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GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — In 1945, an Allied air raid dropped more than 1,000 high explosive and 700 incendiary bombs on Grafenwöhr, leaving the town in ashes.

The attack killed 22 people, left thousands homeless and narrowly missed a chemical weapons stockpile. One of the few buildings to survive the carnage was the Hotel-Restaurant Böhm.

Today the business, in Neue Amberger Strasse (the main road through town that passes Grafenwöhr Training Area’s Gate 3), caters mostly to Americans and is still operated by the Böhm family.

Old photographs of the restaurant show that little has changed over the years. Inside there are large comfortable tables, tiled floors and a wall display of certificates from grateful military units who have used the hotel for functions. The staff speaks broken English. Many of the guests are American but it is not unusual to see a large group of German men getting together for dinner at one of the long tables inside.

On sunny days diners can sit under large umbrellas on the sidewalk and watch cars and pedestrians pass by.

The restaurant serves traditional German food, which means it has plenty of competition from guesthouses found in many of the small communities surrounding Grafenwöhr. The menu includes plenty of locally sourced fare cooked by Heinrich Böhm. For example, the Wildgulasch (wild stew) is made with venison or boar shot by local hunters.

The stew is full flavored and you can soak it up with something that looks like chopped-up pancake the covers half the plate. There’s also a side dish of fruit and jam and some bitter-tasting red berries that might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

For food sourced a little further afield try the Zanderfilet. According to the waitress Zander is a sea fish. Again it is full flavored but not overpowering and served with a healthy portion of diced potatoes and other vegetables.

The rest of the menu is dominated by traditional German food such as steak, schnitzel, sauerkraut and knodel (German dumpling) but there is also a big salad menu. Deserts include ice cream and iced coffee.

There is a fully stocked bar and a selection of German beer that costs between 2 and 3 euros a glass.

Hotel-Restaurant Böhm

Grafenwöhr, Germany

Hours: Saturday to Thursday from 5.30 p.m.; Closed on Friday.

Specialties: German food such as schnitzel, sauerkraut and knodel.

Prices: Main dishes range from 7.80 euros to 11.80 euros. Desserts are 3.80 euros.

Clientele: American/German.

English menu: No

Location: 39 Neue Amberger Strasse.

Telephone: 0964193690

Web site:www.hotelboehm.de/

author picture
Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.
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