Brauerei Goldener Schwan: Our 2nd Euromeet 2015 Dinner
For our second dinner during the Euromeet 2015 weekend the Bruaerei Goldener Schwan (Golden Swan Brewery) was the unsuspecting host. This is another atmospheric restaurant on the square in front of the City Hall and another in which our 50+ group of VT'ers managed to create our unique brand of chaos.
The main dining room on the ground floor is a pleasantly bright black and white space, combining traditional and modern touches of decor and to my mind works perfectly for both intimate and group dining. Staff were attentive and friendly, especially the lady manager (or even owner?) whose smiling presence was especially notable.
Favorite Dish: Our menu was perfect for informal group dining with both the starter and main courses being served as shared platters and there was plenty of everything.
The "German tapas" starter consisted of:
Braised beef in printen sauce
Boiled beef in horseradish cream sauce
Bood sausage with mash potatoes
Rosti with herbal cream
And the main courses:
Flammkuchen with Feta, spinach and artichoke
Sauerbraten "Aachener Art" in honey buisuit sauce, red cabbage with apples and salty potatoes
Roasted pork shank with fried herby potatoes and pickled cabbage
Everything was simply but elegantly presented, the flavours were rich and distinct and being able to chose our own combinations, and quantities, made for an ideal semi-formal group dinner.
I even tried a bit of the pudding - the Viennese Strudel which was perfect!
At 29 euros this was great value and if I remember correctly the beer not too expensive either.
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
Zum Goldenen Einhorn: Our First Euromeet 2015 Dinner
Zum Goldenen Einhorn (The Golden Unicorn) was the venue for our first formal dinner of Euromeet 2015, although "formal" is definitely not a word which fits in the description of any of our VT group outings.
This is a characterful, traditional-style restaurant with wood-panelled walls, atmospheric lighting and the owner's collection of old photos and bric-a-brac adorning every available space. I should imagine this place works best for an intimate dinner for two, or for small family get-togethers, and so the chaos introduced by our 50+ group effectively negated its normal ambience. Staff seemed a bit harried, but then I suppose they were trying to serve the food in a relaxed formal manner, and instead found that the task was a bit like "herding cats", to quote my good "fiend" leics.
Favorite Dish: As always with our VT dinners the food tends to take a secondary role - meeting, greeting and copious drinking (in no particular order) being the priorities. If I remember correctly I opted for the "Fine clear beef soup with bone-marrow dumplings and sliced veg", followed by "Schnitzel with Zingara sauce, french fries, and small side salad".
Both dishes were good and the soup especially so with its cleanly-defined beef flavour - obviously made from a good, fresh stock. I passed on the dessert (Red and yellow grits with bourbon vanilla ice-cream which was reportedly excellent) instead opting for beer and cigarettes on the welcoming terrace overlooking the square.
Overall a very enjoyable night and with a price tag of 24 euros, along with reasonably-priced beers, made for a more than satisfying evening.
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
Sultans of Kebap: Healthy Eating At Silly O'Clock!
One thing I really forward to during my travels is getting the chance to eat some proper "Junk Food" - we have no such thing where I live here on Lundy.
Germany continues to disappoint!
Germans just don't seem to understand the concept of what us British drunks want from a fast food restaurant when we get the munchies on the way back from the pub. The last thing I want is flavoursome, greaseless meat, fresh-tasting salad and a crispy on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside pitta-style wrap. I want limp bread, greasy meat and salad which should have the consistency of boiled newspaper.
So, Sultans of Kebap, gets a five-star thumbs-down from this corner.
Service continued the theme, being welcoming, swift and friendly. Eat-in or take-away the incredibly cheap price added to my general dissatisfaction and the immaculate tables, spotlessly-shiny kitchen and general overall laid-back atmosphere did the place no favours whatsoever.
Favorite Dish: What they call a Kebapbag - Lean Doner meat with a choice of salads and sauces in a crispily toasted pitta wrap - disgusting stuff!
- Budget Travel
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
Zum Goldenen Einhorn: 1st VT dinner
The first visit to a certain destination carries the risk that we choose a wrong restaurant for a meal, which then effects our judgment of the local restaurants that can be completely wrong. It is fortunate that Valentina, who organized the VT meeting, lives in Aachen and she recommended a couple of really good restaurants. Less then that nor could be expected from a lady who originally comes from Macedonia, which is known for its good food.
