More Like Suxembourg

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On our recent trip to Paris, where Kaitie and I had both been multiple times, we decided to throw in a new country and take a day trip to Luxembourg. A mere two-hour train ride away, why not throw away our Saturday on a jaunt to Europe’s tax haven? I did a modicum of research to find out the city didn’t have much to offer, but we figured we could play it by ear.  I mean, they have a main square and an Old Town—what more could one possibly want?

Not wanting to throw away any of the day, we awoke incredibly early, still buzzing from the phenomenal meal we’d just had at A La Biche au Bois.  We left Nina’s aptly-named pup Lux and made our way to the train station.  As it turns out, spending a day on the couch with Lux would’ve been leagues more exciting than spending it in her non-namesake city.

The Best Lux

We were blessed, in the Place d’Armes (main square) with the most exciting of all city events—a flea market full of expensive shit that only someone with lots of money and little travel experience could love.  We ate at Café Francais, which was decidedly anti-breakfast: they put down cloth table runners, found out we were interested in eating breakfast, and then removed the cloth and gave us paper placemats. After talking about my “terrorist beard” and spilling food on my coat, our server largely ignored us. Which was fine, because I didn’t want to have to talk to him about the strange salad that came with my omelet—greens, corn, ranch dressing, and a tomato that was almost crunchy.  I could imagine the chef proclaiming, “This is what they eat in America! Just give it to them!”

The weird salad that somehow ended up on my coat

After our breakfast, which would set the scene for the rest of our day, we eventually made it into the Old Town portion of the city, which would be impressive if (1) you’d never seen a hill before, (2) you’d never seen anything old before, or (3) you’d never seen moving water before.  Luxembourg doesn’t have anything that any other city doesn’t have, and every other city’s is better in every way.  Going to Luxembourg for site-seeing is like taking your cousin to prom: sure, you get to go, but what’s the fucking point?  We couldn’t find one.

Holy shit, a building

At the very least, we had Um Dierfgen to look forward to.  Open 11:30am to 10pm, the restaurant is just off the main square and serves up many of Luxembourg’s traditional dishes.  While Luxembourg may be a real Kraft Single of a city, at least I’d get to say I’d had some local dishes that aren’t widely available, like their national dish of Judd mat Gaardebounen (smoked pork, beans, and potatoes with bacon), or maybe even the horse steak on their menu.  I didn’t care that it was a little more expensive than it should be, if anything was going to save this trip for me, it would be food.

But, of course, fuck me for trying, because despite being full of drinking locals, we were told the restaurant wasn’t serving food.  Why should it? And why should it say anything about off-hours on its website? Ah, Luxembourg, that most Medium Place of cities. We ended up settling on a bar called Urban with typical bar food for anywhere in the world.  At least I got a local beer.  By that time, though, we were hungry and fed up and just wanted to be done with this place.

Holy shit, a chicken sandwich

We swung into a store to grab some drinks for the train ride home, where we found €5 on the ground, which was the best part of visiting Luxembourg (though it still owes me money for the train tickets). Luckily we were able to resurrect our day with dinner at Zeyer in Paris and some pre-bed wine at Nina’s.  And, of course, hanging out with the real Lux, and forever more the only Lux I officially recognize.

All other Luxes can eat shit

2 comments

  1. While humorous, I fear you may be a little jaded by your Western European travels. Old buildings / water / hills, etc are the staple European city construct. the tropes regarding service and opening times only misses the glorious “no ice in my drink” for the North American full house. Things you missed: culturally: MOMA, the Palace Tour, philharmonic, EU institutions. Fun/interesting: quality of city parks, skatepark, rotunde. Food: if you weren’t able to google top restaurants in Lux, I can’t help you – we have more Michelin starred restos here per capita than anywhere in world. “Normal” favorites include Kobe / Bazaar / Le Cafe Francais, Um Plateau…Given that your reference point appears to be Paris (population 12million), please tell me another city with 150k people that has more to offer and I’ll show you a trump statement that is without falsehood.

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    1. Thanks for the comment! I have to hope there are two Cafe Francais in Luxembourg, as the one on the Place d’Armes was the site of our disastrous breakfast. Also, I believe I mentioned that I’m quite used to the difference in service and serving times between America and Europe – my complaint was that for breakfast, the service was bad even by European standards, and that for lunch the restaurant didn’t mention their downtime anywhere on its website, which every other restaurant I’d looked up with a website did provide.

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