Coffeeshops in Metz

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | Written by Mira

I love coffee and coffee shops. I made it my mission to spend my Tuesdays exploring Metz, and that includes trying new coffeeshops to do homework in. Some have been more conducive to telework than others. I have searched for other blog posts to help me find ones that are computer friendly (I found one in French:

  1. Fox Coffee Shop Metz (6 Rue Gambetta, 57000 Metz): Location? Amazing. Coffee? Delicious. Ambiance? Immaculate. Fox Coffee Shop Metz is a GTL fan favorite for obvious reasons. Fox Coffee Shop is my happy place, no ifs, ands, or buts. It is definitely computer friendly with very speedy free Wi-Fi, although you can only connect one device at a time with a given email. You can sit outside or inside, both of which provide a unique coffee shop experience. Inside, they have beautiful, ornate, furniture and decorations, and they even have a piano! The music is *chef’s kiss* a vibe – I spent one day Shazaming many of the songs I heard and made an Apple Music playlist for your (and my) enjoyment. You can also find them on Spotify. Outside, they have plenty of tables that spread out along the sidewalk and into the square. Each table has a unique set of stickers, adding to the quirkiness of the place.

    A glimpse inside this magical little shop
  2. Ô Sœur Saveurs (19 Rue Taison, 57000 Metz): A self-proclaimed, woman-run business, this coffeeshop is in the heart of downtown. They don’t open until 11am (and I recommend not going right when they open like I did), but it’s definitely worth a visit. When I went, I accidentally ordered a “lait froid” thinking I was ordering an iced latte… much to my dismay, the server brought out a glass of milk with ice in it. Not what I wanted, but it was what I ordered apparently. After I finished my sad glass of iced milk, it took me a good hour to work up the courage to ask for the menu again. The second time, I ordered a cappuccino and a crumble poivron, tomate, et feta (a pepper, tomato, and feta crumble), and it was delicious! I sat in an outdoor area in the center of the café, which made for a unique atmosphere, even if it drizzled a little bit.

    My cute cappuccino
  3. Columbus Café and Co. (33 Pl. Saint-Jacques, 57000 Metz): In the heart of downtown Metz, Columbus Café and Co provides both indoor and outdoor, upstairs and downstairs seating and a sweet spread of food and drinks. I would describe this as a Starbucks with more personality. If you’re hungry, I’d recommend getting the menu étudiant (student menu) which is a sandwich, a baked good, and an iced tea or soft drink for only 6 euros! My cappuccino classique was a whole 4.50 euros. They have free (and good quality) Wi-fi and plenty of outlets inside. I spent all day studying for my plethora of exams during my exam week here and will definitely be coming back.
  4. Paul (219B Av. de Strasbourg, 57070 Metz): A GTL staple. Located between the Lafayette Residence and the GTL building, Paul is a very popular and convenient stop for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I usually grab a sandwich to go (à emporter) on Mondays between my class ending at 5:45pm and my class starting at 7pm. I have also had breakfast there (sur place). It wasn’t anything special, but convenient enough to make it worth it.

    A small selection of the many items they offer throughout the day at Paul
  5.  Chalon de Thé (6 Rue de la Petite Boucherie, 57000 Metz): This café is purrfect (pun intended) if you like (1) coffee/tea and (2) cats.You don’t need to pay to get in – you just pay for what you order! If you need productive café vibes, this is probably not the place for you. While they do provide free Wi-Fi, the cats are pretty distracting. I found myself taking pictures of the cats more than I did homework. The cats also have no problem walking all over the keyboard (“zxt6yt5v   5nm” and “./;……•••••••••••••••••••7[‘puy[p-9” were two such instances. How one of them typed bullet points? I’m not sure. Very talented kitty.)

    I could be distracted by this sweet kitty forever

Bonus! Honorable Mention

Look at the colored-windows!

Konrad Café & Bar (7 Rue du N, 2229 Luxembourg): While not in Metz, this café was too cute not to mention. Located in the older part of the city, Konrad café is a prime telework spot. I knew I’d love it when as soon as I walked in, the music was only Frank Sinatra. The staff is so kind (and English speaking), the Wi-Fi is fast, the ambiance is impeccable. You can sit inside or outside, but it was pretty chilly when I came so they had blankets outside for customers. On a Tuesday, I decided to take a solo day trip to Luxembourg to take advantage of my day off from classes, and I definitely don’t regret it! I can highly recommend coming here on a day off or even an afternoon – Luxembourg is only 47 minutes from Metz!

