August 8, 2013

A MOUNTAIN OF FISH AND A COCKEREL

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We have eaten a few times at the restaurant in Pouzay called “Le Gardon Frit”.  Apart from the fact that it serves great seafood it’s also open on Mondays, which can be very useful.  (Except for when it’s a bank holiday, of course.)  So many restaurants are closed on Mondays that we have made a mental note of the few that are open, just in case.  It’s not a long list.

You could treat yourself to a bit of a surprise if you click on the link here.

There are two fish restaurants in the village, on opposite sides of the street.  The other one is called “Chez André” and looks smarter from the outside.  That also appears to be open on Mondays but we have not yet ventured inside. 

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Le Gardon Frit, which I believe means “fried roach”, isn’t especially smart inside, or in the courtyard, but it’s cheerful, clean and tidy and the service and the food are very good.  It’s very popular and in summer the courtyard soon fills up so reserving a table or turning up early is a good idea.  Which just goes to show that plenty of people value good food above fashionable decor.

Plenty of people were choosing the “menu ouvrier”, the menu for workers, very reasonable at 11,00€.  We chose the next cheapest alternative menu at 13,50€.

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The restaurant also does a fabulous “plateau de fruits de mer”.  This is a large platter of shellfish of all varieties.  It’s not cheap at around 26€ a head but it is extremely popular.  We counted four tables enjoying this particular delight, including this one.  The chef staggered out of the kitchen carrying a huge platter with a mountain of seafood on it.  This was destined for a table of five.  One of the diners saw me pick up my camera and invited me over to get a better photo!

By the time we had finished our meal and were getting up to leave the five lucky people had only tackled about half of it.

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The only course of ours that I remembered to photograph was the dessert!  Crème brulée is one of my favourites and it varies a great deal from restaurant to restaurant, but this was a good one.

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After lunch,feeling comfortably full and content, we took another little walk around the village to stretch our legs and let our food settle somewhat.  We took a closer look at the war memorial and it was how we have come to expect in France, in good condition, well cared for and a reminder of how often whole families of young men never came home from the war.

We couldn’t however find an explanation for why it has a cockerel perched on top.  No doubt some local significance that we had missed.

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The boulangerie was doing brisk business, both before and after lunch – it was closed at lunchtime, as most small shops still are in France.

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Then around the corner we spotted this.

You never quite know what to expect in rural France.  Expect the unexpected has become our rule !!

18 comments:

  1. The cockerel is France's emblematic animal and most French speaking countries for that matter. That's why there is so much commotion about the gigantic blue specimen that has recently been installed on Trafalgar square in London, where it is 'defying' Lord Nelson! ;) Martine

    P.S. I could dig into that seafood platter anytime ...

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    1. Martine, of course !!
      I was looking for a local explanation for the cockerel but it's a national one........I should have known !!

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  2. We posted our 2c worth about it here: Le Coq gaulois. Basically the cockerel here will be a symbol of rebirth/renewal and patriotism.

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    1. Thanks Susan, it makes sense that such a symbol should be on a war memorial.

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  3. As a family we love seafood but I think we'd need more than five of us to do justice to that platter!!

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  4. Love the way the seafood is piled up and all that for 5 people! Impressive :-)

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  5. I'd enjoy that restaurant without a doubt. The creme brulee looked lovely too.

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  6. Wow! That's an astounding quantity of seafood even for five! I spy langoustines - my favourite. P.

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  7. Replies
    1. We've decided that we must visit!!
      Perhaps on your next trip...
      if that's not too sooon!!
      [For you to visit the Gardon again, that is!!]

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  8. Chanteclair, the unofficial national symbol of France promoted by the Kings of France to emphasise the Nation as a Catholic state. The Latin for cockerel is Gallus as well as for the Gauls from the Gallic nation - hence a pun... The coq is used as a national emblem for sport ... and ah yes the blue cockerel.. can't wait to stand under it in London... What fun!!! Great, that it's there. Long live France and England in Europe svp!

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  9. I believe the cockerel is the symbol of France perhaps that is why it was on the monument

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    1. Thanks, angiemanzi!
      I knew that really but didn't make the connection seeing it perched up high!
      It's probably my age !!

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  10. The plateau de fruits de mer looks fab! Would love to have a go at that. Sounds like you are having a great time oh retired one. :0) Phil xxx Not jealous at all.

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    1. Hi Phil, I'm personally not sure about the fruits de mer myself - too many rather scary creatures in it to my taste !!

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  11. Your life there looks truly idyllic. That seafood platter is overwhelming. And the crème brulée is gorgeous. We, too, learned to prepare for "closed restaurant Monday." In Sevilla, it was very common. Here on the coast, not unusual but not as prevalent... although many places are closed entirely in winter.

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    1. I often wonder if restaurants are closed on Mondays to give the staff a rest, to comply with laws, because they have made enough money over the weekend, because people don't need to eat on Mondays having stuffed themselves at the weekend, or just to be annoying !!

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  12. I'm not a great fan of seafood other than fish, so the platter doesn't tempt me. However I too love creme brulee so your dessert does. :-)

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