Skip to main content

LA TARTINE, ALBI - RESTAURANT REVIEW




Tourists in France are fortunate that they are touring in France. Unlike restaurants in other places that can count sightseers as a captive audience, restaurants in France simply will not succeed unless they pay more than minimal attention to the quality of the food that they are serving. As a result, and as I have said before, an average restaurant in France is better than most restaurants in other parts of the world. A case in point is La Tartine in Albi.

Let's face it. If your restaurant is located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, right across from the entrance to the beautiful riverside gardens and the Toulouse-Latrec Museum, in sight of the cathedral, you could serve corn dogs on a stick and sell them out most days. La Tartine does not sell corn dogs on a stick. It does serve reasonably solid food at a decent price. That's not meant to damn with faint praise. That is exactly what La Tartine should be doing.

Of the four of us in the party, two chose the cassoulet de Toulouse and two chose the menu of the day. Connie started with a green salad topped with Roquefort and walnuts followed by a joint of chicken from the plancha and frites. I had an onion tarte with a small side salad followed by a grilled link of Toulouse sausage and frites. For our desserts, Connie had sugared crepes and I had a small slab of dense chocolate cake with creme Anglais and whipped cream. The crust of the cassoulet may not have been broken seven times but the cassoulet tasted as a cassoulet should. The frites were reconstituted but hot and plentiful. My single link of sausage, though tasty, did look a bit lonely on the plate. The most telling commentary may be that the only truly noteworthy dish of all of the dishes was the chocolate cake.

With two demis of wine and coffees at the finish, the tab ran just under 80 euros.

This is France. Average can be a good thing.

Read more of my 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