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Colmar's best Tarte Flambee (Alsace)

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  • Steve G Jun 12, 2006 03:42 PM
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The Tarte Flambe is a regional specialty of Alsace, so naturally while we were there we ordered this thin crusted crispy relative of pizza everywhere we could.

The best one we found, from 5 or 6 establishments, was at a bar whose name we never bothered to find out. It's located in old town Colmar, on Rue des Tanneurs just south east of the Grande Rue (a stone's throw from Au Fer Rouge, which is in Michelin and most guide books). Walking from the Grande Rue, it will be on the right; if you get to Rue des Vignerons you've gone too far. Incidentally, if you drove you can park in the large public lots around the University and police station just north of the bar off of Rue du Chasseur.

The guy who runs the place seems like he might also be the owner, as he was there at all hours and every night. He offers Tartes Flabees in something like 10 flavors, ranging from the classic Nature to Chorizo, with other local types like Muenster. We liked the Nature best, which is a classic lightly cheesy Tarte Flambee with beautifully sauteed onions somewhat akin to cippolinis (SP?) and a wonderful pork product between bacon and pancetta. There's a touch of white sauce, perhaps with some type of cream cheese base with a touch of spices like nutmeg. Very tasty. The Meunster tarte was good too, but cheesier and the crust didn't support it as well.

Later in the evening this place fills up with smoking locals, but if smoke bothers you go earlier in the evening as we did on our second visit and it won't be very smokey.

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  1. I've eaten at both Au Fer Rouge and Maison des Tanneurs on a couple of occasions and I always find that my appetite is way smaller than the portions of the wonderful local dishes, esp. choucroute garni. Isn't Colmar a charming town?

    2 Replies
    1. re: mnosyne

      I'm going to second that opinion of Colmar. What a gem!

      Does anyone reading this know about a restaurant not far from Au fer rouge called Jule? It had modern takes on traditional dishes (but nothing extreme--just well-executed classics with some heightened sense of flavor) and that was my absolute favorite choucroute garni.

      Does anyone know if Jule still exists? We were there a year and a half ago.

      1. re: mnosyne

        Yeah, the portions in Alsace were out of control. I never limited my cheese, foie, or other high calorie intake in France but the only place I felt like I was gaining weight was Alsace. Perhaps it was the large servings of filling food combined with somewhat sweet beer.

        I can't tell you how many times waiters in Alsace told us we were ordering too much, but since we were on vacation and wanted to try as many dishes as possible that never stopped us.

        Colmar was quite charming, with much better bakeries on average than in Paris (did I mention 3 out of 3 bakeries I tried in Paris one morning only had MARGERINE croissants?).

        It must be the increased proximity to Vienna that improves the sweets at bakeries.

      2. Forget about Colmar !!
        Follow the wine road up to Kientzheim, at the feet of the castle of Haut Konigsbourg.
        The "Nouvelle auberge Saint Martin", 80 rue de la Liberté, will serve you the best tartes flambées ever !
        Trust me: I'm a real french gourmet.
        They are called: the emperor of the tarte flambée !!
        You can also try their fabulous traditional Baeckoffe (the alsacian stew), and drink a glass of house Edelzwicker.
        Enjoy it !!!!!