After Hours: Casa Andalusia, Weiden, Germany
Stars and Stripes August 16, 2009
At first sight, the Casa Andalusia restaurant looks like an ordinary house in a well-to-do suburb on the edge of Weiden — the closest large town to Grafenwöhr Training Area.
That’s until you get close enough to see a garden and front porch packed with guests enjoying dinner on a sunny summer afternoon.
The restaurant is a bit of a local secret, tucked away on a suburban street away from the center of Weiden and the town’s busier streets.
It’s the ideal place to relax with a glass of beer or wine and enjoy the balmy days of summer away from the stress of work or the noise and crowds of the city.
In the garden, you can eat under a sun umbrella surrounded by shrubs and flowers – and a large contingent of bees eager to taste anything sweet on the table.
If you want a view of the street, you can sit on the patio overlooking the pleasant and quiet neighborhood.
There’s a good chance you’ll see mountain bikers or hikers pass by. The restaurant is on the edge of town, and it’s a good starting or ending point for a walk in the forest that covers surrounding hills or a mountain bike ride on the steep trails that pass through the woods.
If the bees become too much of a nuisance, there are tables inside, but, if you want to eat there, make a reservation because seats are limited.
A large red crab on Casa Andalusia’s sign is supposed to tip guests off to the fact that the food here is "Mediterranean cuisine."
Exactly what that means isn’t clear from talking to the staff, who are helpful but don’t speak English.
Andalusia is the most southern region of Spain and was named for the Vandals — a European tribe that ruled the area in the Middle Ages. Through American eyes, the folks serving the food at Casa Andalusia are indistinguishable from their German guests.
The meals at Casa Andalusia are a little more expensive (15.50 to 21 euros) than the average for this part of Germany, but the food is a cut above most restaurants in Grafenwöhr.
The "Konigskotallenfisch," at 16.50 euros, is one of the more reasonably priced meals and includes a generous helping of fish smothered in delicious lemon-flavored sauce with fresh vegetables.
Casa Andalusia’s steaks are also highly recommended by American guests. A 130-gram steak costs 14 euros while a 260-gram steak costs 21 euros.
If you’re on a budget and not particularly health-conscious, the restaurant offers a large selection of delicious pizzas ranging from 5.50 to 9.40 euros.
The German beer on offer, including Helles, Pils and Hefeweissen (2.60 to 2.80 euros for 0.5 liters) are the perfect way to wash down your meal. The restaurant also serves wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks.
Casa AndalusiaLocation: Weiden in der Oberpfalz.
Directions: From Grafenwöhr, take the B470 to Weiden and head toward downtown. Turn left on Friedrich-Ebert Strasse and follow that for about a mile, then turn left into Edeldorfer Weg. Casa Andalusia is a few hundred meters down the road at number 34.
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
English language menu: No