One of the benefits of knowing someone who has lived where you’re visiting, even if it’s just for a short time, is that you often have access to a guide, someone in the know, as it were. My wife’s sister clued us in to the Kaiser, in Freiburg. When you have a guide (especially one who speaks the language) you get to do things like try authentic regional cuisine, and sometimes even write German restaurant reviews (although, strictly speaking a guide isn’t necessary for that, but it helps to understand the menu).
Although we were well prepared for the food to be amazing, thanks to my sister-in-law, we weren’t prepared for the service. We had been warned that sometimes the service can be a bit surly. The lady you can almost see was our waitress. I wish I could remember her name, and I wish I had gotten a better photo of her. She was awesome.
This was the dining room right as we got there. We got there early so that we could go on a little excursion later in the afternoon, just missing the lunch rush (pretty much the main reason we didn’t get a photo with the waitress; they got BUSY).
This is the menu at the Kaiser. I love the design.
Unfortunately it’s all in German. Crazy, huh? Good thing we had good guides to help us (thanks guys!).
This was the view of Freiburg from my seat. Again, more of the sense of place I’ve been talking about. It felt somewhat bustling like any city, but also somehow a little sleepy and comfy at the same time. It’s hard to put into words.
Their salad was amazing, the garden fresh flavors bursting in my mouth. The corn was a sweet little surprise. It really tasted green.
This is the crepe my son ordered. The fresh mint, melon, pomegranate, and orange was a nice touch. That’s homemade apple sauce on the plate (pretty much my favorite thing to put on or in a crepe). Crepes are fairly popular in the regional cuisine in the Black Forest area (as well as in Austria and other areas, my sister-in-law tells me). They’re not just French.
This dish is a Brickteigtasche. Tasche means a purse or bag. The crepe acts as a purse for all the goodies inside (pasta similar to orzo with roasted vegetables). This is my sister-in-law’s favorite dish.
My brother-in-law Collin had the schnitzel and spaetzle. I was lucky enough to try some. The sauce is to kill for, absolutely.
I am not a beer person. At all. I’ve never liked it. But I was in Germany, so I had to try something. This was a radler, pretty much half lemonade and half beer. And it was transcendent. Sublime. Liquid joy distilled into a glass for my lunch. I’m pretty much a convert now. If America could figure out how to make beer like this I’d drink beer more often.
The cool waitress whose name I can’t remember really came through for me with this one. I couldn’t decide what to get, and I was teetering toward getting schnitzel, but I wasn’t sure. So she suggested I get the schaeufele, a local regional specialty. It’s essentially a smoked and braised pork shoulder, served with perfectly roasted vegetables (turnips, carrots, celery and so on) and the most amazing bacon mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. It was perfect, so of course I had to tell our waitress. The best part is that it seemed to really make our waitress happy that I enjoyed it. The smile on her face was awesome. I was touched by how touched she was, knowing that she shared this amazing regional dish with me. It wasn’t just food. It was an experience. My sister-in-law went back to the Kaiser since we left, and our waitress told her that she ‘locked that compliment in her heart.’ Which is pretty much the best thing ever.
So, if you enjoyed my German restaurant review for the Kaiser, all you have to do is get on a plane (if you live in the States), fly to Germany, take a train to Freiburg, then walk there or take the public transportation (although honestly the public transportation system in Freiburg seems a little messed up right now until they have their main street repairs completed). You might just want to walk there. There’s an Aldi right across the street.
Any misspellings are completely my own. Additionally, I haven’t been compensated for this review at all. It’s all about love.