Nearly too good to eat
We decided to go for a drive, because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
There is a place called Carlux which intrigued me, partly because of its location [in a valley] and partly because it sounded like a car wash. We decided to head there.
It is a lovely little village, and in an area where most of the villages are lovely, that is something.
I stopped the car to take a couple of photographs and herself started muttering about coffee. She had spied a place just up from where the car was parked.
I was dispatched to see if it was, in fact the kind of place that sold coffee, and it wasn’t. That didn’t make a squat of difference to herself, and she decided to explore for herself.
We walked up to it and found it was a barn that had been converted into a shop selling local produce, from cakes and wine to carved stone and paintings. I pottered, she bought.
At the back of the barn was a small restaurant and Herself demanded lunch. I wasn’t in the least bit hungry, but I wasn’t going to start a fight that early in the day.
One thing I have to explain about the Peregord region of France – if you don’t like omelettes or duck, you are fucked. If you are a duck then you are thrice fucked, as they don’t seem to eat anything else.
We looked at the menu and Herself decided on omelette and I decided on duck [confit de canard. What else?]. We sat ourselves out on a little terrace which literally overhung the valley. We ordered and waited.
When the meals arrived, I can honestly say I was at a loss for words. I am not a ‘wow’ person, but this was a ‘wow’ moment.
I have never seen such a colourful or appetising plate in my life.
The menu had blandly stated “Confit de canard avec crepes et pomme de terre Sarladaise“. This was a bit like describing Constable’s Haywain as “a bit of a painting”.
Along with the duck, which was beautifully cooked and very tender, I got the promised mushrooms and Sarlat potatoes which are potatoes thinly sliced, deep fat fried and then sprinkled with crushed garlic. I also got a load of salad which was beautifully dressed along with a lot of fruit, like melon, grapes and raspberries which were garnished in a delicious syrup. The whole thing was topped off by a flower!
It was possibly the nicest meal I have ever had, bar none. I ate every scrap, but Herself stopped me eating the duck bones and the flower.
It was truly an experience. Even the building itself was fantastic.
Of course, the more mercenary amongst you will be muttering about the cost.
Duck that, are you ducking serious? €12 for all that ducking food.
Maxi – €12. Yup. Have you ever heard of Rip Off Ireland?
The Frenchies do know how to cook. It just now with the Euro that everyone realizes how much they charge.
Jeez… the last time I was in Dublin, they charged me €12 for a large “mocha” and pastry by St. Stephen’s Green. I put the mocha in quotes because after I drank it, there appeared to be a lump of chocolate in the bottom of the cup…which, when I happily stuck my spoon in, turned out to be a spoonful of Tesco’s powdered drinking chocolate: they just poured regular coffee over that for mocha. Eeeww.
€12.31 no lies.
Vive la France! Not the ducks obviously, but…
You didn’t happen to see any erm, houses for sale??
Yeah good region for potted meat of all sorts too, can be gorgeous or manky, pot luck at the local markets. Lovely part of the world, we stayed near Sarlat before, I have a cousin who has a house in Riberac
Did you not get chips with that?
Did you try table d’hote anywhere? You just eat whatever the put in front of you – like asking for the plat du jour, without knowing what it is, and extending that uncertainty over four or five courses.
Oh, yep, the French are unreasonably good at this sort of thing. Also roast chicken, for some reason; a good roast chicken in France is entirely like anything you’ll find here.
And cheaper, too; not fair.
The flower may actually have been edible, by the way 🙂
Oh, and of course you can get a carafe of wine for a few euro that’s generally considerably better than what a Dublin restaurant will fob you off with in a bottle for 20 quid. Bah.
Susan: If you want coffee in Dublin, go to an Italian place. Otherwise, it will be awful. Don’t even get me started on bloody Starbucks… 🙂
Jim C – “It just now with the Euro that everyone realizes how much they charge Don’t you mean how little they charge?
Susan – The most I paid for a large coffee [usually with biscuits] was €2.50! There are loads of houses for sale. I won’t mention the prices, because I don’t want to depress you.
Thrifty – Herself was in charge of the markets [unfortunately]. Does your cousin want to sell?
