Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A little note on eating in France

Eating times here seem to be quite different from eating times at home. Breakfast doesn't seem to be a problem but I have had all kinds of trouble with lunch and dinner.
For example. The other day Lizandro and I were out walking around and we came upon an outdoor creperie/cafe. All the tables and chairs were out but it was closed (this was about 1pm on a saturday). Unlike most places, this one didn't have its hours posted. So we figured we'd come back later when we were more hungry and maybe it would be open.
We came back around 4 i think and it was still closed. Guess it was closed for the day, - whatever, we decided to walk up the hill into the downtown area and try another creperie.
Finally found that one (the downtown area is all these tiny little streets packed in together and its hard to refind things) and were unhappy to find it was closed also.
So we walked over to a cafe that I had gone to for a drink the other night (I wanted creme brulee also that night but was told they didn't have anymore) and sat down. The waitress came by, asked what we wanted, and I gave her our drink order. She brought the drinks and walked away before we could order. I called her over and asked if we could order food and she said "oh no! we only serve food until 2:30."
Huh? You serve food from noon until 2:30pm and that's it? How in the world do you make any money? Where do people eat if they aren't hungry at noon?!
I was starving, and those of you who know me well enough to have been around me when I'm hungry know that I'm not the most pleasant person when my blood sugar is low and my tummy is growling.
Defeated I went to the one place I knew would still be serving food at 5 in the evening!


Its the only American chain I have seen in Limoges and it was packed with young kids and students like myself. I wasn't looking forward to this experience in the least. What?! Im in France and I have to eat at Subway? unexpected option waited for me in the tiny copy of our American sammy joint.
"Steak vegetarien" the sign read. Steak? not too into that idea. But then I glanced over the Veggie sub option. Oh lettuce and tomato sandwich. Alright, gimmie the "steak!"
Turns out it was kinda just meatloaf but made with veggie and soy. Topped with (can you believe I'm advocating sauce?!) the Southwest sauce, I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised and very satisfied and not grumpy afterward.

Lesson learned. Now I try to eat lunch at normal hours. I haven't had a dinner in town yet, I've been making my own every night. And every night that Pascal is there (a gym teacher that lives at the school three nights out of the week because he lives in southern France) he always says "tu manges tot!" (you eat early!) because I always get hungry for dinner around 6 or 6:30 and they dont eat until 7:30 or 8.

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