Adventures in Barcelona

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | Written by Mira

To quote one of my favorite reality TV shows, Big Brother, “Always expect the unexpected.” This is a mindset that you must adopt during study abroad. My trip to Barcelona started off with one of the trains being canceled a few days in advance due to previous inclement weather. I’m not quite sure how inclement weather from the 14th of September causes a train scheduled for the 24th of September to be canceled on the 21st of September, but “always expect the unexpected”.  

Getting a reimbursement for that train was a lot easier than expected, with google translate already pulled up with a French translation of our situation, and what we were asking for. All we had to do was go to the train station, talk to an agent, and reimburse the ticket. We could have exchanged the ticket, but the best alternative itinerary we found didn’t require seat reservations. So I guess I should thank the inclement weather for saving me 10 euros.

 We left for Barcelona Thursday evening and had to take an overnight train; I highly recommend booking an overnight train a few weeks in advance so everyone in your travel group can get a room together. On the train we took, each room contained four beds, and unfortunately my ticket was the one that was separate from my two travel buddies. Overall, the experience was quite interesting, and taking this overnight train was what I imagined the Hogwarts Express to be like.

Barcelona’s beautiful lights

After five trains (and about 20 hours of travel), we finally made it to Barcelona! We had dinner at a tapas restaurant called Dora (Carrer de Provença, 275, 08037 Barcelona, Spain) before heading to a lookout spot. We climbed up the many steps to the Mirador de l’Alcalde, and the view was so worth it! I am a height-junkie, and the most amazing thing about views like this, is that just a mere hour before, we were in the view. From the observation deck, everything looked so small, but the view contained so much life and beautiful bright lights. There were so many things this view captured- too many things to do in just one day. Unfortunately, with the length of our trains, one day would have to suffice for now in this beautiful city.

On our way back to the AirBnB, we emerged from the metro station to a celebration in the streets with bright fireworks and lively dancing. The La Mercè Festival of Barcelona, an annual week-long celebration of the end of summer, was in full swing, and we just happened to be there for the official day of celebration.


Life imitates art or art imitates life?

Our only full day in Barcelona was jam-packed full of adventures! We started off the day with breakfast at a quaint café. The amateur coffee connoisseur in me was ecstatic to try a cortado, a traditional Spanish espresso drink. Next up, the Picasso Museum. Located in the middle of an old, medieval portion of the city (we almost completely passed it!), the museum is home to an extensive collection of Picasso pieces.

 Next stop: the aquarium! I think being from the Atlanta area and having the Georgia Aquarium be my touchstone for aquariums, unfortunately made this aquarium a little bit of a let-down. However, the reprieve from the 80-degree heat was much appreciated! I’ve always known my name is Spanish for “look,” but never before had I realized how often this word is used, especially at the aquarium. There were many parents telling their children to “mira, mira, mira” at the colorful fish. Every single time this happened, my friends and I would have to stifle a laugh, so the Barcelona Aquarium was probably the funniest aquarium I’ve been to.

I had a caprese empanada and it was incredible!

You can’t be in Barcelona without going to the beach! As we mapped out directions to the beach, we walked along the port and came across an art and food market! I found the most beautiful bee earrings, which I just had to buy (Go Jackets!), and these will definitely be what I wear at graduation – my “I got out” earrings. We made it to the beach (after stopping for some delicious empanadas), and it was so refreshing to just relax.


The colorful, bustling Mercado de La Boqueria.

Next stop: Mercado de La Boqueria (La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain). I HIGHLY recommend this place. This market is a mixture of food vendors including street food but also meat, produce, fish, etc. where locals can come for their regular grocery shopping, and tourists can enjoy a real feel for the city. The market reminded me of the markets (shuks) in Israel, and it felt like a piece of home. 


Our final stops of the day: The Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona and La Sagrada Familia Basilica. Two absolutely beautiful structures! If I do come back to Barcelona, which I hope I do, I will come back to La Sagrada Familia in the daylight. We were there after the sun had set, and the basilica wasn’t really lit up as we expected, but it was beautiful all the same.

 Barcelona definitely can’t be done in one day – I could probably spend a week there and still not feel like I fully experienced it. So, instead of a “goodbye” to Barcelona, the trip home was an “until-next-time.”

Dr. Birchfield’s List of the Best Bakeries in Metz

Boulangeries, patisseries, et fromageries, oh my! France is known for its amazing bakeries, cheeses, butchers, and markets and while studying in Metz all of these are a short walk (or bus ride) away. Join Kaitlyn and her friends as Georgia Tech-Lorraine’s Professor Dr. Vicki Birchfield shows them her favorite spots in Metz!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

*Disclaimer: Kaitlyn was not paid to endorse any of the businesses mentioned in this article, nor does Georgia Tech endorse any of these businesses.*

This past weekend, INTA professor Dr. Birchfield took a few of my friends and I downtown to check out some of her personal favorite bakeries, delis, and fromageries in Metz! 

