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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Überlingen and the Monkeys

When I moved to the Bodensee area, the last thing I expected was that there would be a place called ‘Affenberg’, or Monkey Mountain. Not only is this a real thing, but it is set in a very pretty location and is well worth a visit.

We left Constance on the 1 bus that goes directly to the ferry to Meersburg. This is an incredibly easy way to get to Meersburg and the surrounding area, as the bus and the ferry go every fiften minutes, every single day, so you just walk from the bus to the ferry and the ferry leaves about a minute after you’ve found a spot to sit.

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A view from the ferry, looking at Meersburg

2017-05-25 12.00.44Meersburg is a gorgeous little town, with a few palaces and vineyards overlooking the lake, it’s definitely a good place to get a good glass of wine and I had figured that I would just look at menus until I found a place that served something I could eat. I was very surprised when we stumbled across a little italian restaurant offering gluten-free pizza! Let’s be honest, celiacs, every single one of us would stop and find out what’s going on.

Turns out Detto Fatto brings in gluten-free pizza bases and just had one left when I inquired about them. They are gluten-free and wheat-free, they’re primarily corn which is pretty usual. They are going to change to a different company that was a bit more reliable, so they don’t just end up with one left on a Saturday morning.

Anyway, pizza!

One hawaiian gluten-free pizza!
I love Hawaiian pizza, so that will always be my first pizza at a new restaurant. I don’t want to try a new place out and not like the pizza because I don’t like how they make four cheese pizza or something completely different, so I always go with Hawaiian. This was a pretty good, fluffy, large and not very expensive pizza. This is likely going to be your cheapest, safest option in Meersburg and if you’re lucky like us, you’ll get to hear a band playing while you eat.

From Meersburg we picked up the bus to Affenberg, changing at Marktplatz, Uhldingen-Mühlhofen. Unfortunately, every other person in the entire area decided to go to Affenberg at the same time, so we were stuck in line for an hour before we could get into the park. (TIP: bring water, the line-up for the restaurant was also very Long & there’s limited shade in line) While you are waiting, look up and you can see dozens of storks! Nesting up on the buildings, on nearby buildings, flying, landing. It was pretty amazing.

Stork families

Once you pay and get in, you walk past a nice pond with more storches, large fish and plenty of other birds. There is food to feed them here, but the main attraction is just a few minutes away.

These guys.

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As you can see, the monkeys are pretty used to people in this park. These are Barbary macaques and they have lots of room to roam around, so it’s a pretty cool park for them. There’s a lot of space that people can’t get to, so if they want to get away, they can just step away from the path that’s clearly marked with a short wooden fence – that’s what the macaque is sitting on in the photo above. You’re given a handful of popcorn before you enter the area and are told how to feed them, so it’s very safe. Wherever a monkey has decided to get a snack from people, there’s an employee making sure that people don’t get too close. It is very easy to forget about the 1m rule, because they seem so relaxed. It is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

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We then took the bus to Überlingen, changing again at Marktplatz, Uhldingen-Mühlhofen. Überlingen is home to Pizzaria-Ristorante La Flotta. This italian restaurant offers a lot of gluten-free options, including pizza, pasta and brushetta. It is worth the trio from Konstanz, simply to have the brushetta.

The easiest way back to Konstanz is to take the ferry to Wallhausen and then take the 4/13 or 13/4 back to Konstanz. The buses take the same route, just in different directions and both take approximately 1/2 hour to get back to the Train station.

 

Detto Fatto Restaurant-Pizzeria

Unterstadtstraße 10, 88709 Meersburg

de-de.facebook.com

07532 8087905

Pizzeria-Ristorante La Flotta

Hafenstraße 7, 88662 Überlingen

ristorante-laflotta.de

07551 9459111

Constance’s many gluten-free options

Despite Constance being a city of 80,000, there are quite a few options for celiacs here. I hadn’t really thought of it until I went to make the map for this, but I have been able to try a lot of different places out in the last two years. In any case, I will update this as I find new places. Go to the bottom for a map.

