New Delhi, India
June 3, 2009
The Taverne de la Cathedrale is in one corner of the cobbled square known as Place de la Cathedrale, home to Strasbourg’s famous Nôtre Dame Cathedral. This café begins business a little late (they’re not open for breakfast), but stays open through the day, so if you land up—like we did—for a really late lunch, you’ll get it.
On our first day, I ordered a pâté en croute while Tarun had a tarte â l’oignon. Both were listed as light meals, and came with nearly half the plate loaded down with salad—Tarun’s with crisp lettuce drizzled with a tart mayonnaise-based dressing, mine with a huge helping of grated carrot tossed in French dressing and an equally large mound of some crisp radish-like veggie I couldn’t identify, in a sharp and creamy sauce. The pâté I got, along with its coating of aspic, was tasty enough, but the crust left a lot to be desired: it was hard, doughy and cold. Tarun’s tarte â l’oignon was, on the other hand, delicious, cheesy and with the right amount of onion, including a lovely browned onion crust.
This was good value for money (€26, including drinks and a tip), so we returned the next day, this time for another Alsatian specialty, which both of us ordered: poulet au Reisling. The chicken, simmered in cream and Reisling, was tender and very flavoursome. It came with a generous serving of spaetzle, an Alsatian pasta that’s lightly tossed in butter and looked like overdone scrambled eggs—but tasted way better. A complimentary basket of hard rolls nearly went untouched because the chicken and spaetzle were large portions.
The third day, we were back again, this time for quiche Lorraine, gloriously cheesy and full of bacon, with a vast salad of lettuce on the side.
Except for the pâté en croute fiasco, I loved Taverne de la Cathedrale. It’s friendly and informal, and the food’s good value for money. The menu’s written in French, German and English, and all the waiters at least understand English. Your bill can start as low as €15 for a fairly filling meal with an aerated drink (beer’s often cheaper!). I prefer lemonade, so always ordered that or Coke, but Tarun had beer or wine. Our bill never exceeded €45 for a main course and drink.
And here’s the bonus: almost any time of the day, some talented buskers play classical and popular tunes from 50’s Hollywood right round the corner, so entertainment’s free.
From journal Eating and Sleeping in Strasbourg