Statue of Charles de Gaulle in Metz
Statue of Charles de Gaulle in Metz,
Photo by P.Gisselbrecht.

We first met at the train station, right underneath the newly constructed statue of Charles de Gaulle. Being an expert on all things EU, Dr. Birchfield regaled us with a brief history lesson on de Gaulle and his prominence in this area of France, specifically due to his history of being a colonel while posted in Metz. 

An image of pastries in a display case.
Le Moy Boulangerie, Metz

Across from the train station is Le Moy, a family owned shop specializing in chocolates and pastries. According to Dr. Birchfield, Le Moy has the best pain au chocolat in town, which is pretty high praise, considering we’re in France! My friends and I sampled the Paris-Metz, a cake that was created during a competition organized by the mayor to celebrate the opening of the TGV line from Metz to Paris. It’s a three-color macaron, filled with harlequin candy mousseline and raspberries. We all agreed that it was the most delicious pastry we had eaten in Metz. Le Moy is so close to the train station every Georgia Tech-Lorraine student should visit this exquisite shop, and try this classic Metz pastry.

An image of the Paris-Metz described above
The delectable Paris-Metz from Le Moy
An image of the exterior of Boulangerie Poulard.
One of the city’s most up and coming boulangeries.

Next up was Boulangerie Poulard, which was dubbed the “hottest new bakery in town”! This boulangerie has won several competitions for having the best croissants and baguettes in this region of France. In fact, it was a finalist in the competition for best bakery in France. The owner and chief baker, Seydou Diallo, has two shops: one on Rue du Grand Cerf, and one of Rue Perrat (just a block away from the train station). We picked up a classic, baguettes, from Boulangerie Poulard. It was pretty much everything a French baguette should be, so I can see why this bakery is one of the city’s favorites! Boulangerie Poulard is also a designated “Agriculture Biologique” boulangerie, meaning that it utilizes products from organic farming. This label  identifies a bakery as being respectful of the environment, animal welfare, and biodiversity. Boulangerie Poulard has award winning baguettes and environmental conscientiousness; what more can you ask for in a bakery?

An image of pastries in a display case at Boulangerie Poulard
Boulangerie Poulard, Metz
The exterior of Au Veau D'or
Au Veau D’or also known as Maison Heitzman

We took a shortcut through the city center to get to the other side of town, to a street called Rue du Grand Cerf. Dr. Birchfield informed us that this is “the best street for food shopping in Metz”. We first stopped by a deli, Au Veau D’or, also known as Maison Heitzman. They specialize in deli meats like sausages, but they also have charcuterie and roasted chicken for takeaway. They offer classic French cuisine in the form of a warm Plat du Jour for well under 10 euros.

an image of the rotisserie in the deli

 Directly next to Maison Heitzman is a small shop, Prime Primeurs, that sells the regional products of Lorraine. Here, you can purchase things like fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as French jams and beverages.

An image of the exterior of the prime primeurs store front
Prime Primeurs is a great place to get a true taste of this region of France.
An image of the exterior of Boulangerie Fort
Boulangerie Fort, Metz

Also along Rue du Grand Cerf is Dr. Birchfield’s second favorite patisserie, Boulangerie Fort (after Poulard). She recommends trying the pain tradition “la festive” and the quiche Lorraine from this bakery.

If you’re a cheese fan, you’re in luck. Also on this street (see how it’s living up to its reputation as the biggest street for food in Metz?) is La Fromagerie du Grand Cerf, a cheese shop run by a former pro footballer. He is passionate about sourcing his cheeses from smaller and more specialized producers. Not too far away, just off Place Saint Jacques is her other favorite fromagerie, Conrad, a very classic, family-run cheese shop with three locations in Metz that have been operating since 1920.

Our little food tour of Metz ended here, but it wasn’t the end of Dr. Birchfield’s recommendations. She suggests visiting the Marché de Saint Therese on a sunny Sunday. The market has stalls that sell warm meals (think roasted chicken, pizzas, calzones, and galettes), cheese, fruits, and vegetables. From there, on your way to the botanical garden, where you can enjoy your freshly prepared food at a picnic table, you can pick up baguettes and pastries from the fantastic L’Ecrin Gourmand.

