(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

zut alors!


I had a completely different post in mind for today, sharing with all of you a trip up north I took and my reaction to it. BUT...

on my return home, I had a brief call with my friend Marjo, and she casually stated, "I heard a restaurant in Brantôme burned today ... !! a grill of some sort, I don't know the name."

When I left today, the main road had a deviation and there was a fire truck ... but I couldn't see around the bend in the road and honestly thought it was just some city activity.

All the way home, I wondered if it was my favorite little spot, Ben and Babette's. I have taken every visitor I've hosted to Ben and Babette's. A restaurant that looks perpetually closed (and unusually, they don't serve lunch), from the outside it is quite unassuming and on the inside, very rustic.

In possession of an old open wood grill and equally old iron oven, they serve up delicious and generous servings of grilled meats with seasonal accompaniments. In the winter, big pots of homemade soup may surprise you tableside for no extra charge. Monsieur Ben is often seen bicycling through Brantôme.

Je suis desolée! I am most sorry to tell you that yes, it was this very same restaurant and not only did the restaurant suffer complete destruction but apparently the upper 2 floors as well, which is where I believe the owners and family resided.

That's a picture of the fire department removing debris, two large containers of charred beams and other items so far.

I was unable to find out if Monsieur and Madame and family escaped unharmed. What an upsetting turn of events and I wish them all the best. Quelle dommage!

15 comments:

La Belette Rouge said...

So very sad. Please let us know when you hear that M.&M. are alright.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

LBR-I couldn't cross the barricade today, I am going to try and investigate further tomorrow...

Stacey said...

Oh no! I hate to hear things like this. I hope they are safe.

Randal Graves said...

Ugh, that's terrible.

La Framéricaine said...

I do hope that your local burned out bistro owners will get a lot of support and are properly insured in order to come back bigger and better than ever in a few months.

Fires suck, coming from one who has been burned out of house and home in a dim, dark past. But give me a fire anytime over a flood--water & mud, yuck!

It's hard to imagine those stone buildings catching on fire, although, gawd forbid, mine would be big enough to burn Joan of Arc at the stake all over again if all those Public Storage boxes were set alight!!! Perish the thought!

Michelle said...

Oh, I hope they are okay, and like a previous commenter said, have community support and insurance.

Our Juicy Life said...

that is so sad...their whole life, gone. keep us posted.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

thanks all for the well wishes, no news yet. sigh.

Utah Savage said...

Terrible news. I'm so sorry for the family and you and your guests.

We are all moving to Brantome if things don't go well here. Randal, Diva, me, maybe Dcup and Mathman. Who knows, maybe all of us.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

utah, bring it on!

Randal Graves said...

Can I bring some spiders?

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

RG-Spiders got nothin' on me, man ... I am officially expert at their eradication!

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

I found out yesterday that the radio reported "No Injuries", so at least I know the family is okay. I'm still trying to see if there is a fund up for them or how they are doing.

Kathleen said...

Mon dieu... this is such sad news for us to read about. It was just a few weeks ago that we were dining with you in this lovely little restaurant.. I'll never forget the look of absolute happiness when Ben brought us the seafood special that was his complimentary dish to us on a Fri. night... and now, I can't go back and taste his scrumptious veal sauce! I hope they're alright... please let us know?!
K.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

Kathleen-I'm just glad we got to share such a beautiful evening there . I'm now told that typically the village mairie watches over situations like this, providing housing and the like until the insurance comes through.