Zum Goldener Eihhorn is decorated in traditional German style in whose interior dominates wooden elements and it is the environment in which every guest feel comfortable.
This first night in Aachen VTers won and conquered "Zum Goldener Einhorn", which was available to us only.
Favorite Dish: Listing the menu is not my strong side, I got a beef broth and roast pork in a sauce with a side dish, that was good and very profusely, plus mixed green salad. For a drink I ordered white wine which was of good quality, some sort of Riesling very drinkable and well chilled. I am not sure for the price but I think it costed around 30 euros.
Zum Goldenen Einhorn: Cosy but a little cramped
We had the first evening meal of the 2015 Euromeet "Zum Goldenen Einhorn", a traditional place on the market square. There are a few tables outside where we gathered before had, but we soon moved inside to our reserved room at the back of the restaurant. This had a cosy atmosphere, but was quite dark and cramped, especially with so many excited VTers milling around greeting old friends and the frustrated serving staff trying to seat us. The latter seemed a little stressed by size of group and quite brusque when we got in their way - possibly understandable, but I felt that they could have been a bit friendlier. I guess they're maybe unused to large group bookings here?
Anyway, the food was all pretty good and once we were seated and enjoying the meal the staff seemed to relax, though never became especially warm in their manner. From the set choices we had been offered I had selected
~ Clear beef soup (a consommé) with bone-marrow dumplings and sliced vegetables
~ Fried fillets of Hake with home-made remoulade sauce, boiled potatoes and cucumber salad
The food was all tasty, the dessert surprisingly so, as we had been offered no choice for this course and I was expecting some sort of porridge rather than the refreshing fruity dish I received. I also really liked the fish and the cucumber salad.
Despite my reservations about the service I would consider eating here again, but probably not in a large group.
Zum Goldener Schwan: 2nd VT dinner
The second, and my last dinner, we had in a typical German beer pub called Zum Goldener Schwan, which is in the immediate neighbor of Zum Goldener Eingorn. It has very simple but pleasurable ambiance specifically designed for guests who want good food and even better cold beer. Setting of a pub allows more relaxed behavior and the atmosphere was much better then during our first dinner.
Our fellow member "Planxty" appeared in a kilt and this has also contributed to a laid back atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: The food was abundant and very tasty. First we got cold slice of meat with sauce and then a large salary that is a combination of pizza and Mexican tapas. As a main course was served pork shank, well grilled and very tasty. In the end was served a delicious cream cake. Of course we all watered food with abundant amount of cold draft beer.
Again I am not sure for the price but I think we paid id around 30 euros.
Sultans of Kebap: Everybody needs one sometimes
It is something of an article of faith amongst Britons that people do not generally eat kebabs unless they have had a few drinks and a look at any of the late night kebab shops round where I live in London on a Friday or Saturday night would seem to bear that out. It was almost inevitable therefore that when a few of us foregathered for a pre-meet prior to the excellent Euromeet 2015 and had imbibed some excellent German beer that the journey home was going to involve a trip to the large and rather flashy looking Sultans of Kebap which just happened to be on the way.
In we went and were served promptly and efficiently by a friendly guy . I opted for what I would call a doner kebab in a flatbread affair which is rather oddly known as a kebapbag for some reason. The flatbread was slightly different to the type of pitta bread I am accustomed to at home but it was very tasty as was the filling which really was delicious and way better than some of the awful greasy rubbish so often offered in UK. Indeed, my dear friend John Gayton, himself a professional chef, uttered the immortal line, "Great kebab and it is almost healthy!" It really was just what was needed at that time of night although it would be equally good at any time of day which is useful as the place does not shut.
I believe this is one of a number of franchises round Germany, Belgium and France but it is none the worse for that and I would definitely recommend it for an inexpensive snack or even more substantial meal as they also do plated dishes and even salads for the more health conscious. A great find.
Favorite Dish: The kebapbag as described in the main text.
