Mrs Sweet Willie & I had not been to interior Europe in awhile so we decided last Thanksgiving to go to Munich. We find Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to visit Europe as travel costs are low, sights are not crowded, restaurants not busy, etc etc. We’ve also had some experiences in the off season that one would never get during high or shoulder season. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Munich city centre, I've written a trip report about this property in the IHG Hotel Forum on MP, just do a search. Normally I’m pretty thorough w/my destination research before we depart somewhere but this time I only had a rough idea of where we wanted to go & what we wanted to see. So after walking around our first day, we found ourselves in the Marienplatz area and decided to go to dinner at the Ratskellar Restaurant, a ratskellar is a basement/cellar restaurant located in the Rathaus (city hall). While I can imagine it would be wall to wall tourists during the summer months or during Oktoberfest, during the time of year we went it was busy but not overwhelming. The menu for the Ratskellar: http://www.ratskeller.com/uploads/media/Englisch_07062011.pdf We started with the smoked trout and Mrs had the Entenbraten (roast duck w/gravy, red cabbage & potato dumplings), both of these were terrific. Being a lamb fan, I had the Lamb Bratwurst which were ok (overcooked unfortunately), even with the mistake with my meal, I would not hesitate to go again to the Ratskellar. Of course while in the Marienplatz we made sure to catch a 'performace' of the glockenspiel. Also the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) was in operation at the time we were there, very fun to shop at the stands and drink lots of Glühwein. We toured a number of Munich's churches, I would say the Theatinkirche was our favorite. 50 yards south of Theatinkirche is Cafe Arzmiller, located in a courtyard at Theatinerstraße 22 www.cafe-arzmiller.de/ The topfenstrudel came recommended, I would have liked some crispyness to the topfenstrudel but I did enjoy it. BTW, there are eye-level big signs advising of Café Arzmiller at the tunnel hallway leading to the courtyard where the café is located, so be on the lookout or else you will miss it. I had thought that the Andechs Monastery was magic when I visited years ago, so I wanted to take the Mrs so she could enjoy. Andechs did not disappoint !! We took the S Bahn(S5) to the end of the line, then one can take a bus to the Monastery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andechs_AbbeyI had an oven roasted pork belly and the Mrs had oven roasted pork loin. Both had ample fat left on and they roasted the meats at a high temp so the very exterior ¼” was almost like a chicharrones, yet the meat was still plenty moist/juicy. Besides the Andechs dunkel (dark) beer which was amazing, the potato salad served at Andechs is one of the best Mrs or I have had, a delicious combination of mustard & rich mayo, just great, we still talk about this. We did a few other side trips from Munich, one was to take the S2 U Bahn out to Dachau, the first concentration camp opened in Germany: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachau_concentration_camp We weren’t really hungry after the tour so didn’t dine anywhere in/near Dachau. There was a Europcar rental location 50 yards from our hotel so I simply walked down and negotiated a great rate that included GPS, turns out they were sold out of the size car I had reserved so when we showed up the next day, we received a free upgrade to a nice Audi, which was so fun to drive on the Autobahn and in the foothills of the Alps. We used the car to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle We were very happy to pay 6 Euro to take the open horse carriage ride up to the castle. The walk down was easy, (I like gravity). I’m forgetting a number of wonderful Bavarian meals at various beer halls, most of which we found in the Isartor area which was an easy walk for us from our hotel, Isartor also has an S Bahn stop. I really don’t think one can go wrong, all the food we had was of very high quality. We did want to take a break from Bavarian fare one night & we stumbled upon a tiny Thai place just down the street from our hotel & across the street from the Hilton City Centre hotel. Restaurant is called Manam, with maybe 12 seats, the chefs are in the back of this small space cooking away. Manam served some of the best larb/laab that we've ever enjoyed (including Thailand), simply stellar. The restaurant is TINY, 4 small tables, we were lucky enough to snag one but we saw many people taking out, so if you can't get a table, simply get a to-go order and eat back at the room. Manam Rosenheimer Straße 34 Tel. 089/458 6789 4 Rosenheimer Platz Open Monday - Wednesday 9:00 - 19:00, Thursday - Saturday 9:00 - 21:00 closed on Bank Holidays On the subject of breaks we also wanted to take a break one evening from beer so we went to a bar just around the corner from the Holiday Inn called Ver-O-Peso Bar (a Brazilian bar/restaurant), which serves a decent (not as good as Rio, but decent) caipirinha (made with cachaça (sugar cane rum)). We apparently drank enough caipirinhas that the bartender gave us some complimentary shots of cachaça. Ver-O-Peso is located at Rosenheimer Str. 14 (cash only !!) We also went to the market store called Hit, which was in the walkway to our hotel, we would purchase deli meats & cheeses, bread & beers to enjoy in the room or on our roadtrip. On our final night, we enjoyed a dinner with some European friends at Ennstaler Stub'n, schnitzels were the specialty and all in our group got one. We were fond of an Austrian schnitzel that had mustard in the breading. We also chose potato salad but this salad nor anything since has made us forget the potato salad at Andechs. Ennstaler Stub’n is not a tourist spot and off the beaten path. The mgr does speak some decent English but the menu is all in German, thankfully our friends were able to translate all for us. Long story short is Mrs Sweet Willie & I were thrilled with our trip, and we would have liked more time as we did not get to any museums.