(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

a 17 euro menu pour ma petit dejeneur, a short stroll from the hotel.

Poire et bleu avec feillettes.

A delicate flaky pastry, sliced pears topped with a lovely bleu cheese.

Truite aux amandes.

An entire trout, slathered in herbs and sliced almonds accompanied by rice, all with a light buttery sauce with a hint of (less than a hint) of curry. I ate every morsel.

Oops! It was so appealing I devoured dessert without a photograph. It was a delicious bowl of "la glace", in flavors "fraise et citron". slurp.

Tack on the cost of my aperitif de maison and a small pichet of rosé, and the total for my lunch was 23.50€. Given the fact that this was basically $35.00 lunch ... at a very small, non-assuming café ... not exactly a 'deal'.

Another lunch I greatly enjoyed recently, on the terrace overlooking the canals at my town, set me back over 40.00€, and while very "gastronomique", obviously not supportable on an ongoing basis.

Until I have some sort of kitchen set-up, I've been making sure I do not miss the small breakfast offered at my hotel (coffee, juice, croissant, yogurt) and then plan a restaurant meal for as close to 2:00 p.m. as possible (usually the latest lunch is served in the countryside). Then, tea and a biscuit or small snack in my room in the evening. Lunch is obviously less than dinner and you can indulge in a better restaurant (and meal) for a smaller price at lunch.

Other ways to economize in a restaurant is to skip the bottled water, aperitif AND wine (pick one or the other or none at all) and pass on coffee or dessert (again, or both). Sometimes à la carte is less if you only have a main dish. Otherwise stick with the prix fixe menu of the day, the price will always be their best for a complete meal.

Of course, my very sophisticated and well versed audience figured these things out long ago. But you WILL be surprised by the prices and the pinch, bien sûr ...


Stephanie said...

he he, you used supportable like a frenchie! :-)

Utah Savage said...

Christ you're making me hungry.

Our Juicy Life said...

holy crap girl - you are going to go broke just eating. Hopefully you'll get your kitchen ready soon. We just went to the grocery store here in Los Angeles $180.00 for not much! It's expensive everywhere, but more expensive with the euro and eating out. Atleast it was good, the pictures are great. Tell us about the house. I didn't know that you'd be staying in a hotel for a while and that it didn't have a working kitchen....need the scoop on the pad. Are you staying in the big white hotel in Brantome (I think it had red shutters) right on the river right across from the main village?

Je ne regrette rien said...


U.S.- it WAS tasty!

OJL-I'm already moved to a studio for 1 week. Hopefully my stuff arrives then, it includes the basics of a kitchen until I redo mine. I have water, elec,, gas, etc. but no stove or fridge. I am staying in Thiviers, about 25 km from Brantome. That hotel would break me, although lovely! (if I'm thinking of the same one - the moulin?)

Randal Graves said...

Seems like picnicking is the way to go everywhere. Those prices are brutal.

Je ne regrette rien said...

RG-c'est vrais!

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