No stars in sight — but that’s okay, M. Croque

Occasional readers of Radio Free Daglan may well  believe that my wife Jan and I eat exclusively at Michelin-starred restaurants. But that’s absolutely false! Why, just three years ago, Jan and I had lunch in a restaurant that was barely mentioned in  the red Michelin guide!

Seriously, however, Jan and I do eat at home quite often, and quite well. And we also eat at what normal people would call casual restaurants. Like, for instance, the café La Plage (it means The Beach) in Castelnaud, about 10 kilometres north of our village. There are no Michelin stars in sight, nor will there be. Ever.

However, La Plage has a pleasant terrace to visit if you’re out riding your bike, or renting a canoe or kayak for a Dordogne River trip, or driving around to see the sights. Here it is, as seen from the front parking lot:

A view of the La Plage terrace.

A view of the La Plage terrace.

Sometimes I have a pizza there, since I find La Plage’s pizzas are pretty acceptable by French standards. Jan, with her gluten allergy, usually has something involving meat, like a cheeseburger served with no bun, or beef steak served en brochette. My personal favourite, however, is a plate of that French classic sandwich, a croque-monsieur.

If you’ve never had one, it’s simply a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich, but served with a béchamel sauce on top; then it’s broiled (grilled) briefly, to puff up the sauce and brown it a bit.

For nine euros, this is what you get when you order a croque-monsieur at La Plage — the sandwich plus a decent green salad plus some nice, crispy French fries:

A tasty lunch plate for just nine euros.

A tasty lunch plate for just nine euros.

And if you look closely, you’ll see not only two halves of a cherry tomato on the left of the plate, but also a decorative dusting of paprika. Hmmmm … maybe Chef does have some higher ambitions.

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This entry was posted in Cafés in France, Food, French food, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France, Restaurants in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to No stars in sight — but that’s okay, M. Croque

  1. Caitlin Woodbury says:

    We thought La Plage was upping its game when Albert ordered a Tom/Mozz salad a few weeks ago and received a plate full of lovely lettuce, thick, red slices of a truly ripe tomato, and an entire small boule of Mozz cut in quarters and drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dabs of pesto here and there. Went back a week later for the same…and it was back to paper thin slices of pink flavorless tomato, and two squares of mozzarella. No pesto. Guess we’d better figure out who’s cooking when we go next.

    • loren24250 says:

      Thanks very much for the comment, Caitlin, and the warning. So far, we haven’t had anything as bad as that second salad, but consistency is maybe not high on the list of La Plage’s qualities…

  2. John Ison says:

    Well, time for lunch!

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