Last night we ate at Le Comptoir a Manger in Strasbourg, a six table restaurant whose reservations are typically booked 2-3 months in advance. I’m not sure how my wife managed to get us in, but I do know she’d arranged it before we arrived in Strasbourg at the beginning of December.

Now that the holiday season is over, the other tables were filled solely with French speakers. I dutifully shared a bonsoir with the onlookers as we entered the tiny space and they reciprocated.

Once we were seated we switched to English as the serveuse told us about the menu, and I kid you not: every time she (or we) spoke in English, every person in the restaurant had to stop and look at our table. Understandable the first time or two, but come on… the restaurant staff’s English was 10× better than my French. (And my wife’s boils down to just a few words & phrases).

It would surely have been a bigger spectacle had I tried to muddle through the meal en francais.

Gregg Hartling @gregg