Of course, this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of the amazing food options in Metz, but hopefully it inspires you to explore the iconic French cuisine that is practically in your backyard during your time at Georgia Tech-Lorraine!

If You Don’t Like to Cook…

… then this blog is for you! Read on as Kaitlyn details some of her favorite places to get food from at Georgia Tech-Lorraine when she doesn’t want to rely on her own culinary skills!

Friday, March 26, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

Like a good majority of college students our age, you are probably only just beginning to venture into the world of learning to cook for yourself. Luckily for us, we have an abundance of options of prepared meals here at Georgia Tech-Lorraine! Here’s a look at them; bon appétit!

CROUS Student Cafeteria

Thanks to our status as French university students, we have access to the student lunches at a neighboring college. For just one euro, we can pick from a menu that usually features warm sandwiches, pasta, and a chef’s meal of the day. For our sides, we are given fruit, salad, yogurt/compote, and a bottle of water. The panini poulet is always a popular choice with Georgia Tech-Lorraine students, but there’s plenty of vegetarian and vegan options too! The cafeteria is about a ten minute walk around the lake from the Georgia Tech-Lorraine building, so it’s a great option for a quick lunch between classes. 

PAUL and Aux Petits Choux

Another favorite with Georgia Tech-Lorraine students is the bakery chain, Paul. It’s an industrial bakery, meaning that it’s not an authentic French bakery, but that doesn’t stop it from tasting good. They specialize in breakfast goods, pastries, and sandwiches. Their prices are a little higher than most bakeries you’ll find in France, but you can’t beat the location, it’s about a three minute walk from the Lafayette dorms and on the way to Georgia Tech-Lorraine. If you’re looking for a slightly more affordable option, there’s another great bakery called Aux Petits Choux down the road from PAUL. It has a smaller selection, but they bake everything fresh daily! 

French Fast Food

Because of the local preventative measures for the pandemic, for example the curfew and restaurant closures, we’ve all become good friends with food delivery apps like UberEats and Deliveroo. Metz’s abundance of restaurants — Metz is the third highest French city in terms of the number of fast food restaurants per inhabitant — makes it really easy to order delivery! Some Georgia Tech-Lorraine students’ favorites are Burger Kebab (sandwich kebab shop) and O’Tacos (French tacos chain). 

Auchan & Cora

Of course, you can always buy premade meals from the grocery stores. There’s Cora, the superstore, but also the smaller, more traditional Auchan. While Cora has a wider selection, I and others have found ourselves going to Auchan more often for our weekly groceries. It’s closer to the Lafayette dorms, and set up more like an American grocery store. 

A First Taste of Italy

Join Kaitlyn on her first taste of Italy as she tours her way from pizza shop to pizza shop, and of course, she’d be remiss if she didn’t stop for gelato along the way. Read all about her journey around the pants shaped Lake Como in her latest blog!

Thursday, March 25, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

Italy: the home of pizza, the perfecter of pasta, and the gelato capital of the world. It’s easy to say that it’s the perfect weekend getaway for any food fanatic — ideal for my group and me!

It was apparent we were in Italy from the moment we stepped out into the lakeside town of Como, Italy. Blooming cherry blossom trees dotted the sides of roads filled with drivers zipping around on their Vespas. Every block we walked by was home to one gelato shop at a minimum.

an image of an adorable small puppy
The happiest dogs live in Italy!

While the name of the movie may be All Dogs go to Heaven, based on my observation heaven for dogs must be Como. There were so many dogs, and every single one of them looked like the happiest pup in the world — one friendly puppy was practically jumping all over us to receive pets.

Lake Como is situated on the border of Switzerland and Italy. My friends and I likened the shape of the lake to a pair of pants; while traveling along the lake we would use this analogy. It was silly, but extremely helpful! For example, the city of Como was on the “left foot” of the lake.  After a couple hours sightseeing, we boarded a ferry (the lake is so large that the main way of transportation between the towns is by boat!) to travel up the pants leg to Varenna, our home base for the weekend.

We disembarked the ferry right at sunset, and what a sunset it was! It was a real treat for us, as our ability to view sunsets in Metz have been restricted by a curfew. We quickly learned that the town of Varenna was tiny; it is home to a grand total of 800 residents! But what it lacked in population made up for in charm. We ordered some takeaway pizza from a restaurant in the main square and while we waited, considered our options for how to get to our Airbnb. 

The amazing view from the balcony of our Airbnb.

