Sunday, 11 November 2012

Strasbourg / Kehl and dinner at La Chaîne d'Or

Last weekend, we drove the four and a half hours to Strasbourg for the weekend to revisit our former home and partake in a rare weekend sans-baby and to do some visiting and some shopping in Kehl (Germany) just over the river. The beauty of Strasbourg is that it's right on the border of France and Germany, and it's literally a short bridge crossing that takes you into the border town of Kehl where there's great German shopping to be had, including a fantastic supermarket ('Edeka') and a super bakery/café called 'Dreher's' where they not only bake really good traditional German bread, but serve German classic food in a nice cozy restaurant in the back. It's a major highlight of our infrequent trips there, but when we lived in Strasbourg, it was almost a weekly trip there to stock up on bread and have a snack.

On the A4 motorway to Strasbourg, each service station/rest stop had a row of vending machines serving the most peculiar beverages... banana syrup, dark chocolate pearls with a crispy centre, and "summer" café latté. What ever a "summer" latté is, I'd like to know... Strange combination...

The Frenchman at 'Dreher's' with the bread-basket-of-happiness after we'd finished with it...

Roasted goose with braised red cabbage and apples, Serviettenknödel (sliced bread dumplings) and chestnuts. Delicious, even though the goose was a bit tough, the rest compensated for it.

The new 'Depot' craft/deco shop in Kehl. More to come about this in a later post...

That night, after caving in to a craving for choucroute (Alsatian style sauerkraut), we went to 'La Chaîne d'Or', which is a traditional Alsatian restaurant which happens to be on the doorstep to our former home in the center of Strasbourg on the corner of Grand'Rue and Rue de la Chaine. Although the service is typically French (as in: we'll pretty much ignore you unless we need to talk to you and you'll wait patiently while we go for a cigarette break), the food was typically Alsatian. Below is my pork knuckle with sauerkraut, 'jus', a couple of boiled salted potatoes and some sharp dijon mustard to complete the dish. The meat was tender and fell apart with the slightest pressure from my fork. A bit fatty, as is the nature of pork hock, but I don't eat this kind of thing every day.

I ordered this as my main as part of their 3-course "formule" (set menu) for €17,90 which for this class of restaurant and the quality of the food was an absolute bargain. The entrées (oeuf mayonnaise) and desserts (crème brulée and chocolate fondant without the melty centre) were so-so, neither bad nor fantastic, but worth the price you paid.

The spectacular sky on the way home made the time driving more interesting. The two-hours (on top of the 4+ hours driving) sitting in traffic on the périphérique into Paris was not so fun.

All-in-all, a lovely weekend making us feel homesick for Strasbourg. We planned to move back eventually, as it's the best of both worlds for us - a German-Australian, and a not-so-French-but-totally-French-Frenchman, and our French-German-Australian-but-born-in-England baby. Ooof. Complicated!

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