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French restaurants are just re-heating factory food


Quillan

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To be honest after watching Ramsays Kitchen Nightmares both the US and French and Spanish ones I have been completely put off eating in any restaurant now unless you can actually see the kitchen and preparation as part of the experience. At least with the all you can eat Chinese buffet places you can see what you are getting and cook your own from fresh ingredients! Half the time, some of the so called cooks or chefs have no real training and just microwave stuff.If you want a decent meal, make it yourself!
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You can cook your own food in the Chinese à volonté buffets? [8-)][8-)]

I would have to be at the point of starvation to eat at one of those around here, they are so little frequented that the stuff is dry from being continously reheated several times a day, it wouldnt be so bad if they were open all day, at least the stuff would be kept hot and not carry the same risk but hey this is France, no chance of extended opening hours.

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The 'Fait Maison' decret was supposed to go some way to stopping Brake Frères appearing on too many menus. I don't know whether it has. I don't recollect ever seeing the symbol but otoh, I don't eat out so much nowadays.

And re Chinese buffets, I know of 3 fairly locally that - as well as the pre-cooked buffet dishes - has a variety of chilled items from which you select your choice of ingredients and you take them up to the counter to be cooked as you wait / watch.

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[quote user="Chancer"]

You can cook your own food in the Chinese à volonté buffets? [8-)][8-)]

I would have to be at the point of starvation to eat at one of those around here, they are so little frequented that the stuff is dry from being continously reheated several times a day, it wouldnt be so bad if they were open all day, at least the stuff would be kept hot and not carry the same risk but hey this is France, no chance of extended opening hours.

[/quote]

I believe you come up our neck of the woods sometimes, more to the point Carcassonne. Try the one up near the airport. With Mrs Q's funny eating habits we use it when we go to her special health food/ Allergies supermarket. She can pick what she wants and yes there is fresh stuff to eat. You put it on your plate, take it to the Wk lady and she cooks it in front of you while you watch. The food is never dried out, always fresh and at 12-50€ a head you can't beat it for value. What I find really odd is the French you seem to always have the food cooked for them, normally the steak and they have chips as well, never actually Chinese food (yes this one is really Chinese unlike the one in Limoux which is actually Vietnamese). So if you up here turn left coming out the airport down to the first roundabout and it is on the left hand corner. Well worth a visit and you won't be disappointed. There is one in Perpignan but I have never eaten there.

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Apparently Mc Donalds re heat 100% of what they pass off as food but that hasn't worried the french. I broke my own rule and had a McD the other day as I was given a voucher.  It was luke warm at best, I returned it wanting a hot burger as my understanding is food must be hot and stored hot for hygiene reasons. Apparently bacteria can't even live on mcD's so no need to serve it hot.

Rather have Brakes and Brakes have many levels of pre prepared offerings some of which is very good.

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You must be thinking of someone else Q, never been to Carcassonne or anywhere near and have no plans to.

But as i dont actually know where Carcassonne is the above may not be true!!

Thanks for the explanation re the Chinese buffets, sounds like a good healthy option, as always around here we are years behind the times and the Customer is first and foremost to be exploited and abused.

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Even the very top restaurants do this. Some dishes are cooked, by them, not industrial, and packed sous vide and then reheated.

Fait maison is a very important thing to me, and I have expectations of what I am going to get. When I go to say a Flunch, I know what I will get, but in a 'proper' resto, fait maison, then they should do the right thing and cook.

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The essence of most chinese cookery is that it's cooked hot and fast. All the work is in the preparation, then it's put in a hot oiled wok for a few minutes with flavourings and voila!

We lived in Singapore for 2 years and had a Chinese girl living with us who was a wonderful cook.

There are other styles of chinese cookery, the one I liked involved steaming - steamed dumplings - mmm!

We rarely eat out here, the usual menu is magret et frites.

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We must be spoiled in the Mayenne area where we live as we have no less than 3 restaurants with Michelin starred chefs. One chef even has 2 stars, clever chap.

There is also a Chinese restaurant run by genuine mainland Chinese from Beijing and that in my experience, having spent time in the far east, is top notch and very pleasant.

Then, there is the famous, amongst the Brits around here at least, routiere in Chantrigne. Second to none!

Maybe folk should simply boycott the places that don't live up to genuine restaurant cuisine.
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[quote user="Quillan"][quote user="Chancer"]

You can cook your own food in the Chinese à volonté buffets? [8-)][8-)]

I would have to be at the point of starvation to eat at one of those around here, they are so little frequented that the stuff is dry from being continously reheated several times a day, it wouldnt be so bad if they were open all day, at least the stuff would be kept hot and not carry the same risk but hey this is France, no chance of extended opening hours.

[/quote]

I believe you come up our neck of the woods sometimes, more to the point Carcassonne. Try the one up near the airport. With Mrs Q's funny eating habits we use it when we go to her special health food/ Allergies supermarket. She can pick what she wants and yes there is fresh stuff to eat. You put it on your plate, take it to the Wk lady and she cooks it in front of you while you watch. The food is never dried out, always fresh and at 12-50€ a head you can't beat it for value. What I find really odd is the French you seem to always have the food cooked for them, normally the steak and they have chips as well, never actually Chinese food (yes this one is really Chinese unlike the one in Limoux which is actually Vietnamese). So if you up here turn left coming out the airport down to the first roundabout and it is on the left hand corner. Well worth a visit and you won't be disappointed. There is one in Perpignan but I have never eaten there.

