Friday, 4 September 2009

Friday lunchtime in St Jean de Luz

It being the fin de semaine I took myself out for lunch today in St Jean de Luz. I have read a lot in the international press in recent years about the decline of French cooking, that the country has lost it's culinary way, that Tokyo/New York/London are the new Paris. Possibly at the top-zillion-Michelin-star-end there are discrepencies but when it comes to straight, no-nonsense working lunch tucker there is no comparison. Well there is, but it is not favourable to the UK.
On a given Friday in London I may have taken my team for lunch, but where to eat? Three choices: top end pricey, pizza or gastropub. The top end is just silly for a quick bite to eat, pizza is rather staid and though tasty, gastropubs are hardly healthy and tended to be filled with inebriated office workers.
On this given Friday in St Jean de Luz I asked myself the same question. This time only two choices: top end pricey or straightforward. Being a Scot I am always going to opt for the latter option. I am then given 62 possibilities to choose from in terms of venue, bear in mind that St Jean de Luz is not a big town. I have six preferred eateries and selected my option 2: Txantxangorri (granted, you have to know where to eat). For the same price as two pints of beer and a vodka lemonade I had a delicious three course meal plus coffee: vegetarian couscous, roast pork with haricots verts and salad, skimmed rice pudding with ginger.
No comparison. Excellent food at an affordable price, the professional waiters are jolly and friendly so there is much banter once you get to know them and the restaurant is clean. Moreover, in France you get to eat all the best (more interesting) bits of animals that the PC Police have banned in the UK. Next week: tete de veau (check out photo!).
Basque of the day:- offal :: tripotxak