Alsatian Food at La Chat Noir
A Dining Adventure Memory in Castroville
In 2015, Don and I had a unique dining experience in a small Texas town.
I never wrote it up, but ran across photos and notes, while planning a trip back to Castroville. Sadly, I learned that we can no longer visit this magical little place.
Six years ago, Don and I stopped in for lunch at La Chat Noir, after exploring the small Alsatian-Texas town. We were only 30 minutes from San Antonio, but it felt like were in France... or did it feel like Germany? The Alsace region is confusing... south-east France, on the border of Germany??
In 1844, the town was established by Henri Castro. The families who came over from Europe mostly spoke Alsatian. They built homes that reflected the colonial structures of the buildings in Alsace. The Steinbach Haus above, was actually built in in France, in the 1600's. It was dismantled and gifted to Castroville in 1998. (A 4-year project!)
Le Chat Noir in 2015
After wandering the town of Castroville, we spotted this charming little stucco building.
There was a black cat on the hanging wooden sign and an Open sign on the door. We headed in!
We were seated in this room, with 18-inch, limestone walls and brick floor.
I was impressed. When you have lunch in a Texas town with a population of less than 3,000, you don't expect white tablecloths!
I don't have a photo of the cute little sunroom with the slanted ceiling. The windows on the yellow wall, looked into the sunroom.
That's a very blurry photo, looking through the window, the cozy dining sunroom. The wall with stained glass windows, looked out towards the courtyard.
I actually remember this sandwich well. It was a tenderloin & portobella mushroom sandwich on chewy French bread.
Seasoned mix of regular and sweet potato fries! This is making me hungry!
Patio in Back
After we ate, we wandered outside to see the patio.
It was a curious looking building, from behind. I'm sure it was originally a home. What kind of family lived here 150 years ago?
I'm sure this home was built, long before indoor plumbing.
Who knows when these bathrooms were added. I was pretty amused by the plywood doors, especially the one that led to the Ladies Room. There was a padlock hanging on the handle. Use if you dare!
No More Black Cat
We said good-bye to Cafe Chat Noir. I meant to ask if they had a black cat on the premises.
For years, Don and I have hoped to return to Castroville. Today I booked a night at the Landmark Inn, for mid May. I was sad when I looked on the internet and learned that our little restaurant had closed. Long before the pandemic, I believe.
I'm glad we caught it when we did!
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The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.