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CAFE DE LA GRILLE, CAPESTANG: RESTAURANT REVIEW

If you prefer video to the printed word, click HERE.

I lived 50 miles from New York City for most of my life and I never visited Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty. I've seen that green lady in the harbor hundreds of times on visits NYC. I've just never taken the time to take the ferry and check her out up close. Familiarity breeds contempt? Who knows? Do I regret the omission? Only a little. There was always something else worthwhile on the agenda. Maybe next time, when...if...I'm back in the neighborhood.

It's been at least two years, maybe three, since we've lunched at Cafe de la Grille. I have no idea why it's been so long. We've had coffee there dozens of times on visits to the market in the square in Capestang that the Cafe de la Grille faces. We just haven't stopped for a meal. That changed last week. Spur of the moment. We were passing through Capestang. It was just past noon. Let's have lunch.

We're glad that we did.

The cov…

WINE TASTING FOR PLEBS

I don't know a darn thing about wine. So I warn you. Don't listen to a word that I say. Why? I'm an American, born in the Northeast USofA, not exactly a hotbed of boutique wine making even today when the folks in places like the Finger Lakes of upstate New York have been trying to establish their creds for generations. All that I knew of wine as I was growing up came from my experiences with my grandmother's concord grape wine. Oddly enough, straight out of the barrel in the basement it wasn't too sweet. If you liked sweet wine, though, Nana didn't mind. She'd just add a dab of maple syrup to the carafe and shake it a bit.

See what I mean? Don't listen to a word that I say.

Like many of my fellow English-speaking expats, I have come to enjoy sampling the great variety of wines available to us in here Occitanie. We live in the midst of a terroir that is transforming itself from a region known for sheer quantity to a region dotted  with an ever-increasin…

THE CELEBRITY BOOK CLUB

My summer reading list...





Pride and Prejudice by Donald Trump: An autobiography.

What Kind Of Fool Am I? by Jeremy Corbyn: Speaks for itself.

The Animal Firm by Rudy Giuliani: Lawyers challenged by truthiness.

Eat, Drink, Comb by Boris Johnson: The zen of scalp maintenance.

Norwegian Wood by Madonna: Searching Scandinavia for the right man.

How Brown Was My Valley by Scott Pruitt: He tried.

The Pussy Monologues by Donald Trump: It'll grab you.

King Leer by Harvey Weinstein: Absolute power corrupts. 

Flowers in the Attic by Bill Clinton: Where else would he put her?

The Mitch in the Willows by Senator McConnell: Public service leads to Toady Hall.

The Lyin' King by Donald Trump: A political procedural.

Where the Child Things Are by Betsy DeVos: Searching to understand education.

The Magic Bus by Nigel Farage: Who?

Eat, Drink, Comb by Donald Trump: See above.

The Moose Trap by Boris and Natasha: With props to Agatha Christie.





SOUPY SALES, FACEBOOK, BREXIT, AND TRUMP: WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT - AUGUST, 2018

If your family in the USofA owned a television in the early days of broadcasting and as a child you were given the opportunity to watch it, you had many shows to choose from. They're considered classics now. Generally shown during late afternoons or on the weekends, kid shows included Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Leave It to Beaver, Sky King, The Lone Ranger, Father Knows Best, Zorro, Make Room for Daddy, and a bunch more. Simple tales for a simpler time.

I didn't really enjoy the most popular kid shows that featured puppets. I was too young for Kukla, Fran and Ollie and too old for Lamb Chop.  But there was one show that featured puppets and a couple who lived in a pot-bellied stove and giant talking dogs and a guy with a big bow tie. That guy was Soupy Sales and the show was Lunch with Soupy Sales and it was positively revolutionary. Check out this clip. It's eight minutes long. Settle in for some silliness.


Other than the fact that this clip always makes me laugh out loud, the…

LA TABLE DE MEL, THEZAN-LES-BEZIERS: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Not everyone visits restaurants regularly. Not everyone enjoys driving to get to a meal or the drive to get home after a meal. Not everyone enjoys eating in public. And not everyone is willing (or able) to pay for someone else to do the cooking. But many of us don't mind the drive, don't mind eating in a room full of strangers as long as their kids behave, and don't mind paying for the experience as long as we receive value for dollar...or euro.

I have to tell you that I'm getting tired of eating at the same restaurant. I don't mean the same restaurant at the same address. I mean the same, typical French restaurant with a lunch special that gives you value for dollar...or euro...and throws in the occasional surprise. We've eaten at dozens of them. All slightly different, but all with a thing or two to recommend them. The latest? La Table de Mel in Thezan-les-Beziers.

I chose La Table de Mel as the meeting place for friends in for a visit to their holiday home…

MEET THE MEAT, TOULOUSE: RESTAURANT REVIEW

You heard me. Meet the Meat. That's not a translation. That's its name. Meet the Meat.

Regular visitors to my blog are aware that I'm not enamored of French beef. The typical bavette or faux filet that appears on many menus as steak/frites is to this American's taste the equivalent of game meat, not appropriately marbled and a bit too chewy. That's why I was curious about a restaurant called Meet the Meat only a few blocks from our recent rental in Toulouse. I mean, you really have to think that you have meat figured out to put it up on the marquee like that. So we decided to try it.

On the way, we passed one of a chain called L'Entrecote, which translates loosely as Rib Steak. They apparently sell steak by weight and have quite a reputation. The line waiting for the first seating was out the door and down the block. Across the street, at Meet the Meat, we were the first to be seated. No line. No waiting. As our meal progressed, and as Meet the Meat filled up,…