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Hexenhof: Frozen Jogurth
Days in Aachen was pretty hot and humid and my spine painful so I had to make breaks more often then usually." Hexenhof" has a lovely terrace in a good position and I decided to stop and take some refreshing drink. The waitress suggested to try frozen yogurt which is offered in like twenty or more different combinations and flavors. Jogurt is served as ice cream, if desired with variety of toppings, but I ordered big cup of plain yogurt with no additives, and it was good and refreshing. The price was something more then 3 euros.
Favorite Dish: The terrace in front of the "Hexenhof" was in a shadow and on it flushed gentle refreshing breeze so I let the benefits of such atmosphere. Moreover, terrace is in the position with the view almost ideal for people watching.
Besitos: Huge and popular tapas place.....
I arrived in Aachen in the late afternoon and had not signed up for the Saturday evening meal. so I needed something to eat as well as a cold beer with Vt mates.
They went to Besitos, a massive tapas restaurant (really a pub which serves tapas) not far from our hotels. So I joined them and whilst we all enjoyed the beer I had something to eat as well.
Besitos offers a pretty extensive range of tapas, serving some as raciones (larger, main course size) as well as snacks. I chose grilled sheep's cheese with roasted vegetables, rosemary-roasted potatoes and a mint-yoghurt dip. Everything was very tasty and well-cooked and it certainly filled a gap. That was the cheapest 'racione' on the menu, at 9.90 euro.
I've since discovered that Besitos is a small chain, with branches in other German cities.
We sat outside in the small 'plaza' of what seemed to be a little shopping area created from older buildings (I may be wrong about this) but Besitos also has a huge atrium, with numerous tables set in a massive hall underneath a high glass roof.
Service was very pleasant, courteous and friendly with good English spoken by our waitress.
Judging by the number of locals there late on a Saturday afternoon this is a very popular place indeed. Most were indeed eating tapas although some were just having a drink with friends. Besitos serves cocktails as well as the usual range of alcohol you'd find in a pub.
Definitely somewhere worth seeking out if you are in the area and fancy a snack with your beer or wine.
Vielharmonie: Very reasonably priced
This large restaurant on a lively street to the north of the old town was the choice for the final dinner of the 2015 VT Euromeet.
Our meal was served buffet style and there was certainly plenty to choose from, and in large quantities, though personally I wasn't very happy to see it already set out before we even arrived, and so close to the door. As to the quality of the food, I found it a bit mixed - there were some good salads (especially the potato and egg one) and I enjoyed the calamari, for instance, but some of the pastry items were a bit stodgy. The price was very reasonable however, at €13 for all you could eat! Drinks too were very reasonably priced - €3.30 for a large beer, for example.
Brauerei Goldener Schwan: Best of the [Euromeet] bunch
We ate here on the Saturday evening of the 2015 Euromeet and personally I found the dinner the best of the three that we had over the weekend. The friendly waiting staff were very welcoming to our at-times chaotic group, in contrast to the previous evening at the Golderner Einhorn.
We had a pre-ordered set meal consisting of:
A selection of traditional German starters:
~ Braised beef in Printen sauce
~ Boiled beef in horseradish cream sauce
~ Bloodsausage with mash potatoes
~ Rosti with herbal cream
A selection of main course dishes served to each table:
~ Flammkuchen with Feta, spinach and artichoke
~ Sauerbraten "Aachener Art" in honey biscuit sauce, red cabbage with apples and salty potatoes
~ Roasted pork shank with fried herby potatoes and pickled cabbage
All the food was very tasty, especially for me the blood sausage starter and the Flammkuchen which actually was served in several different flavour combinations and in large quantities! I was personally less keen on the Printen sauce (a local speciality) served on the braised beef starter and Sauerbraten as I found it a bit sweet.
For dessert I had chosen the Viennese apple Strudel with homemade vanilla sauce and whipped cream, which was also very good. We paid €29 for the three courses which also included a glass of red or white wine. My only disappointment was that I was in the mood for beer that evening and couldn’t swap wine for beer, even though the latter is cheaper. Still, I was happy to pay for beer as prices here are reasonable, at least in comparison to London!
As on the previous night we were seated in a back room, which had a cosy but not so cramped atmosphere. There is also some seating outside in the market square where we enjoyed some beers before the meal. I would happily return here on a future visit to Aachen to sample the full (non-group) menu.
