Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Part Three - The Food of Southern France

As we traveled through France I can truthfully claim we had only one mediocre meal not counting the less than appetizing chicken sandwich from a gas stop auto grill.  After a few bites it was quickly chucked into an eagerly waiting trash bin!  We continued on our journey from Paris to a tiny hamlet near the Pyrenees and a town called Mirepoix.  This area would be our "home" for the week.  

At the halfway point, in a city called Limoges (known for its porcelain), we barely found a "suitable" bed for the night.  But, a serendipity of this choice led us to the Le Vert Gourmand restaurant adjacent to the motel property.  This unassuming eatery provided quite the menu, in French only,  so to be safe I ordered the salmon fillet.  A not so safe salad choice of duck, gizzards and chevre turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  Delicious!  I also have to say the salmon was cooked to perfection, probably the best I've had, except for freshly caught from a Seattle area waterfront restaurant.

The following week was spent at the rental house near Mirepoix, France.  We usually ordered our biggest meal around lunchtime for many reasons.  No sense in venturing out from the house since it lived up to its description of "secluded, in the woods", and after a few glasses of lovely French wine no one wanted to volunteer to make the drive out in the dark.  Besides, I prefer to have the big meal earlier in the day, then climb to the heavens while exploring all the castles scattered around the area.

One of the highlights was in a nearby village of Leron at Le Rendezvous bistro.  To me, it was everything a French countryside eating experience should be.  We sat outside in the warming sun, under the canopy with a view of the village with its blue and burgundy colored shuttered windows.  The meal was a fixed price with three choices of an entree, plat and dessert.  I chose the vegetable crudites, quintessential French quiche and a silky chocolate mousse with a hint of orange.  Of course, you can't have a meal without a great glass of Bordeaux.  Yes, please!



chocolate mousse

One day we ventured out towards the Mediterranean coast, if only to be able to say we sank our feet into this ancient sea.  After a stroll to collect seashells we were more than ready to dine.  I was not going to be shy or demure as I ordered a bucket full of the biggest tastiest mussels I have EVER had - superb!    We meandered our way back and called it a day.
Giant mussels!

More to come as we returned to Mirepoix for several lunches and an apple festival.  Stay tuned!


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