Lads' Tour in My Mouth

Katie normally writes the food posts and is the original creator of "In My Mouth" so this post might not be as polished as usual. A bit rougher around the edges, but that makes sense because this Lads Tour de France was generally that. Two (disgusting) men surviving in a van for nearly a week does not conjure up the culinary treats this blog normally gives you. However we were travelling through France, home of the Michelin man and his associated restaurants…of which we visited none.

We did have some great food though, starting with San Sebastian and its pinxtos. They were delicious and worth the parking ticket we received while eating them.

In truth, we didn't eat too many delicious meals. We had this one in Bordeaux, where I ate the Bordelaise in red wine sauce with onions and mushrooms. It had a great texture and the setting of this restaurant made it, with the typical French waiter and Led Zep playing throughout.

One thing that annoyed me in France, which was as common as baguettes, was the single toilet in a restaurant for all genders. I don't mind sharing a toilet with women... But I dislike large restaurants which only have one toilet, meaning you have to wait for ages. It's times like these I thank my large bladder and lack of IBS.

I would be remiss not to mention our main source of sustenance on this trip. It was a classic lads meal. A huge baguette with meat, cheese, and a Berocca washed down with some water. Without this combination, I doubt we would have survived the five days. We probably would have returned with scurvy, much like our expedition buddies before us.

Lots of delicious sweet treats were eaten on our many stops; muffins and coffees were a mainstay in order to keep our energy up so we could explore the cities and towns without murdering each other. The highlight of these sweet treats was this crepe after a night of wondering the streets of Bordeaux.

For our final meal in France, we thought we would treat ourselves. I had picked a restaurant about a twenty minute walk away and we arrived, shivering, to its dark windows and closed doors. Damn! Where to go? We walked back towards our hotel box room and found a shopping centre with a typical French "fast-food" restaurant called Flunch…

This would be an experience like no other. Look at their menu. Fancy a pack of raw mince beef? Or steak tartare, as they call it.

Flunch is the most confusing restaurant I have ever come across. It's madness. You walk in and must pick up the salad or drink that you want with your main. You then go and order and pay at the counter. You are given a ticket that you must take to the chef and they cook it for you. You have to wait the 5-10 minutes at the counter while they cook it for you.

It took us about an hour from deciding Flunch was our only option to actually eating our food. It was not the best meal we had… It did make us laugh though. This was clearly an institution in France because logically it made no sense. A simple electronic ordering system could cut out about 50% of the inefficiency. Flunch had clearly existed too long in the country and their ordering system is now baked into the hearts and minds of its loyal customers. It's what makes it unique.

What a decidedly average way to end the trip. Luckily we still had bread and meat for the ferry ride back.

What a last meal...