Unique Variations of Escargot

There are a couple of things that we almost always order at restaurants when we’re traveling if we happen to find them on the menu. One of them is escargot, which not everyone enjoys, but it is certainly a favorite of ours. Occasionally they are served in their shells, but often they are served on a special baking dish specifically designed to nestle the escargot in their own little cavity. We have had them in many different locations throughout Europe where they are more popular than they are here in the United States.

Escargot at a French Bistro
Cheese Covered Escargot

The most traditional way to have them is baked in butter with lots of garlic and herbs. As good as the actual snail is to eat, the real treat is dunking bread into each of the little holes to soak up the garlic butter. It is a little decadent, but well worth the calories. On a couple of occasions we had them where they were covered in cheese as well, which we found to be an interesting take on them.

Snails and Potato Cakes
Gruyere Covered Snails for an Extra Cheesy Treat

Since we don’t always find them on menus, when we do it is almost a guarantee that we will order them. It isn’t something that we’ve ever cooked for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t try it in the future. For those that have never tried escargot, we would highly recommend that you don’t let the thought of eating a snail deter you from trying this delicacy.

Escargot in Heidelberg, Germany
Classic Escargot

The Food of Strasbourg, France

We had been in Frankfurt for a couple of months before making our first trip outside of Germany, so we were truly looking forward to trying some foods that were different. We took a train to Strasbourg, which is just across the border from Germany and is a wonderful, historic, city. Having been to France before, we knew the culinary history and were anticipating having some traditional French cuisine. After arriving, we asked the hotel to make reservations at a restaurant that served traditional food for the region. We arrived at the restaurant and they quite proudly had a section on the menu with a variety of food that were considered specialties of Alsace. Unfortunately, it was schnitzel, sausage, cabbage, and potato dumplings, everything we had been seeing on menus throughout our travels in Germany.

Traditional Alsace Food

Clams and Linguini

Scallops and Root Vegetables

Foie Gras

What we didn’t realize at the time was that Alsace had been under the control of Germany for a large majority of its history, so it was as much German as it was French, perhaps even more so. Undaunted, we endeavored to find unique meals while we were in Strasbourg and in the end we were treated to some wonderful meals. Needless to say, there was beer, but we also had some very good wine as well since Strasbourg sits on what is considered the wine road of the region. We even went for a wine tasting and purchased a few bottles of wine to take back with us to Frankfurt.

Deconstructed Pot Pie

Quaint Restaurant

Hearty Dish

Alsace Wine

As is true with most cities, you can find a wide variety of food if you are willing to look for it. The one restaurant that we visited didn’t even have a formal menu, they brought a large chalkboard by your table with the day’s specials written on it. The food was so good that we decided to indulge in a dessert, something that we don’t typically do. We had some old favorites, but also tried some things that we had never eaten previously. All-in-all, we really enjoyed the food that we experienced while we were in Strasbourg.

Elegant Appetizer

Chalkboard Menu

Seasonal Dessert

Pot Pie Filling

Painting of Alsace Women


Winter Lager


Escargot Galore

We love a good escargot and, apparently, so do the people of Frankfurt. Perhaps it is because we have come across several French Bistros, but they can be found in traditional German restaurants as well. More correctly, you will find snails on the menus, whether it is French or German. We have been here for almost four weeks now and already have had snails at least four times. There is nothing like dipping bread into the garlic butter that the snails are usually cooked in, decadently delicious.

Escargot at a French Bistro
Escargot at a French Bistro

Cheese Covered Snails
Cheese Covered Snails

Twice we had snails covered in cheese. One was covered with a mozzarella-like cheese and the cheese was gooey and sumptuous. The second was covered with a Gruyère type cheese, which also extremely good as well, but we are not sure that snails, oil, butter, and herbs really need to be enhanced by cheese. We suppose those that say cheese always make things better would probably disagree. Who knows, we will probably find deep-fried snails covered in cheese at some point, why stop with just cheese 😁.

Classic Escargot in Heidelberg
Classic Escargot in Heidelberg

Gruyere Covered Snails
Gruyere Covered Snails

It is certainly not the healthiest of choices, but it is hard not to have escargot when we find them on the menu. Some people are turned off by the thought of snails, but we are firm believers in trying new and different foods. We had our children try escargot when they were young without telling them what they were eating and they all really enjoyed it. We even tried a local delicacy, that might roll some eyes, over the weekend, but we will save that for another post.