Friday, June 30, 2017

Gasthof Lowen, German Dining and Hospitality at its Best

Fine European Dining With Family Prices

On our recent trip to Europe we visited with family and friends in Tuttlingen, Germany. Tuttlingen is in the South West corner of Germany, near the Rhine river.

We stayed at the Gasthof Lowen in the suburb known as Tuttlingen-Mohringen. The village is a post card perfect southern German village with gabled buildings, lots of fountains and statues. There are flower boxes everywhere. The gasthof is a quintessential, family owned, “old school” gasthof with lots of modern amenities.

The reasonably priced rooms are clean and comfortable with heated towel racks in the bathroom, free internet and flat screen TV's.

The best part of our stay was the food and hospitality of the gasthof restaurant. The hard wood paneled walls, with hand carved cukoo clocks, lace curtained windows and fresh flowers on every table is truly “Echte Deutsch” or truly German. They even had the traditional “stamptische”, a table reserved for regulars who will usually be found playing cards, discussing politics and drinking beer. It is an amazing experience to be asked to join in this wonderful German ritual!

The Gasthof Lowen has been owned and operated by the Rothweiler family for decades. Johanness Rothweiler is the current proprietor and chef.

Chef Rothweiler's skills have not gone unnoticed. Gasthof Lowen has been Michelin Guide rated for the past four years. I must say that I totally concur with this assessment.

Dinner for six included, salads, cream of garlic soup, schnitzel, pork medallions in a cream sauce with Chantrelle mushrooms, a vegetarian dish, fresh asparagus, and a schwein kotlette with delicious French fries. Needless to say, more than a few Hefe Wietzen beers, which is an unfiltered wheat beer that is considered a light beer in Germany. It is a refreshing beer with a great taste.

The ten page menu at Gasthof Lowen literally has something for everyone's dining pleasure and tastes. Like any German restaurant, The desserts are incredible, so try to save some room for them.

The service was pleasant and unpretentious. The Food was excellent and the ambiance was exceptional. Everything about this dining experience was exactly as it should be.

Like most European hotels, breakfast was included. It was served in another dining area decorated with a working, antique radio, fresh flowers, oak side boards and more. Frühstück, or Breakfast consisted of cold cuts, cheeses, cereals, fresh baked breads, jelly and jams, fruit and steaming hot coffee. It is a perfect way to start your day and usually precludes the need for a lunch as you are sight seeing.

Things to see and do in the the area include the Rhine Falls, a beautiful set of water falls on the Rhine river, The Tuttlingen City Hall / museum and a small mountain range similar to the Ozarks that was formed by ancient volcanoes.

If you are lucky enough to plan your trip around FasFest, or Canival, you will be treated to a great festival of costumed parades and party's.

Now comes the best part. I booked our stay through for $102.00 per night. The value of the US Dollar is the highest it has been in years and we found our entire trip was very reasonably priced. The cost of our dinner and drinks for six people; $128.00 including the tip! This meal in St. Louis would easily have cost over $300.00 and would have been well worth it.

If you have ever considered a trip to Europe, now is the time to go. Round trip airfare can be had for under $500.00 and a car rental, hotels and food are equally good bargains.

While a visit to the Tuttlingen area may not be considered a “tourist” destination, it is a place to experience the real Germany of today while being able to visit many historical areas as well. Enjoy!

Please check out their website:

Gasthof Lowen, proprietor Johannes Rothweiler
Mittlere Gasse 4
78532 Tuttlingen-Möhringen
Tel.: 07462/6277
Fax: 07462/7050

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Chandler Hill, A Great Missouri Winery

We went to Chandler Hill Vineyards in Defiance, MO yesterday with fellow travel writer Mark Bradley for a perfect day with great weather, friendship and good wine.

Chandler Hill is named after a freed slave who came up the Mississippi river after the Civil War. He lived in a small cabin next to the Daniel Boone home in the Osage valley and died here at the age of 92.

The owners found many artifacts while building the winery including a shotgun, rifle,tools china and more.These items are now on display in the winery.

The winery and deck are a great place to relax and enjoy the view, good food and live music along with award winning wines.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Big Bus Tour of Washington DC

Here is a link to our recent Big Bus Tour of Washington DC. It is a great way to see any city!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rookies in St. Charles, MO

Rookies, A Family Restaurant & Sports Bar

As my birthday approaches each year, I receive a packet of discount coupons. Most of the coupons are for local area restaurants.

We decided to try Rookies near 3-70 and New Town in St. Charles, MO. Rookies is in a strip mall on the north west side of 3-70 on New Town Blvd. The interior is typical sports bar furnishings, High top tables with stools, and a bar along one wall, ten flat screen TVs and plenty of regular tables and chairs. The TV's were showing hockey, soccer, baseball and more, but the volume was turned down and closed captioning made it very comfortable for us old folks!

In fact, most of the clientele were over forty along with a few younger couples with children. Rookies really is a very family friendly place. It is a no smoking restaurant with an outdoor patio complete with more TV's where clients may smoke if they chose. It is enclosed with heaters in the winter.

The menu is typical pub grub with lots of sandwiches, burgers, appetizers, wraps, wings etc. The menu also includes lunch and dinner items such as steaks, chicken, pasta and more. You will definitely find something to your liking and tastes. And there are kids items as well.

We started with an order of Skinny Dippers, golden fried potato shells stuffed with bacon, cheese & chives. Served with sour cream. One order was enough for two as an appetizer, or they could be a main dish for one person. I also ordered a cup of homemade Chili topped with cheddar cheese and onions. It was a good bowl of “Red” with just enough kick to get your attention, it was very good!
Sue ordered the daily special of hand battered cod fillets and asked for cold slaw rather than french fries. It came with four big pieces of fish and it looked really good. She let me have a taste and it was very good.
As a kid, I always liked a pork tenderloin sandwich, so that is what I ordered. This thing was huge! It was served on a hoagie bun and it hung out over the sides by at least three inches all the way around. It was so big the french fries were actually falling off the plate! The pork tenderloin had a panko coating and was delicious. I was unable to finish all of my fries, it wast just too much food!
The menu offers a large selection of items, so there is something for every ones taste. The service was very good and the prices are very reasonable.
I'm sure most of you know I am not a sports bar person, but just like O B Clark's, Rookies is a great place to visit. We will definitely be going back to Rookies.
Rookies Bar & Grill
3721 New Town Blvd, Saint Charles, MO 63301
(636) 724-3737