Well, three days after I arrived, my conference concluded and I found myself faced with my last evening in Frankfurt. While I enjoyed some of the tourist destination in Frankfurt (Römerberg and Sachsenhausen were both fairly pleasant), I wanted to try and find a more relaxing and less touristy area to explore and have my dinner. So I decided to walk from downtown northeast to Bornheim, which is one of Frankfurt’s older neighborhoods. It also has a nice “village” atmosphere, and a nice boulevard, Berger Straße, lined with several restaurants and apfelweinwirtschafts. After looking at several of these, I decided to try out one of the, Apfelwein Solzer, for dinner.
One of the things I enjoy about going to large international cities is that they tend to have immigrant communities, which gives them plenty of good ethnic restaurants in addition to the native foods. For Frankfurt, one of the larger immigrant communities is Turkish, with several parts of town having notable concentrations of Turkish businesses. In particular, the directly east of the Hauptbahnhof has several large and well-regarded Turkish halal restaurants places. One of these, Central Grill, was my choice for lunch on my last day in Frankfurt.
The next day, my conference got out in time to get an early dinner. I decided to check out another place in Sachsenhausen: Apfelweinwirtschaft Adolf Wagner. It’s a bit of a tourist destination, but it’s also one of the minority of Frankfurt Apfelweinwirtschafts that actually makes it’s own Afpelwein; most places carry Apfelwein made by Possmann, the major brewery in the area (who makes a good product, admittedly). Located on the edge of Sachsenhausen, south of the Schweizer Platz shopping area, Adolf Wagner is definitely on the tourist beat, and even with my early dinner time, it was definitely busy. But this made for some phenomenal people-watching, since Adolf Wagner is basically group seating (benches, mostly), and the staff loves to pack people in tightly, and it’s really fun seeing how people from different cultures (especially those with larger concepts of “personal space”) handle that, and being seated with unfamiliar people.
My second day at the conference ended up having an extended lunch break, so I used this as an opportunity to go check out a few tourist sites, including walking up the Frankfurter Dom (the cathedral, which has a great view of the city), the Eiserner Steg (“Iron Bridge”, an old pedestrian bridge across the Main), and Sachsenhausen, one of Frankfurt’s neighborhoods known for Apfelweinwirtschafts (basically, cider houses). One of the better known ones is Struwwelpeter, named after the German childrens’ stories by Heinrich Hoffmann (most of which I actually think are more than a little creepy, as childrens’ stories go).
The good news is that I managed to get work to pay for a trip to Frankfurt to attend a conference. Of course, there’s always a downside to that: my four days in Frankfurt for work were mostly spent… working. Sure, I could regale you with tales of food at the conference center, but unless you are looking to spend a lot of money on some below-average schnitzel, I don’t think I’ll bother. But after the conference let out at 6pm my first full day, several of us decided it was a great opportunity to go and actually check out the city. Giving everyone a chance to dress down a bit, we met up at Alte Oper (the old Opera House), and checked out the area. Just east of Alte Oper on Große Bockenheimer Straße (a major street for restaurants), there are no end of restaurants, and after checking several out, we ended up settling on Das Wirtshaus, a pub featuring beer, wurst, and schnitzel.
Well, my life has again been giving true meaning to “no rest for the weary.” After just over a week back in the US, I found myself again packing my bags, and heading off for Frankfurt am Main, Germany. So I ended up taking the bus down to Boston, having a somewhat uninspired meal at Logan (Terminal B at Logan kind of sucks for food options), and then heading out to London Heathrow. After a red-eye flight and switching from T3 to T5, I ended up having a most pleasant breakfast of miso ramen at Wagamama (read up here for a previous review), and then heading of on my flight to Frankfurt, where I caught a train into downtown. At that point, I found myself in Frankfurt’s Hauptbahnhof (the train station) at ~6pm local time, and more than a little hungry. The great thing is that in Europe, people actually use trains (and train stations), so your typical station has a lot of reasonable food options. In this case, I found myself arriving at the Hauptbahnhof with a Wursthelden stand right across from my arrival track.