An all too common dilemma one is faced with in an Italian restaurant don't you find?
Ben ALWAYS opts for pizza (proscuttio as that's the closest he can get to 'ham') Jas ALWAYS takes the spaghetti carbonara. I will NEVER have pizza when there are lots of other yummy options on the menu and Si will sometimes take pizza, sometimes pasta...not something you'd want to place a bet on.
There is a great restaurant here in Kettwig called 'Pizza-Pasta'. (Ruhrtalstraße 470 45219 Essen - 02054 82862) it has no fancy website and no Michelin stars but when Si asked a colleague to recommend the 'best' restaurant in Kettwig this was the place that he was told to visit.
We have been there as a couple alone (once) en famille (2/3 times) and as a larger family group (i.e. + grandparents) 3/4 times.
From the very first time it was obvious that the food was great and that the restaurant was VERY popular (booking advisable - a must if you're a non-smoker (don't laugh - this is Germany, smoking rules) and don't want to indulge your masochistic streak) and the icing on the cake (or maybe that should be the cream on the tiramisu - which is DEE-vine) it's not expensive.
But the more times we go, the better it gets. The staff don't seem to change, and now recognize us (oh god, it's that bloody lippy foreign family again.) At Christmas we were there as a party of eight. The head waiter (which seems too formal a term for the amount of fun he seems to have in his job) served Jas her small spag. carbonara (see pic) she wasn't amused.
We haven't been back until last night, although we did bump into Jas's 'friend' in one of the many cafes here in Kettwig.
Last night all the waiting staff seemed eager to not befriend us, that sounds wrong, but we certainly felt like part of the gang, locals. Just little things like using English back at our German, unnecessary, but sweet. The main waiter talking to Jas about how many plates she needed to wash up, and then an 'argument' between the waiter and Jas and her friend Svenja over how many spoons he should bring so that he could share their 'spaghetti eis' ice-cream. Eventually he returned with the required two spoons (and not the three he'd talked about) and the pudding. A perfectly presented ice cube with a single swirl of cooked spaghetti over it plus a few dabs of cream and cocoa powder. The table erupted into laughter, the girls stood their ground and demanded that now he should eat it.
As we were devouring our puds (tiramisu for the adults) the solitary elderly gentleman at the tabe behind us was brought his small pizza.
I hope he was a local, used to the horse play that goes on at Pizza-Pasta. There, on a full sized pizza plate was a perfectly formed inch square piece of hawaiian pizza. I think the whole restaurant enjoyed that joke. And bless the man, he ate it, in one bite too! And the waiter took his plate away saying, "main course now sir?"
It's such a great little restaurant that I make a point of recommending to anyone who asks for somewhere good to eat in Kettwig but I can't believe it's been almost three months between visits, I shall have to make sure to go again sooner, it's like getting a cabaret with your meal. What fun.
Word for the day; Spaghetti-Eis = ice cream that's gone through a potato ricer type machine so that it resembles spaghetti, then covered in red sauce of some indeterminate flavour to look like bolognaise and crumbs of white chocolate representing the parmesan. Apparently it's delicious.