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L' Alsaco

Oh MY. This place was the FIND of the trip so far. Ok, well, we had a little help from Patricia Wells. The extra bonus part was that is was just two blocks away from the apartment. L' Alsaco is an Alsatian French restaurant serving classic Chocroute (sauerkraut with smoked meats and sausages). It was that plus a whole bunch of extra-bonus food finds.

Claude (chef of L'Alsaco) obviously cares about his food and his customers. We were greeted warmly from the moment we stepped in. The great smells inside gave us a preview of what was to come.

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The starters: preskopf, tart, warm salad...
We ordered the preskopf (head cheese), a alsacien tart (bacon/onions/creme on thin freshly rolled dough), warm potato salad with lard (Alsacien for "bacon"). The amazing dish (they were all pretty damn good) was the salad. Small slices of white potato flecked with parsley and crowded with freshly cut, thick lardons of homemade bacon. Soft, crispy/crunchy (since this was no supermarket bacon, it had it's share of bone and cartilage), smoky...this was so satisfying that I could have eaten a main course sized portion of this alone.

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Chocroute: Oh my GOD...
All of us had the chocroute in various sizes. I'm am GLAD that I ordered the smaller plate (sauerkraut plus two smooked meats and sausage) because even that was a ridiculous (albeit 150% delicious) amount of meat and cabbage. A piece of pork shoulder, pork side, one mild and one spiced sausage on top of a small mountain of he best sauerkraut I have even had kept me busy for the rest of the evening. Smoky, fragrant, juicy....

We capped the evening with several glassed of eau de vie picked by Claude himself from a list of about 40 different kinds (including truffle and aparagus (!). Actually, we picked a wine that L'Alsaco with out of and Claude brought another bottle and told us what had happened and if we didn't like it we should just let him know and he'd bring us another. With the eau de vie, he offered to pick his favorites and the wine choice had been so good that we immediately agreed. He brought four - three made from wildflowers and one make from pepper. Delicious. As a bonus, he brought us a fifth and asked us to guess what it was (it was garlic). We got up to leave; sated and full and all the while Claude had as much fun we had - a true sign of a chef who really cares about his customers. One really couldn't ask for more.
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Worth every Euro...

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