Saturday, August 20, 2011


Here are some things I learned in Strasbourg:

1. They sell wine in plastic bottles. Which may be even better than a cardboard box.

2. Alsatian beer is delicious. If only we remembered the name of the beer Mr. Oil drank at Le Tire-Bouchon. If we did, I would tell you but more importantly we would go buy some.  I went with the Kir Alsace - which pretty much tastes like juice, and fits my girly palate.  Yum.

3. Kugelhopf is funny-shaped challah.  Everywhere we went in Strasbourg, we saw kugelhopf. Naturally that meant we had to have some.  We chose to get our kugelhopf from a boulangerie that has been operating since 1279!!! 1279!! That is a seriously old bakery. Biting into it, we thought, "This tastes familiar."  A few more bites and I realized - it tastes exactly like raisin challah.  Sorry Alsatians but I think the recipe is not unique to you.  You can have the shape though.  

4. Traveling with a baby is hard. The first night in our hotel I learned that Baby Oil is a bed hog. Having successfully cried his way into our bed, he then proceeded to take up my entire side of the bed sprawled out on his stomach. The next day, completely exhausted despite the fact that Mr. Oil kindly took Baby Oil out for a walk from 6:30am - 8am so I could sleep, I found myself having difficulty concentrating on the sights because all I could think of was my pervasive, intense, and recurring fantasy. It goes something like this:

Me. Alone. In a hotel - preferably a Westin, with the Westin Heavenly bed. 20 hours. I arrive, and take a nap. I take a shower - better yet, a bath. I order room service.  My phone is off.  And here's where it gets steamy - then I go to sleep. By myself. In a quiet room.  For as long as I want.

Oh man. I can imagine this in my mind over and over.  But of course, in real life, there are diapers and bottles and toys and naps and it never ends.  Fortunately, he's cute.  So cute, in fact, that I have come to believe that traveling with Baby Oil must be like traveling with a celebrity - everyone looks at you, and smiles, and wants to talk to you. One day on the metro, some Japanese tourists even took his photo (I kid you not).

5. There are so many things you can do with mirabelles. For instance, mirabelle pie.  Not too sweet, but not tart. Yum.  We ate it standing on the street because we are classy like that.

6. And lastly, for the best chicken sandwich ever at the most un-French price, please head to the kosher restaurant Le King on Rue Sellenick in Strasbourg.  7.90 euros for a moist, thoroughly-breaded chicken with lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise on an excellent sesame bun.  And the frites are top of the line as well. I'm salivating a bit recalling this sandwich....maybe I should add the sandwich to my Westin fantasy.  Now I'm onto something.