France! Day 37: Gaffel am Dom in Cologne, Germany


What? Gaffel am Dom for lunch
Where? 50667 Cologne (in the historical district)
Price? 5€-18€
The skinny: This brewhouse and pub is very welcoming. Great for business meetings, the casual lunch or the huge group (like we were), Gaffel am Dom serves up traditional German fare paired with thirst-quenching beer. What’s not to love? (or at least be intrigued by? :D)

My dad informs me the other day that for our lunch in Cologne, Germany, we have the choice of eating with everyone on our tour or scouting out restaurants on our own. At first, I’m very skeptical about going out with the group but am won over when my dad mentions that we’ll be eating legit German food. Bring it on!!

But first, the cathedral. A protected UNESCO site standing at around 157m high, the Cologne Cathedral is a Gothic-style cathedral that was built over a span of more than 600 years. It suffered great damage during the Second World War so it had gone through extensive restoration work in order to look the way it does now. 

Here’s a look outside, inside, and (almost at) the top. I barely had 4 hours of sleep but decided to climb it anyways. Warning, if you’re claustrophobic, don’t climb the tower because the stairwell spirals tightly and it’s very narrow as well!

At the top, you get a nice view of the Seine and the rest of Cologne
Not the most pictoresque weather, but it still looks nice!

That’s okay because lunch was to be had indoors! And having not been stubborn, we had signed up to eat with the rest of the group, therefore avoiding the trek in the cold rain to find a suitable restaurant. 
This was after lunch: sunny and warm! :D

Before lunch, we still had a bit of time to wander around. Yay! My parents picked up a couple of Swiss paring knives. I am stoked to use them. Too bad we couldn’t get our hands on a chef’s knife…I really would’ve loved that. Passing through customs though may have been a little difficult. “Ma’am, why does the x-ray show a huge knife in your baggage?” That conversation probably wouldn’t have gone very well.  
Great decor in the second bar in Gaffel am Dom.

Inside, Gaffel am Dom is warm and welcoming! Its clean lines and setup of long tables is very appealing! I didn’t expect this at all. The lighting is there but subtle. 
It just leads your eye to the back where all the magic happens--the kitchen!

The decorations on the wall are kind of old-school but it gives this space personality. Without them, this pub wouldn’t be so…”pubby.” It’d be too modern. Too cold. Yeah, I’m really loving the space!

Welcomed by cold beer?! Danke! It’s light, smooth and refreshing. Just a little bubbly. I’m no beer expert so all I can really say about this is that it was nice! 

For the 4-year old at the table, we asked for water. Naturally, we got carbonated water. What interests me is the word “medium.” So does that mean there’s light and hard? Medium being “some bubbles” and hard being “in-your-face-throat-burning-almost-coming-out-of-your-nose?” Just a thought. 

“Grilled knuckle of pork (approx. 1000g)”  ₤13,90
What we’re all here for! Never exactly translated, I first understood this as “pig’s hand”, then “pig shoulder” and finally “pig’s knuckle.” I’m gonna run with the last. The meat is tender and so flavourful! I want to say that it’s been smoked before it went on the grill but I’m not sure. Just look at that skin! It was so crunchy and the layer of fat right underneath it just brings out even more flavour. 

Along with the pork knuckle, sides included are the home fries and coleslaw. I think we got sauerkraut instead of coleslaw but no way am I going to complain. I really enjoyed it! It had that distinct sour flavour of sauerkraut but I’m not totally sure. The Löwensenf mustard gave the perfect punch of heat to the sides. Awesome.

“Oversized Bratwurst”  ₤10,80
This was the other option for lunch if you didn’t want the pork knuckle. My dad ordered this so that we could try it out too. It came with the homefries and a small salad or coleslaw. 

I’ve never seen a sausage this long! It’s huge! The bratwurst was at least one foot long, filling for almost anyone. It was smokey, juicy, meaty goodness. The sauce, I’m not sure what it was but it was a great compliment to the bratwurst. 

Is it possible to bring a string of these home? It’s time to find a place in Toronto where I can enjoy german beer & sausages. Well, there is WVRST…I’m sure I’ll find myself there one of these days. :)

Because of the obvious price difference between the two (even though we were charged 15€ for each), the bratwurst came with a dessert as well. It was a raspberry sorbet with fresh fruit. Nothing amazing but refreshing and it soothed the little tingle from the mustard. (Yes, I’m a complete wuss when it comes to spiciness!) 

Check out the huge vats of beer!!! Impressive to say the least. I wonder how much beer they go through in one day if they find it necessary to have so much available in-house?

To facilitate things and for a more efficient service, the waiters use these holders for the glasses of beer. Pretty cool huh?

After not being able to finish my pork knuckle (unsurprisingly, I mean it is 1 kg of pork! Good thing we got to take the leftovers <-- which turned into pork sandwiches for dinner and a pork bone soup), I waddled back outside to explore. 
 Bonn is the birthplace of Beethoven. So no surprise to find a statue of the guy that’s made up of music scrolls. A very cool trompe-l’œil. We later went to the Beethoven-Haus where he used to live. A pianist myself, I picked up some books downstairs. :D

Market. Bonn city square. 20 minutes. GO! That’s pretty much what I understood from our tour guide. Okay. By the end of it, my parents and I had picked up some prunes, nectarines and half a loaf of pumpernickel. 

The lady who manned the stall on the left has a beautiful voice! No she didn’t sing, but it sounded like she was singing as she chimed “Fresh nectarines for only 1 euro!” in German. Yes, I bought the nectarines from her. 

Verdict: I really enjoyed Germany!! And our meal at Gaffel am Dom is one of the highlights. If ever I find myself in Cologne again, I’m definitely making reservations here to have great German food! I only know a few words of German but the people working there made us feel so welcomed that it almost doesn’t matter how the food was. Almost.

5 out of 5 NOMs


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