It’s sometimes amazing how much food you can get for so little money in a French restaurant — provided it’s a restaurant that’s out in the country, serving set meals (such as a menu ouvrier, or worker’s menu). A case in point is La Poule au Pot, located somewhere near the village of Goujounac in the département of the Lot, south of Daglan.
We were there for lunch a few weeks ago at the suggestion of friends, and I had the good fortune of being able to follow the car driven by a friend who had been there before. Otherwise I’m not sure I would have found the place. In any case, we all made it.
From the start, you know full well that you’re in the country, partly because of the fields and farms that surround La Poule au Pot, and partly because of the rather tangy barnyard aromas in the immediate area. As you’ll see, “posh” this is not:
Similarly, the interior of the restaurant is plain and simple and utilitarian — but, on the plus side, clean and spacious. Have a look:
Once we got settled, and each of us had enjoyed a kir as an apéritif, the five-course lunch began in earnest. In general, we found the food well prepared in a traditional French-country way — not quite as flavourful and interesting as the meals at Le Diabolo-Fraise (a restaurant I’ve praised several times), but still good.
First came a huge bowl of soup for the six of us to share. I didn’t bother taking a photograph, since a bowl of soup with chunks of country bread floating in it isn’t all that attractive or interesting, but it was fine.
More interesting, and tastier, was a large single omelet loaded with cèpes, which our friend Tish proceeded to slice into chunks and serve to us. Nicely made, with meaty mushrooms, this was a particularly good course. Here it is:
Next came the plat principal — a fairly hefty piece of salty, garlicky, grilled lamb, served with crispy slices of potato that I figured had been cooked in duck fat. Here’s my plate:
A sampling of cheese followed along, and while we were all nearly stuffed to the gills, we made a decent job of attacking the plate. Here it is:
For dessert, we received generous servings of a whipped-cream-and-strawberry concoction. Because I’m a sweet-tooth kind of guy, I had eaten half of mine before I remembered to take a photograph. In any case, here it is:
Along the way, we were served as much red wine as we could reasonably want, plus all the bread we could consume, and even received an extra serving of crispy potatoes, just to make sure we wouldn’t die of starvation on the way home. Because we were there on a holiday, the regular menu ouvrier wasn’t available, so we had the 25-euro lunch. Even better, our friend Bob picked up the tab for the whole table. No complaints there!