May I make a dinner reservation?
I’m sorry, monsieur, but we do not make reservations.
However, we open at 6:30. If you come before 7, I will hold you a table. But only until then.
Non, monsieur. You, I will remember.
The food in the Alsace is a blend, as with all things in the region. The ingredients are unmistakably German: sauerkraut, grilled or dried sausages, potatoes or spaezles, marbled pork slices, Muenster cheeses. No fish; no red wine. But the preparations are French (as is the attitude), peppered with unique regional specialties.
The Tarte flambée, a thin-crust crepe baked over an open fire and topped with cheese and bacon, is probably the most recognizable dish. But, a bit beyond, the cheese and potatoes is delightful, and foie gras is always worth a sample. I generally have at least one plate of choucroute aux viandes (mild sauerkraut with varied sausages and meat slices) and a Backeoffa, a slow-cooked meat and potato casserole. Desserts are almost always ice creams with a coulis (a strained fresh-fruit glaze).
The shops have a variety of local dried meats, honeys, and cheeses: I usually pick up a couple of sausages. There was a great deal on truffle variants this time through, a nutty, smoky flavor that nicely offsets the smoked meats.
And, yes, the owner did remember me, and had a lovely table set up in the garden, where there were only a half dozen other patrons all evening. We both laughed about how businesses build demand as I paid to leave.