Skip to main content

RESTAURANT AU PETIT GAZOUILLIS, CASTELNAUDARY - A REVIEW

Less than a week after our first visit, we unexpectedly found ourselves back in Castelnaudary for lunch. The first time through, on a Thursday, Au Petit Gazouillis was closed. Tuesday? Open.

A small sign along the main downtown drag in Castelnaudary points to Au Petit Gazouillis, tucked out of the way on a side street. It's a funky, family operation in a small, dim (but not dingy) dining room.We were first in, at about noon, but the room quickly filled with a combination of locals and tourists.  The maitre d' and the single waiter were kept hopping. Even so, service was timely and gave the appearance of being unhurried.

We chose the 13.50 Euro menu. For starters, a charcuterie plate, slices of a variety of processed, store-bought meats with a bit of greens and crudities. Filling if not noteworthy. Cathey opted for the house cassoulet (for a 2.50 supplement). I went for Toulouse sausages and frites. The cassoulet came bubbling hot and quite meaty, a perfect portion for Cathey. My sausage was dense and tasty and the French do know their frites. Cathey had a simple fruit salad for dessert. My molten chocolate fondant came with pastry cream, whipped cream, and a small scoop of French (very) vanilla ice cream. Just delightful. With a demi of wine, and perhaps the most disappointing chunks of baguette I've yet to be served in France, 35 Euros.

If it hadn't been clear that the slices of baguette had been cut from an old loaf - one side of the first slice was crumbly dry and at the least should have been discarded - this would have been a near perfect meal. Be that as it may, Cathey preferred the cassoulet to that of Le Tirou, a ringing endorsement. Given the authentic atmosphere, and for the price, Au Petit Gazouillis is a true find. We'll return.

Read more reviews HERE.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days. Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December. The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the f

THREE YEARS IN FRANCE - AN AMERICAN EXPAT'S REFLECTIONS

Have you wondered what it might be like to pick up and move to another country? Americans are lured to retirement havens in Mexico, Costa Rica, or Panama. They say that Eastern Europe is beautiful, safer than the evening news might suggest, and relatively inexpensive. Southeast Asia is hot, but it's cheap. Remember, though. I'm not talking about investigating a vacation home, time share, or other form of shared ownership. I'm talking about a permanent, sell out and ship the furniture sort of  move. For most Americans, the thought has never crossed their minds. Think about it. Think about moving from one state to another, from one town to another, even from one neighborhood across town. Add the need to learn a new language - if you aren't multilingual already. Add the need to deal in a new currency and the need to learn the ins and outs of currency exchange. Add metric measurements. And a new healthcare system. And a new bureaucracy to navigate. Daunting? You betcha!

AU LAVOIR, COLOMBIERS - RESTAURANT REVIEW

We live in a town that doesn't do very much to encourage growth or tourism. The streets are rough and bumpy, the tinted glass has been broken out of the street light nearest our house since we moved in three years ago, and the fountain in the square was activated this week for the first time since we arrived. Oddly enough, many of us like it that way. Quarante is a quiet little village, not on a main road to anywhere, but with a fine baker, two excellent butchers, and a bar that serves edible if not exciting food. We could use an ATM (cash point, money wall...) and a gas (petrol) station but otherwise, most of us are happy that Quarante is a backwater. Colombiers, on the other hand, seems determined to do everything possible to turn itself into a crowded, overdeveloped, cash hungry example of all that folks like us are looking to avoid when we move to the rural south of France. Ugly apartment blocks? Check. Newly constructed condos with a 'view', meaning you can see a tin