Meals:

Tolle Knolle is a potato themed Restaurant on the Bodanplatz near the Swiss border. This moderately priced restaurant has an allergy menu for gluten-free and lactose-free food. No reservations needed. Bodanpl. 9, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.tolle-knolle.de +49 7531 17575 €€

California Bar | Taco Lounge is amazing. I have written about it in my last post, but I really do love this place. 100% gluten-free with yummy tacos and delicious cheesecake. Nice patio on the Bodanplatz, perfect for relaxing with a beer. No reservations needed. Bodanpl. 12A, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.california-kn.de +49 7531 8027848 €€

Restaurant Papageno is an upscale Restaurant that is more than willing to cater to any allergy. Even the little ‘gift from the kitchen’ at the start of the meal was gluten-free. Not for the every day but definitely worth a visit. Reservations recommended. Hüetlinstraße 8 A, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.restaurant-papageno.net +49 7531 368660 €€€€

Rigg’s Burgers is probably the cheapest place to get a decent gluten-free meal in Constance, at least if you like burgers. Just tell your Server that you need to eat gluten-free and they’ll tell you what options you have. You can get the burgers on a gluten-free bun for an extra 2,50€ or you can get it on lettuce! For sides, only the regular French fries are okay for us, as they have their own dedicated fryer. No reservations needed. Bodanstraße 23, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.riggs-burger.com +49 7531 3638520 €€

Vida Eat Different is a little café on a side street in the downtown core that has a lot of gluten-free food. A lot of their offerings are vegan, organic, local, gluten-free, or a mix of all of them. Their wraps are delicious and are made out of buckwheat and all of the packaging is compostable. A little pricey for a Café but definitely worth it. Neugasse 20, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland  www.eatdifferent.de +49 1590 8190924 €€

Karma Restaurant + Lounge is one of Constance’s many Indian Restaurants. Thankfully, most of India’s delicious food is gluten-free and Karma is no exception. Just ask the server to double check. No reservations required. Sigismundstraße 14, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.karma-konstanz.de +49 7531 3698024 €€

Brasserie Ignaz is located right across the street from the train station and is a really nice place for a drink in summer. It doesn’t have a huge menu for celiacs, as they focus more on Flammkuchen, a thin pizza, but their steaks are very good and they have a huge gin list. No reservations required. Bahnhofpl. 6, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.brasserie-ignaz.de +49 7531 2827788 €€€

Mayura, along with it’s sister restaurant Sitara, is a lovely indian restaurant located close to the Stadtpark and the main shops. As is often the case, there’s very little gluten in this Indian kitchen,  and everything is pretty good.  I highly recommend the mango chicken. No reservations required. Fischmarkt 1, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.mayura-restaurant.de +49 7531 3633766 €€

Eugen’s is another organic cafe that has a lot of gluten-free dishes on it’s menu and usually a few different types of gluten-free cakes. Brunch is also an option, although I haven’t tried it. No reservations required but it often gets pretty busy, so go a bit early. Münzgasse 1, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.eugens.bio +49 7531 9768689 €€

Tapasbar La Bodega is an adorable little Spanish Tapas Restaurant, tucked away down a side street close to the Rhine. The boss of the place is a great woman named Maria and she knows everything. She will run through the entire list of tapas that you can order that night and will come back for dessert, make sure you save some room. If you are missing Spain, check out this place, but make sure to make a reservation. Schreibergasse 40, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland La Bodega’s Facebook Page +49 7531 27788 €€€

Sushibar Tatsumi is a small sushi bar in Wollmatingen, that is definitely the best sushi in Constance and likely the best on the entire lake. It has atmosphere, it feels authentic and according to one person on Instagram, there’s even an allergy menu and gluten-free soya Sauce. I am definitely going to have to go back and test that out. Make reservations well in advance, as there’s only about twelve tables. Wollmatinger Str. 70 b, 78467 Konstanz, Deutschland www.sushibartatsumi.de +49 174 5392200 €€€

