10 things you need to know for the Rodenbach Culinary Wandering this weekend
Once Rodenbach’s best-kept secret, the annual Kulinarisch Wanderung has gained popularity with Americans in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. Starting Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. and Sept. 17 at 10 a.m., you can wander from tent to tent for tasty dishes and wines from the Pfalz and Rhine River valley.
Here’s what you need to know for this wandering:
1. Pack euros and rain gear.
Credit cards are not accepted at this outdoor event. The weather forecast can change, so be prepared.
2. Plan for portable toilets.
Though usually well maintained, bring toilet paper, hand sanitizer and Wet Wipes just in case.
3. Some walking is required.
It’s called a “wandering” because vendors are spread out along the route. Wear comfortable shoes, and save money by bringing bottled water. The terrain is flat with a couple of small hills and is paved in some areas and hard-packed dirt in others. There might be some mud if it rains a lot.
4. It is a stroller- and dog-friendly fest.
There is adequate space for strollers and dogs on leash. Some families with older children bring wagons so that kids can ride once they are tired. Plus, you can stock up on wine, and you won’t have to carry it.
5. It isn’t easy to find, so map it.
There are no billboards or arrows to point you in the right direction. The wandering path is north and south of the L367 east of Rodenbach and Weilerbach. Type Hans-Geiger-Str., Kaiserslautern in your GPS, and look at an online map. Follow signs for Industriegebiet Kaiserslautern-Nord, which will lead you to the free parking areas. If you’ll be drinking, opt for a taxi, train, or bus 101 or 140.
At the fest
6. Start at the Info Point near the parking lot.
The information booth is next to the first stop on the route. Guests who will be drinking pay 8 euros for a Wine Pass, which includes a .1-liter souvenir wine glass, a holder for the glass that you can wear around your neck to keep your hands free, and a stamp card. The stamp card gives you discounts on wine along the route; each pour is only 2 euros. Print and bring the wandering brochure, or grab a one at the entrance.
7. Arrive early and go in reverse order.
To avoid crowds, show up at opening and loop backward, going from station one to eight (instead of two).
8. Eat at stations 7 and 3.
Station seven sells out every year of Rostige Ritter — so eat dessert first. This sweet treat is a combination of bread pudding, French toast and funnel cake, drenched in rich vanilla sauce. Each portion is large, but you won’t want to share. At the third stop, the pitmasters of Big Boys Barbeque sell incredibly tender pork that rivals what’s served in the best stateside joints.
9. You don’t have to drink wine.
Bischoff beer can be purchased at kiosks one, three and eight. Liquors and liqueurs are available at station three, and coffee is served at stops six and seven.
10. Take the kids to station 8.
The Children’s Paradise has a bouncy castle, face painting and other kid-friendly activities.