I have already told you about my visit to Strasbourg Cathedral and the Musee de l’Oeuvre Notre Dame with Therese. In this post, I will tell you the rest of what happened on that day, our first in Strasbourg, including meals at Secrets de Table and La Marseillaise and some other adventures.
So for lunch, we let our eyes direct us, and just off the main street back from the cathedral, we spied a terrace restaurant with some potential, Secrets de Table.
While Therese went inside to get in line to order, I found us a table outside. She brought me back a dish that was perfect: a warm quinoa salad with roasted vegetables and chicken (and of course, no butter or other offending dairy ingredients). That was perfect.
After our lunch, I sadly had to walk Therese to the Sofitel hotel, where her workshop would begin, and say goodbye for now. After I left her, I decided to wander a bit – perhaps to scout out possible dinner restaurants for us for later in the week, or just to see something interesting that wouldn’t necessarily make it into a guidebook.
I found the utterly charming street, the Rue Sainte-Helene.
On the one hand, this street had the kind of ancient looking, beautifully decorated houses one expects to find in such a historic city. On the other hand, at one end of it (it is only like 2 blocks long) lies one of the city’s movie theaters, housed in what looks like a pop-art 1960s building. Totally kitschy and fun.
From the end of Rue Sainte-Helene, I made my way back to the Musee de l’Oeuvre Notre Dame and spent a few more hours exploring what turned out to be an extensive collection (as I have described previously). When I was done there, I was feeling like it was time for some refreshment. Luckily not far away was Place Gutenberg, named after the man who pioneered the printing press (yep, he was from Strasbourg).
In the middle of the square is an old-fashioned merry-go-round, and on one side are a couple of restaurants with outdoor seating. I picked the one that had more attractive table cloths, Aux Armes de Strasbourg, and ordered my favorite French beverage, Diabolo de Menthe (mint syrup and club soda/seltzer), and some strawberry sorbet (these two items were actually on the menu together as an option). The sorbet tasted like the strawberries had just been picked from the vine (and indeed, in France strawberries are still in season in July – tell me again why I don’t live there?). An utterly perfect refreshment.
By then, it was nearly time to pick up Therese from her workshop, so I walked back to the Sofitel. Since I was a few minutes early, I decided to visit the church across the street (when I tell you that everywhere you turn on Strasbourg’s Grand Ile, there is another historic church, I am not kidding). St-Pierre-le-Jeune is one of Strasbourg’s Protestant churches (although you have to be careful, because they also have a similarly named church which is a Catholic church – the city was definitely the front lines for the religious wars).
Lovely cloister, incredible altar painting, a touch of original frescos on the wall, and an ancient iron staircase – lots to love in this church.
So I had made a dinner reservation that night at La Marseillaise, a restaurant just one tram stop from where we were. But unfortunately, Therese had to work that evening (poor Therese), preparing a report on her computer before the next day’s meetings. So we asked the waiter at the restaurant if we could get food for takeaway. He thought for a minute and said yes. You know what they did? They found a couple of dinner plates that had chips in them (which they probably were going to throw away anyway), put our orders on them, and covered them with aluminum foil and put them in a sack for us to take back to the hotel. A bit unusual, but it worked.
So we concluded our first lovely day in Strasbourg with dinner in our hotel room, with a beautiful sunset taking place just outside our window. Life is good, my friends.