Living Room: A sunny terrace
I lunched here with friends Isa and Mariel on a sunny day when the outside seating in this pretty square drew us in, along with the extensive menu. But despite the sun it was chilly in the shade of the large umbrellas, so the blankets provided were put to use. Later the sun moved round and fell right on us, giving us some welcome warmth - until we got too hot! There's no pleasing some people, it seems.
But my lunch certainly did please me - a goats cheese salad with fresh fruit, raisins, walnuts, leaves, honey dressing. It looked amazing and tasted delicious. For this I paid €16 which included a refreshing apple juice and double espresso afterwards. The others also enjoyed their meals, I believe – a pizza and a pasta dish. Service was friendly and we weren’t at all rushed, in the end spending well over an hour here chatting over our lunch.
The inside space looked great too and I think this could be a cool place to check out of an evening though I didn't get the chance to do so.
Aachener Brauhaus: Traditional comforts
This is a traditional-style Brauhaus just across the road from the theatre, but despite that good location not over-priced as I had feared. The food is equally traditional in style with an extensive menu which includes many Germanic favourites - sausages, meatloaf, Schnitzel, Sauerkraut etc. etc. The décor is cosy – think dark wood, old copper pans, seating in booths, at tables or at the bar.
I was here with two friends and between us we sampled a range of dishes, all of which were tasty I believe. My Bockwurst (Frankfurter-style sausage) with potato salad was certainly good, and I enjoyed the red cabbage I'd ordered as a side dish. I also liked the local beer we sampled - Ocher Bier.
Prices were, as I said, very reasonable for a well-located place with bags of tourist appeal. I paid €17 for my main course, side dish and two mid-size (.30) beers.
Note that according to the website it is closed on Sundays from January to September, though accepts large group bookings on those days.
Nobis Printen: Local bakery chain
I twice ate breakfast in the Theaterstraße branch of this local bakery chain, with branches all over the city. There was a wide range of rolls and pastries available, all very reasonably priced (and some on special deals, making them very cheap - e.g. two for €1.50). My choice on the first day was a large, rather sticky but tasty cherry pastry, and on the second an equally large Streusel-topped bun. On both occasions my pastry and cappuccino cost less than €4.
There are a few tables inside where we sat for breakfast but also a small number on the side street outside. We stopped here one afternoon for a coffee but I was a bit disappointed with this, having asked for an iced coffee and getting instead one that was lukewarm and rather weak. Despite this, my positive impressions of the breakfasts mean that I would recommend Nobis for that meal, and it looks worth trying for lunch too, with lots of filled rolls etc. available.
Zum goldenen Einhorn: The Golden Unicorn
Our first VT dinner of the EuroMeet 2015 was held at a traditional old-timey restaurant called The Golden Unicorn. My first three photos show the front of the restaurant from various angles.
For VT member and local resident MacedonianUK (Valentina), who did a great job of organizing the entire meeting, it was not at all easy to find restaurants that could accommodate a large group such as ours, because some other big events were going on in Aachen on the same weekend, for instance an obnoxious “Oldtimers Rally” that brought hundreds of obsolete motor vehicles and their proud owners to the center of Aachen.
But in the end Valentina found us two very nice and friendly restaurants for our dinners, both “golden” and both facing the front entrance of the City Hall, with only a Starbucks between them.
For starters at the Golden Unicorn we had a choice of “Fine clear beef soup with bone-marrow dumplings and sliced veg” or “tomato and carrot soup with basil cream”. (I took the beef soup and it was very tasty.)
For the main dish, we had a choice of “pickled leg of pork in aspick with homemade remoulade sauce and fried potatoes” or “Schitzel with Zingara sauce, French fries, and small side salad” or “fried fillets of Hake with home made remoulade sauce with boiled potatoes and cucumber salad” or “Spaghetti in home made Ruccola -Pesto sauce and ruccola salad and parmesan cheese (Vegetarian)“. (I took the Hake, which is a kind of fish resembling cod or haddock, and found it rather dry but otherwise fine.)
For dessert, we all got “red and yellow grits with bourbon vanilla ice cream”.
Fourth and fifth photos: VT members in the Golden Unicorn. 40 VT members and 10 guests were signed up for this dinner.
If you look at the Golden Unicorn’s website, you will find (as of June 2015) that they have so far only uploaded photos but no texts. The texts you will see are just generic texts that have nothing to do with the restaurant.