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!

 

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Restaurant Review: Krone in Donaueschingen-Grüningen

I love pizza. I think this has only become really obvious after realizing that I’m a celiac and that normal pizza was now on the Verboten list. In the last few years, I’ve been willing to travel quite a distance for gluten-free food. I just like seeing how other people are making pizza or pasta or schnitzel. Many times, restaurants and bakeries offering gluten-free/wheat-free food are based in large cities but sometimes… they are pretty hard to get to.

Today we went to Grüningen, which is technically a suburb of Donaueschingen and has all of 750 people living there. It is actually six kilometers from the Donaueschingen train station to the Grüningen station, through forest and fields, so I’m not quite sure how it is classified as a suburb.

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There are the hourly train that connects Grüningen with either Villingen to the north or Donaueschingen to the south, but we figured that walking would work up a good appetite. I am very glad that we walked, despite the blisters on my heels. I ordered the calzone, which at 8€ was an absolute steal. Take a look at this, it’s massive.

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It’s covered in cheese, there’s more cheese and salami and ham and mushrooms baked inside of it and it was amazing. I hate to admit it, but I have never had a calzone. I didn’t know what they were for ages but now I think I’m a new convert. This was delicious and very filling. It definitely made the walk worth it. Also, even with the 1€ gluten-free surcharge, this was only 8,60e. Nothing is very expensive at Krone, it’s all very reasonably priced. It’s right next to the little train station and has ample parking. A lot of the family are celiacs, so they know very well about cross-contamination. I don’t know if lactose-free is possible as I don’t have much of a problem with lactose but gluten-free/wheat-free is definitely easy. The pizza dough they make themselves and it’s so yummy. Take a look at the gluten-free ham and salami pizza that my guy got.

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My guy is not a celiac, but he’s of the opinion that this is one of the best gluten-free pizzas that he’s had and we’ve had quite a few by this point. The dough is fluffy, not brittle like some thin crust pizzas. We figure the main ingredient is corn but it likely has some other ingredients as well because it holds together very well.

As far as vegetarian options, they definitely have a few choices with pizzas like the gorgonzola-broccoli pizza. I am wishing that I photographed the entire menu, as they don’t have an online presence. It’s mostly pizza and pasta, with ice cream for dessert. It’s got to be the only place in the Black Forest where you can get a banana split, although I have yet to try it. This was our second trip to Krone and both times, I end up completely stuffed.

Highly recommend Krone, without a doubt. It is best if you call ahead of time and say that you are coming so they know that they need to prepare the dough. Both times, we just called the day before and that worked out a treat.

Don’t just take my word for it, there’s a few reviews here too.

 

 

Ristorante Krone

Dorfstraße 1

Donaueschingen-Grüningen

Phone: 0771/2117

Languages spoken: German and Italian