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Eisanacher Hof Lutherstuben Restaurant

From: Eisenach, Germany

Lutherstuben flaming dessert

ABOVE: A flaming dessert in the Lutherstuben.

It may be touristy, but the Lutherstuben restaurant at the Hotel Eisenacher Hof is also a lot of fun--especially if you're visiting with friends. It's the German answer to the "medieval banquets" that have long been popular in the U.S. and Britain, but on a smaller scale: The Eisenacher Hof's restaurant consists of a few small rooms, instead of a banquet hall, and the tone is set by Martin Luther rather than Henry VIII.

Lutherstuben Eisenacher HofI had dinner at the Lutherstuben with a small group of travel writers and tourist-office representatives. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were shown to a rustic table in a candlelit room and given white linen bibs to protect our clothing. (As our eyes adjusted to the darkness, we noticed that we were the only diners wearing bibs; the locals were either neater eaters or more inhibited than we were.)

We ordered drinks, which were served in earthenware tumblers with cone-shaped bottoms that fit into holes on the tabletop. (We were told that, in Martin Luther's day, diners didn't sip their beer: They swigged it, then set their empty tumblers upside-down on the table to show that they were ready for a refill.)

Next, we took our pottery bowls to a soup station, where we had a choice of two different soups. The soup went well with the crusty peasant bread at our table, which may have been the best white bread I've ever eaten in Germany. A few minutes later, waitresses brought wooden racks laden with grilled meats and vegetables on long skewers. (Another rack held a meter-long Bratwurst sausage.) We were also given bowls of potatoes, red cabbage, and other vegetables to pass around the table.

Dessert was a long skewer with thick slices of apples and other fruit that had been rolled in sugar, doused with a liqueur, and set on fire. (See photo at top of page.) After the flames died down, the narrow wooden trough beneath the skewer contained chunks of liqueur-flavored caked sugar that most of our group found irresistible.

Verdict:

Dinner at the Lutherstuben isn't high gastronomy, but it's tasty, filling, and a pleasant way to spend an evening with companions in Eisenach, Germany.

If you're the sort of person who enjoys Renaissance Faires and other cornball theatrics, try to book a table during the "Small Luther Play" on the first Sunday of each month.

To book:

See the contact information at the Hotel Eisanacher Hof Web site.



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