The house we picked was actually in an even smaller town, Perledo, which sits prettily on top of a hill. It’s only accessible through hiking up a steep trail of staircases, or through a road that has a hairpin turn every few meters. Our exhausted bodies gave a resounding “no” to the first option, so we hitched a ride in a taxi. It’s difficult to tell if that was the right decision in the end, because the taxi ride was simply chaotic. Trying to communicate to the driver that only knew Italian where to drop us off as she whipped around the hairpin turns at lightning speed was **shivers** quite the harrowing experience. We made it to our destination in one piece, though, and our home for the weekend was incredible. The villa we stayed in was complete with private gardens and balconies that highlighted a completely unparalleled lake view.

The traumatizing taxi ride was worth it for this.


Authentic Italian pizza deserves all the hype it gets.

Exhausted from our eventful day, we tucked into our authentic Italian (!!) pizza and called it a night.


The next day we caught another ferry to the town of Bellagio. Of course, we couldn’t visit another Italian town without trying their gelato. Trust me when I say, Italian pistachio gelato just hits differently.  We continued to roam the small streets and talk to locals. 

We returned to Varenna a few hours later with a fun idea in our heads. One of my group’s absolute necessities is watching the Rick Steves video about our destination, so we thought it would be fitting to try our best to recreate certain scenes from the Varenna video. I’ve gotta say, I think we did a pretty decent job. I think Rick Steves would be proud of our attempt. 

You really have to look hard to find the difference between these two photos!

We wrapped up our last night in Varenna simply relaxing and enjoying our surroundings. It was a wonderfully peaceful evening on the lake, and the perfect ending to my first taste of Italy.

What I’ve Made in Metz So Far: My Dishes Ranked

Join Kaitlyn as she ranks her culinary creations while living in Metz with her newfound cooking skills.

Thursday, February 4, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

As my family and friends know well, I am not the most… skilled at cooking. When I am feeling generous, I would rate my culinary skills as solid 4/10. Though this semester in Metz has taken some adjustment, a large part of that adjustment has not been living in a foreign country,  but rather learning to feed myself without the safety net of a meal plan or my mom’s cooking. So, I thought, in the spirit of my new found culinary skills, I would rank a select few of the dishes I’ve made in my dorm thus far, from worst to best.

The time I burned water. I never would have thought this was possible, but you learn something new every day, right? This shocking incident occurred when I heated up my empty frying pan and suddenly, smelled the unmistakable scent of something burning. Turns out, there was a little bit of soapy water leftover from when I had previously washed the pan and it burnt when it hit the hot stovetop.

A very crispy quesadilla. I was in the middle of video calling a friend back home while attempting to make a quesadilla, my fatal mistake.

very burnt quesadilla
I hope you like your quesadillas very, VERY, crispy.

Imagine my surprise when my very pale tortilla began to smoke. Confused, I flipped the seemingly underdone quesadilla over to discover a disconcertingly dark underside. “Ah,” I thought to myself, “that might be the cause of the billowing smoke.” I panicked for approximately four seconds, then realized I should probably do something to avoid setting off the smoke alarm. How mad would everyone be if the alarm went off and they had to trudge out of their rooms into the cold at 9PM? It could have been an opportunity to learn some new french curses, but I decided it would be best to just remedy the issue. I cracked my window open and held my pan outside to let the smoke blow into the night. Later, after recounting the night’s events to my friend across the hall from me, she only chuckled and said “Oh yeah, I keep smelling stuff burning from your room”.

A nice warm bowl of chili… or not. On one of the many cold, rainy days we have had in Metz, the idea to make a large, comforting pot of chili to warm myself up popped into my head. Naively, I thought to myself, “How hard could it be? I just need to throw a few things in a pot, right?” As I now know, there is much more involved in making chili than simply just throwing things in a pot.  Most of the recipes that I read online called either for using a slow cooker, which I unfortunately do not have, or for a few hours of cooking chili, which I also did not have. This was news to me, but apparently, throwing some canned tomato puree in a pot along with meat and vegetables isn’t quite enough to taste good. I was still determined to get my chili though, so the next time I went grocery shopping I settled for purchasing an already prepared can.

Pasta. Pasta, in any form is a truly classic meal. It is relatively difficult to mess up, but with my track record I am rating my rendition relatively high – both for not having burned it and for having completed it. The only thing I haven’t liked about my pasta dishes is the frozen meatballs I’ve gotten from Cora, finally something I can vindicate myself from blame for. Hopefully, a trip to an Ikea (maybe even the original Ikea in Sweden?) for some Swedish meatballs will be able to elevate my spaghetti and meatballs dish. For now, my specialty will remain pesto pasta.

Pretty successful pad thai! At last, a successful dinner.

an image of Kaitlyn's pad thai
Successful pad thai? I’ll let you be the judge of that… at the very least it looks delicious.

