Zum Hirschen, Scheidegg

Ages ago, my boyfriend and I were trying to figure out where to go on vacation when he asked me ‘isn’t there some gluten-free mecca or somewhere?’ which led me to googling just that and finding Scheidegg in Allgäu.

Scheidegg is a bit of an adventure to get to from Konstanz. You take the catamaran to Friedrichshafen, followed by a train to Lindau, then a bus that winds it’s way up into the Allgäu. Or, if you are more adventurous, take the bus or train to Bregenz, then the cable car up the side of the mountain called Pfänder, and hike your way to Scheidegg. This route is a lot more fun and the hike is almost exclusively downhill and takes just over three hours.

 

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Plus you get views like this as you’re hiking to Scheidegg from Pfänder

 

Scheidegg is fairly well known in the German gluten-free circuit, but I wanted to do a quick write-up for a few reasons. It is an absolutely great place to hike to, there are lots of other hikes in the area – not just to Pfänder. There are lots of hotels that offer gluten-free breakfast and lots of restaurants that offer gluten-free meals – I think you can try a different gluten-free schnitzel every night for a week in Scheidegg. There is also a nice cafe in an old house that offers a few gluten-free cakes, which is just as important.

I won’t detail every place that we went to, or everything that we ate. I just want to point you to the best restaurant in the entire town. Zum Hirschen.

There are cheaper places to eat in Scheidegg that also have gluten-free options labeled on their menu, but Zum Hirschen is by far the best. Coming from Konstanz, the prices aren’t too expensive, although with gluten-free beer and dessert, our meals can definitely get over 50€. Everything there is delicious though, so even if it is a bit pricey, it’s definitely worth it. Everyone working at Zum Hirschen is worth their salt and definitely understand what celiac means and what can and cannot be prepared gluten-free. Don’t be disappointed by their online menu, that is definitely not the only things that they offer gluten-free, but rather a sample of what are gluten-free.

 

Doesn’t that look incredible? Make sure that you make reservations, as it is very often packed to the rafters. We actually went to Scheidegg last summer for a small weekend getaway and then went back this year, just for Zum Hirschen. There are a collection of other places in town where you can order gluten-free, you can find them here. Don’t forget to go for a piece of cake here.

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Bischenberg – in the Black Forest, with plenty of chocolate (and cake!)

One of the things that I love about living on Lake Constance is how easy it is to get away to cute little towns in the surrounding mountains and hills – and there are a lot to discover. A little while ago, on a long weekend, we went to the Black Forest to a little tiny place called Bischenberg. I had found out about Bischenberg after doing a search for a gluten-free Christmas market, which is held in the parking lot next to the Gasthaus. We went there for the market last year and decided that we should go back for a little vacation sometime.

Bischenberg could easily be considered a part of neighbouring Sasbachwalden, which is a very pretty town with lots of Fachwerkhäuser – half timbered houses. The nearest train station is in Achern and as the bus winds its way up past farms and bed & breakfasts, to stop almost directly at your goal. The Gasthaus Bischenberg.

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The Gasthaus Bischenberg is a delight for any celiac or lactose intolerant traveler, particularly those who like sweets or for people who want more local, Black Forest cuisine. Both points were really interesting to me, as I love desserts and pastries, and a lot of the local cuisine here is wheat based and I haven’t been able to try very much.

First up was a little gift from the kitchen, which was a yummy cheese biscuit with tomato spread that was very light and very tasty. I could have had six more of them, no problem. What was extra nice is that this little starter is what everyone gets, so you feel very normal. You really don’t feel like you’re asking for anything unusual at the Bischenberg, when you’re asking for something gluten-free (or lactose-free, or vegetarian for that matter!).

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As an appetizer, we ordered the gluten-free and lactose-free Flädlesuppe. If you have no idea what a Flädle is, think of a fluffy egg-based pancake, made a bit thinner than your average pancake, then cut up into slices and served in a nice broth. It was wonderful.

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My boyfriend ordered the fish, which is raised in the stream next to the Gasthaus, while I had the Flammkuchen. I couldn’t pass up the chance to have another Flammkuchen, they’re so delicious. While my boyfriend really enjoyed his fish, we both thought that the Flammkuchen should have been done better. The base was pre-made and really wasn’t the thinness that a Flammkuchen should be. It was still really tasty but it wasn’t quite the quality that I expected.

We finished off our lunch by sharing a gluten-free apple strudel and then set off to find the nearest stop on the schnapps hiking route that wanders around Bischenberg. Originally, my idea was to hike the entire 18 kilometers but that wasn’t in the stars, so we decided to go to the nearest one. Turns out that I still get lost trying to use google maps and ended up at the top of the hill, out of breath, but at some castle ruins overlooking the countryside.

That is why I really like Bischenberg, you have a lot of nice walking trails in the area to work up an appetite between meals. It’s perfect if you want to just relax on the balcony, eat good food and go for some nice walks in the area. It’s even better if you like schnapps. We only made it to the one stop, but it was lovely, with nice chilled Drinks – lots homemade – and some homemade marmalade that we took home.

After our walk, we were back at Gasthaus Bischenberg for supper! Then it was time to try the schnitzel and some of the cake, which was really good, even if it took a bit of explanation. ‘Wine cake’ … how can cake be made of wine? when it’s actually chocolate cake with wine. Delicious.  Look at this lovely rhubarb meringue cake, absolutely delicious.

The next morning, breakfast was already laid out for us, with three gluten-free buns set out for me. A very nice array of cold cuts, followed by a special type of cake that was really yummy. All in all, a very nice time in Bischenberg!