Tag Archives: organic food

L’épicier Grand Cru – Cheese library of Strasbourg

You might plan to eat lots of “Tarte flambée” in Strasbourg, which I can definitely recommend, but if you want a truly unique experience, in a rather uncommon place – you have your lunch or snack at the L’épicier Grand Cru.

Strolling through the charming streets near the “little Paris” area in Strasbourg, we came across a shop that was decorated with lots of happy birthday snick snack and preparing to host a party.  Looking through the window we were drawn in by the cheese room in the back protected by a glass sliding door. What followed was something you cannot plan, but just “happens” whenever you allow yourself to dive in and just take things as they come.

Our adventure began with the very friendly staff giving us a short explanation (in English) of the different wines, meats and cheeses available as well as our options for how to combine them all into our very own lunch tasting.  The store also carries a large choice of teas, honey, traditionally made jams and marmalades, a very special, medieval cooked wine with pepper (you should definitely try this), snacks, spices and other assorted treats.

We asked for whatever they recommend, tried at least 5 wines and were happy when the surprise platter with local cheeses, dried fruits, nuts and spices with fresh bread arrived.  Each glass of wine increased the chances that I would begin singing in a short while. The cheeses on our platter included a Munster accompanied by cumin powder (even if you normally don’t touch cumin – you’ll love this), a local brie with jams, Roquefort, and was accompanied by salami, dried hams, salad, and fresh bread.  What a feast!

I really have to comment again that the Munster with cumin is a must.  The wines are all delicious, but you will need to find your own way regarding the taste that suits you best.

We also really enjoyed the “cheese library”. Literally set-up as a library, behind the sliding door, it was kept so nice and cold that you had to put your jacket on to go in.  Each cheese was carefully labeled and presented making this a small, but great cheese lovers paradise.

The service, modern décor, and variety of French foods from local providers (each with their own background story) are worth the investment of 2 hours of your Strasbourg visit.  Beware, you might spend a lot of money here, but you’ll love every cent you spend – I promise.

Heidi&Tell is the answer to the American Hooters

Heidi&Tell is a burger place that simply delivers great, fresh tasting burgers, crispy fries, soup and some sweets of the day. Ah, yes, all that and beers as well. So what made me think of the Swiss Hooters reference? Actually, it is just because of one poster and that’s really the only reason.  The food is way better than any Hooters, McDonalds or Burger King together.

If I think of burgers, I think of McDonald’s sticky floors, spongy bread, cheese that doesn’t taste like cheese, and fries that are made of some potato starch paste. Honestly, the only times I actually go to McDonalds is to use the bathroom.

Now, I’ve had good burgers, but since I live in Zurich, it would be quite a way to go to a Five Guys burger place in the US.  After a friend recommended Heidi & Tell, I no longer have to cross the Atlantic to satisfy my burger fix.  I even like the place itself with the non-sticky wooden floors, simple wooden tables, a really nice terrace towards the Tessiner Platz at Bahnhof Enge, and live streaming music courtesy of Carolina webradio.

The best of all is that all the ingredients are 100% natural with no additives, preservatives or any of the other junk that makes me dislike fast food in the first place.

An added bonus also is that the burgers come in a little carton box, which helps non-experienced burger eaters like me to minimize the mess. Great idea!  All cups, cutleries and serviettes support their sustainably friendly environment (you won’t find any plastic at Heidi&Tell for sure).

Burgers are made with Swiss meat and come on a handmade bun, and cheese with a Swiss twist, which basically means that you choose from Gruyere, Appenzeller or Emmentaler cheese, and get some HT (Heidi&Tell) fries on the side. The fries are even sprinkled with cheese and parsley and somehow make you feel healthy as you eat them.

Heidi&Tell is comfortable, even though clearly set up as a Take Away. You can definitely spend some time in there, surfing the Wi-Fi for free. The atmosphere is down-to-earth, music in the background, maybe the waitresses are not the most happy ones, when you don’t get the ordering system right away, but the good coffee and the brownie manage to make up for any problems.