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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 in Magalas because of a picture in an online review, a picture of shrimp and chorizo in cream sauce with a nice little basket of fries and a side salad. I like shrimp and I like chorizo and I like cream sauce and I like fries. I'll even eat salad now and then. Combining them all seemed like a good idea. Thezan-les-Beziers is about halfway between our two houses. Why not?

Nestled between a hair stylist and a veterinarian, across the street from a warehouse entrance, La Table could be just another workman's lunch joint. It's not. It's a nicely appointed space, clean and new, with outside tables under shady sails. You can hear the main road a hundred yards or so away if you choose to sit outside but the noise is by no means distracting. We were among the first in on a sunny Friday and we were the last out, friends catching up. My guess is that most others were lunching from work.

My three table mates each chose the 14€ formula and each started with the salade chevre chaud, a well-portioned start with the gooat cheese on toast points and a generous slice of serrano underneath them. The ladies chose the fish for their main. David went for the steak/frites. Each plate was as advertised and as is usual in these places, a reasonable portion properly prepared. Plenty of frites with the French beef, a portion of yellow rice with the white-fleshed fish, and tomato provecale for all. My menu choice of shrimp and chorizo in cream sauce was one of those little surprises that I mentioned earlier, interesting and rarely seen elsewhere. With it's own little side salad, a basketfrites, and one of those tomatoes, worth the 16€.
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The girls went for little portions of standard French restaurant desserts - one had tiramisu and the other red fruit in fromage blanc. David and I went for the other of the little surprises, brioche pain perdue with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Very nice.

With a demi of wine and two beers and a fruit juice, the bill came to about 17€ apiece. Thus, La Table de Mel is that same French restaurant with a reasonably priced lunch special and a couple of surprises. If we're in the neighborhood of this one again and hungry, we won't hesitate to drop in.

HERE is their Facebook page. I consolidate all of my restaurant reviews HERE.


The chorizo has a spidery look to it now that I see the pic. 



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