After a hellish drive from Grenoble, Jane, our fearless dominatrix and navigator, maneuvered us into the mess of Strasbourg. I should know by now and will certainly put it on my note(s) to self that one should never drive into a pedestrian city that was built early in the middle ages. After very much agony searching for parking (and I thought Avignon was bad) we ended up in St Nicholas, a parking structure on the outskirts of freaking Moscow or some damn place and walking our bags in. Do you have any idea how much racket rolling suitcases make on cobblestones??
Strasbourg is the birthplace of my great-great-grandmother. She was called Oma and she died when I was 7 or so. I have one distinct memory of her. So I felt like I had some tie to this city. Oma, however, spoke German and it is a French city. It has been French since the mid 1600s and remained so until the Kaiser took it over in 1912 (for only a few years) by which time Oma was already in these United States at least 40 years. Although there are apparently many people who do speak German here. And it feels very German. And we ate very German. Nonetheless it is a mystery to me how my great-great-grandmother who was supposedly French, spoke German.
We ate at the delicious sounding Gurtlerhoft. Ashish had roesti which is fried shredded potatoes, like a thick potato pancake pizza base. I love this idea. He had mushrooms and goat cheese on it. I had baeckoffe. A not very french sounding casserole-like thing (actually the word sounds not unlike what you might suggest to someone who was a little in your face) that was served in a casserole dish so old that Oma might have actually owned it at one time. Both of our meals were excellent. Although I can like nearly any kind of german food.
Ashish had black forest torte for dessert. It was good but unremarkable. I had “Alsatian coffee.” Remarkable in that it was supposed to be the Alsatian version of Irish coffee. Instead of whatever liquor they are supposed to put in Irish coffee, they used kümmel, caraway liqueur.
In terms of my heritage, I’m sticking with the Irish for the coffee drinks.