Winter isn't exactly the best time of year for sightseeing. But it's a great time of year for sitting in a cosy Gasthaus with some great Franconian food and beer. One of my favorite cities to visit near Zeilitzheim is Bamberg with its picturesque old town, the cathedral and of course its restaurants. My personal favorite is the Schlenkerla (though there are many more good ones to recommend).
The three of us wine makers of the "Wein von 3" winery recently visited Bamberg (we were sponsoring the New Year's Brunch of the international Sculpture Network at a friend's gallery). A visit to the Schlenkerla after the event was wrapped up was an obvious choice to grab a bite to eat and - of course - a half-litre glass of Schlenkerla Rauchbier (made from smoked malt, an acquired taste but once you're hooked... Kind of like our Baron wine that we ferment in American oak Barrique barrels: Most people either love it or hate it. Thankfully the critics mostly love it).
Each of us had one of the Franconian specialties served with wonderful dumplings (Klöße) and a side dish of either steamed red cabbage (Blaukraut) or a salad: Rinderbrust mit Meerrettichsoße (boiled beef with a tangy horseradish sauce), Sauerbraten (see link below) and Kalbshaxen (wonderfully delicate meat pulled from a roasted leg of veal). Sound vulgur? Perhaps. But it tastes wonderful. Service is efficient if boisterous in that typical and authentic Schlenkerla kind of way. Don't try ordering a Coke, or you'll get a simple "hammer net!" as a response which is slang for "haben wir nicht" (we don't have that). You're expected to drink a beer which is - unless otherwise stated - always going to be served in the smoked version. In short: I love that place!