Monday, 31 August 2009

Frites de la bois

You read that right - not fruits.

One of the bonuses of driving along the Routes Nationaux and Departmentales (apart from the self imposed diversions) are the eating places.

Whereas on the Autoroutes you get the roadhouse/service station standard fare, on the smaller roads you get a wide and varied choice - every option in fact, because because the roads often pass through towns, villages and hamlets.

There are other places to eat, and these are usually announced by a piece of cardboard/wood by the side of the road with the word "frites" handwritten on it. They are one man operations in a caravan, sometimes in an aire de repose (rest area) sometimes in a layby (or parking) right by the side of the road, or like this one, down a side track in the forest.

We stopped here on our way back from Nemours a couple of weeks ago. It was hot and we were in need of an icecream and it seemed the perfect place - shaded by big trees, and just far enough away from the road for the noise to be slightly muted. I had seen the "frites" sign the previous time we had been to Nemours, and remember seeing the caravan.

Why do the signs always seem to say "frites"? We have no idea why frites is the foodstuff by which the places first announce themselves, because they do slightly more complicated food as well - even pizza (probably from frozen), steack haché (ditto) and hamburgers.

For our first experience of this sort of dining we had just a drink and an ice cream. Next time we may be more adventurous.

Simon

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