Cafe Giaccomos, Bonn – Germany

It was my first night in Bonn.  I had arrived home from the USA only a day before and I was perhaps, a little grumpy.  The temperature in Bonn the night I arrived was -12 degrees C.

I was staying at the Hotel Kanzler that, wasn’t exciting me every much as I had initially been informed that I would be staying at the Hilton and had all the relevant point promos organised.

The ‘bar’ in the hotel was laughable and certainly not the sort of place that I wanted to spend any time whatsoever.  I asked at the hotel for a recommendation for a restaurant and was given the address of Giaccomos.

I jumped in a cab along with a colleague (as the hotel had neglected to tell me about the U-Bahn station a few minutes walk from the hotel) and €10 later, we were outside the restaurant.

The restaurant was bigger than it looked from the front, with a few tables at street level and some stairs which led to another 12 or so tables along with the bar and kitchen.  It was quite busy for a Wednesday night with a little over half the tables occupied.  The décor was unremarkable (thus I wont make any remark…)

We took a seat and ordered a beer each (Kolsch and Pills respectively – both €3.90) and then had a look at the menu.  The menu here was extensive, with a huge number of pizzas and pastas along with some casseroles and salads.  I asked our server for some help to translate the specials menu and realised that I shouldn’t have bothered – it was all fish!  We did have a good play with the free Wi-Fi that is very fast – just make sure you follow the instructions you are given or it will not work.

I ordered some pasta, first selecting the pasta shape required (penne), and then the sauce (Quattro formaggi – €8.80).  My colleague ordered a pizza (€9.60).

The beer was pretty good here (yes, we ordered a few more) and our order arrived after about 15 minutes and was served with some garlic and cheese dough balls which were free of charge and pretty tasty.

The rest tasted fine – it wasn’t fine dining and it wasn’t exceptional food but it served the purpose of dinner at a fair price.  The atmosphere here was fairly calm, which made us relaxed – and of course order more beer.  It was the sort of place you could come with Mum and Dad and have a decent meal that wouldn’t cost a fortune.

Staff member was chatty and helpful and we agreed we would visit again during our stay in Bonn.

A few days later we were back in the centre of Bonn and a little hungry.  We decided we would go back to Giaccomos… that’s when the trouble started.

It was a Friday night.  All of the restaurants in Bonn I had visited on a Friday night had been busy and Giaccomos was no exception.  We were given to choice of a table outside (it was still cold!) or a 15-minute wait for a table inside.  We opted for the latter and had a beer at the bar while waiting.

We were seated after about 20 minutes and handed the huge menu.  I ordered a Kolsch and my colleague asked for a ‘Dark beer’.  There was some pointing at the menu and then a nod of understanding.  I was given a Pills and my colleague a Weiss beer.  We explained the misunderstanding and our server took the grump.  I mean she really went a bit mad and started muttering at us in German.  To say that I wasn’t amused would be an understatement.

I opted for Penne Arrabiatta and my colleague a salad.  The food arrived after what seemed like an age but was actually 20 minutes.  The pasta was unpleasant and the salad was left.  My colleague never leaves food; it must have been really, very bad.  Even the beer tasted nasty on this visit, my pint tasting like it had sat out for way too long.

We paid the bill, left no tip and vowed never to return – which was a real shame as I did enjoy my first visit.  I guess, as the Jewel song goes, sometimes it be that way.

Cafe Giaccomos, Bottlerplatz 10  53111 Bonn, Germany.  Website

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