We stayed one night in Frankfurt, Germany the city of banking, and Apfel Wein (apple wine.) Our German friend Uschi took us around the old part of the city explaining that unfortunately most of the older buildings had been bombed in World War II. The Germans rebuilt this small area of the city that includes the town hall. Uschi explained that she had married her first husband in that building.
Michael Jackson died the day before as well as a young woman in Iran. The area was filled with people mourning their deaths through displays of pictures and candles as well as musical tributes. It was fascinating to see German teens dressed as Michael singing his most famous songs. Of course, Mike joined in for a bit of the sing-a-long.
We ate dinner at Uschi’s favorite restaurant, a small place on the outskirts of downtown Frankfurt. Her friends Ziggie and Herbert awaited us with a traditional pitcher of Apple Wine. It is low in alcohol and very dry. The Germans usually mix it with fizzy mineral water or orange juice. I chose the mineral water and found it very refreshing. Germans love to eat outside (regardless of how pretty the indoors might be) perhaps because they don’t get many opportunities to do this so we sat at a long picnic-type table under umbrellas in a fenced-in former parking lot. It is also a custom in most European countries to value the hundes (dogs) so many canines shared our dinner atmosphere, usually politely parked under the table of their owners. I ordered the Frankfurt Schnitzel, a wonderfully crisp piece of pork and fried potatoes that came with an indescribable but delicious creamy green sauce. The dessert was fresh strawberries over Bavarian cream. It took several hours to finish the pitcher of wine but the good conversation (in German and English) made the time go fast. Another characteristic of European dinners is the length. Servers only come when you need them and allow you to have a relaxed dining experience. You have to ask for the tab. We have been told that they get paid well and tips are extra not expected. Perhaps that is why.