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Patrons enjoys a Sunday afternoon at the Radieschen restaurant in Darmstadt-Eberstadt, Germany.
Patrons enjoys a Sunday afternoon at the Radieschen restaurant in Darmstadt-Eberstadt, Germany. (Sam Amrhein / S&S)

DARMSTADT-EBERSTADT, Germany — In the land of meat and potatoes, the Radieschen stands alone.

Motorists trying to get to the autobahn from Darmstadt’s Cambrai-Fritsch Kaserne have probably driven by the Radieschen hundreds of times and never given the restaurant — the sign looks like a big radish — a second thought.

But they should. Opened in 1996 on Reuterallee, the Radieschen is one of the few vegetarian restaurants in the area. Given how much the Germans love their schnitzels, brats and rumpsteaks, this shouldn’t come as a real surprise.

But if you’re looking for a meal with a little less saturated fat or cholesterol, or you’re not into the “needless slaughter of animals,” then sink your teeth into one of the six spaghetti dishes on the menu. Or try the fresh rucola salad with a fine glass of wine.

The meals are all natural, the Radieschen’s Web site boasts. “We do not use finished products, taste amplifiers of flavor materials …,” according to the site.

There are smaller portions for the kids, though the menu is mostly spaghetti.

Open for both lunch and dinner, there are weekly specials at the Radieschen, from Monday’s pasta with tofu to Friday’s zucchini-squash au gratin.

There are four types of soup on the menu, including tomato soup and a carrot-ginger soup.

But the Radieschen is more than just a restaurant. There is also a catering service, and the Radieschen supplies lunches to kindergartens, schools and to some companies in the Darmstadt area each day.

A word from the waitresses: If you’re planning an evening meal, call ahead for reservations. The restaurant is small, with only enough room for about 30 people.

On a recent Thursday night, all the tables inside were booked, forcing some restaurant-goers to sit outside for dinner, which is OK if the weather cooperates. But two days later, when the temperature had fallen just a bit, the outside tables were closed, and the tables inside were all reserved.

So, eat all the frikadelle and bratkartoffeln you can. But give your arteries a break every once in a while. Just look for the big radish sign.

See our After Hours Index for more reviews of restaurants and nightclubs in Germany.

Radieschen Vegetariches Restaurant

Darmstadt-Eberstadt, Germany

Prices: Appetizers start at 3.50 euros. The most expensive dinner plates are around 11 euro. Soups are less than 5 euro.

Specialties: Featuring vegetarian dishes. There are several types of spaghettis, though the spinach crepe is very good.

English menu: Yes.

Dress: Casual.

Clientele: Anyone and everyone.

Location: Reuteralle 37, Darmstadt-Eberstadt. If you’re traveling from Cambrai-Fritsch Kaserne, follow the signs for Autobahn 5. You’ll turn right just before you enter Eberstadt. The restaurant is about three blocks down on the left-hand side. If you’re coming from the A-5, take the Pfungstadt/Darmstadt exit and follow the signs for Eberstadt. Turn left at the Shell gas station and the restaurant will be about three blocks up on the right-hand side. Phone number: 06151-943446.

Web site: http://www.radieschen-darmstadt.de/index.html

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