Brussels Sprouts

As I may have mentioned, Bear and I like to have lunch at the local bar/restaurant once or twwice a week but over the last few months we’ve noticed a gradual lowering of quality in the meals offered.

It always used to be excellent value for money and I suppose the ‘patron’ doesn’t want to put up his prices in the present financial climate so his only choice is to cut costs.

Today’s menu really brought it home as the choice of plats du jour was:

Entrecote (at extra cost)

langue de boeuf

choux de bruxelles (!!!!)

I thought I had misread the third option so asked Fabienne what it was.

“Yes, it’s Brussels sprouts” she explained, “and he’s added some pieces of bacon.”

Bear wouldn’t eat steak or tongue and I was intrigued so we both had the sprouts.

The plates arrived with a large quantity of very overcooked (from frozen) sprouts laced with lardons (small pieces of bacon) , some boiled potatoes and one thick slice of streaky bacon.

It was edible – just.

What a shame that our favourite eating place is reduced to this. It’s no longer somewhere we could happily take friends and family when they come to visit and I’m not sure I really want to eat there more than once a week – if that – but it would be a shame to abandon Hugue when he’s only trying to make a living.

17 Responses to “Brussels Sprouts”

  1. Z Says:

    What an odd dish. I’d have thought that if anyone could make a delicious meal out of inexpensive ingredients, it would have been a French cook. Maybe you could ask for an omelette next time there’s nothing on the menu that appeals – or would that be too rude?

    • sablonneuse Says:

      Bear has asked for egg and chips before now and usually they are happy to oblige but I remember once when they said there were no eggs!

  2. antiphonsgarden Says:

    At least he could have choose a vegetable fitting the season.
    Langue de boeuf and choux de Bruxelles at spring , sounds like deprime a la mode du chef.

    Solidarity is fine, overindulgence is the wrong message as the energy s in the cuisine are on the plate and then in us.

  3. sablonneuse Says:

    I suspect he he had bought in a large quantity of tinned or frozen sprouts!

  4. guyana gyal Says:

    I was thinking the same as Z…that a French cook would be able to make a tasty meal out of inexpensive ingredients. Maybe Hugue has tons of problems and it’s affecting his cooking. Or he has someone else cooking for him now? Or he’s never cooked before and now he’s doing it. Food standards don’t drop just like that. Poor chap.

    • sablonneuse Says:

      I agree about French cooks but Hugue has only recently started being a chef and I should think it’s pretty impossible to make a really tasty dish from frozen or tinned sprouts!
      If they had been in season things could have been very different.

  5. Little old me Says:

    We have notice the same thing, the price stays the same but the food is awful

    • sablonneuse Says:

      I suppose they are afraid of losing customers if prices rise when people can’t really afford to pay more.

  6. Pat Says:

    I’m afraid it is a universal problem as a result – one assumes – of the recession. It certainly has happened here to some of our eating places. Fortunately another one seems to pop up. It is a moveable feast;)

    • sablonneuse Says:

      it must be very difficult to be in businessin times like these. Actually, I have to say the meals have improved in the last week or so.

  7. antiphonsgarden Says:

    When I see the over preocupation of the middle class with programmes about cooking(oral regression?), during the speculation market is increasing world hunger and resources gets taken to fuel some pseudo ecological profit, I feel slightly disgusted.

    Eating in community is about sharing a pleasure, and each who forgets that on the table, in his cuisine or behind his trader screen, has missed the real delight food can provide.

  8. Keith Says:

    I have had to resort to ‘Meals on Wheels’ (Frozen meals delivered to your door) now because the greedy power companies have raised the price of gas and electric to such high levels that I can no longer afford to cook my meals now. In January my direct debit for gas went from £14 to £48 per month, and then up to £59 per month in April!

    Because the OAP Pension is the lowest in Europe (£102 per week now) I had to make cutbacks to pay the other bills. I had my gas cooker taken out and sent to the landfill site, and I cut back on showers and use the Launderette to do my washing. Still they refuse to reduce my payments until November when they ‘review’ all customer accounts.

    So I have turned the gas off, and just use electric now. Let’s see if that makes a difference.

  9. antiphonsgarden Says:

    Bon courage Keith!

    We have been amused to observe how the system had a hard time to understand that we had reduced our electricity bill to the half .
    It was a dry winter, so it was a challenge to reduce heating to a bit of cooking on wood fire in the evening and keeping warm with lots of pullovers and blankets. I found it fantastic, how my approach to this season got more intimate.The only cold I got, was due to a visit to the city with overheated buildings. I am aware this is not a solution for everybody, but a bit more thoughtfulness in the use of resources can be also a fight against the profit made with them, and…a combat against the nuclear determinism of those unable to think outside their lobby politic.
    Now, in this warm spring, we collect our kitchen water who does not use soap , for the garden and we cover the soil to prevent evaporation.

  10. Vagabonde Says:

    Brussels Sprouts are my husband’s favorite veggies – and when they are cooked right they are delicious. We had some lovely meals while in Paris – usually at lunch as it is not so expensive. With our weak dollar we had to add 50% to every price we saw. I wish there was a magnetiseur around here as I walked so much in Paris that my knees are very painful. I would not know what they call them here.

    • sablonneuse Says:

      Sorry to hear about your knees. I can sympathise. Were you going up and down stairs for the metro? That is killing!
      I couldn’t find a translation for magnetiseur either and. apparently they don’t like to be referred to as healers..

  11. canisfamiliaris Says:

    Well this has the ring of a wartime menu, Sandy! I think I might have walked out at that point. There’s nothing worse than overcooked sprouts. But perhaps the smell of the bacon was stronger than that of the sprouts. Yuk!

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