Heidelberg’s Papi: Bar. Café. Restaurant.
CONTRIBUTED BY HEATHER LIDOWSKI
This probably isn’t news to anyone, but the food in Germany is different than the food in the United States. Personally, I enjoy trying dishes outside of my typical week-to-week menu options. How else would I discover how delicious sauerbraten and wienerschnitzel are?
For more picky eaters, though, experimenting with new foods can be challenging. Those of us with kids who are picky eaters know this all too well. A day out can mean that you’re stuck eating at an imported fast food place or limited to bakeries where pretzels are abundant. Don’t get me wrong, pretzels are fantastic, but sometimes you want something different. And, what’s the point in traveling all the way to Germany just to eat fast food that you can have back in the States?
So, when I come across a restaurant that offers a sophisticated dining experience for those who want one as well as familiar dishes that appeal to diners as picky as my kids, I feel the need to spread the news. On a recent trip to Heidelberg, my family and I came across a restaurant that pleased the entire family.
Papi: Bar. Café. Restaurant. is nicknamed the Original Italian Kitchen. We stumbled upon it while strolling down Heidelberg’s famous Hauptstrasse.
Glancing through the window, my husband and I saw white tablecloths, private tables, and dim lighting, so we weren’t really sure it was the right place for our family of five. The sign on the window boasted pizza, though, which would let us feed our three kids something familiar while we enjoyed other menu options. This was a chance to escape another meal dominated by French fries. So, the five of us eased through the doorway hoping to see some sign from the staff that our large family was welcome.
It turns out that we didn’t have to worry about how family-friendly the restaurant was. The staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The waiter playfully guessed what the kids wanted to eat and made sure they each got special attention when it was time to write down the orders.
The kitchen at the back of the restaurant opens up to the dining area, so we got to watch as their pizzas were crafted. Black and white photographs of the chefs preparing dough, making fresh pasta, and cooking in Papi’s kitchen line the restaurant’s walls, so we could match the action taking place in the kitchen to the photos on the wall as a sort of game. The warm atmosphere made the short wait for the food enjoyable for all five of us.
My kids were thrilled to get Pizza Margherita that, despite the fancy name, resembled the simple tomato sauce with cheese pizzas that they crave. Meanwhile, I was happy to get a pasta dish with seafood topped by a delicate tomato sauce. We were all happy eaters.
In addition to extensive pizza and pasta options, the menu features salads and beef, veal, and turkey dishes. The bar offers an impressive list of mixed drinks, a special line of Papi’s Urban Gins, wine, beer, and hot drinks.
So, the restaurant has something to offer to every diner that walks through its doors. Those who want something familiar can find it, and those who want to try the German take on modern Italian cuisine can find something as well. We’ll save the pretzels for another day.
Papi is located at Hauptstrasse 202, 69117 Heidelberg. For more information you, may visit Papi’s website, call 06221 6564098, or email email@example.com. The website includes a copy of the menu and a section where reservations can be made online. We had no trouble getting a table for an early lunch, but reservations may be a good idea for busier dinnertimes. The restaurant is open Sunday to Wednesday from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Thursday to Saturday, opening hours are 11:00 AM to 1:00 AM the next morning.
Tips for Your Trip:
Phone: 06221 6564098
Reservations suggested for dinner (website or by calling)
Sunday – Wednesday: 1100 – 2300
Thursday – Saturday: 1100 – 0100
Hauptstrasse 202, 69117 Heidelberg
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