You best bet food wise in France is always to go for the menu. Usually, you can order an either two or three course meal with a couple of choices for each course. The dishes are nothing fancy but rather the typical fare of the region. So not only will you have a great deal by ordering a menu, you will also get to know the local cuisine. We made a good start already in Le Mans with our first dinner at La Brochette du Boucher.
Coffee and wine are excellent in this region, you can’t go wrong with ordering either. Since France is not really known as a breakfast destination, stick with what you know. Croissant or ‘Pain au chocolate’ will make you happy and are an excellent start into your day. At the Sunday market in Le Mans it was not a problem to buy a viennoiserie at one of the stalls and then eat it in one of the many coffeehouses underneath the cathedral.
Our second evening in Le Mans we ate dinner at Le Fou du Roy, which was right underneath our apartment. The food was okay, the restaurant kind of got stuck in the past when balsamic was still the latest rave. My friend ordered a cream soup and fish, both of which didn’t tickle my fancy, while I got the foie gras as starter and then steak frites.
Foie gras, aka goose liver, is a staple food on every French menu. In Austria this dish is a delicacy, here it was always just one of many starters and apparently not something special. At Le Fou du Roy it arrived surrounded by cured duck breast and ham. It was also one of the few times where I got some much needed salad without having to order it on the side. Foie gras became my favorite starter on this trip, because it’s something I rarely eat at home. Calories be damned!
The steak frites was a bit of a disappointment since the meat was really tough and chewy. But the rich sauce Bernaise with the French fries helped greatly to get over the disaster of a meat.
Another staple of French cuisine is the delicious Tarte Tatin. This buttery up-side down apple cake is not something you want to miss while traveling through France. At Le Fou du Roy it came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
The Sunday market in front of the cathedral was a most interesting place. Before sitting down for a quick breakfast, we surveyed the displayed produce. Most interesting was a ‘Tourteaux du Poitou’, which is also called Tourteaux du fromage (cheese cake). We had sampled a bite and were not impressed. Maybe it is an acquired taste , it certainly takes a while to get over the burned top of the cake. Yours, Pollybert