Thursday, January 23, 2020 | Written by Blanca
After wrapping up my first full week in Metz, I think it’s high time to address a topic about which I’m sure everyone back in the States is wondering:
What is the food like in Europe?
As the GTL blogger for the semester, I feel that it’s my duty to showcase all the aspects of life abroad, and foreign fare is no exception. This is a duty not to be taken lightly, so in order to adequately address the above inquiry, I made a point to try as many foods as possible, and as wide of a range of foods as possible, before and during my first full week in Europe—for the sake of furthering everyone’s collective knowledge, you know?
Aux Petits Choux, 207 Avenue de Strasbourg, 57070 Metz
Only a ten-minute walk from the GTL building, and an even closer walk from the Lafayette residence where many GTL students reside, this bakery offers a selection of baguettes, viennoiseries (baked goods), and the best sandwiches at affordable prices. I ordered the Toscan sandwich (€4.10), which encased cured ham and piquant tomatoes, not unlike sun-dried tomatoes, in a near foot-long baguette. Enjoy the blurry eating-while-walking photo of it to the right!
McDonald’s, 43160 Rue du Palais, 57000 Metz
To conclude our first week in France, a few friends and I made a 10PM trip to McDonald’s—because what better cuisine to eat in a country heralded for its culinary eminence? Nevertheless, the trip yielded some interesting insights: McDonald’s portion sizes are noticeably smaller than those in America and are significantly more expensive. That being said, the offerings in France are much lighter and healthier than those back home, and some menu items are unique to France, so it may be worth checking out for those interested in the differences.
Burger Kebab, 5 Rue du Palais, 57000 Metz
Disillusioned with American fast food chains after my trip to McDonald’s, that weekend, I instead went to Burger Kebab, a French joint serving a range of menu items from tacos to kebab wraps and burgers. It seemed fitting to order the kebab burger, which did not disappoint; in addition to being more affordable than Americanized fast food, the burger also featured more complex flavor notes from its combination of kebab meat, fresh vegetables, and a house burger sauce.
Technopôle University Restaurant, CROUS, 4 Boulevard Dominique François Arago, 57070 Metz
A convenient lunch spot frequented by many a GTL student, the Crous Cafeteria is a practical choice due to its proximity to GTL and its competitive student pricing, so I decided to try it for myself. For a mere €3.30, students are able to grab a baguette roll, a side salad, an entrée (check the menu for each week’s offering), a serving of cheese/dairy, and a dessert. If you’re looking for a quick and easy-on-the-wallet bite to eat on a weekday, the Crous Cafeteria is hard to beat.
Di Clara, 3 Rue Dupont des Loges, 57000 Metz
Last Thursday night, and incidentally also the night of the last day of the first full week of class (a cause for celebration, for sure), a group of friends and I traveled to downtown Metz in search of sustenance that we would not need to prepare ourselves. We decided on pasta, and after inputting a few vague phrases into Google Maps, we meandered the streets of Metz, where we were found, fifteen minutes later and completely off-route, by a group of local French residents. Fortunately, they spoke English, and after a short chat with us fired off a list of Italian restaurants in the area. Ultimately, we found ourselves in front of Di Clara, an ambiently-lit restaurant boasting a diverse menu of pastas, risottos, and pizzas in red and white sauces, and despite not having a reservation for our party of six, we were ushered in.
I ordered the asparagus risotto (risotto di asparagi), a creamy and perfectly-balanced risotto with green asparagus, fresh tomatoes, leeks, and Italian cheese. Other orders at the table included shrimp scampi tagliatelle, tortellini in gorgonzola sauce, and Tuscan rigatoni, and after stealing a bite from many other plates, I can say without a doubt that this was one of the best meals I’ve had in France so far. Though on the pricier side—this is no Crous Cafeteria—like the locals, I definitely recommend paying Di Clara a visit if you’re in Metz!
Metropolitan, 35 Rue du Fort Elisabeth, 1463 Luxembourg
After an early start to the day and an hour-long bus ride to Luxembourg City, my Luxembourg travel companions and I dropped into Metropolitan for brunch. Bordering a bustling square, Metropolitan’s contemporary, glowing lighting and cozy seating were invitingly warm, much like its menu. I ordered Oscar’s Classic Burger, which comprised a juicy burger patty, crispy bacon, buttery melted cheese, and fresh vegetables on a toasted bun, all served with a side of thick, golden fries.
If burgers aren’t for you, there are a variety of other menu items to try! Other orders at the table included fragrant Moroccan lamb chops, a savory Mexican-style breakfast, raspberry cheesecake, steak and potatoes, and the classic brunch staples of pancakes and eggs on toast.