We ended up picking Café Rossi on Rohrbacher Straße for our first German meal. When we walked in, we did not see a hostess despite that there was what looked like a hostess stand near the door. We watched a few people walk in and seat themselves, so we followed suit, going upstairs to a small table. We later learned that you can seat yourselves in most German restaurants unless it’s something very upscale, and usually in that case it would be a place where you need a reservation. After a few minutes, a waitress came by and asked, in German of course, if we’d like to see a menu. Tim asked if the waitress speaks English. She did and seemed very happy to do so.
The menus were in German and English. I ordered a large Coke which was a .33L bottle served with a glass and a meal I cannot remember the name of because they basically list all the ingredients as the name of the meal. But it was some kind of beef with potato, sheep cheese, green pepper, green olives, and some other things I didn’t know the name of. When the food came out, the guy who brought it let us move to a bigger table, which people had left while we were waiting. We had picked a small table more for just drinking coffee than for eating, so we welcomed the change.
My dish looked really good and tasted even better. I tried to take a picture but it didn’t turn out. I had never eaten sheep cheese before, but it went well with everything. The dish sort of reminded me of a stew. I can’t accurately describe the taste, but it was awesome. All the ingredients complimented each other nicely. I’ve gotten to eat out a few times in Germany since, and that’s still my favorite dish I’ve had. We’ve gone back to the restaurant, but since they frequently change their menu I have yet to get to have it again.
Tim ordered a “Kristallweizen” (crystal wheat) beer which came in a glass taller than he had expected. I had run out of Coke and did not want to pay for a refill–it didn’t take long to learn to pace myself to only needing one drink–so I tried some of his beer. It wasn’t bad, but I am not a beer person, so I’m sure it’s probably really good if you like beer. For his meal, he had ordered something that looked like a German version of barbecued chicken legs and was trying to figure out how to eat it, so he asked the waitress if it was okay to eat with his hands. She seemed confused at first if he was asking permission til he explained that he didn’t know the custom and if it would be rude to eat it that way. She told him it was okay to eat it with his hands and other people do with that dish. She said she would bring some wet napkins.
In most German restaurants you have to let them know when you’re ready for the check because they don’t want to hurry you, and this was not an exception. When we were ready to leave, Tim asked the waitress how we would go about paying and tipping her. She showed us the device she carried and explained that she can just tell us the price or she can print a copy. If we wanted to pay in euro, we could hand her whatever tip we like. If we wanted to pay by card, then it would be like in America where there is a tip line to write it in. At first she read the bill as 130 and Tim was startled. I figured it was due to the fact that Germans would say “one and thirty” instead of “thirty-one”. She explained that was the case and that she gets mixed up when switching to English, which is understandable.
We talked to her for a minute about how we just got in town, and she told us how she likes the American candy Butterfingers. She knew they could be bought on the American army post but said it is hard to get over to. Tim told her we could probably work out getting her some next time we come in. She gave us her schedule and we planned to go back when she was working. Unfortunately we got busy and the next time we were there we had a different waitress. The original waitress seemed very excited about being able to have some of the candy (which interestingly enough is one of the few my husband likes), so I hope she doesn’t think we forgot. After the restaurant, we went back out to wander around…