I guess it’s sheer perversity that’s sending me to these casual dining, American-like, chain restaurants here in France when I know that for the same price, I can have some of the best food in the world, in a calm, civilized atmosphere. Perversity, curiosity and the fact that M. Parrett told me that the food in this chain was “correct”. High praise indeed, coming from Mr. there’s-only-one-way-to-cook-prime-rib.
The Courte Paille was, indeed, “correct”. The food was attractive and edible, the service American-like attentive and the seating comfortable, although all the window seats were taken and I couldn’t shoot into the light. Sorry Roger.
Jade and I were seated almost immediately and served a big basket of fresh baguette and a “welcome salad” with a ranch like dressing to nibble on while we waited for our meals. At this time, our drink orders were taken and Jade had an Orangina, while I chose a glass of Chardonnay with a Gallo Mountain Chablis in the jug finish. You are never going to get decent wine in these places, so drink before you come or learn to like Gallo.
For her main course, Jade chose the boudin noir with frites. Boudin noir is included in the August special for the Courte Paille (mini-boudin noir brochettes with apricots) and it was good with nice tender crisp pieces of onion in the stuffing. Not as good as the master boudin maker’s in the market, but good.
I chose the salmon and cabillaud in papillote with vegetables. It was okay, “correct”.
Jade’s dessert of 3 different scoops of ice cream was rather disappointing. The picture on the menu was deceiving or the kitchen staff was in a hurry; I scraped ice cream off the outside of the glass in order to take a decent picture. Still, she liked it.
The Cafe Gourmand looked boring, so I settled for a plain cafe.
One thing Jade and I both noticed; the Courte Paille caters to an older clientele than the other French casual dining restaurants and their success at drawing this clientele, I think, has a lot to do with the correctness of the food.