Monday, November 28, 2022

Looking for Food; Day 1 in Berlin

My wife and I used to have a hard rule about dining while traveling, no chains, no restaurants that we have at home. It seemed like a good plan; it allowed us to find really amazing places like the “Fox and Goat” outside of Oxford England. 

The Fox and Goat, we were lucky to find a great place to eat on day 1 of our England trip.

It was on that trip in 2019, we found ourselves on the highway heading back to Oxford, hungry, tired and in search of anything to eat. We finally exited at a turnout along the highway and found something to eat. You can read about that in this blog entry: Food on the Fly: A French Burger in England? It Could Happen We ended up eating at the McDonalds in the turnout. I was actually pretty happy with the “International” burger that I had. 

That experience led us to having breakfast at the McDonalds next to our hotel on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. Food on the Fly: Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam Wonderful Spam! 

So tonight we found ourselves in Germany, short on cash, not able to find an ATM and not sure if our credit cards would be accepted. Once again tired and hungry, we turned to our old friend Mickey D’s. We had gone in search of an ATM and ended up driving into Berlin (which was not part of the plan). We set the GPS to go back to the hotel and saw a McD’s right on the route. We went in, wondering if the staff would be able to understand us. What we found were the electronic ordering board we have at home. After a minute, we noticed that we could switch the language to English. Hoping to find something different than the offerings in California, I ordered a hamburger Royal. 

 Turns out it is just a ¼ pounder with cheese. I really didn’t mind, I was just looking to eat something. They also offered a chicken sandwich that looked a lot like the original chicken sandwich at Burger King, I thought about giving that a try, maybe next time we are in Germany. 

 So, it wasn’t a life changing experience, but I still think we will wander into a McDonald’s when we visit France in the Spring.

Off to Europe

It’s been a bit, but we’re back on the road. This time we are headed to Germany for the Christmas Markets.

I was sitting at the computer about three weeks ago. My wife had forwarded me an article about the German Christmas Markets she had seen online.

As I read the article, I thought, “why not.”

I went online and booked flights, hotels and a car.

There is a bit of insanity, booking a trip to a country you’ve only dreamed of going to, hoping that between Utube and one semester of high school German you can navigate a trip to a foreign country.

We’ll see how that works out.

We left home on Saturday and headed to Los Angeles International Airport.

On the way we stopped at Clearman’s North Woods Inn for a meal before the flight.

Clearman’s holds a special place in my memories. I remember going there as a child with my father.

My parents separated when I was very young, so I didn’t see my father much. One of the things I remember most about the time we spent together was eating out. He didn’t cook much and at home with mom, we didn’t have much money, so we rarely went out.

I love Clearman’s from the start. From the fake snow

covered roof, to the dimly lit interior illuminating the Canadian North Woods d├ęcor. And as a kid, anyplace that let you throw peanut shells on the floor was a rare treat.

Not much has changed since I first walked thru their doors over 50 years ago. On this visit, I had the “Steak Chunks on skewer” served with two salads, rice pilaf, baked potato and garlic cheese bread.

The salads are a pretty plain salad and a red cabbage salad. I would go to Clearman’s just to have the cabbage salad and the garlic cheese bread.

It’s not cheap, but for a special treat it’s well worth the cost.