All in all very big building - coming with a group of four? Book a table in the restaurant. Coming with a group of several dozens? Book a whole room.
The styling is equivalent to the food - somewhere between sophisticated and rustic.
Favorite Dish: Not sure - have been there two times so far, always with business colleagues. This is the place to organize your after work meeting, somewhere between a sophisticated dinner and the typical Ruhrpott plain fare. And beer, never forget the beer. As the 'Dampfe' is a Brauerei (= a brewery), they have their own beer, quite good too, but I'm not exactly one for beer. Save it is Guinness, Murphy's or Köstritzer... in other words, dark and malty. The Dampfe beer is rather dark too, but not black. I'm sure they have a special term for it, but don't ask me!
A Korean restaurant and the one where my family traditionally goes to celebrate birthdays, successfully passed exams, wedding anniversaries and to impress guests of our humble house ;oP
They have nice fishisssss in the aquarium... and this restaurant is really well-known around here. A lot of relatives and friends also use it as their formal celebration venue - you gotta book ahead, it can get rather crowded. I even saw Jean Pütz there once. Ever heard of him? Pretty famous tv-moderator from Cologne ('Chärchzlisch willkommen zu de Chobbytekk!').
Favorite Dish: Everything I've had so far was very good - and I've had a lot... The pleasure starts with the kroepoek (shrimp crackers), then goes on with whatever you choose for starters, say spring rolls or wan tan-soup; the main dish could be duck or chicken or rice or noodles with shrimps or egg or *ponders* other stuff... I recommend the crispy versions and I recommend peanut sauce.
I really like the style of these cafés. They're quite big, but there's so much decoration and partitions formed of columns, stairs and balconies that the atmosphere is somewhat snugly.
Café Bar Celona has a meditarrenaen style, Café Extrablatt is rather gaudy and flashy.
Favorite Dish: I like Calamaris and all the potatoe stuff, especially the thick, spicy splits, the Cajuns. The Veggie Wrap in Café Bar Celona is muy yummy too. So are the Jalapeno Poppers. I guess, it's all good. Just haven't had the time to try it all so far. ;)
Then again, I spent a total of four hours eating in Café Extrablatt recently... the breakfast buffet... it's gorgeous! You pay around eight euros and then it's all you can eat and as much orange juice as you can possibly drink (other beverages must be payed). The buffet's on on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, starts at 10 a.m. and stops at 2 p.m. - you can probably still continue eating (unless it's a special holiday), only you have to pay more for it then. The food palette goes from cereals with milk over bread with all kinds of toppings, salads, desserts (*yummy* mousse au chocolat!), on to English breakfast with the traditional ham and eggs, baked beans and scramble egg (also *very* yummy!). It's a great occasion to sit and watch people too ;) Quite the meeting point on lazy mornings...
Merlin - die Waldkneipe (the forest-pub)
I already mentioned one of its unique features above: the special names for food items. They also comment the stuff on the menu, funny, the alcoholic drinks above all!
Other unique things... the original Excalibur in its original stone *blah* - draw it, and the pub's owner will knight thee all day long (the traditional way with beating, of course).
A beautiful Biergarten - since the pub is literally in the forest, this is one Biergarten that deserves to be called 'garden'.
Big snake above the bar.
Favorite Dish: Well, so far it was all good and nice, but what I especially like are the titles given to the stuff:
For example you can chose between the North-, East-, South-, West- and G-wing of Camelot to get a baguette of some sort.
Or you order a sceptre and what lands on your table is a Gypsy meat skewer, order a Druid's Gold and chicken nuggets are yours.
The greatest name for me is Boh Frosd for mini spring rolls, cause BoFrost (written somehow) is a vendor of frozen foods :oD
And I also like Pyt Sahr - guess for yourself :oP
Where to go when in a special mood (eg 'Gotta get away from all these walls!') or in a special condition (eg went shopping all day, now feet hurt like hell)?
Merlin : Very remote pub - the Merlin is up on a woody hill in the district Kupferdreh. The design: a mixture of medieval (eg the sword in the stone) and modern items (eg cocktail bar). Take your car or even better, find yourself a chauffeur. Seats inside (e.g. Round Table) and outside (aka Biergarten).
Café Extrablatt : Colourful and young. Very centrally located, go here after shopping, cinema or failing your driver's license test. Often crowded, especially in the evenings and in winter, when it's too cold to sit outside on Kennedy Square.
Café Bar Celona : The Extrablatt's younger sibling. Only a few meters away from it, too. So the inside information is about the same, only the Bar Celona is designed in meditarrenaen style.
