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Traditional German Foods in Heidelberg – Vetter Im Schoneck and Red Ox Inn

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Traditional German Food

Traditional German Food

 

Whenever we travel, we make it a point to try the traditional foods of the country or district. In this visit, we ate at 2 such restaurants. Vetter Im Schoneck is in old part of Heidelberg that that serves Crispy Roast Pork Knuckle. We usually try this when in Germany. Red Ox Inn or “Zum Roten Ochsen” is one of the oldest traditional student pubs. It was started in 1703 and still owned by the Spengel Family. It still serves traditional food in the same building with the same interior furnishings and décor.

 

This travel article describes our experience in eating traditional German Food in Heidelberg.

 

Vetter Im Schoneck

This is a bierkeller type of restaurant. As we entered, right in front of us, were 2 giant metal copper coloured vats showing that the beer was brewed here. Alas, both of us were here for the German speciality Crispy Pork Knuckle and not the beer. However, prior to coming in, we had looked at from the street what the diners were eating. The servings of pork knuckle looked appetizingly good.

 

This bold sign attracted us to look at the Vetter Im Schoneck. It is a bierkeller restaurant with the traditional interiors and serves beirkeller food.

This bold sign attracted us to look at the Vetter Im Schoneck. It is a bierkeller restaurant with the traditional interiors and serves beirkeller food.

 

We made our order and looked around at the restaurant. More than half the diners looked as if they were from Mainland China. The giveaway sign was that they had all the courses on the table as they ate. In other words, starter, mains (one or more), and dessert at the same time. The Chinese, like the Germans, love their pork.

 

We were seated beneath a hanging basket of hops as we shared the pork knuckle. The skin was not crackling crispy but I found the skin tough. I loved the meat under the skin. It was tender and tasty. The service was extremely efficient and polite.

 

The interior of the bierkeller restaurant. The first thing that comes to my eyes were the copper vats. The large tables were meant to be shared. In the far end, there is a basket of hops hanging from the ceiling.

The interior of the bierkeller restaurant. The first thing that comes to my eyes were the copper vats. The large tables were meant to be shared. In the far end, there is a basket of hops hanging from the ceiling.

 

 

The Pork Knuckle with sauerkraut, dumpling with a spoonful of mustard.

The Pork Knuckle with sauerkraut, dumpling with a spoonful of mustard.

 

Red Ox Inn

The culture of university life is very much entrenched in this learned town.  A notable place related to students past and present is the Red Ox Inn or “Zum Roten Ochsen”. We dine at the Red Ox Inn pub one night marvelling at the history-soaked ambience of a mini-museum with a plethora of memorabilia of the inn’s past.  Faded pictures, paintings, lithographs and various paraphernalia adorn every wall. It was the favourite watering hole of the students in the old days and they left indelible evidence of their presence with graffiti and engravings on the tables and ceiling. Celebrities, famous writers, scholars and politicians such as Bismarck, Mark Twain, Mamie Eisenhower and John Wayne among others had patronised this famous inn. In keeping with tradition, the menu is classic German fare and we dined on a giant sausage slice wrapped in pig’s stomach served with sauerkraut followed by pork schnitzel and beef marinated in apple wine with gravy. Roten Ochsen is a family run outfit owned by the Spengel family for 170 years and is now in the hands of the 6th generation of the family, Philipp Spengel and his wife Anne.

 

The entrance to the Red Ox Inn or “Zum Roten Ochsen” in Heidelberg.

The entrance to the Red Ox Inn or “Zum Roten Ochsen”.

 

The interiors of the Red Ox Inn (Zum Roten Ochsen) Inn. A pianist plays familiar tunes from the 60 and 70s. On the other tables, people are in deep discussion over various topics.

The interiors of the Red Ox Inn (Zum Roten Ochsen) Inn. A pianist plays familiar tunes from the 60 and 70s. On the other tables, people are in deep discussion over various topics.

 

 

The restaurant walls, dining tables and chairs are covered with graffiti and engravings. It has become a trademark of this restaurant. On the Walls are photographs of well known personalities – Prinz Max and Prinz Ludwig in this case.

The restaurant walls, dining tables and chairs are covered with graffiti and engravings. It has become a trademark of this restaurant. On the Walls are photographs of well known personalities – Prinz Max and Prinz Ludwig in this case.

 

 

A bowl of Potato Soup on a heavily engraved or graffitied dinner table.

Starter – A bowl of Potato Soup on a heavily engraved or graffitied dinner table.

 

 

A German speciality - A giant sausage slice wrapped in pig’s stomach served with sauerkraut.

Starter – A German speciality – A giant sausage slice wrapped in pig’s stomach served with sauerkraut.

 

 

Two main courses: Roasted marinated Beef with Red cabbage and dumplings. Schnitzel filled with ham and cheese together with salad and chips.

Two main courses: Roasted marinated Beef with Red cabbage and dumplings. Schnitzel filled with ham and cheese together with salad and chips.

 

 

Dessert – Apple Pie with cream and ice cream with cherry sauce.

Dessert – Apple Pie with cream and ice cream with cherry sauce.

 

 

Posing with Maria by a heavily decorated wall of the Zum Roten Ochsen Inn.

Posing with Maria by a heavily decorated wall of the Zum Roten Ochsen Inn.

 

The travel article has described our experiences sampling the Traditional German Food in 2 restaurants in Heidelberg.

We loved the traditional atmosphere of these restaurants as well as the food.

 

The review of the Vetter Im Schoneck was made by Michael Oon

 

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