[/quote]

Thanks for the tip. I pass that roundabout about 2/3 times a month, so if it co-incides with meal time  I'll try to persuade the driver to stop.[:)]

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[quote user="NormanH"]
Thanks for the tip. I pass that roundabout about 2/3 times a month, so if it co-incides with meal time  I'll try to persuade the driver to stop.[:)]
[/quote]

Lidl's is opposite which might remind you of the place. There is frozen food place next door and next to that is a struggling French restaurant trying to beat the Chinese on price but they can’t get anywhere near the quality for the price. If you want the quality you have to go off menu which costs a fortune. Needless to say not many people eat there whilst the Chinese does quite well. They do take aways as well. The only negative is the price of drinks. If your happy with water then OK but eveything else is really expensive, probably how they subsidise the cost of the meal.

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On the main topic it is true that a large number of tourist restaurants use ready prepared sauces (as do cafés in the UK or USA with bottles of ketchup on the table) and buy in from Brakes.

You can still find places not that far from you where the food is well done though.

I would suggest L'autre Jardin at Mirepoix where they have a 15€ two course lunch (17 for 3 courses) and ou can see the quality of ingredients on the page.

He has the names of his suppliers written up on a blackboard.

[URL=http://s253.photobucket.com/user/bfb_album/media/20140715_131637_zpsf6e2a237.jpg.html][IMG]http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh80/bfb_album/20140715_131637_zpsf6e2a237.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Avoid the tourist places on the main square though apart from the Vegetarian Bio 'Indian' style place where he makes it himself

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Cepie 2 clicks north of Limoux is good. Husband runs the butchers and wife runs the restro next door. 13 Euros for appro, buffet starter, main course (choice of three), desert, wine and coffee. Its on the commercial zone, if you could call it that, at the north end of the village just before you rejoin the D118 to Carcassonne. If you turn up after 12:20 you won't get a seat.
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[quote user="NormanH"]On the main topic it is true that a large number of tourist restaurants use ready prepared sauces (as do cafés in the UK or USA with bottles of ketchup on the table) and buy in from Brakes.

You can still find places not that far from you where the food is well done though.

I would suggest L'autre Jardin at Mirepoix where they have a 15€ two course lunch (17 for 3 courses) and ou can see the quality of ingredients on the page.

He has the names of his suppliers written up on a blackboard.

[URL=http://s253.photobucket.com/user/bfb_album/media/20140715_131637_zpsf6e2a237.jpg.html][IMG]http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh80/bfb_album/20140715_131637_zpsf6e2a237.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Avoid the tourist places on the main square though apart from the Vegetarian Bio 'Indian' style place where he makes it himself

[/quote]

No wonder it was cheap, no bloody plates! [;-)]

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[quote user="vette"]We must be spoiled in the Mayenne area where we live as we have no less than 3 restaurants with Michelin starred chefs. One chef even has 2 stars, clever chap.

There is also a Chinese restaurant run by genuine mainland Chinese from Beijing and that in my experience, having spent time in the far east, is top notch and very pleasant.

Then, there is the famous, amongst the Brits around here at least, routiere in Chantrigne. Second to none!

I.cam find all that without leaving the UK. In fact, if I'm prepared to book in advance ( months and months in advance) I can have a nice lunch in a pub with two Michelin stars. or take pot luck and turn up at Tom Kerridge's second pub in the same town, so far un starred but no booking required.

Most of the restaurants we use regularly near us in France do cook from scratch. One of the nicest was even more than happy to give my (then teenage) son a tour of the kitchen during service, so I guess they not only had nothing to hide but were proud of their cooking.

It's often the places which have huge and diverse menus that are worth avoiding..they can't possibly offer the range of dishes they do, and prepare them fresh from scratch.

Maybe folk should simply boycott the places that don't live up to genuine restaurant cuisine.[/quote]
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[quote user="juswundrin2"][quote user="vette"]There is also a Chinese restaurant run by genuine mainland Chinese from Beijing and that in my experience, having spent time in the far east, is top notch and very pleasant.[/quote]

Hi

I'd love to know where this is?

Thanks[/quote]

No problem. The Chinese I frequent is just off the roundabout at Hyper U. As you exit the Hyper U roundabout it's between the exit for Laval and the exit towards Bricomarche. It is called 'Palais Du Bonheur'.

The other Chinese in Mayenne is not a genuine Chinese. I think they are Vietnamese, although it hasn't appeared to be open recently.

Hope that helps.

Les.
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[quote user="NormanH"]Another one at Léran agan not far from Quillan

http://www.lerendezvous.eu/

" Vegetarians are always welcome and never disappointed - rare in these parts"

Shirley who cooks is English. If you are on Facebook you can find the daily menu here:
https://www.facebook.com/marek.woznica.leran?fref=tl_fr_box&pnref=lhc.friends&__mref=message_bubble
[/quote]

Been there, it's about an hour from me. I visit the lake as I am a member of the sailing club there. My mate who works the place, took me there for dinner and is very fussy about his food (retired chef) rates it highly.

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Thanks Les

We hardly ever go to Mayenne town these days, but it's a fairly unprepossessing place from outside, if it's the one I'm thinking of?

The photos on Facebook do look much more appealing, though; thanks very much for the tip, we'll definitely give it a go.

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