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ooh là là


suein56

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The problem for me is that the quality of her writing is poorer than the quality of the cooking she attempts to describe. I have eaten bad restaurant meals in France as have many posters here, but the cooking was certainly no worse than the journalism of this lazy piece which fails to get the cheap laughs it strives for.

"that sit in your stomach like spent nuclear rods" I can find no meaning in this laboured metaphor. How do nuclear rods 'sit'? 

"Fish is invariably a brick of something" Well, no, it is a species, and not invariably anything

"acrid coffee that could corrode metal" Is there a connection I have missed between acridity and corrosion?

"I sigh when I see jus or coulis on the menu,

as it usually means an artfully arranged but inedible pile of food on a

plate"

I can see no connection between " jus or coulis" which imply something liquid, such as a sauce, and a 'pile of food on a

plate'. Where else should food be?

She clearly doesn't understand the profession of being a waiter. I have the impression that she sees herself as above the person serving her as opposed to being a partner in the process of getting what is wanted, and that she has no idea that one  function of a waiter is to 'protect' a busy kitchen and pace the arrival of orders

Her swipe at 'the ludicrously high "social charges"' suggest that she doesn't believe that such a lowly being (in her eyes)  should have a pension or health cover which needs to be paid for.

This isn't all she doesn't understand. The idea of  a restaurant is rather different in France too.

There are those which offer the menu ouvrier at 10-12€ she seems to be describing, and which represent 'canteen food' in Britain, and then there are those where ' fresh, quality ingredients' are served. Given the price of food in the shops the prices in these restaurants  have to be much higher, starting around 30€ for a menu.

Mixing the two sorts up is simple ignorance, which when served with the arrogance of the title

"The unpalatable truth about French cuisine." tells me more about the writer than it does about the subject.

Of course not all is well with French cuisine, but this silly article does nothing to analyse the problem

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''Of course not all is well with French cuisine, but this silly article does nothing to analyse the problem ''

Whilst you may take issue with her journalist style the article, as far as I can see, is not intended to ''analyse the problem'' but is rather a light hearted, superficial comment about eating out in France.

Given the well publicised perception that French cuisine is the epitomy of excellence and that British cuisine is dross I feel that the article is a defensive response to that perception.
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[quote user="powerdesal"]No doubt we all have our own experiences of France, but as the article is in a UK newspaper I would suggest that the target audience is not us but rather those who do not share our experiences.[/quote]

Maybe is there a forum member who hasn't read a year in Provence? [:)]

I don't even eat my chips from a newspaper as I know some journalists, (ex journalists NofW) and they are quite loathsome creatures a bit like Gollum.

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Well Norman, fish can be a brick if it's frozen...it's pretty anonymous as regards species. ..and as for the coulis and jus comment, sadly I know what she means, but I find that happens both sides of the channel.

However having recently purchased The Good Food Guide, I find the reviews of the restaurants I have visited are very wide of the mark as far as my experience is concerned. I guess it's all subjective.

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[quote user="Clair"]Is this the Telegraph's attempt to emulate the DM with its own Ms Brick? [/quote]

Whilst agreeing with some of the sentiments expressed in the article I had rather the same thought as you about the writer.

[quote user="Théière"]Is there a "Bad food guide" [/quote]

Not sure there is but perhaps there ought to be.

Sue

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Thanks for the critique, Norman.....that saves me from having to read the article then![:D]

In this heatwave (as described in another thread), reading that would literally have made my blood boil!

Can't stand this sort of so-called journalism where the writing is poor and the pretensions of the writer are ridiculous.  In fact, I only often skim through newspaper articles nowadays, and really only to get information (and even then you have to assess the quality of the information) because I can't stand the glaring grammar, spelling and other errors (stuff which you learnt at primary school) and all the clichés (laboured) and current expressions (incomprehensible) which then annoy me long after the contents of the pieces are forgotten. 

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We regulaly use  restaurants  in  Poitou- Charentes and I can say there are some great places to eat . The sea food dishes we have found are first class as would be expected in the region..  I imagine if we chose the tourist restaurants that manage to have a different chef every three months. The get bums on seats in and out fast places that I think she was writing about . Then no doubt we will find the same experience she did, We all know  there are plenty of these restuarants with staff recruited just  for the season .

