Your guide to living and loving Luxembourg
An old building in the middle of the forest…built above some abandoned mines and disused railtrack…cut off from facilities that civilisation takes for granted…no, it’s not the start of a horror film but the location of the unique and charming Cafe Bei Der Giedel restaurant.
The Silver Fox and I are lucky to have befriended a couple who live in Differdange, so when they offered us a night in the ‘Deep South‘ we jumped at it. Torrential rain had made way to sunshine as we slowly made our way through the forest, shrouding the fields and trees in a spooky mist. The restaurant is in large clearing; below, the well-preserved mine entrances are still exposed, and the rail track that once transported men and materials is still operational during festival season as part of the Fond de Gras museum. The effect is of time slowing to a near stop.
We were warmly welcomed by the owner even before we went inside, and were well looked after throughout the night. Entering the restaurant, you are immediately struck by the great age of the building. Our guides explained that the site was originally a mining tavern, and its low ceiling, thick bowed walls and antique furnishings immediately transport you back in time. Its listed status means that there is poor mobile and web reception, therefore credit cards are not accepted.
The menu is small but varied, offering light meals like tartines and salads, but we were advised to try their steaks (both beef and horse) that come with a choice of sauces. We took their advice and we were not disappointed – the meat was melt in the mouth, barely needing a knife to cut, the sauces rich and delicious. Easily one of the best steaks I have eaten in a long time. The sides of fat chips and salad were also tasty and plentiful. Definitely worth the €23 price. The restaurant also does a plat du jour, the cheapest option being a main course and coffee for €9.50 (but as the restaurant is not hooked up to the sanitation system, it is advised to skip certain sections of the terrace when the hot sun heats up the septic tank!)
Along with the meat-feast, the restaurant’s specialities are raclette and fondue. I spotted several tables with raclettes served the traditional way: a large tranch of raclette cheese is hung in the middle of a cast iron frame and placed on the table. Hot grills underneath the frame melt both sides of the cheese gradually, which is then scraped off by the diners and eaten with potatoes, bread, charcuterie and salad.
Too full for desserts after their very generous portions and sides, we were sent on our way by the smiling and joking staff. After a short drive we were back to civilisation again, headed for the bright lights and blaring music of a local funfair, another clichéd horror film location…but also the best of both worlds, only five minutes drive from one another.
Cuisine: Luxembourgish / Swiss
Address: Fond de Gras, L-4576 Niedercorn, Luxembourg/Esch
Phone number: +352 58 05 83
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11h00 to 24h00
Prices: Goats cheese salad: €12.50, Filet steak: €23.80
Public transport: car only, unless there is special transport put on for festivals held there