Dispatch from Munich – Day 2

Marienplatz seen from Cafe Glockenspiel

Image via travel1000places.com

Unfortunately the jet lag won and I found myself wide-awake and hungry early in the morning. I wound up buying way too many unhealthy snacks at a gas station and re-learning how to drive a stick shift in the streets of Munich at 3am. Needless to say I needed some serious caffeine to fuel my next, well same day.

Headed to Cafe Glockenspiel in Marienplatz for a late breakfast. The coffee was strong and the sunny day made a table on the rooftop terrace especially cozy. There was also a view of Marienplatz (image above is Marienplatz seen from Cafe Glockenspiel). Pretty much a perfect breakfast place despite the fact my “huevos rancheros” were served with Fritos (I was curious what huevos rancheros meant to the Münchener).

Next up was a City SightSeeing Tour with an hour-long tour of the hop-on hop-off variety. It was the easiest way to see the city and the top of the bus was nice and open. The tour was in 8 languages so most people would have access.

There are so many beautiful buildings in Munich that it would be impossible to put in all the pictures.  One of the most interesting buildings is the Maximilianeum, the seat of State Parliament (Bavarian Landtag).

This cafe looked like the place to be for some late afternoon sunning. I really wanted to hop off the bus and have a coffee but time did not permit. According to their website Tambosi is Munich’s oldest, continuously operated coffeehouse since 1810.

After the long day and a quick nap and change it was off to dinner at Cavos Taverna a beautiful Greek restaurant that turns into a party around 11pm. Decorated in white tables and chairs with pops of colors from the large photographs on the wall.

Image via placetobeguide.com

Image via placetobeguide.com

We started with a few appetizers of calamari, an artichoke and baked feta. The baked feta was the perfect level of salty and complimented by a drizzling of  balsamic and sesame seeds. I wanted the whole thing to myself. The artichoke was very fresh and fun to eat with a nice sweet aftertaste.

For the main course we ordered the Cavos plate – mixed grilled meat and the tuna steak with spinach and potatoes.  The tuna steak was succulent and the mixed grilled meat (chicken, beef and pork) was cooked well and nicely seasoned.

When debating dessert a plate of Greek yogurt with fresh fruits and honey was delivered to our table on the house. Truly an excellent way to end a meal.

Drink suggestion: MOVA – Cabernet Sauvignon / Agiorgitiko-Kokkalis

I was sad to be leaving Munich the next day but looking forward to the next city, Stuttgart.

Dispatch from Munich – Day 1

Getting off a red-eye is always nice but stepping into Munich Airport was even better. Well designed and surprisingly quiet. There were plenty of people there but there was not the noise level I associate with O’Hare. I loved it.

Rental car rented and off to get rid of the luggage I was excited to see Munich for the first time and hopefully discover some great food in the process. Everyone I spoke to about the city raved about it and declared it their favorite city in Germany. So I had high hopes for the two days I would be there.

First stop was Marienplatz to walk around and get some coffee. Stopped at an Italian cafe that served up great cappuccino. I was too jet lagged to remember to take a picture; you’ll just have to trust me on it.  The first thing I noticed about the squares around Munich is that everything looks perfect. Every building is beautiful, in order and no trash. It looked like a movie set to me.

After some sight-seeing and shopping came the first obvious drink/snack stop, Hofbräuhaus München.

It was early evening on a Monday so I avoided the packed weekend/college/tourist crowd. Murals cover the ceiling of the different rooms in the restaurant. With the outdoor seating there is easily a 500-person capacity. A band was playing and it got me in the mood to order a beer.

The Bretzel (pretzel) I got was nothing special but I guess you don’t come there for the food, do you? “In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus – oans, zwoa, g’suffa!” (In Munich there’s a Hofbräuhaus – one, two, down the hatch). Prost!

I was getting hungry so off to L’Osteria im Künstlerhaus, which was recommended by a neighbor. A stroll through Maximiliansplatz on the way proved Munich is just as beautiful at night.

The Künstlerhaus, also known as the Munich House of Artists, is an event venue that hosts weddings, banquets, conferences etc. founded in 1893. According to their website, “The idea of this house from the circle of artists Allotria society, in which both famous painters, sculptors, musicians and prominent representatives of the Munich society together.”

L’Osteria is one of two restaurants in the Künstlerhaus. The front dining room is dramatic and unexpected compared to the entrance of the restaurant which, is more modern and trendy. This restaurant is worth visiting if only for the architecture.

Image via exklusiv-muenchen.de

I went with a really basic order, Caprese and spaghetti and meatballs. The Caprese had really fresh buffalo mozzarella and the balsamic was sweet and rich. My dinner mates ordered the mussels but I am allergic so I could not partake. Judging from the 5 minute silence that ensued I believed them when they said they really liked the mussels. It looks like the thing here to order is the pizza. Pretty much every table had one and it looked and smelled delicious. Next time.

Day 1 complete I headed back to the hotel for some much-needed sleep. Day 2 coming soon. Guten nacht. Bis später.