Han Guk Gwan : I know it as the traditional destination in all cases of family celebrations. This is where to take your b/f or g/f to. Where to invite your parents on their wedding day to (or let them invite you). This is where to go for a last meal with the crowd of Americans and Ozzies your brother brought home from a camp site in France. This is a restaurant where they provide cloth napkins. It is very good.
Dampfbierbrauerei : If you want to take out your whole bureau crew, but you don't want to hear your boss talk all the time, just take a seat about 2 meters away from him, should be enough on crowded evenings. Thank your stars (or rather your good ears), if you're able hear your own words. Imagine five skat societies, football fan clubs (seniors) and complete bureau crews in one room. Loud? It'd better be.
Fährhaus Rote Mühle : This lovely restaurant with its Biergarten lies on the very banks of the river Ruhr, and since it's a little way off the main street, it's pretty calm and the perfect place to relax after a walk along the river or a cycling tour.
Favorite Dish: Type of foods offered are...
...in Merlin : snacks, baguettes, salads, pizza, schnitzel, fish, breakfast... only they name the stuff a bit different...
...in Café Extrablatt : again snacks, baguettes, salads and so on, but also a range of usually spicy, somewhat mexican potatoe-variations + wraps and of course the breakfast buffet on weekends.
... in Café Bar Celona : about the same as in the Extrablatt, but I can prove it this time, as they have their own webpage (http://www.cafe-bar-celona.de/essen.html) with the menu on it =0D
... in Han Guk Gwan : Very good Korean Food - not snacks, this is a real restaurant, real tables, real plates, those funny little plate warmers and on demand you can try to eat with chopsticks (oh, come on, it's mandatory, no?)
... in Dampfbierbrauerei : A mixture of plain fare (Bratwurst, Kartoffelsalat) and crème de la crème (walnut sorbet with maple sirup). And beer - they certainly have their own brew.
... in Fährhaus Rote Mühle : Not sure about the food offered there, I went there a couple of times with my parents on cozy evenings to have a hot chocolate and maybe an ice cream. But writing this, I realize I have to go there again this summer! The Biergarten is really lovely... but here is not the place to write this ;oP
This Restaurant is also a pub. You can sit very easily and relax on the tables an d have a good talk with your friends and also watch the other guest. Drink some belgium beer and just enjoy the time there.
The Interiour is very rustical but also some modern elenments are there so it's just a good atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: Now it's the time of mussels and I love this menu there. You got a huge portion with some bread and its tastes really good. Also i can say that the Pommes are great. Most Pommes don't taste very good but these ones tastes like real Pommes. Order them!
Also I can say it from hearind that the Breadcakes are very good. This is I think some real begium menu. It looks good.
It's just fun to make your own menus.
A great assortment of vegetable: spinachi, garlic, sweet pepper, red onions, ananas, different mushrooms, soyrung, bamboo, broccoli, chinese leaves ...
Seafruits and fish: mossels, crabs, surimi, octopus, salmon,pike-perch....
Meat: lamb, pork, chicken, kangaroo, ostrich, beef, rabbit ....
Fresh and hot cooked, with one of six sauces of your choice.
For every taste!
Favorite Dish: You can make your own favourite menu from a delicate large assortment of items.
You will get a bowl and with this bowl you go to the items and pick your favourites together to a good dinner.
Eis Casal, Mörchens Eis, Plückthun Eis
Favorite Dish: Do you like Icecream?? Than I have three good Icecafes for you here in Essen you have to visit.
I visit very often Eis Casal in Frohnhausen, because I lived there awhile and I really love to eat the italian good icecream.
The second one is in Rüttenscheid and is called Mörchens Eis and some say there you get the second best ice in Essen.
The best Ice you get at Plückthun in Kupferdreh. And at Plückthun the icecream is marvelous I think. The best here in Essen. Very creamy!!!
My guide, VTer Daniela (mickybleck), and I enjoyed gelato cones from Eis Café Toscani while we explored the different sights and attractions in the Essen pedestrian zone. Delicious!
This place has extra very good ice cream. Not as good as the ice cream I got in Rome, but still, for a German standard, that was one of the best ones.
I did not eat anything here in my first visit, as I was sightseeing around here that was the perfect place to take my beer break.
Favorite Dish: Will go to eat here the next time.
This is my favourite korean restaurant in Essen. I've never been to Korea, but - for me - it seems that the dishes tastes original.
Favorite Dish: Bulgogie (marinated beef) + Kimchi