My wife and I lived for a while outside of Ettlingen, and every time we come back to Germany, we make sure we go to the Vogelbraeu. Now that we're no longer on a corporate expense account, the Vogelbraeu's prices are especially welcome. You can get a half-chicken off the grill with fried potatoes and another side, and 1/2 liter of Rudi Vogel's incredible beer for under 10 euros. Try and beat that ANYWHERE else in Germany.
The owner, Rudi Vogel, is a bit of a rock star. His beer is known outside of Baden-Württemberg, and even internationally. The owners of a microbrewery near where I live in PA (Victory Brewing Company) know Rudi personally - in fact, Rudi's Pils is the inspiration for one of their beers. The Vogelbraeu also usually features one or two seasonal beers, which are usually pretty sensational. But the combination of the relaxed, no-pretenses environment, and good, solid, inexpensive food, which you can order from the kitchen counter or via one of the serving staff, is a winner that you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in Germany. Up the road near Waldbronn at the Lindenbraeu you'll find good beer, but the food and prices at the Vogelbraue still has them beat.
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