Maharani is another Indian restaurant in Constance and definitely the cheapest in downtown. Everyone at the restaurant knows about celiac disease and will tell you that practically everything is fine, except for the samosas of course. Dishes are huge and cheap and tasty, a good combintion. Reservations aren’t really necessary unless the city is full for a festival. Konradigasse 1, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.maharani-konstanz.de +49 7531 20290

Singapore Restaurant Meera is a great restaurant, hidden away in Königsbau, with lots of Indian dishes and other asian dishes that you might not get a chance to have otherwise. Almost everything is gluten-free and they have wonderful mojitos. Reservations are a good idea on weekends. Friedrichstraße 32, 78464 Konstanz, Deutschland meera-restaurant-konstanz.de +49 7531 3692786

Snacks, Light Meals, Desserts:

Merci is located in the Lago and often has gluten-free cake, as well as a nice gin list. Bodanstraße 1, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland merci-konstanz.de +49 7531 9911122 €€€

Onar Crêpe is ran by two greek women, who have created their own gluten-free and lactose-free batter. It’s literally a window that is open onto the street, but the women are very friendly and banana-nutella Crêpes are wonderful. There’s an additional 1,40€ for the gluten-free Crêpe and there is a chance of contamination. Neugasse 8-10, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland +49 177 3190929

Voglhaus is a nice coffee shop in the pedestrian part of the old City. They usually have a few goodies that are gluten-free, and their orange cake is amazingly light and fluffy. Served in glasses, so they are definitely free of contamination. Also good coffee. Wessenbergstraße 8, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.das-voglhaus.de +49 7531 9189520

Shamrock is a pub right in the downtown, next door to Ignaz, only a few steps away from the train station. They don’t have a huge menu but they do have an allergy menu. Bahnhofstraße 4, 78462 Konstanz, Deutschland www.shamrock-konstanz.de +49 7531 24622

 

Restaurant Review: California in Konstanz, a 100% gluten-free kitchen!

A good (gluten-free) taco is hard to find.

Good tacos are very hard to find in Germany, nevertheless good gluten-free tacos. The only way that I have had tacos here is by making them either with the hard Shells that you can get at Kaufland or by bringing soft shells from North America. I am that person, who brings their suitcase full of presents so I can pack it full of food for the return trip. But I digress.

California is the name of the cali-mex Restaurant that popped up in the Bodanplatz in Konstanz in April. The owner of the restaurant is a celiac, which explains why everything in the kitchen is gluten-free and wheat-free. Most of the dishes are lactose-free, but as always, please double check as I don’t ask about lactose.

California is also a bar, by the way, and has Lammsbräu and cider – just in case you want a place to go and have a beer sometime in the evening. They have lots of tables outside, so it’s a pretty good setup for the summer.

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This is the fish taco. It has chipotle mayo so it has a nice bite to it, but isn’t overly spicy.  When the waitress said that everything was gluten-free, I specifically asked about these guys because they are beer-battered. And guess what? They are! They are also absolutely deliious and are probably my favourite taco. This may change though as California is keeping an eye on what tacos are selling and are changing it up when certain tacos don’t sell very well. Thankfully they haven’t removed this deliciousness, nor the chicken taco, which is also amazing. Check this out.

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Tomato, cilatro, more spicy mayo and chicken strips. I love it. It really does taste like what you’d get in California, at least in my memory. It’s just so good. These are also a bit spicy, but if you want it even spicier, they do have different sauces that you can request. I haven’t needed any, so I cannot say if they are gluten-free or not.

If you have managed the three or four tacos, you can also get gigantic plates of delicious fries or big tortilla chips with dip. The fries on the left are what I call California poutine. They’re California fries, with cheese, caramalized onions and a really heavy but delicious sauce. Not a light meal, but each bite is just wonderful. On the right, you can see the hand-made nacho chips with three different types of salsa. I apparently didn’t get a pic of jalapeno shooters, which are deep fried jalapeno peppers that are stuffed with cheese. Doesn’t that just sound delicious? Definitely a treat as a celiac to be able to have something deep-fried.

