Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
When travelling to tourist hotspots, finding a restaurant with great local food, a place where the locals go, where there isn’t any of the touristy kitsch is like finding the holy grail. Dorfschanke in Heidelberg, Germany, is just such a place.
On a tip from e-heidelberg.com, we head into the suburbs, away from the main touristy area of Heidelberg’s Old Town, in search of Dorfschanke. We are promised “a simple restaurant” serving up “some of the best food in Heidlberg at very affordable prices”, and our high hopes aren’t disappointed.
The streets are deserted when we arrive, so we are unsure, at first, whether we have found the right place. We peer in the windows, and console ourselves that we can always go to the lively bar across the street if we don’t like the look of the place. But I like the atmosphere immediately when we step in. It is warm and cosy inside, in stark contrast to the cold, heavy air that promises snowfall outside. Bare wooden tables line the walls, a lone vase with red, plastic flowers the only concession to decoration.
A waiter drops off the menu – a handwritten affair, with the pages stuffed into a clear plastic binder. Everything is in German. Perplexed, the three of us stare at each other, helplessly waiting we can corner the waiter again. Patiently, painstakingly, he starts to translate the menu, starting from the first page. After a while, we decide to speed things up, asking him what he would recommend. We end up with a dish of cheesy pasta, akin to ravioli, that he assures us is local, originating right here in Heidelberg. We also get a plate of pork chops, liberally sprinkled with pepper, and to finish things off, the house special sweet, spiced flammkuchen for dessert.
The food is just as promised, simple and delicious. The biggest surprise is the flammkuchen. We’d had a savoury flammkuchen for lunch, but this one was topped with raisins, nuts, and spices with a generous sprinkling of icing sugar over the top. The base is light and crunchy, and the combination is a killer.
Best of all, the bill comes up to just over EUR 12 per person. This is good, cheap eats indeed.
Related post: 24 hours in Heidelberg, Germany.
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