In this sort of weather (by which I mean the recent blue skies and sunshine rather than the scorching, insufferably humid heat or the increasingly common, surprisingly chilly grey days), the only kind of eating I really want to do is outside. Whether it’s a simple spaghetti supper accompanied by the view of the thickly-forested hills from our balcony at home; an evening at my favourite (so good it’s a secret) beergarden, drinking Apfelwein and covering myself in sticky spare rib sauce; or a leisurely late afternoon snack and a cold drink at a traditional German inn after a long, foresty walk; I love soaking up a bit of the late summer evening sunshine whilst I eat. It was at the end of such a walk a couple of weekends ago that B and I found ourselves at the Chauseehaus, a long, slightly dilapidate-looking building tucked behind a disused railway track opposite Wiesbaden Golf Club.
The entrance to the Chausseehaus beergarden and the restaurant behind is rather cute and inviting, with lots of greenery sprawling over a roofed archway and continuing behind in the form of a walkway lined with big, bright green, leafy trees. The beer garden itself is big and the tables well-spaced enough that you’d not be disturbed by anyone else’s conversation, so despite the fact that it was reasonably busy on this Sunday afternoon – as a standard sort of an Ausflugslokale, the sort of place one ends up on a weekend after an outside excursion, it seems a popular choice for cyclists, hiking pensioners and young families – it didn’t really feel like it.
Inside the low pink building, the Chaussehaus appears to have rather recently been done up, albeit it not at all to my taste: I’m not a fan of covered chairs, for starters, and the whole place felt a little unatmospheric, but then I suppose it’s unfair to judge a place when it’s completely empty. The toilets, however, I found hilarious: a strange combination of brand new, modern marble basins; untreated doors and partitions that looked and smelt like it’d just been erected; and some bright orangey-yellow plastic 60s toilets.
Back outside, service was rather slow, and it was apparent that everyone else had been waiting a long time for their food before they got it. From the evidence scattered around the place, however – a small marquee, stacks of chairs and a lack of tables inside – there’d obviously been an event there the night before, however, so perhaps the place was simply in post-party chaos. Service was, however, extremely enthusiastic and cheerful, which went some way to making up for its lack of pace.
The menu consists of a some classic beergarden dishes (by which I mean, sausages, potatoes and Schnitzel) but there’s also a good choice of Flammkuchen, plus salads and snacks such as antipasti and Spundekäse. And there was quite the selection of ice creams for dessert. We just ordered a Kristallweizen, which came very fresh and cold, and an Apfelsaftschorle (apple juice with fizzy water, for the uninitiated), which was of the delightfully cloudy and sweet type; and just one Käse-Wurst-Salat to share, having discovered that the Chausseehaus doesn’t accept cards, and realising that we were going to need to budget slightly in order to have cash for our bus fares home.
Whilst we waited for our food to appear – a good half an hour – we basked happily in the warm late afternoon sunshine on the enormous and hugely comfortable wooden garden furniture, the only downside of which is that when our food turned up, it was quite hard to launch ourselves into an upright position in order to tuck in. In the meantime, however, we watched coffees and huge slabs of cake being delivered to several tables, and some enormous, crispy-looking Flammkuchen, piled high with ruccula, being plonked on another. It was all quite pleasing.
The Käse-Wurst-Salat (above, 7,90 € half eaten) was a tasty but unexceptional version of the traditional German dish, assembled from pale yellow cheese, raw sliced white onion and (presumably) Fleischwurst, all drenched in creamy vinegar and sprinkled with finely chopped chives. Some good white bread was served alongside for B to mop up his leftover dressing.
After a lovely long sit down following a lovely long Sunday walk, the last thing I tend to feel like doing is embarking on another long walk home. So it’s good news that there’s a bus stop directly outside the Chauseehaus that offers a couple of buses running every hour on a Sunday to get you back into town. And though I’m not convinced, from our brief stop, that the Chausseehaus is good enough to warrant a visit outside of the summer months, in this weather, as somewhere to stop for a leisurely snack after a walk in the woods, it makes for a relaxing and convenient stop.
Website: Chauseehaus (in German only)
Address: Roswitha und Ulrich Comprix, Chausseehaus 7, 65199 Wiesbaden (next to Hanf & Lehm)