A friend and I pooled together the odds and ends from our fridges to make some pad thai. Thanks to the magic of pad thai sauce and some fancy garnishing with lemons, we were pleasantly surprised at our creation. In hindsight, maybe the key to making it taste good was covering the dish in sriracha, which, given my previous cooking experiences, seems highly likely.

More Time in Munich

Some adventures are so long they have to be told in pieces, like Kaela’s latest trip. Join Kaela as she details the second half of her journey in Munich in her latest blog post!

Monday, October 19, 2020 | Written by Kaela


We started the second day of our adventure bright and early with a quick visit to Odeonsplatz: a square lined with ornate buildings. We then headed towards Kaisergarten: our breakfast spot of choice. On our way there were no turnstiles, workers, or barriers to ensure that you stamp the 10 trip pass, rather the German train system relies on the honor system, which felt quite novel. We did however encounter many multi directional escalators– a great space and money saving idea.

My avocado toast was absolutely delicious!
My avocado toast was absolutely delicious!

For breakfast, I had delicious avocado toast before we ran off to the next activity of our weekend. We made a quick stop by the BMW welt, but opted out of going to the museum. We then headed towards the English Garden, stopping for some cake on the way there. After finding a bench to eat on, enjoying the quick snack, and walking around, a surprise drizzle greeted us. The cold weather and rain did dampen the experience slightly but we happened upon a small shop, grabbed a cup of hot chocolate, and waited out the light sprinkle. 

We ended up back at Odeonsplatz while trying to visit the Kriegerdenkmal and ended up in the middle of a protest. The rain suddenly started to pour, so we waited it out under an arcade by Kriegerdenkmal. After freshening up at the hostel, we made a quick stop at Gute Nacht Wurst for currywurst, which was even better than the dish I had in Trier. I was tempted to order more, but this visit was meant to hold us over until dinner later that night. We made another stop in Marienplatz for pictures and visited some of the surrounding shops. We ended up running into a model whose pictures were displayed in an advertisement there.

Scrumptious Strudel!
Scrumptious Strudel!

Since it was a Saturday night, many places were full but we got lucky and ended up getting a table at Hofbräuhaus München once again. Luckily, thanks to the night before, we knew exactly what to get: chicken, schnitzel, and pretzels! Unfortunately, we ended up with a table outdoors in the cold so I spent a decent amount of time walking around looking for an empty table indoors. This gave me the chance to explore all three floors of the restaurant. We ended up finding a table inside! We celebrated by eating strudel, playing games, and hanging around. 


We went to Cotidiano for a less German-style breakfast. This place was amazing! I got an american style breakfast, an acai bowl, and a brownie with ice cream. This breakfast was similar to what I would eat at home, so it felt nostalgic after being away for so long. We spent some time in Gartensplatz taking photos and then went on a quest to find an open souvenir shop on a Sunday.

St. Peter's ChurchDuring this search, we ended up making a pit stop at St. Peter’s Church. Of all the churches I have seen so far, this might be my personal favorite. It was a bit different from the stone and stained glass I am used to seeing in cathedrals. It is mostly white with paintings covering the ceilings and walls. Golden figures line the sides leading up to the altar where a figure of Saint Peter lies. The smoke from incense filled the nave and caught the light beams streaming in through the windows.

We ended up finding souvenirs at Munich’s large train station and then boarded the train to head home.

A Minute in Munich

Join Kaela in Munich as she learns observes the traditions of Bavaria, halted by a modern dilemma. Read on to find out more about her delicious meals and the sights of the city!

Friday, October 16, 2020 | Written by Kaela


When people think of Germany, they might think of people dressed in lederhosen (leather breeches) or dirndls (traditional dresses) eating copious amounts of meat and pretzels. After my brief visit to Munich, I can confirm these assumptions have at least some truth. We decided to visit Munich because one, it is a beautiful city, two, Germany has great food, and three, we wanted to catch the end of the Oktoberfest “celebrations.” Oktoberfest began as a wedding celebration more than two hundred years ago and soon became an annual event intertwined in German culture. While the Coronavirus pandemic halted what would have been the 187th Oktoberfest in Munich, the spirit of the celebration still continued on. People dressed in traditional outfits peppered the streets and many restaurants offered special “Oktoberfest” menu items. 

My delicious wurstlteller!
My delicious wurstlteller!

