Thanks to the wonders of Facebook and the gratifying interest in the antics of our little lunch brigade, we have our first dispatch from a Foodie Girl abroad. A big welcome to HFG1*, chiming in all the way from Europe!
"OK, I have a really cool place. It's in the middle of nowhere in the middle of France in a tiny village with a huge medieval abbey called La Chaise Dieu (literally the seat of God). I was with Sarah and the kids and we steered away from the 3 very boring looking tourist restaurants in front of the abbey. I saw a sign saying "Broc et Croc*", for "brocante" (second-hand store) and "croquer" or "croquante" (bite or crunchy). My translation would be "(Bric-a-)Brac 'n Snack". It was the best of French home cooking served like American comfort food. Suzanne had a Croq Monsieur (ham sandwich with a grilled batter of cheese and egg on top), Clé had spaghetti with Bolognaise sauce, Sarah had steak and fries with bleu cheese sauce on the side, and I had a traditional Auvergne meatloaf called Pounti, made with ground pork, beet greens or Swiss chard and prunes. It was slightly baked and crispy, which is very delicious and highly unusual because it's normally served cold. For dessert, tarte tatin (apple upside down pie).
In addition to the restaurant, there was a small shop filled with interesting antiques and old furniture. The patio was already full, so we sat inside, which was weirdly dark until the waitress came and turned on about 10 little lamps all over the room. Turns out our waitress spent the first 14 years of her life in the US, then went back to France and settled there. She spoke English with a real American accent, and admitted that the never wanted to leave but had to follow the orders of her father."
How much do I want to go to that place now? A lot.
Now, all you other Foodie Girls and Boys out there, don’t be shy. Drop me a line and I’ll get your edible adventures up here, too. And if you are local and want to join the crew or make a suggestion for our next outing, we’d love it. Either way, just e-mail email@example.com or leave a comment here anytime.
* Honorary Foodie Girl #1
** Correction from HFG1, the place is called "Croc & Broc".