Flash back 1988:
Staring at the menu, I sat in a cafe in Paris. French Husband translated the menu, but not word for word. He read, "Chicken no. Lamb no. Bunny certainly not. The liver of a duck.... Oh I love the liver of the duck... mais no."
We were vegetarians in a world of meat eaters. Slim pickings' with a whole lot of desserts.
The waiter came to our table, pencil in hand, no smile upon his face, dressed in his black coat and long white apron. Food is serious business in France and I felt like a small potato on a kitchen counter.
Pretending I knew how to speak French I blurted that I did not eat meat, and could he suggest something for us. Beaming with pride that my broken, heavily accented French had caused the waiter's left side of his mouth to turn up, I thought he smiled and waited for his response. Instead he simply clicked his heels and said, "Alors?"
French Husband leaned across the table, grabbed my hand as if the moment were intimate and holy, I felt a rush inside... but my bubble burst when he said, "Corey, you told the waiter, that you do not eat food."
My red face did not match my lipstick. I looked up at the waiter with an awkward smile.
You see the word Beef which is pronounced: Bouef, and the word eat is Bouffee. Looking at those two words you can see the difference is not extraordinary.
The waiter smiled, briefly.
And I learned how to say vegetarian right then and there.
A few favorite restaurants in France (please feel free to add to the list):
(Also if you see a sign on the door that says Pudlo then you can trust that the restaurant is going to be a favorite too!
If you are after a bit of history...the oldest restaurant in Paris is:
If you are into a good view while you sip your wine:
If you are looking for old fashion taste, something from by gone days, a place where I have to go each and every time I am in Paris:
Chez Robert and Louise (A MUST SEE VIDEO) Since I do not eat meat... I always ask them to make me an omelet. Louise throws in home fried potatoes and sauteed mushrooms. (My dear friend Shannon referred to this restaurant yesterday in the comment section.)
A favorite hang out of ours when we lived in Paris years ago and it still remains a treat:
If you are into the decor and food and atmosphere and need a dinner date (take me to...)
And a wonderful blog about Paris. Another must see, fantastic photos and information.
Restaurants in Provence:
La Mirande... when I die this is what heaven will be like. A beautiful place to wander from room to glorious room. Amazing views, cooking classes, wonderful food, and flawless decor.
Yes this is heaven... in this life too.
If you are after simplicity, a waterfront view, and a taste of the true blue...
Nestled in a small town famous for santons and Marcel Pagnol is a wonderful new restaurant that tops my list for their impeccable service, and perfectly prepared, full flavored meals.
4) Another little secret restaurant amongst the locals, is a restaurant up in the hills: Where it is said that Marie Magdalene lived and prayed in the Grotto of Saint Baume.
The restaurants decor is very casual, with outdoor seating. They also have a small hotel... but the food is the main attraction.
5) Another favorite of mine, is a restaurant that sits right on the water. Above the restaurant are four rooms to rent as well. There is a special priced menu at noon as well that is unbeatable. Fish soup baked in a puff pastry shell is my favorite.
Chez Etienne... if you have been to Marseille and did not have a meal at this pizzeria then you cannot say you have been to Marseille. It is a institution with anyone who is from Marseille; Though with that said I must warn you ... the menu is not priced. The owner declares how much you will pay at the end. You better be nice!
Of course, you can, and I hope you will, go to the open markets (ask the tour office in each town for a listing of markets in the area). At the open market you can find many prepared foods, cheese, wine, fresh fruit, olives, pate, tapanade, and bread to create your own picnic.
If you have any favorite places that you would like to share please do so in the comment section.
Tomorrow a little tour of the Brocante.