22 October 2009

Lunch in Cologne

Blame it on Thanksgiving. Not the Canadian one, which is already past, but the American one, which is in November. Not that it’s celebrated much in Belgium. This year, we’ve invited some Belgian friends for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m doing my best to prepare a traditional one, in a country where you can’t find fresh corn and mincemeat is unheard of.

In Cologne, there’s a shop that sells English food. They don’t have corn, but they have Mincemeat. I needed some. Cologne is only 90 minutes from here, and it’s an easy and cheap train ride. So Dan and I decided to go to Cologne to see if we could get some mincemeat for Thanksgiving dinner. And for lunch.

One of the nice things about arriving in Cologne by train is that the incredible cathedral is right outside the train station. As soon as you step out of the station, you risk whiplash--you can’t help looking at this incredible building.

But we’ll save that for another time. I’m thinking that I’ll take you on a tour of Cologne around the time of the Christmas markets. So no Cathedral today.

Instead, we’ll head down the Hohe Strasse, and turn onto Brückenstraße, where we’ll find our favorite lunch place in Cologne. This is the Eigel Cafe and Konditorei. TIP: any time you’re in Germany or Austria or Swizerland and you see the word Konditorei, check the place out. Konditorei are pastry shops, they have some amazing stuff.

This one also serves lunch. Quiches, sandwiches, salads. But I never eat those, because they have wonderful soups. This day it was cold and drizzling, perfect soup weather. I ordered the same thing I always order, tomato soup. I don’t know how they do it, but their tomato soup is some of the best I’ve ever had. It makes my stomach smile. It makes me warm through and through. It’s served with cream. What else is there?

Dan had lentil soup, which came full of veggies and with some bits of ham in it as well. Hearty, stick-to-your-ribs lentil soup.

This was a wonderful lunch.

Then came dessert. Heh, heh. In this konditorei, you go to a counter and pick your poison.

They give you a little ticket to put on your table while they prepare the goodies.

The kellner comes to the table with your order takes the little ticket and adds it to your bill. I had cherry tart. NOBODY does cherries like the Germans. This one is worth the trip to Cologne, it’s so packed full of cherry wonderfulness. Dan had a chocolate torte. Full of chocolate goodness, with lots of whipped cream--I gave him mine so as to not dilute the cherry-ness of my tart.

Then there was nothing left but memories and some photos...

I ate that last cherry.


Hungry Dog said...

Sounds like a perfect lunch. Reading your posts always makes me want to move to Europe...

Valerie said...

What a good idea to go to Cologne !
I am belgian and I learn some nice places from an American who lives in Belgium, that's funny !
Do you know that in Waterloo there is an English/american store ?
Maybe you can find your meat there ? I know they have sausage and a lot of fresh food : is not very big but there is a lot of interesting food !

~~louise~~ said...

Tomato soup "makes my stomach smile" too. Lovely post Kate. It sounds like you had a sunny day despite the rain. Thank you so much for sharing your day with us...

BTW, I was doing a post the other day and thought of you. Salmagundi, I love that word!!!

Barbara said...

Laughed when I read your blog about trying to make a Thanksgiving dinner in Belgium. The same thing happened to my daughter in England a few years back. They managed..but it wasn't easy.

The Gypsy Chef said...

Thanksgiving in Belgium. I did that once 30 years ago but in Thailand. Had to settle for rice and loads of hot peppers. It is sure to be fun. I wish my Thanksgiving shopping took me to Cologne, Brussels or Paris.
I keep asking myself, Why am I living here when life is so wonderful in Europe? Where tomato soup and cherry tart are just waiting to be eaten. May have to pull out the cookbook to satisfy my craving. Thanks for sharing the trip to Cologne. Lucky you!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. You make me yearn to be back in German. We went to Cologne once right before Fasching. Crazy. You're so right about the Konditorei... What a wonderful description of lunch!