What a Saturday! We attended a strawberry fest in Esslingen, Germany that I would call one of my best experiences since I’ve been in Stuttgart!
So what was so great? Well, number 1 was that as you strolled through the festival, the town businesses were handing around a good quality sekt (sparkling, cremant like wine). Number 2 was that the street musicians were fantastic.
Of course we had to try everything strawberry or it would have been pointless. We began with the wine, a Rose sekt with strawberries.
Strawberry danish. Nobody really liked this but it had to be done.
Strawberries in a cup with fromage blanc.
The business owners were friendly, talkative and generous with the wine, served in normal glasses. Esslingen has an enormous and beautiful downtown business area interspersed with churches, old Tudor houses and shaded spots for resting between shopping. The weather was mid 70s (Fahrenheit Roger) and it was a perfect day for a fair.
Onward! Strawberry mustard. Yes, we bought some. It was good spread on the sample bits of bread.
Strawberry liqueur. Tasted, not bought.
Jade just loved this group of young musicians because they were singing in French. I think they were French.
It’s not often that you see a bass saxophone. So what were they playing? You guessed it, Summertime :) They were quite good.
There are 3 American military installations in the Stuttgart area and I think everybody came, most likely in bus loads. It was like Calcutta, shuffling along, cheek by jowl, only with better dressed people speaking American English. No beggars.
Escaping from the “madding crowd”, we found a quiet little oasis for lunch. Gambrinus.
Gambrinus is a legendary king of Flanders, and an unofficial patron saint of beer or beer brewing. Gambrinus is variously depicted as a European king, as an English knight of the Middle Ages, or (less commonly) as a plump old man. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambrinus
We sat outside of the restaurant at a cool, shaded table and enjoyed a glass of “correct” sekt Rose as we looked over the menu. German, the selection of plates were a little on the heavy side but the owners had wisely limited the menu, going for fresh quality over quantity. Their food was good. Underneath this heap of fresh greens was a potato salad with carrots.
Maultaschen with an onion confit.
Salmon roll salad with cheese.
Fresh perch, not frozen, with herb butter and bacon potatoes.
Dessert was out of the question. We had a coffee. A good coffee :)
I know we will go back to this restaurant because we want to go back to visit this pretty town when it’s not so crowded.
Converse All Stars.
On the way back to the car in front of, I believe, an insurance company we were handed two glasses of sekt and invited to listen to Joe Vox http://www.joe-vox.com/, a German, multilingual musician who was easily the most popular attraction at the fair. We stayed a while :)