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.