Unlike most US cities, where you'll find only one main train station (if any, and often on the outskirts), Paris has multiple train stations, each serving a different section of France. The trains from Strasbourg, and the rest of Alsace-Lorraine, arrive in the Gare de l'Est, which is why you'll notice so many restaurants and traiteurs specializing in Alsacian cuisine all around the train station. This also explains the abundance of creperies around Montparnasse, which is the arrival point for Brittany. While I've mentioned one alsacian speciality, tartes flambées, here, a few weeks ago R had a hankering for another Alsacian dish - choucroute - and so off to the Gare de l'Est we went.
Choucroute garnie involves enormous quantities of steaming sauerkraut, served under piles of ham, sausages, Canadian bacon, and various joints of meat. At La Strasbourgeoise, a large brasserie just across the street from the train station, they have different varieties of it, even offering a fish version (!), all for very reasonable prices considering the feast you are served (15 - 20€). If you're not a choucroute person - I'm definitely not - they have other choices. I went with one of their fish specials, not knowing what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised. This was a small casserole of assorted seafood - scallops, cod, pollock and more - served in a delicious mushroom sauce and with a small plate of spätzle, another regional specialty - tiny dumplings which can be tossed in butter or pan-fried.
A friend had recommended La Strasbourgeoise to us, and otherwise I would have never tried it. Not only because I would not have been able to pick it out from any of the other lookalike restaurants in the area, but also because I would not have expected to find such a great place - in terms of service, food and prices - right in front of the Gare de l'Est. If you're in the mood for choucroute, or even if you've got a train to catch, this is a place to keep in mind.
The menu if you want to think it over:
5, rue du 8 mai 1945
01 42 05 20 02
M: Gare de l'Est