Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Dropping in on Metz, France

We arrived at the Metz (pronounced mess in French) train station one day earlier than originally planned and on time. The half kilometer walk to the Hotel Mercure felt more like a half mile, but we found it without difficulty and a room was ready for us.

Our room is a little run down but perfectly adequate. Once checked in, we went for a walk. On our way back the weather changed and we actually encountered some sleet.

Feeling lazy, we decided to eat dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, Émile & Lola, which is reasonably well reviewed. It was fine. Kathy enjoyed her pâté.

Brian’s vegetable tartellette was tasty, although the crust could have been flakier.

For our mains, Kathy selected lamb, which tasted as good as it looked.

Brian’s hamburger was livened up with a dollop of Bernaise Sauce.

All in all, it was a successful dining experience.

Tuesday morning we both slept in. The dire weather forecast (snow!) did not come to pass, nor did the general strike, at least in Metz. We celebrated with a three-mile walk. We confirm with the postman’s arrival at the hotel as we leave that there’s no general strike today.

Metz is a city of about 100,00 in northeast France, situated at the confluence of the Seille and Moselle Rivers.

So many beautiful sights…

Here’s a tower without a church.

This was a Lutheran church built by German soldiers in the late 1800s, annoying the locals because it was one meter taller than the next tallest church tower. It was bombed in WW II, and then burned in 1946. This 90-meter tower of the Garrison Temple is all that remains.

Eventually we walk our way to the lunch hour. The first restaurant we try is full, but we’re more successful at L’Aloyau, a venerable establishment not far from our hotel.

The interior is pleasant and they had a table for us.

This butcher-based restaurant provides sausage as well as bread for the table.

To celebrate our final meal in France of this trip, and in memory of Kathy’s older brother (Bentley loved long French lunches), we ordered a bottle of Médoc.

We ascertained that today’s soupe du moment was onion, so we eagerly (and we think for the first time) ordered Soupe à l’Oignon in France. It was a beef base and it was delicious.

For our plats, Kathy, never one to give up, ordered a steak. It was thin and a little tough, like every other steak we’ve eaten in France. Brian argued without success that it must be the way the French like their meat, especially since this very restaurant displays large cuts of dry-aged un-marbled beef in the front window. As the very same French put it, À chacun son goût. Kathy did love the cheesy potatoes, and also the mashed potatoes on which the vegetables rested.

Brian hit the jackpot with a rich Beef Bourguignon.

Un très bon repas!

Wednesday morning we’re scheduled to board a Belgian train and ride the rails to Antwerp, changing trains at Luxembourg. We’re looking forward to sampling Belgium’s waffles, chocolate, and beer. Oh, and Belgium invented pommes frites, didn’t they?

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