Ça y est, outdoor dining is legal again in France, and I couldn't be happier.
This delayed déconfinement means that I could finally test a spot in Mulhouse that I've been wanting to try for ages. Tandem is a bar à vin (wine bar) in the center of town, with a (makeshift) terrasse on a fairly busy street, but the delicious food makes up for any loud passing cars or scooters.
Far from an exhaustive menu, their carte features just one dish... tacos! And not French tacos. Real tacos, made from scratch by Naïn Gamboa, a Mexican chef who has made the long – and slightly unexpected – voyage to Mulhouse.
Every chance I get, I lament the lack of Mexican cuisine in Alsace. I miss taquerias, chips & fresh guac and margaritas. I miss spice. (Yes, I'm simplifying here, but bref.) So when I saw Tandem's new menu on Instagram, I knew I had to try it.
At this point, any old taco would have satisfied my craving. But these aren't any old tacos. The menu comes with two, both swaddled by tender homemade corn tortillas – one fish (fried local trout, pickled fennel and chipotle mayo) and one meat (pork barbacoa with salsa verde, radish and raw onion). I probably could've eaten at least three plates, as the portions were pretty small, although both were extremely flavorful, especially with a generous squeeze of lime.
Luckily, I also had wine to fill me up. First, (a perfectly orange) orange wine, Voyages 2020 by Pierre Frick, a skin contact mélange of Pinot Gris, Sylvaner and Reisling, which tasted just enough like grape juice, with very nice acidity. Plus, like all of Tandem's wines, it comes from a vigneron in the neighborhood (Pfaffenheim, to be exact). One day, I'll tell you more about the interesting village names around here... I had to ask our server to repeat the name of my second glass' hometown, as well: Heiligenstein (a nice natural Pinot Noir from Domaine Goepp, if you were wondering).
Speaking of service, despite a bit of a long wait and confusion over whether or not they actually take reservations, everyone was kind and prompt. At 10 euros for 2 tacos, it wasn't cheap, but the law of supply and demand, you know?
Finally, a bit of sweetness to finish off our special meal: their featured (and only) dessert was a surprisingly delicious rosemary crème brûlée. The classic French custard was creamy and smooth, perfumed but not overpowered by the romarin, with – of course – a crisp burnt sugar shell on top.
Let's just say I left happy and full. The menu changes often at Tandem, and I'm excited to try their next iteration (although I'll probably still be dreaming of tacos...).