It occurs to me that we haven't written much about French cuisine. To make a long story short, we have liked everything we've ordered. We have been to many establishments, from bars to the nice restaurant in our hotel to the exceptional dinner we had at the Congres.
Every morning we have a choice of several different kinds of bread (which can be toasted) from baguette to pound cake, ham, cheese, yogurt, lumpy applesauce, creame that looks like yogurt, 4 kinds of dry cereal, fresh fruit, croissant, chocolate croissant, crepes, some kind of baked potato torte, juice, several different kinds of coffee and tea. It boggles the mind! Every day we try something different.
Lunch is either a sub with ham (always) and anyone of a number of other things or a vegetable-egg tartor maybe we'll splurge and have a “formule on the menu” which includes two or three courses: soup or salad (entre), main course, cheese, omomelet“hahamburger (plate) and/or a dessert. So choices are all three, or an entre and plat, or entre and dessert. Drinks sold separately.
The lunch we had at the Congres was first a baguette, then a cold tray with beets in a sauce, jejuned carrots, two slices of cheese to be eaten with sliced apple in a flaky crust for dessert. The hot plate was turkey in a sauce and scalloped potatoes. Coffee followed. Yummy!
By dinner, which is served after 7, we are too tired to eat much so it is usually soup or yogurt and fruit in our room. Tonight it was soup and hot chocolate for me and omelet and salad and hot chocolate for Jim. Sometimes we go to “le Picnic” for a meal. They have everything in to-go cartons. The food can be eaten there as well. Jim has fallen for the woman behind the counter so we've been there three times. We can also get mint/chocolate and vanilla ice creame, great soups too.
Dinner at the Congres started with rolls which kept coming though out the dinner as well as bottled water. The first course was (Meli-Melo de Mache et Saumon Frais a l'Huile de Noisette et sa Sauce Cihoulette) a sliver of raw salmon on a bed of lambs lettuce (Mache) with a sauce. Yum. We don't have lambs lettuce in the States. Looks a little like water cress.
Second course was (Faux Filet de Charolais Roti aux Echalotes) a beef fillet (Accompagne d'une Terrine de Pommes de Terre a l'Auvergnate) with the best potatoes you have ever eaten in you're life! They were thinly sliced with butter between each layer. Also layered between the slices of potato was a slice of cheddar cheese and a slice of bacon. Are you full yet?
Third course (Assiette de Fromages d'Auvergne) a plate of three cheeses, all of which were tasty.
Fourth course (Profiteroles Chocolat Vanille) three small puff pastries filled with vanilla pudding and drizzled with a chocolate sauce.
Coffee followed. We waddled to our room about 10:30. It was painful.
I think it is kind of funny that I found the book Julie/Julia in one of the book stores we visited. It has been fun to read while we tried to interpret menus. About the only things I gleaned from the book is: everything has butter and some form of ham in it except desserts, everything has a sauce (I already knew that.) and the words on the menu actually describe what is in the dish or how it is prepared.
When we were in Paris and Versailles the food didn't seem near as good.
Vichy is not touristy. I guess that is why the trades people don't speak much English. People were surprised that we would spend any time here. It's been fun. I love it! I don't have to watch for pick pockets. I don't have to count my change. Women and their little dogs walk along the streets, alone, at all times of the day and night.
We headed in a new direction this afternoon. Happened upon a rugby game and walked around the Mediterranean neighborhood with the red-tiled roofs and stuccoed walls. Found a fabric shop!!!!!!!