If you have managed all that and still have room for more, don’t forget dessert. If you’re like me and can’t eat anymore, don’t worry, you can always get it to go.

They have cheesecake.

It’s gluten and wheat-free.

Do you see why I love this place? I have had two kinds of cheesecake here and once had to go without and order the ice cream – which was also delicious but just not as amazing as cheesecake. First time I got a lovely vanilla cheesecake and the second time was banana-Nutella, which I did not think would ever be feasible as a cheesecake but it is really good. Do yourselves a favor and order the cheesecake. You’re worth it.

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California

Bodanplatz 12A

Konstanz

Mo-Sa 12-01, So 17-23

Klinikum Konstanz: gluten-free while sick

As many celiacs know, we are prone to illness. This, like the symptoms of the celiac disease, can differ widely from celiac to celiac. While going gluten-free cleared up a lot of health issues for me, not everything has gone away, and in particular, endrometriosis has remained. This means that I have had two hospital stays in the last 12 months in Konstanz.

 

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Konstanz in the winter fog

 

After reading reports from other German celiacs about hospital stays, I thought I would make it clear. The Klinikum Konstanz does a wonderful job of taking care of its’ patients, particularly food-wise. It is large enough that someone comes around every day and asks you what your allergies and preferences are, how the meals were the previous day and if anything needs to be changed. This woman is absolutely, absolutely delightful and if you have any wishes – more cheese, less butter, Lactose-free, vegan, low sodium – she will do her very best to make sure that the kitchen knows.  The key thing that I want to mention is that I have *never* had a problem and I have been there now for a total of twelve days.

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March is a little early for asparagus, but they had some for lunch!

Breakfast and supper both have Schär bread, either the plain Classic or one of the multigrain breads. Neither meal is particularly interesting, but you can get Quark, cheese, meat, marmalade, jam, and even a side salad for supper. There are still some choices, just not a heck of a lot. Considering how many people they have to feed, this isn’t too surprising.

 

Lunch is the big meal of the day, and it happens right at noon, after all of the doctors’ visits in the morning. For the non-celiacs, this can be one of three meals. Those of us with special diets get a surprise every day.

I made a mistake and didn’t photograph the best lunch that I got, as it was on my last day. Mushroom Risotto with so much cheese, it was amazing! It is one of the normal dishes there, so they didn’t have to do anything special for me but it was so delicious! I mentioned it to one of the nurses and she said that she even ate it because it was so good.

So there you go, if you ever end up at the Klinikum Konstanz (and I hope you don’t!), you will be well taken care of for gluten-free meals.

Pizza Dough Comparison – Croustipate vs Buitoni

Living next to the Swiss/German border means that we have lots of different grocery stores to take advantage of – all with different gluten-free options. This time, we wanted to try out some different pizza crusts.

In the running today is Croustipate from France, which we purchased from Edeka and which we have had a few times before. It appeared a few months ago and seems to generally be available at larger Edekas and at Kauflands. The competitor that we purchased at the Coop in Kreuzlingen is Buitoni. Right off the bat, Croustipate has a few things going for it. It’s cheaper, approximately 3€ instead of 5 CHF, and it is much easier to acquire.

Croustipate Pizzateig in the foreground and Buitoni Pizzateig in the background
The Contenders

But how does it taste? How does it behave?

Croustipate before baking
Croustipate before cooking

We did a pretty rough trial of the dough this time around, as we loaded them up with two types of cheese (mozzarella and Gruyère) and ham and pineapple. This may have been too much for the Croustipate, as it was still fairly soggy in the middle. The Buitoni was better, a bit crispier crust, but we should have poked some holes in the dough as it somewhat exploded on one side.

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Buitoni, with the mishap in the upper left corner

In the end, the Buitoni was definitely able to handle the massive amounts of toppings that we loaded onto the crust  – far better than the Croustipate. Croustipate is still pretty good, it is our regular dough and puff pastry, but it shouldn’t have tons of toppings on it.

As a final note, Buitoni makes gluten-free ready pizzas but they are not wheat-free, so I will not be reviewing them.