In Uncategorized on December 4, 2010 by grahamharrowell

Yesterday I had my lunch standing up in a cold doorway. I was eating aligot (mashed potato with melted elastic cheese) from a plastic tub with a plastic fork. This country delight has the advantage of being difficult to separate from itself and refuses to stick to the bowl saving the need to wash up afterwards. So, you say, you decided to express solidarity in these unseasonally arctic conditions and you joined the homeless at one of the many mobile food distribution points. Well done!

Well no. On the advice of the spouse I was at an exhibition of gourmet food. The twelve o’clock gun having been fired we went in search of lunch. The Noirmoutier oyster and fish soup establishment was thronging, as were the Auvergne restaurant and the Italian trattoria. Hence the choice of “A Taste of the Tropics” and some West Indian goodies. On reflection the alarm bells should have rung immediately. A proprietor who can’t spell “tropics” has probably never ventured further than the peripherique (where he found himself today) and probably lacks the attention to detail required to run a successful bistro.

The menus were simple, a bit of word processing laminated so that they wiped clean. Fine except, as the waiter pointed out when he eventually turned up but more of that later, for the fact that these were last years menus and my questions about the main courses were superfluous since they had none.

The other thing that should have warned us off was the very fact that there were empty tables and more than that the fact that nobody at all had any food in front of them. Only three retired gents who were sitting at the corner table with a grandstand view of the unfolding fun had taken the precaution of ordering a bottle of house red to line their empty stomachs had anything on the table.

When the man in sole charge of ront of house eventually turned up he broke the bad news about the lack of main courses. Undaunted we chose from the four starters and added one of the three rice choices as the beans were not available. Unfortunately it transpired that there were no accra either so we seemed to be limited to black pudding. Maybe the rice option would make up for that? No. There was only one rice on offer, plain boiled. We then also learned that the wine on offer was limited to house red. It was at this moment (you dear reader might ask why it took so long for the penny to drop) that we began to think that we might be better off eating elsewhere. The deciding factor was when we opted to drink water and saw the look of fear flash across the waiter’s eyes. Not even any water! We joined the other failed diners and for want of anything else settled for the aligot.

So today? I’m off to the Saturday market and then the Islamic charity van where, if I queue up with the street people, I can get a decent tajine for nothing.


One Response to “Restaurants”

  1. You should pull these together into a restaurant guide. You clearly didn’t get to Brittany. It is always refreshing to hear about the eateries here that are crap. You should try the airport restaurant in Chambéry – seriously, don’t!

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