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Bordeaux region

 
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:54 pm    Post subject: Bordeaux region Reply with quote

Hi fellow foodies!

I'm going to Bordeaux for a few days and I'm wondering whether there are any regional specialities I should try (apart from the wine Razz ). Maybe someone even knows a restaurant they can recommend?

Thank you very much
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starchmouse



Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 4
Location: san francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:15 am    Post subject: a restaurant in bordeaux Reply with quote

hi!

i just went to bordeaux in march and i loved it. although i didn't think much of them then, i'm regretting not eating more caneles. i think they grow on you.

one restaurant my family really enjoyed was restaurant les grenadines. i had an excellent gigot d'agneu there. there are a lot of restaurants on that street (it's off of rue saint remi, just keep walking down that major pedestrian street towards the river) and it leads onto place du parlement, where there are three restaurants next to each other. i think we ate at the one on the right, but my memory is a little hazy now. that was also very good.

i don't know how long you'll be there but if you can get ahold of renting a car i would really recommend driving down to san sebastian. it was amazing - old town was quite the foodie paradise.

have a great time!
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much starchmouse, this is exactly the sort of insider info I was hoping for! I shall certainly try to eat at one of the restaurants. We’re only going to be there for 4 days, so I don’t know whether we can fit San Sebastian in, as we probably want to go to St. Emilion for one excursion... (though it sounds very tempting!)
I’m certainly going to try the infamous can(n)elés, now that I have found out so much about them! (see separate topic)

I also had a fantastic reply from Aude (of ‘épices et compagnie’) who asked une copine bordelaise. I’m going to share this survey with you and anyone else who might be interested.

Soup
le tourin
mainly tomatoes and onions

la garbure
with meat and vegetables

Meat/shellfish
le canard
[confit*, magret (roasted fillet), aiguillettes (strips/slices), foie gras]
with cèpes (porcini mushrooms)

les huitres du bassin d'arcachon
(not very good at the moment though due to toxic algae)

Pastry
le cannelé
(little, rather dense and somewhat candied little cakes made in the southwest of France; as described on another food board; also: see topic
‘can(n)elés')

from Landes: le pastis landais
(a brioche, flavoured with aniseed)
la tourte aux pommes
(without much dough; presumably called tourte gasconne)

My French teacher suggested:
cassoulet

And from one of Clotilde’s articles:

Rocamadour
(goat’s cheese; she mentions it as something she bought in the Southwest of France)

* which Clotilde says tastes best with pommes salardaises (sautéd in goose fat; see “The Paradoxical Duck Confit”)
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starchmouse



Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 4
Location: san francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looking at that list reminded me - we paid a small supplement in one of the restaurants for a side of cepes, and it was worth it. also, somebody instructed us to try gateau basque while we were there. as far as i can tell, it is some kind of almond tart, and also very good.

gute reise!
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh goodie good! will definitely look out for ceps then.

Danke! Cool
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just saw this post just now, are you going to bordeaux before Prague?
Lucky you. I don't remember Bordeaux as having anything special to offer from the touristic point of view, so if you have time, St/ Emillion and other little wine towns around are the best thing ( San Sebastian is another story, and I strongly recommend it - but not if you are so short-timed). You can try your luck with one of the great wineries, who knows, maybe Chateau Margaux or Chateau Lafitte just had a cancellation and you can fit in?!
If You have spare time , direction Sarlat- Rocamadour is very very interesting. Cassoulet is indeed one of the specialties, though I wouldn't dare to eat it if it's too hot. It's really heavy. Foie gras, yes, always and a lot!

No more war, more foie gras, we live only once and damn cholesterol!
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know... I hardly dared to put both queries out in case somebody noticed... I would have preferred to have those two things spread out further, but my college friends (we're having a 25th anniversary, so-to-speak!) could only make this time (far too hot for me by July, I should think, I'm already dreading it!!), and as I said, I can't change my wedding date post-event... We did consider going somewhere for longer in September but then we probably would have had to spend our anniversary apart, as my husband works away from home during the week...
I appreciate your thoughts on Bordeaux. Yes, Rocamadour would be nice, I saw a photo in my French lesson recently. We'll see how the girls feel about renting a car - after all, I learnt to drive on the continent and still do it frequently, so driving on the right doesn't scare me (though French drivers might...).
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'm back, and I'll just quickly add my/our experiences.

[b]Food:[/b] well, it was very difficult as one of us is Vegetarian, which as anyone will know poses quite a problem in France. So, we had to choose restaurants which had the best choices for vegetarians - unfortunately, your recommended restaurant, starchmouse, Les Grenadines, was only able to offer a salad with fresh vegetables when asked, so we gave it a miss. Much to my regret, as it did look excellent. Unfortunately, my friend doesn't even eat fish, so we couldn't stop at the great looking restaurants specialising in fish either. Nonetheless, thank you starchmouse for the description, we found our way to this area immediately because of it, and ate there every evening. There are a huge number of restaurants to choose from and all seem to have set meals (formule), starting from €11, which I thought was very reasonable for a three-course meal. I had a gorgeous confit de canard, and slices of duck breast in a peach sauce on another occasion, and I also had foie gras as a starter. It came with very sweet fried bread (brioche?), and the foie gras seemed to contain big pieces of sea salt, which made for a very strange combination. My feeling was that this might well be a traditional way of serving it, and could have been spectacular in a higher class restaurant. The best restaurant for Vegetarians was one called 'Paradox', which is situated in the little side street off to the left of place du parlament. The more ethnic places like the Turkish and Morroccan restaurants also had a better choice of Vegetarian dishes. Don't order the Mozzarella, tomato and Basil salad though - this was served, believe it or not - with dried basil!!!

We took the first opportunity to try caneles, even though we knew those might not be the best; we bought some at Baillardan, which were better, but we still weren't conviced. I think starchmouse is right, they grow on you... at the airport, the cup of coffee came with a mini one, and mine was extremely dark, and therefore very chewy, and I think, I know now what they should be like, ideally, but of course, now I can't get any... and I think that's part of it...

[b]Sightseeing:[/b] Bordeaux is a huge place but we managed to see an awful lot by just walking. There is a lot more to see than I anticipated (hardly any info on the net, and I could not even track down a guide in England). The fountain around the Monument des Girondins, for instance, is as impressive as anything I've seen in Italy, and it will be even more so when the restauration is finished and the scaffolding comes off (April '06). And there are many more interesting places; the whole city seems to undergo a restauration project, and it will be fabulous when it's all finished. Completely by chance, we came across a small statue of liberty (like a stunted, 'real woman' version) one night, but unfortunately, we didn't note down the place and couldn't find it again. And even in the guide I bought from the tourist information, there is no mention of it.

Anyway, well worth the visit for a few days if you can get a reasonable flight and/or accommodation.

St. Emilion ( aworld heritage site), of course, is definitely worth it, if somewhat touristy; but that's to be expected. We made our own way there, by bus (coach); we also visited two vineyards, Sauternes and Graves. It was a half day trip at € 27, and included wine tasting.
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