Still on the run in Germany, on the Mosel, back to Traben-Trarbach, a small city that has the potential to make any traveler fall in love with its charm. And it’s not only the city that makes one return. The people are as wonderful. Since you are already familiar with this must-see attraction within the Mosel wine region, I’ll focus my attention on other issues that could make your experience in the town complete: shopping and eating. While, this time, we didn’t enjoy the food that much, we loved the warm atmosphere at both venues, and the people’s flawless hospitality.
Lunching in a Great Location, Less Exciting Food
Last Wednesday we featured two excellent restaurants. One had the advantage of being set in a strategic location – Traben-Trarbach’s celebrated Brücken-Schenke, situated inside the 1898 Brückentor designed by Berlin architect Bruno Möhring. The other, inside Central Hotel, served an excellent budget meal, flawlessly cooked and presented, with utmost care for customer service as well. Both restaurants featured last week deserved accolades, and we expected the same quality from Schloß Café, this week’s candidate, which fortunately enough is situated in the immediate vicinity of the Brücken-Schenke, atop Lounge Bar Exclusiv, at Enkircher Str. 10.
Schloß Café’s official address is at Brückenstr. 27, in the immediate vicinity of restaurant Brücken-Schenke. The Café offers great views of the Mosel River – and, is an extremely popular venue during the summer touristic season. Prices are moderate, and as such, the venue manages to attract large crowds. Add excellent wines to the list of positives, and you get a pretty good picture of what makes this café-bistro so popular – because it cannot possibly be the food.
We had lunch at Schloß Café Monday, November 22, 2010. As we arrived early, the place only had two guests. We occupied a table in the back – and, to the owners, we surely appeared as average tourists passing-by through the city. We were four adults, and a two-year-old child – not what you normally expect from travel writers, but perhaps better, since restaurant owners cannot “detect” your intentions form the start. We ordered five different mains, to sample a wider variety of dishes.
Although there was no children menu, Mrs. Bärbel Bley, the owner, was kind to offer something special for our child. She was attentive, at all times – and this recommends the place for excellent service. In fact, when Paul-Jules got too impatient, Mrs. Bley brought him a coloring book and pencils. Another positive aspect: Schloß Café is extremely family friendly, and all service is performed with a smile.
It’s not my intent to be too cutting, but this is a very nice place, and the food should not betray the people’s obvious caring for their clients.
The food is literally thrown on the plate, with no care (or love) whatsoever. The fish, and any other dishes, except the steaks, are drowning in sauce. Any side veggies, potatoes or rice, are piled up randomly. Fortunately, the taste is not as bad as the looks on the dish, but there is no culinary revelation either. Mediocre would be too harsh of a term to describe what we were offered. Let’s just call it something any inexperienced housewife could put together at home. What do I expect from a meal? Below, salmon I cooked at home, with sweet potato mash, and a fresh side of broccoli and asparagus. Bottom line, I expect the food to be served on a plate, and not thrown on it.
The Value that Still Makes Traben-Trarbach a Favorite Destination
Since 1983, Boutique Piccolo Mode is by far the best shopping venue of its kind in the city. Everything else is German traditional, with a touch of cheap Turkish fashion, or pretentious designer-wannabes who sell their items at inflated prices. Take note that Traben-Trarbach is a small town, with a provincial flair, and not the place where to find Prada, Boss or other luxury items. So for the second best thing, forget the city’s Heidi Mode Treff or Kortmanns. Mode für Sie und Ihn. Boutique Piccolo Mode has so much more to offer, and the owner, Ingrid Keller, is extraordinary.
This is more than a store: it’s a work of art, graced by the beautiful watercolors of Kurt Keller, Ingrid’s husband. The experience is rewarding, exciting and fun. It’s a store that has something for every taste, and I quickly found the dress that had my name all over it.
Although our second stop in Traben-Trarbach was not as rewarding from a culinary perspective, you can see that the shopping experience surpassed expectations. In fact, Piccolo Mode is now at the top of my list for fashion shopping in the region, followed by a few boutiques in Trier, I will review in the future. Enjoy the video we prepared for this part of the trip, that shows you both these venues in detail.