Fruit Compote and Walnuts
Crayfish Salad


Rhubarb Tartlet with Vanilla Almond Sabayon
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