Most people on here  who have been living in France or regular visitors to France  for some time . I imagine  have found favourite places to eat and stick with them. 

I have only ever sent one meal back to the kitchen in a French restaurant ...A steak  I could have soled my shoes with ... They were shocked by me doing it . The chef looked to be about 17 and I thought he was going to cry . I felt rotten afterwards as the poor kid I assume had been dropped in it by a chef  not turning up .

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We had a lovely resto in our village. One fresh meal each day,  no choice, all fresh ingredients. Vegetarian and you were given the plate sans whatever you wouldn't eat.

Delicious and always good. And as one would always hope for.

 

They retired in the early nineties.

 

 

After that we found the odd decent place, which eventually which eventually changed hands or worse standards dropped. Frankly we were not very lucky where I lived. As we don't do restos at lunch time, we have never had these meals that are so often mentioned, cheap and good......... and I have not a clue where I could have got one near my village........ but there you go.

 

 

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[quote user="woolybanana"]You tell 'em Sweets![/quote]

So, Wooly, you have discovered my tendency to rant [:(]

It comes, as they say, "with the territory".....(another cliché, "see what I mean", and yet another one, ugh!)

Certainly not getting mellower with increasing loss of hearing, sight and whatever else that is getting lost along the way.

Possibly sprouting an incipient moutache at the same time for all I know but, what with the glasses having to be stronger and stronger, I probably can't see it if there was one.

This morning I was telling OH for what seemed like the hundredth time where something was kept and he said he thought he was showing signs of early Altzheimer's.

Early? I retorted sharply; I'd say you have been in the advanced stages for a number of years.

Me getting grumpier or the weather getting hotter?

Anyway, I'm just going to have a nice egg and mayonnaise filled baguette; no need to go to a resto for that[:)]

 

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  • 1 month later...
No doubt there are good and bad restaurants all over France - as there are all over the UK.

What you rarely get in the UK though are the small family-run bar/restaurants offering the set lunchtime menu's that offer good value excellent food.

An example near us: Only open at lunchtimes Mon to Fri. €12 menu du jour that comprises of starters from chilled buffet with about twenty different (homemade) dishes, choice of three mains, large cheese board, choice of puds, wine and coffee. It's packed every day with locals, workmen and bank/office workers.

Great food and great value - and a VERY successful business. A staff of three (inc the chef) that work their socks off to serve about seventy to eighty covers every day. And still remain friendly and welcoming. It 'aint Rocket Science, just dam'n hard work, but you won't find many of these places in the UK.

Sounds like Ms Wheeler would be better of eating some poncy overpriced Parisian establishment!
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[quote user="Matelot"]No doubt there are good and bad restaurants all over France - as there are all over the UK.

What you rarely get in the UK though are the small family-run bar/restaurants offering the set lunchtime menu's that offer good value excellent food.

An example near us: Only open at lunchtimes Mon to Fri. €12 menu du jour that comprises of starters from chilled buffet with about twenty different (homemade) dishes, choice of three mains, large cheese board, choice of puds, wine and coffee. It's packed every day with locals, workmen and bank/office workers.

Great food and great value - and a VERY successful business. A staff of three (inc the chef) that work their socks off to serve about seventy to eighty covers every day. And still remain friendly and welcoming. It 'aint Rocket Science, just dam'n hard work, but you won't find many of these places in the UK.

Sounds like Ms Wheeler would be better of eating some poncy overpriced Parisian establishment![/quote]

yes you do get them in UK.

Try some of the small country pubs in the Lancashire / Yorkshire border area.
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Hi PowerD,

You wrote : "Try some of the small country pubs in the Lancashire / Yorkshire border area."

Yes, you are blessed with some great pubs up there! (Hic!)

But in general, the pub/restaurant/cafe offering a all inclusive 'menu du jour' type 3 or 4 course meal (at a very reasonable price) are as rare as hen's teeth in the UK. However, they exist all over France.

The reason why Chez Rodolphe's is packed every day is: good home made food + lots of it + affordable price = repeat business. Success! Simples!

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