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France in My Backyard

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March 22, 2015 / French / By
Katie Schenk

 

I’ve never claimed to love French food.  It’s not that I’ve ever disliked it, mind you.  But, French food has never climbed to the top of my favourites list.  That said, I’ve been missing Europe again – and speaking French too.  So, when I discovered a new French restaurant blocks from my house, it went on the list immediately.  I made the date with my boyfriend, perused the menu and imagined enjoying every succulent bite as if I was back at “Floroni” in Paris.  I get psyched about these things you know.

I’d hoped for an earlier dinner on the night we headed out to A la Bouffe, but you know how work goes.  And, I hadn’t made a reservation.  Still, we were greeted at the door with a smile and given the last table for two in the place. 

 

It’s just a small restaurant, with a pair of lovely armchairs outside for the smokers – or perhaps to enjoy sundowners in a relatively quiet corner.  Inside, the walls are a gorgeous blue, complemented by simple tables.  It almost reminded me of places in London that I’d visited recently.  And it would fit right into a Surrey neighbourhood restaurant, except for the vaulted ceilings – space is far too precious in that part of England for that height.  And, it’s for that reason that my pictures are so shockingly bad.  You see, the flash was just dying in all that space, but still seemed to bother the other diners.  (And then I erred on the side of courtesy - and turned the flash off - rather than imagery.)

 

We ordered the French cider instead of wine or beer, and I must say, it’s been years since I had it – long enough that it tasted as special as Champagne would have been.  Choosing starters was a more difficult task.  What to eat when you want everything?  We (and I probably should say “I” but I won’t) settled on the grilled frog legs and the paté.  Both were terrific, and I usually have to try much harder with chicken liver.  Perhaps it was the presentation, which would have turned my head, but I don’t think so. 

 

And then, my rabbit with red wine and my boyfriend’s lamb arrived.  It was scrumptious, and it tasted ever so French.  You see, it came at just the right moment.  It’s been a strange few months between my last trip overseas, and life is busy.  So, of course, I slip into moments when a little holiday is what I need exactly. 

 

As I savoured my food and swigged back my cider, an odd assortment of French memories flew through my mind.  And I smiled.  A la Bouffe was just a small taste of what travel is supposed to be, and it’s virtually in my backyard.  If you’re in the neighbourhood, you’ll need to make this a night out.  And, if you’re not even close, feel free to be jealous.


A la Bouffe

Country: South Africa

Province/State: Gauteng

City: Linden

Address: 32 Seventh Street

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: near Red Pepper studios

Phone: +27 11 888 8004

Website:www.albouffe.co.za...

Price Guide:$$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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