After a long morning of travel, we headed to Augustine Keller for our first German meal (as well as our first meal of the day.) A friend and I shared a wurstlteller: a platter with an assortment of sausages. We took our time tasting each sausage and examining their flavors as though we were food critics. I tried some of a travel companion’s schnitzel and thoroughly enjoyed it (and highly recommend it). I left the restaurant wishing both my stomach and wallet were larger so I could order a schnitzel for myself. We played a few rounds of cars after our meal, but our fun was cut short by the menacing chestnuts hanging above our heads. Every time a strong gust of wind blew, a few would come flying down towards our table like hailstones.

Upon arrival at our hostel (Augustin), I immediately fell in love with our temporary housing. We had traveled with enough people to have our own hostel room and despite the bunk bed style sleeping, there were a lot of private spaces. We had our own large bathroom with two showers and the toilet was placed in a separate area. There were more than enough mirrors, sinks, lockers for storage, and couch space all placed strategically so it did not feel cramped. The room was modern, clean, and had an amazing view overlooking a small courtyard. German engineering is renowned for a reason. 

Our lovely traveling gorup!
Our lovely traveling group!

After freshening up for a bit, we headed to a famous Munich landmark, the Bavaria statue. Our hostel happened to be extremely close to the statue, which sits in the middle of the grounds where Oktoberfest would have been hosted, Theresienwiese, had it not been cancelled. The statue is meant to be a female personification of the Bavarian homeland. It reminded me of a piece of home, the Statue of Liberty. Both statues serve as monuments to their homeland, personifying patriotism through the depiction of nurturing and powerful women. It was fascinating to walk through the entirely empty fairground and imagine what would be there: food and drink tents, traditional music, dancing, horse races, temporary museums and crowds of people. I took a moment to try to imagine the fanfare and compare it to the somewhat empty large park before me. There were people wind skateboarding, biking, running, working out, or passing through like us. 

An image of the beautiful Marienplatz.
An image of the beautiful Marienplatz.

We passed through Marienplatz on the way to our next eatery: Hofbrauhaus. We admired the New Town Hall building and its gothic revival architecture. I admired the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, a tourist attraction in its own right, with 43 bells and 32 life sized figures. Unfortunately, we were not able to see the show while we were in Munich but I imagine it is quite a spectacle.

Our last stop of the night was at Hofbräuhaus München. This Bavarian restaurant dates back to the 16th century and is three floors high. Its aura was incredible: live music, bustling customers, the smell of great food, couples dancing, traditional clothing, and workers walking around selling pretzels. Our group opted for a family style meal allowing us the opportunity to try all of the restaurant’s popular dishes. My favorites? For sure the half chicken, schnitzel, and pretzel. After eating and playing more card games without the threat of chestnuts falling on us, we headed back to the hostel for the night. As I listened to the snoring of a travel companion in the bunk above me, still full from my traditional meal, I slowly drifted off, excited for what the next day would bring.

An Afternoon of Good Eats

Kaela is back on the blog and her latest adventure will make your mouth water. Join her as she eats her way around Luxembourg on a blustery day trip.

Monday, October 5, 2020 | Written by Kaela


My mood is easily affected by the weather and my comfort in said weather. The past few days, Metz and the surrounding area has gotten extremely cold and rainy, seemingly out of nowhere: a stark contrast from my sunny beach trip a week prior. When dressing for my day trip in Luxembourg, I underestimated the weather. My outfit of choice: leggings, a t-shirt, and a blazer. Since we were up before the sun, I expected it would be cold and warm up throughout the day but I was definitely wrong. The forecast for Luxembourg was windy and cold with on and off rain.

PRO TIP: Trust the forecast and always pack rain gear and an extra layer when traveling.

Don’t get me wrong: Luxembourg is a beautiful country. My personal experience was just clouded by the temperamental weather (no pun intended). I fully plan on revisiting Luxembourg to give this country the credit it deserves. Despite the weather, the trip to this small country just above Metz was all made worth it by the food. 


Fruity Coconut Pancakes at Gruppetto
Fruity Coconut Pancakes at Gruppetto

I am usually not a fruit on pancakes type of person. I am more of a nutella, chocolate chips, or syrup kinda gal. A person sitting near us in the restaurant, however, had the most beautiful stack of pancakes so I decided to branch out for once. Fruity coconut pancakes are, according to the restaurant’s menu: four fluffy pancakes with white chocolate, coconut spread and fruits layered in between, sprinkled with coconut shreds. These fruits include, but are not limited to, blueberries, strawberries and cranberries. When you take a bite of all three layers with the spread in between, you are overwhelmed by the sweetness and richness of it all but met by a burst when biting into a berry placed perfectly within the folds. The freshness and slightly sour taste of the berries offsets the thick and creaminess of the pancakes. I have no idea why I admired these pancakes so much, but I was taken back by how well the flavors worked together. If you visit Luxembourg, make sure to go to Gruppetto and get them. (It is just an hour train ride from Metz. )


