Hohe wart Haus : Ihr Ausflugslokal mitten im Spessart

(Our local excursion in the middle of the Spessart [woods])

My mom and me outside of the Hohewart-haus

Now, my whole life, I’ve been hearing about the Hohewart Haus. The Hohewart Haus is my mom’s ‘adopted’ family’s restaurant in the middle of the woods. Ok, that is an exaggeration, I have not been hearing about it my whole life, but my parents do speak of it on a fairly regular basis. At any rate, I was excited to go. When we got back to Oberbessenbach with Rosi and Richard, it was decided that that was our destination. Even Oma came with us, which was a very big deal. Oh, and she may be in her upper 80’s, but even Oma had one of the home brewed Hohewart Haus beers. The restaurant is a Gasthaus, which is sort of a tavern, restaurant, and lodging rolled into one. It’s owned by Herbert, the third and final of Oma’s children and he gave Maura and me the official tour, with Richard serving as translator. By the end of the European trip, Maura and I estimate that we’ve been to about 5 or 6 breweries. Although I should have the beer-making process memorized at this point, I can’t quite remember how it goes. I can, however, remember Herbert/Richard’s translated description of the chemical process- “The yeast eats the sugar and shits the alcohol”. Yep, yep- I’d say I learned quite a bit in Germany. In addition to beer, which I gazed/sipped upon with a completely new perspective after Herbert’s chemistry lesson, there was delicious, gastronomically twisting heavy, homemade, authentic German food. I recommend fasting for a day or two before attempting consumption. People will go on long walks through the woods to get the Hohewart Haus (Spessart woods, to be specific)- and I think I’ve discovered why. You need some serious exercise after attempting one of those meals.

Hohewart Haus all decorated for Easter festivities!

Other uniqueness of the German dining atmosphere at the Hohewart Haus? Well, for one there is a tree growing in the middle of the restaurant. For another, it is perfectly acceptable to bring your dog along to dine with you. That and everyone seemed to know each other. The waitress was like a member of the family, and the grandkids (9 and 11) helped to shuttle dishes from the kitchen to the table. However heavy the food, I loved the German dining atmosphere. It just seemed so communal and relaxed. I wish I could convey it a little better, but I suppose there are limits to the sensational experiences I can express through my furious laptop-key pounding.

Herbert, the Gasthaus owner and grandson Manuel searching for Easter eggs!

Easter Sunday followed in much of the same fashion as the previous night. Of course, my mother couldn’t let tradition slip and Maura and I still got Easter baskets. I suppose beer steins aren’t exactly the typical Easter chocolate vessels, but somehow Maura and I survived. It’s just too bad I’m only 19 and those beer steins will just have to collect dust for another year and a half… We drove back out to the Hohewart Haus and there was an Easter egg hunt for Herbert’s grandchildren. Grandpa (Opa) sent them on a rather entertaining 10 minute hunt on the wrong side of the road, which the bystanders/photographers (Maura and myself) found rather entertaining. Don’t worry, the kids got their chocolate eventually. The restaurant was packed for Easter Sunday – apparently the Easter walk through the woods to the midday meal is a big deal. Maura and I played with the youngest grandchildren and I attempted to talk to the slightly older ones in my very limited German. Luckily the little ones couldn’t speak much more German than Maura or I (meaning that they couldn’t really speak at all), so that worked out very well. We ate another massive German meal and said goodbye to everyone, then Karl Heinz took us on driving tour #2.

Couldn’t tell you where we went, but we passed through this massive vineyard, saw some cool regenbogen (rainbows) and quite a lot more over the course of the three hours. I think I’ve seen quite a lot of Germany with all this driving…

3 hour tour of the Deustche countryside

The next morning, we drove to Frankfurt with my Mom and hopped on a train to the first destination on our own travels- Heidelberg!