Lubeck seems a little off the beaten tourist track, but it is an interesting and prosperous city in northern Germany. One of the sights is the medieval Rathaus or city hall, and in the market square behind it is the Ratskeller restaurant, more than a century old and in a building several centuries old. The restaurant has outdoor seating under large umbrellas in the market square, and indoor seating downstairs, where the rest rooms are. The booths there are actually little cabins, with doors. The menu is varied, with interesting salads, hot dishes, and herring prepared a number of different ways. Beer and wine are available. We had a Swedish herring dish with three pieces of filleted herring in a wonderful mustard-dill sauce, with a side salad and a side dish of potato pancakes, and a Virgin salad with turkey, cucumbers, cabbage, salad greens, thousand island dressing, and sour cream and chives on the side (tastes much better than it sounds). Although there is an English menu (you have to ask for it) and some of the younger waiters spoke English, our waitress did not. However, the English menu is printed in the same format as the German, so pointing to an item on it communicated what the waitress needed. A little phrasebook German (haben sie dunkels bier? Ja, kleine, nicht grosse) did the rest. Prices were reasonable rather than cheap; the Virgin salad was EUR9.50. And the activity in the market square and the medieval facade of the Rathaus provided ample entertainment.
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