The Obama Burger
The Obama Burger

While nearing the end of our visit at The National Museum of Art and History, we started to look up places to eat. We found Lux’Burgers: a burger restaurant with FIVE stars and almost 700 reviews on trip advisor. ( As a self proclaimed restraunt finding expert, this good of a rating is unheard of.) It seems there is always that one person who decides to give an undeserving restaurant a bad rating, but in this case it seems even that person decided this restaurant was too good for that. We were on the other side of town an hour before they closed, but we had to see what magic these burgers possessed. We sped walked, through rain and sun, down to the lower area of Luxembourg and back up. We made it with just enough time to sit and eat before they stopped serving for the day. In the wake of COVID-19, many restaurants and stores close early making it difficult for travelers to find places to eat. After careful consideration of each burger on the menu, with the help of a french speaking travel companion, we all decided, to get the Obama burger. It consists of a natural bun, a beef patty, sauce, iceberg lettuce, bacon, cheddar, and red onion. On the side, they give a small (and I mean SMALL) salad and crispy fries. In my opinion, the best part of eating the Obama burger was the way the bun held up to the juiciness of the meat and sauce. My GTL blog review is similar to the ones on trip advisor – five stars and a “would come again”.

Cueillette de Peltre

There is nothing better than going to the market to get fresh produce, except for picking it yourself. Read about Kaela’s experience visiting Cueillette de Peltre, where she spent a couple hours roaming strawberry fields, apple orchards, and even made a new friend!

Monday, September 28, 2020 | Written by Kaela

Fresh produce is abundant in France, but in order to get the best produce, you have to pick it yourself. Luckily, the Leonardo Program at Georgia Tech-Lorraine gave us an opportunity to do just that in Metz. After the end of classes one afternoon, a group of us loaded onto the provided bus to head to the local farm in Peltre. On my arrival, I was overwhelmed on arrival by how many areas of the grounds I had to explore in the one and a half hour period we were visiting for.

I grabbed one of the provided bags and, along with many others, headed straight towards the strawberries. We were told they were the last of the season and soon to go, so of course I had to get some. The rainstorm in the distance made the trip a bit ominous. I thought, “Will it head towards us and cut our short trip even shorter?” and hoped it would move further into the distance.

We started our strawberry expedition at the front rows of bushes, a rookie move. After perusing the picked over bushes near the front we discovered as we moved further in and further away, the strawberries got larger and more plentiful. I guess few are willing to walk through the enormous strawberry patch to the back. The strawberry bushes sat in troughs raised above ground, which put them at eye level and made for easy picking. Once we had stuffed our bags with ruby red strawberries, we headed to the nearby apple orchard, grabbing some beautiful tomatoes on our way. 

Pink lady, fuji, gala, honey crisp, granny smith, red delicious, golden delicious: To me, an apple is an apple. This may be a controversial statement, but I honestly don’t eat them enough to tell the difference. I find the variety of apples to be overwhelming enough when there are between three to five to choose from at the grocery store; to say I felt in awe when walking towards what seemed like an acre of apple trees is an understatement. There were endless rows with an uncountable number of apple varieties, most of which I had never heard of. My solution: pick a random row of trees and begin picking. The twisted trees towered above me and below my feet lay fallen fruit in various stages of rot. I was surprised and initially felt disappointed by how many apples laid on ground: seemingly all gone to waste. Luckily, they can be turned to compost and the nutrients will return to the ground to further the growth of more apples, a nice reminder of the beauty of the circle of life. 

After leaving the apples we walked past a multitude of in-ground veggies which naturally I turned into a fun guessing game. What was it we were passing now? Would it be a carrot? A radish? A beet?

As we continued on we happened upon a large variety of leafy greens. I was excited at the prospects of the dishes I could create with them, but unfortunately, I was leaving for Nice the coming weekend so I only picked a small bunch. My group decided we would eventually make a trip back and make dinner with the freshly picked food. We made our way towards hoop houses filled with peppers, eggplants, and more but we ran out of time quickly. As we walked towards the exit, we ended our trip by making friends with a couple of goats.  

This short trip was a good way to take a break from the business of school work and travel. I was grateful for the quiet and peacefulness of it as getting out in nature is always a great way to destress. I think the weather knew how much we needed the break, because the once ominous rain clouds at the beginning of our trip became a light drizzle as we drove away.