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Sitting by the water watching the day go by while enjoying a nice meal and a cold beverage. That’s a pretty good way to spend a summer afternoon, in my book.

The Restaurant Bootshaus in Flörsheim, Germany, about a 15-minute drive from Wiesbaden, offers guests the chance to take in the scenery of the Main River, feel the breeze coming off the water and enjoy some great food.

On a recent scorching afternoon with no air conditioning in sight, the thought of eating lunch in my warm office caused me to pack up, pick up my family and head to the Bootshaus. It was a great decision.

The Bootshaus has ample indoor seating with a charming character, but on a nice day, the tables with sprouting sun umbrellas and front-row views of the Main are just too tempting to pass up.

We arrived a bit too late to order from the lunch menu, which rotates weekly, but once we settled into our seats and watched the birds and boats float by, it didn’t seem to matter what time it was.

“It feels like we’re on vacation,” said my wife.

As hungry as we both were, eating became an afterthought as we chatted, took in the sights and watched a pair of swans herding up their playful babies in the river.

Our patient waiter seemed to understand as 30 minutes passed and we hadn’t even glanced at the menu. After his third rotation through the vast outdoor seating area, we decided we had better order something to eat.

The Bootshaus menu features mainly German cuisine with a sprinkling of international fare and modern twists on traditional dishes. My wife decided on the schnitzel with a pepper cream sauce, but the sounds of the river lapping up against the bank as a speedboat passed by inspired me to focus my sights on the fish selection.

I was slightly disappointed to learn that none of the offerings came from the Main River, but my disappointment was temporary as I took the first bite of my selection, Zanderfilet.

It was my first time trying Zander, a freshwater fish also known as pike perch, but I relished each taste of the thick, white flakes. The Zander was prepared on a lava stone grill, which gave it a smoky but not overpowering flavor.

My wife was just as pleased with her choice, and I agreed as I sampled what she couldn’t finish from her generous portion. The schnitzel meat was tender and the homemade sauce was delicious.

If you’re in the mood for something similar to schnitzel, the Bootshaus also offers cordon bleu, but with an around-the-globe twist. Examples include the Italian, which is filled with salami and tomatoes; the French, which is filled with cranberries and Camembert, and the local favorite, Flörsheim, stuffed with apple wine cheese.

Although we couldn’t expand our full stomachs any more to try the homemade cakes, just gazing at the impressive display of sweets right inside the restaurant has me plotting a Bootshaus coffee-and-dessert excursion.

My only regret was that I couldn’t stay longer to enjoy the walking and biking path that runs for miles along the riverbank. The path goes right by the Bootshaus, making it a perfect spot to take a relaxing and scenic stroll while burning off some of the calories you just consumed.

What’s the best advice for visiting the Bootshaus? Make sure to plan your visit when you have plenty of time to truly soak in the surroundings and let your mind unwind.

patton.mark@stripes.com

Directions: Address for navigation systems is Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 25, Flörsheim 65439. From Wiesbaden, take the A66 toward Frankfurt. Get off at exit 8 for Wallau and then turn left off of the exit. In about four miles, turn right onto Grabenstrasse. Soon after, turn left onto Hochheimer Strasse and then turn left onto highway B519. Turn right onto Karthäuserstrasse and then a left into the large parking area in front of the river and to the right of the Bootshaus.

Hours: Open Monday-Saturday (closed on Wednesdays) at 11:30 a.m. On Sundays and holidays, the restaurant opens at 10 a.m. Warm food available until 10 p.m.

Food: Mostly German. Traditional dishes as well as items with a modern and international touch. During weekday lunch hours (until 2 p.m.), items can be ordered from the limited lunch menu or from the regular menu. On Sundays, a breakfast buffet with bottomless coffee refills is offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Prices: Most entrees average 10 euros and range from about 6 euros to 17 euros. Lunch items vary from about 5 to 9 euros.

Attire: Come as you are.

Information: Phone: (+49)(0)6145 6440; email: mail@floersheimer-bootshaus.de; website: floersheimer-bootshaus.de (in German).


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