Ian – No chips. Loads of potato deep fried with garlic though. It was too hot for big meals so we generally stuck with a single course.
Robert – I don’t remember seeing chicken on the menu anywhere. Maybe they’ll start serving them there when they run out of ducks? And twenty will get you a large bottle of the finest wine there is.
It looks absolutely gorgeous!!
Now that’s a worthwhile meal. Seems like I need to sneak over to France for a decent, healthy plate like that. Don’t get me started on the food here, or at least what people think constitutes a salad here, it could be a book! There is nothing like European coffee either, Starbucks doesn’t qualify in my book as “coffee”. Looks like you had a great time!
You are one fortunate man, duck, potatoes, garlic, salad and a flower and add a beautiful location all for 12 euro. If you ever have any scrapes, send them to me, we are going to need all the scrapes we can get over here. Maybe we should ask the Irish to come and show Washington how it should be done?????
Kate – And it tasted better than it looked 🙂
Tricia – Starbucks is one of those places I have never visited, and don’t intend to. As far as I am concerned, it’s a brand name and nothing more.
John O – Why ask the Irish? Mugabe would probably do a better job?
Ooh, j’aime le canard
Talking in Haiku today
It goes to show how much were being milked over here by the greedy bastards, bring on the rescession.
[sigh, moan, groan, aaagony, etc]
I traveled all over Europe at one time, ate such wonderful food in so many wonderful places (like your marvelous duck) and now I read this and my poor stomach rolls over in it’s virtual grave of reasonably priced manque d’une amende à manger.
I happen to live in a place where the idea of Haute Cuisine is 3 fast food establishments, a fried chicken stand only open in the summer (all 3 months of it) and one so called fancy Italian restaurant called “Lagos” that grossly overcharges for really bad food.
With that said, I’m going to nuke a frozen hamburger patty for my lunch. I’ll lock the cats in the basement first lest they steal the thing before I get the chance to fry it.
Well Grandad that picture has just blown my spag bol out of the water 🙁 It looks delish and the setting is fabulous. What is it about eating outdors with a nice vista that makes everything taste so much better?
Having said that, that particular dish looks like it’d taste great wherever you ate it!
E Mum – I saw that. [I do visit your site, you know?]
Wolfy – Guinness for €3? Jamesons half the price it is here? The only thing that seems to be more expensive is petrol, and that is only by about 10c.
Kirk M – You cannot beat the French for food. Most of it ls local so it is fresh, organic and cheap. There are quite a lot of McDonalds over there, but they tend to be for the tourists!!
Welcome, Whoopsadaisy! [Can I call you Whoops for short?] Every meal we had was nicely presented. Every meal was great [and very reasonable]. We always ate outdoors too. The one above capped the lot though.
Woo, I’m flattered. No Haiku to add, then?
I doubt that Mugabe would do a better job, however maybe George Bush and the Congress would take over the honorary spot of worst dictator (s)? By the way I thought the Irish always did things better????
Shocked about the price…!
Here in Athens you go to a Beer Restaurant and they charge you 7euro a pint of Guinness …and not properly served.
But then again an Esspresso is 3 euro while in France is less than 1. Darn !
I see you have a food blog now,and also i am traveling over the states.I had to camp for awhile,damn casino’s.
E Mum – I know the theory and rules of Haikus. I just don’t understand them!
John O – The Irish are best at everything – corruption, backhanders, you name it.
Popeye – I have an everything blog. Have you been thrown out of town?
Aye, the Frenchies are really cheap when it comes to restaurants 🙂
Yep,I gave the house to my wife,and left.I am free!Just need a passport,do you have a empty room:)
Panos – Sorry and welcome! You got trapped in my spam filter. I though Greece was another
cheapreasonable country to eat in?
Popeye – Garden shed any use? You’re welcome to that.
TheChrisD – Dinner for two plus wine in France = One main course here. Bloody Rip Off Ireland.
Gorgeous looking place, I’m very envious but then I always am of anyone who’s travelling – and I love food served on platters and al fresco dining – definitely something we Aussies must have nicked off the Europeans.
As for the flower, yep, it’s edible.